Be productive, creative and social with one app

Clibe is one of the best creative and productive apps around – and that is before you discover the ingenious social side of the app that even we didn’t see coming. Stripped down, this is a notebook app for you to write, sketch and generally be creative in. All of your journals are saved to the Cloud, so you can access them anywhere. There is also a social side to Clibe, where you can share your journals with other users, and follow their published notebooks as well. Suddenly, you’ll find that you’ve kicked open a door and found an entire new world. Welcome to Clibe.

The app looks great, with the light floorboard-style background making it feel sleek and easy on the eye. The amount of creative freedom that actually exists when it comes to creating your journals is something to be remarked upon; you can put anything on the cover, choosing from the range of textured effect covers in-app, or upload an image of your own. If neither of those options float your boat, then you can unleash the paintbrush and pen tool, and create something entirely new. All this is before you’ve even started pouring your ideas into the journal.

You have a solid amount of creative weapons in your arsenal to suit every pursuit, with the paintbrush, pen and highlighter tools aiding sketching, writing and annotating. There is also a text box option, which enables you to type in your thoughts if touchscreen handwriting isn’t for you. This is where Clibe has the upper hand over its rivals, as few of them have both options on offer, and none fuse them together as well.

One of the best points of Clibe is that it’s the little details that make it stand out, and make the experience of doodling in a digital journal feel very real. There are touches like the little leather trap popping off every time you tap on a journal to open it, or the small imperfections that make your implement behave like an old-fashioned fountain pen, with heavier lines to show where it is initially pressed to the page, and the shade of ink always varying. These make for an authentic experience, and thus make Clibe more endearing.

Clibe’s knockout punch, though, comes via its social connections, which can be found under the Gallery tab of the home screen. This presents you with an App Store-like gallery of journals that other Clibe users have chosen to publish publicly. Every time you upload to the Cloud, you can decide who you would like to see your journal, if anyone. In this gallery, you can choose to follow different users, and receive a copy of their journal to read on your dashboard. It’s a nice combination of social networking and blogging that is unlike anything else we’ve seen before, and opens up avenues that alone make this app worth having. The artwork on display is incredible, fully showing off the power of Clibe and the iPad better than any of our doodles of boats ever could.

In terms of the interface, Clibe still has some kinks to iron out, but given that at the time of writing the app has only been available for two weeks, we expect the bugs that sometimes appear in page-turning to quickly be solved. Beyond that, it works very well, and the response of the different pens is smooth and accurate, rivalling any of the artist-orientated apps out there. Adding a zoom tool to increase precision would have been the icing on the cake, but even so, this is still an excellent app for anyone with an interest in drawing, art or sharing their thoughts.

Rated 5 out of 5

A must-have for creative types, as well as organisers.