Jot! Whiteboard becomes Jot! Blackboard with Jot! 2.8

Jot! 2.8 is now live! You’ll notice an additional option on the background menu:


That’s right, black backgrounds. This is the most significant change to the look and feel of the Jot! experience ever. Compare black versus white:


It’s literally night and day.

This may seem like a small change, but it did take some careful considerations to get it right. The black and dark green colors on the default color palette will not show well on a black background.


Therefore, if you are using the default colors and select the black background, the palette swaps out the black and green colors with white and neon green, respectively:


Of course, you can still tap and hold or double-tap on any color to choose from the full palette of colors. Note that if you have selected custom colors, the toolbar palette won’t change if you switch between white and black backgrounds.

Jot! 2.8 also supports iOS 7 to include the latest look and feel while still supporting all previous iOS versions: iPad 1 owners can still get this latest version.

As always, we love to hear from you, so please let us know what you think. Leave a comment below or email us at

Posted in Design, Jot on the iPad, Jot on the iPhone, Our Products | Leave a comment

Jot! Live Sharing in the Classroom

We’ve been hearing from ever-increasing numbers of teachers and educators using Jot! in the classroom or as a lecture tool. We’re not teachers or involved in the education industry so this was definitely an unintended use case, but we’ve been very happy to discover that this aligns nicely with the core vision of Jot!.

As more and more schools are starting to experiment with iPads in the classroom, I really believe iPads are a perfect tool for education. After talking with some teachers who have written in to us, I’ve become very interested in iPads in education and specifically I’m looking at how Jot! can be used as a teaching instrument.

Our Live Sharing feature already allows you to share a whiteboard across the internet and we’ve heard from many people using Jot! as a teaching tool when communicating virtually with students. Most of the people using this are sharing one-to-one or with maybe at most a few people.

Selective Live Sharing

I recently talked with a teacher who had the idea of using Live Sharing in a classroom where every student has an iPad. His idea is to do a Live Sharing session with the entire class, but instead of a single whiteboard with a classroom of students all interacting together, the students could join and view just the teacher’s whiteboard. Then each student could interact with the teacher’s shared whiteboard without seeing the interaction of the other students. The teacher could then select one or more students to share their work back with the teacher’s session for the other students to see.


This idea got me really excited and we’re currently exploring ways to make this a reality. Because Live Sharing works over the internet, this could apply in a physical classroom as well as a virtual classroom with physically distributed students. We are currently working on building out a test version of what we’re calling “Selective Live Sharing” to allow a one-to-many version of live sharing to support this kind of interaction with one instructor and many students.

I’d really like to hear from you if you’re an educator who may be interested in this feature. Have you used Jot? Have you tried it in the classroom and/or with Live Sharing?

Are you interested in Jot! Selective Live Sharing?

If you’re interested in talking by phone, I’d also love to chat in person so please email me at and let me know you’d like to talk directly.

Please also email us at or comment on this blog post if you have any questions or comments.

Posted in Jot on the iPad, Our Customers, Our Products | 9 Comments

Wall Street Journal calls Jot! “stellar, easy-to-use”

We’re very excited that the Wall Street Journal mentioned us in their Technology section in a great article about using a stylus with the iPad. They called our app “stellar” and “easy-to-use”.

Check it out here!

As always, let us know if you have any feedback at

Posted in Jot on the iPad, Our Company, Our Products | 1 Comment

More Font Sizes and Folders for Organization in Jot! 2.6

We are happy to announce that Jot! 2.6 is now live in the App Store. Many of you have asked for more font sizes and they’re finally here! Whenever editing text you’ll see a new popover menu allowing you to choose from 4 different font sizes.

Many of you have also asked for folders as a way to organize your Jots and that is also here! You can create or edit as many folders as you wish. Within a folder change to edit mode where you can select multiple Jots to move them to another folder.

We’ve also learned that many people use Jot! with an external display when projecting to an audience. We’ve supported external displays since the iPad1 with a custom view on the second display that is slightly different from the main view (and it lags a bit behind). Now that the iPad2 includes video mirroring, we wanted to make that an option as well. In the settings app choose Native Mirroring to use the new iPad2 mirroring when projecting to an external display.

Every feature in this release came from one or more customers who emailed in to suggest it. Thank you! We appreciate your emails with questions and comments.

We hope you enjoy these new features. Please continue to let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to see in the future, either here in the comments or directly at

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iPad Backgrounds for Jot!

We often use Jot! when thinking about user interfaces for new features and new apps. We were recently thinking about building a new app and so naturally we used Jot! to start sketching out screens. In Jot! 2.5 we introduced backgrounds, which allow you to take a photo or choose a saved photo and use it as a background. In our case, we thought it would be great to have an iPad as a background to sketch on. So, we created iPad images in the various orientations and now we add these as backgrounds whenever we want to sketch out an iPad app UI.

If this is useful to you too, feel free to grab the images below to use as backgrounds. Click or tap on the image to get the full-size version. If you’re on an iPad you can tap & hold on the full-size image and “Save Image”. Then import them from Jot! using the camera icon and selecting “Select from Photos” where you can find the images in your Camera Roll.

Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback:

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Import PDF documents in Jot! 2.5.1

In Jot! 2.5 we introduced background images. You can hit the photo button to either take a picture or select one from your photos to use as a background image.

Then Jot! away on top of the picture.

In Jot! 2.5.1 we now support PDF documents as well. If you have a PDF in another app with an export option, you can “Open in Jot!”.

Jot! will use the first page of the PDF and open the background editor where you can resize, rotate and position the page on the Jot! canvas.

Then jot away on the PDF. We hope you find this useful. Please continue to send us feedback. Leave a comment or email us at

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Ever wonder how much that meeting is costing you?

I certainly have. There are lots of reasons for bad meetings. I think some people think their job is to attend meetings so they schedule them just to justify their value or feel like they’re doing something productive. The worst kind of meeting in my opinion is a status meeting. You know, where 30 people sit around being bored for 58 minutes while the other 29 people go through their status. Then you spend 2 minutes talking about what you’re working on (or could have been working on for 58 more minutes if you weren’t sitting in this status meeting) to 1 manager who is noting it all down. Ugh, those are the worst (except don’t tell the manager that).

Status meetings usually mean time for me to jot doodles. This got me wondering how much money was being spent on salaries for everyone to sit around doing nothing.

(one of my Jot! doodles of Batman)

As a fun little experiment I decided to build an app for that. It’s called Simple Meeting Cost and it’s available in the app store (for Free!). Just configure your employee types and salaries, tally them up and start the meeting.

Whether this number is truly significant or not probably depends on your company and your employees’ salaries. One thing I found is that if you have too few people or too low of salaries, the clock ticks depressingly slowly.

So, give it a try, have fun with it, and please let me know what you think. Maybe it will give you a good excuse to get out of some bad meetings and do something productive instead.

Posted in Simple Meeting Cost, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Jot! 2.5 submitted to the AppStore

We’ve just submitted Jot! version 2.5 to the AppStore, and we’re very excited about this new release.

2.5 has the following major enhancements:

  • More colors!  Many have asked for it – so now you can choose from 16 colors.  Double-tap on a color in the toolbar to change it.
  • More line widths – you can now choose from 4 line widths
  • Fonts choice – visit to change the font used for text boxes
  • Backgrounds!  You can now choose an image from (or use your iPad2′s camera) to use as the background of your jot.

We’ve made a change to how we charge for Live Sharing – now, everyone gets up to 5 free sessions every month, and  you can purchase 5 additional sessions for only $0.99.  No more monthly subscription. UPDATE: Live Sharing is now free forever with the paid app and free to view from the free app or a web browser at  We hope this makes Live Sharing more compelling to use.

We are also updating Jot! for the iPhone: adding Live Sharing, backgrounds, expanded color selection and line width.

To celebrate, we have put Jot! on sale – it’s $0.99 until 2.5 is approved by Apple.


Posted in Jot on the iPad, Jot on the iPhone, Our Products | 1 Comment

Jot! iPad Live Sharing coming soon: beta testers needed

Have you ever been on the phone and wanted to sketch out an idea on a napkin or whiteboard, but the caller on the other end is unable to see what you’re drawing?

Introducing Live Sharing

Live Sharing is our upcoming service that will allow you to jot on your iPad and share your whiteboard with another Jot! user over the internet, wherever they are physically located. It’s the virtual shared whiteboard that we envisioned when we first set out to build Jot!

We spent most of our time in 2010 building out the core drawing features of Jot!, which we think offers the best whiteboarding experience on the iPad. We still have more drawing features that we plan to add soon, but we wanted to launch Live Sharing first. Apple just announced subscription in-app purchases and we’ll use those to allow customers to sign up for the Live Sharing service.

We need your help to check out this service before we make it live. We’re looking for up to 30 people to try out our new service.

If you’re interested, please email us at Because this is a service that requires at least 2 to tango, we would prefer pairs (or better yet, groups) of iPad Jot! users. For your help, we’ll provide you and your friends with a free 1-year subscription to Live Sharing.

Thanks for your support as we continue on our quest to change how we record and share our visions.

Posted in Jot on the iPad, Our Company, Our Products | 6 Comments

How Arter Mobilize Uses Jot! Whiteboard to Mockup Screens and Win Customers

Last week Geoff and I had the pleasure of meeting Rick from Arter Mobilize at MacWorld and seeing how he and his team use Jot! for iPad in their unique process to win customers and scope projects.

Arter Mobilize designs and develops custom mobile apps for businesses and they’ve developed an amazing process for keeping their projects in scope and on budget. Rick is a self-described “professional doodler” and when he first meets with a prospective customer, he explains that they extensively use mockups before actually developing anything in order to to flesh out the app that they will build.

Once a customer has signed on, Rick and his team hold a 2-3 hour kick-off concept design session where they use Jot! to  mockup the screens to be built. They start with a fresh .jot file that they’ve saved with 2 iPhone templates as a “stencil” and immediately start drawing the screens as they talk to the customer.

When they want to move on to a new screen or try a new concept, they copy and paste the whole clean iPhone stencil first so that they always have a clean iPhone stencil to work with for the next screen mockup. They use the duplicate and copy/paste features to move things between mockups.

Rick has come up with a way of pricing development based on purchasing credits. Credits are used to purchase UI elements and these are applied during the design phase, which gives his clients an immediate way to determine the scope and price of the app they’re building. More UI widgets = more credits. I think this is ingenious. As a developer, I know that UI complexity doesn’t necessarily equate one to one with development effort, but it’s a great way to give clients something tangible that they can equate to the cost of their app. Even if it’s not 100% correct, it must be invaluable to give clients a transparent and understandable way to realize the cost of their apps as they’re designing them.

In the end, they flesh out all the screens and assign credits to the UI elements so the client knows the cost of the project up front. This gives the client complete ownership, control and customization of the development process to purchase what is needed.

They take their Jots back to the shop and create full-fledged mockups using a mockup tool (they use Balsamiq). They can then produce a formal concept report to their customers that fully describes and illustrates all of the screens to be included in the app.

Rick is a visual thinker and exactly the kind of person we had in mind when we created Jot! and we were privileged to meet him. You can work with Rick on your next mobile app by emailing him at

We would love to meet you too and hear how you’re using Jot!. If you’d like to be featured here on this blog,  email us at

Email us your feedback or join the conversation in the comments.

Posted in Jot on the iPad, Our Customers, Our Products | Leave a comment