A School Psychologist's resource for all things tech.

Annotate like a Pro

iAnnotate PDFAnnotate like a Pro with iAnnotate PDF.  This is another of my favorite apps that is currently on-sale (only until February 4th so quickly read on!). I receive documents in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Intervention plans, data graphs, new forms, etc., and they  all usually require my thoughts and/or interpretations but they don’t always come in a form that is easy to comment on, add my thoughts, or review*.  iAnnotate is great because regardless of the form it comes in, you can seamlessly convert the file  into a “PDF” document you can annotate using Apple’s “open in..” function. Below are some of the pros and cons I see in the app for School Psychologists to use but the website has great information.

Price: $9.99 $4.99


  • Wide variety of annotation tools to use to make comments (pencil, marker, color, stamps, text boxes, notes, highlighters, image stamp, just to name a few)
  • Access to variety of cloud based platforms such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, SkyDrive, WebDAV
  • Share your comments in a variety of forms such as a “annotated (annotations can be viewed and modified) “flattened” (receiver sees comments but can’t edit them), summary of annotations, or original
  • For updated iPads, you can AirDrop files to other AirDrop users (iPad or Mac computer)
  • Work on multiple documents all at once, because we all over multitask. Up to 8 tabs open at a time!
  • Great for recording a student while completing a running record. Recording audio is built in and then annotate as the student reads. Paperless work in action.


  • There are LOTS of features and I probably don’t use half of them on a regular basis. It would be nice to have a version that was 1/2 as powerful and 1/2 the price.
  • It isn’t always clear how to save a document or if it is automatically saving.  I’m just not that trusting.
  • I know I can edit and customize the toolbars but I’m not sure why the share button isn’t automatically on the main bar, without a customized bar I have to go digging.

Uses for Students:

  • On lecture notes, outlines, slides students can write comments or highlight key points that were important to them as they participated in the lecture.
  • Built in text-to-speech so  students can select text in the file to be read out loud.
  • Along the lines of running records, students could record themselves reading, listen to the recording, and then make comments on their own reading afterwards.
  • Due to the “heft” of this app, I’d recommend using it with older students (upper Elementary, MS, HS, College, etc.) because younger students may find it overwhelming and not user friendly.


* I think we can all agree that Word's "comment" function isn't all that user friendly!

Comments on: "Annotate like a Pro" (5)

  1. Erika Joye, PhD, NCSP said:

    HI Emily, I am so happy that I came across your blog this morning while researching some information about syncing observations across ipads for Behavior Snap. This is Erika Joye. I hope things are going well for you. I have a question for you. Do you have any recommendations for an app that monitors goal progress on IEPs and then charts the data? I am looking for an app that I can use to input my caseload, goals for each student, dates and times I see them, and progress monitoring. I would also like to see the app automatically graph the PM data. I haven’t found anything like it. Maybe I will make it!!!

    • Hi Erika! It is great to hear from you! How are things in CO?! I don’t have a specific app that I can recommend for monitoring goal progress on IEPs and I think you could make an amazing app to do that but in the mean time I love challenges like this to see if there is a work around. I have a couple of thoughts
      1. What about google forms? You could use a google form that you create to log the data. Then once it is in a spreadsheet you can have it graphing the data in there. You could have a separate form for each student a pull down list of their goals and then you could have a box to enter the data and any comments. Or you can have one goal tracking form and have all of the various student data go in to one google sheet for you then to sort it out based on student and goal in order to graph it.
      2. I’ve recently started working with a Ultradox which is an free add-on to GoogleDocs. I’ve recently used it to collect teacher input for meetings. So for example I send out the google form I’ve created for teacher input and when they send it back it goes in to the spreadsheet. I don’t want to pull data out of there each time, so I have an Ultradox tool setup that I can run and it puts the various “fields” that teachers submit information on and puts in to a template document that I’ve created. So with Ultradox if you had the student’s goal data submitted through a google form you could use Ultradox to put it back in to a document form that you like. You might even be able to make it so Ultradox puts a graph from your data in to a GoogleDoc. I haven’t done that specifically yet but that doesn’t mean it won’t work.

      I know this is a lot to describe in text so if you’d like to chat about it more maybe we can set-up a time to do a google hangout and I can show you my screen, see what I have set-up and see if you think you might be able to make it work. Just let me know! Great hearing from you!

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