A request to Dropbox & Evernote from Physicians, please add PDF annotation

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Dropbox (1) and Evernote (2) both took a big step forward when they recently added better PDF support within their apps.

No longer do you have to open your PDF within iBooks or another PDF reader app.

You can now easily read and share your medical literature PDF files within the apps themselves.

This added functionality is great, but many of us still have to export our PDF files outside of Dropbox and Evernote so we can annotate them.

Often times, we bring the annotated files back to Dropbox and Evernote. Alas, doing this extra step is a hitch in the workflow.

I’m surprised Evernote — with their focus on education — hasn’t included annotation functionality already. When they bought the app Penultimate (an app that enables annotation) we expected this would eventually translate into Evernote enabling the same functionality within their app. Unfortunately, more than a year later, that hasn’t been the case.

With the recent focus on PDF functionality for both Dropbox and Evernote, we can only hope they take the next step forward.

How to articles on iMedicalApps for Using DropBox and Evernote for medical professionals:

How to use Dropbox in Medicine
How to use Evernote in Medicine
How to save PDF files from PubMed onto Dropbox
The Best PDF annotation apps

(1): Techcrunch 
(2): Evernote 


Iltifat Husain, MD

Founder, Editor-in-Chief of iMedicalApps.com. Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of Mobile App curriculum at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He is also the founder of iPrescribeApps, a platform for prescribing apps to patients. Dr. Husain has given lectures on digital medicine globally. He went to North Carolina State University for undergrad and went to medical school at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

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10 Responses to A request to Dropbox & Evernote from Physicians, please add PDF annotation

  1. lzrdox March 26, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Agreed. This would be a very useful addition.

  2. Maarten den Braber March 27, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    PDFpen Pro for iPad has Dropbox folder Sync. No need to switch between apps and works great. Don’t think it would be logical to add this to Dropbox, but rather leave it to specialized apps. So turn it around: specialized annotation apps (like PDFpen Pro or iAnnotate) should support Dropbox and/or Evernote.

  3. Sarah MB April 1, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    writepdf also works well with dropbox and allows pdf editing as well as direct editing

  4. Greg April 2, 2013 at 2:32 am #

    If you are looking for a comprehensive solution for document annotation which provides PDF editor for both Windows and Mac, GroupDocs Annotation should be your prime choice. It includes the most basic as well as advanced tools for editing PDF documents. The annotated document can also be exported in PDF with all the comments, noted and annotations in place. And the best part is that Dropbox has also integrated with GroupDocs to access Dropbox files from GroupDocs account and perform document annotation, conversion and various other tasks. The updated files can then be saved in the cloud via Dropbox storage.

  5. KA April 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I am looking for a secure app that I could send sensitive medical information from a hospital to an off site location to another practitioner and have signatures exchanged electronically.

  6. drdaviss April 4, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    I use PDF Expert as my pdf front-end for Dropbox. Great annotation features and can share the file with the discrete annotations or as a flat file. Annotated files from others can be edited. All my highlights and comments get saved, and you see just the annotations if you like.

    The Dropbox synchronization is flawless and it asks your permission to update more than 100MB at a time in case you are watching your cellular bandwidth. I don’t use Dropbox for HIPAA-protected documents, though I understand you can upload files that you have encrypted on your own machine (though I don’t know how that would work via mobile device… what app can unencrypt your file?).

    (Now, if only I could get Dropbox to properly sync Keynote files…)

  7. jrpitt April 4, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Strongly support this suggestion.

  8. InternDoc April 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    I use Sugarsync as my central storage for all PDFs, they give more free space then the rest. I then use PDF Expert which fetches the files from sugarsync, I then make any annotations I want similar to what Adobe would allow on a desktop, file automatically saves it self and then I sync on my schedule when I am at free wifi locations or wait till I get home.

  9. Ed McGuire December 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    I use foxit pdf you can annotate and use typewriter,,,,nice article. <3

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