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Eiffel567 - I LOVE this app, best notetaking app out there!
This is the best notetaking app ever. I'm an AP and Honors student in highschool, and I live for this app. Since doing online school this year due to the pandemic, it has changed how I take notes and turned in assignment. I love how GoodNotes is uploaded to the cloud so you can look at your notes no matter where you are or what device you are on. I like typing my science notes on my computer, and I love that I can switch over to my IPad to draw graphs and symbols whenever needed. I love using my Apple pencil to take all my other notes, its perfect for hand writing notes. I love all the different paper types and the covers you can choose from. You can also organize all of your documents into folders. My favorite thing BY FAR is that you can download pretty much ANY pdf or worksheet into GoodNotes and write directly on the document. Especially because of online school, a lot of my teachers post their worksheets on GoogleClassroom, and being able to download the documents and write directly onto it, and then I can just drag and drop the PDF from my desktop into Classroom ITS AMAZING! It saves me so much paper, and has helped me stay so organized with everything in one place. The format and interfacing is incredible, you HAVE to try this note taking app, it's incredible. I would recommend this to ANYONE and EVERYONE. Please get it for yoruself and check it out!
Wobblehobbit - For the most part pretty great
I was looking for an app where I can annotate pdfs, and switch between the computer and an iPad while doing so. I love the capabilities, and the layout. I like that you can choose covers for notebooks, and that there are even so many different types of "papers" to choose from, from dotted, lined to even Cornell notes. And that you can add pages to pdfs, or can easily take photos and then export them as pdfs. Furthermore, whenever I edit a pdf on the iPad, it would automatically sync to the app on the Mac.
My main problem is with the glitches on the Mac app. Often when selecting the highlighting tool, the highlighting has to be done manually, which is difficult to do on the computer without touch screen. You can also select text and then click highlight, but I would like that capability when I am using the highlighter specifically. The option to select the text would also often not work after a while, and I would have to quit Goodnotes and open it back up again. And finally, there is also no convenient way to underline, which currently would require manually drawing lines under text. The layout of the files is also sometimes not as intuitive for me, and I would like to have the option of seeing my file folders on the side bar as well.
But other than that, I am enjoying using Goodnotes so far, and feel that the pros definitely outweigh the cons (which I hope will be improved soon with updates!)
Firstviceroy - Good notes 4 performs better than Good notes 5
I am writing this review to help the developers and potential buyers. First I’m providing this review in March 2019. Things may change later so if you are reading this review you should keep the date and version number in mind. 5.0.20.
We are a large builder which use Blue beam, Procore, “go to meeting” and other related industry software. We found that Good notes 4 was simply the best vehicle for note taking and plan markups available. It truly was a “five star app”. We could be on a “go to meeting” with 15 consultants on a conference call and annotate plans instantly. (What I mean is hand write changes on the pdf plans to give direction. Not edit DWG drawings.) It was fast easy and simple. Superior to other products out there, even the industry specific ones.
Now, with Good notes 5 the layout and folder structure have been improved. But, there is a big problem. If we open a set of plans and try to zoom in, the plans pixelate. Plus take an in ordinate amount of time to gain focus. Thus, most of us have stopped using this program. I have Good notes 4 and have gone back to it. I. Don’t know. If the developer is aware or working on a fix but it was a great program. If the developer is aware hope you can fix. I will check the App Store for updates. Will mark as 2.5 stars and revise rating if able to remedy problem. Good luck.
saminer - My Favorite App: Best Replacement for a Notebook
I'd been searching for a replacement for a notebook for a long time before I found GoodNotes, paying for several apps that didn't deliver or have the intuitive controls of a pen and paper. GoodNotes delivers. I use it for EVERYTHING for work and my home life. It's my personal budget planner, my personal calendar, my lesson plan book, my gradebook, my PDF annotater...everything! It's replaced basically all paper in my life. As a teacher, I could not be more thrilled with this app's functionality. The ability to create different notebooks with specific templates (and upload your own) allows it to function as so many different things! As a teacher, I'm a big binder person so I can keep related notebooks and files near each other. With the ability to open new notebooks in tabs within the app, I can keep these files close at hand and jump between them--it's kind of like a big digital binder that stays organized and doesn't get overwhelming with the number of files. The organization of the app and the way you can navigate through it by flipping the pages like you would a notebook makes it my favorite app of all time. AND now that it has apps available for iPad, Mac, and iPhone that all sync up beautifully, I can access everything everywhere! Well done, GoodNotes; thank you!
Jess, a cellist - Love being paper free
I’ve been using this app for years, & recently upgraded to 5. There’s a lot of additional functionality, with more powerful tools, new objects, & way better templates.
The only thing I miss is the way the app opens. Previously when opening the app it presented the view I left it int when closing the app. Now every time I start the app it opens to my folder list. I have a loootttt of notebooks, and remembering which one I was last using is sometimes difficult. Maybe I’m just not as organized as I should be, but it’s just annoying that every time I open the app I have to search through my folders & then my notebooks to get to the one I was in the middle of using. I open one notebook only to find that the page I’m looking for is actually in another one. Many of my notebooks hold similar data, but I keep the in separate books for specific reasons. I’d just rather not have to search every time I start, especially when I’m already used to picking up right where I left off with GN4.
That minor thing aside, I love this app worthy of all 5 stars, & the upgrade to 5 was a great improvement. The developers seem to really pay attention to what additional functionality could be useful as the way we work evolves. So I’m always looking forward to the next version to see what new stuff I’ll get!
nanagiwa - love it, but a couple concerns
Love the app, convenient for college and holds a lot of storage, I wish moving around pages could be easier. And the ball pen seems too stiff, fountain pen is a little awkward to use, and the brush pen is fine, but again the pens are something I need to get used to. I wish the eraser marks could have an option to be smaller, and not erase a whole line but exactly what my pen touches. So pens are not as fluid as it could be and may make your handwriting either better or worse. Zoom ins are great and resizing also never pixelates my writing, which I LOVE. I never write reviews, so I hope the concerns I listed will be considered and that this review helps those deciding whether or not to use the app. I wish I could download it to my computer without paying extra so that I can see both on my iPad and computer. For an app meant for taking and saving notes, it is an easy and great app to use, but pens are hard to get used to.
If you are a high school student, digital note taking is okay, but it honestly isn’t necessary and teachers and classmates usually feel weird about it. In university this app is perfect since in my classes there is a lack of space for desks and so many places to walk to so the portability of a tablet is more useful then (this app also allows for split screen which is convenient)
smileyxuan - Complicated iCloud Syncing Settings
I recently confronted a syncing issue on both my Mac and iPhone. I just downloaded the apps on my Mac and iPhone today, since I normally use iPad for notes only. However, the documents are only partially synced to my Mac and iPhone (some documents were synced and some were not).
I’ve tried to diagnose and fix the problem by myself, such as turn off and back on the iCloud sync in Apple ID Settings on all 3 devices, and restart the laptop to activate the new settings. But all these operations didn’t help to solve the problem. I logged into my iCloud Drive which doesn’t have the GoodNote folder in it, and I think this may be the root cause of the problem, but it doesn’t explain why some documents were synced.
After a few hours, I noticed that in the app Settings, there’s another iCloud Settings > Use iCloud inside of the app, and then I found the problem: it was turned off on my iPad. Although the issue was solved, but I don’t quite understand what’s this setting for? Normally, users want to manage iCloud settings at one place, but not in each app. If I enabled iCloud for the app already in the system settings, but it was turned off inside of the app, then what’s the point of this setting? So, I would suggest you removing this setting inside of the app, and using the general iCloud setting should be more reasonable.
jsherrer - Best App Out There for Writing & Drawing with Apple Pencil ESPECIALLY
I downloaded several different apps that were free for note taking and or drawing in notebooks, etc. After not being satisfied with any of them, I decided to pay for this one. It is so worth the price! You can easily organize notes and notebooks while customizing them for whatever you need! The Apple Pencil works flawlessly as if you are using real pen and paper. I use the 1st Edition Apple Pencil with my 2019 iPad. One of the best things about this app is the fact that you can set it so that it does not capture anything from your hand or palm resting on the screen and allows you to still use your fingers to zoom, scroll through, and navigate the app all while still connected to the Apple Pencil. Also, it can literally READ and SEARCH your own handwriting so you can find where you left a certain note on a page. I have found that it this feature is very accurate! You can also customize your notebook covers, create outlines for easy navigation throughout a notebook, and you can create folders to organize each notebook even further. My only suggestion to the developers is to make it easier to get different templates for pages/covers and also allow those pages to have more background colors than just yellow or white.
SidCid - update 5.6.9 has the features I’ve been looking forward to
This has been my main note taking app since Goodnotes 4. As a math teacher, I can use this app for all of my needs (worksheet creations, tests and even presentations). Until now, I’ve had to use workarounds for shapes whose sizes I needed to manipulate. As of this update, I no longer need any workarounds! This app is self contained. I am so impressed with the developers dedication and ability to redefine Goodnotes 4 to 5 and all of the impressive improvements along the way. I used to always look at new note apps hoping to find one that would fit all my needs (pretty lofty wishes), but I haven’t needed to look for any other note, pdf app in well over a year now.
Favorite features: ability to crop and place pictures where I like; easy user interface that lets me copy, paste, move pages around in document; ability to search for a document based on a word search (I have hundreds of files and a large folder structure for organizing my work); and as of now, I can show graphs and can alter the lines easily to show changes in equations; ability to make my own templates and use them easily in new documents (graph paper, dot grids...).
Can’t thank you enough for all the work you’ve put into this app!
cecearz - I don’t use anything else for notes anymore
This app definitely requires a stylus. Even better an apple pen because of the wrist touch problem, but my $10 stylus works fine. As the title reads, I no longer lug around notebooks that end up getting crumpled or lost or thrown out, contributing to waste. I’ll admit, I didn’t purchase this to save trees, but it’s awesome that it does, now that I think of it. I never buy apps either; that’s one thing that kept me from finally pulling the plug on this, but I’m glad I did. I REALLY like being able to use the dotted line tool thingy that allows you to just move a whole paragraph or drawing or chunk out of something to another area AND/OR to just simply copy and paste it somewhere else. That is my fave feature probably. Oh, AND you can change it’s size. That’s so much easier than erasing your notes and starting all over again when something was written to big or too small and you wasted a whole page. So again, 4 stars just cause sometimes it glitches and moves super slow, but that’s just cuz I’m usually using it for hours on end, and also I wish we could change the pen style to brush or pencil...maybe you can and I just haven’t figured it out yet. If so, I apologize but yeah I love this app and don’t use pen or paper or any other inferior app. I have yet to find a better one than GoodNotes
Sugggaaadoooo - This is the greatest app I’ve ever purchased
I’m in nursing school and I can’t tell you how this app changed my study routine because you would be here all day. Not to mention, I essentially will never have to purchase multi-colored pens, highlighters, no more erasers, or other odd items like stickers. Everything in this app allows you to creat fun, engaging, and detailed content. You can import documents (easier than any program I’ve ever used), you can export to any format you’d like without any additional conversion programs or making sure the order and format are correct. It makes everything easy! You can take photos and crop as you need, add text, move your notes around if they’re in the wrong place rather than having to re-write them all together. My favorite feature is drawing on things you can import to the app: need to take notes on diagrams? You can do it. Need to draw on a photo and export? You can do it. Everything is so intuitive and super simple to figure out/organize. I know $9 seems a little steep for the app but I promise you, you will get the full value of this app. Retrospectively, even if this app was $30 I would still purchase it. If you’re on the fence, don’t be! Get. The. App. You’ll be glad that you did.
Shanester95 - Meh
I think I will stick to GoodNotes 4. It’s not a bad update and it looks nice. I am sure I would get used to the layout after using it a but but some things are gone and new things that are highly requested aren’t here yet. There is a place for outlines in the thumbnail view in a document but I can make a new outline. When I imported my notebook from 4 I had bookmarks that aren’t there anymore. The bookmarks have changed to favorites which show up as thumbnails and I need them as the outline list like in 4 but can’t add that now. If I unfavorites something that was named from 4, it doesn’t allow me to rename it. This app still doesn’t have a way to add hyperlinks attached to texts or shapes or strokes are whatever, to other pages in the document which I really need. So I guess add hyperlink ability (if there are already hyperlinks in the document you import, you can still use them if you turn on touch mode, but you can’t add any new ones), fix the bookmarks/outlines/favorites situation to work the way it should, and then just to be picky, why does the view change when I go into touch mode... I don’t like that either. Make it like in 4 where it doesn’t change anything in the view
TaiB512 - Not stable with IOS 14
Currently writing this review because I have no way to contact the developers. It is freezing and crashing constantly. After IOS I have a constant pop up with in the app stating that iCLoud sync is not working. Extremely annoying. There is no other app I have this problem with and I have plenty of storage. Also every-time that I try and scroll up it skips up 10 to 20 pages when I scroll down just a little from the top of the page it will add an entire new page. Also I can not access the flashcards feature and there is no update available. I attempted to install and reinstall the app on my ipad and now I cant access any documents from my ipad.
***Update: most of the major issues have been resolved. Still a little glitchy but no where as bad as it was. I was able to use the flashcard feature but unfortunately wasn't too impressed. I use lots of diagrams to study but when using the flashcard feature the flashcard paper doesn't larger for pictures so I spent all that time making flashcards only to spend more time squinting than actually studying - I know it’s in beta so this could be an amazing feature but I hope the developers will allow the flashcards features to be full screen when you try to review.
_k4t7_ - Suggestions
I’ve been using GoodNotes for years now and it definitely made notes taking way easier. However there’s something that I’d like to be added to GoodNotes 5 from the previous version. I would love to be able to change colors on top of the zoom box again. Also, I would love to have the ability to get the dashed lines for indentations to show when I’m not using the zoom box as well. Something I absolutely hate is that every time I scroll back to previous pages to copy something I wrote down it kept bring me back to the page I’m writing on. This is extremely annoying so I’d have to take away a star. I’m a math student; there’s a lot of formulas and equations that I constantly need to refer back to. With GoodNotes constantly changing the page/section of a page I want to view it quite frustrating. GoodNotes 5 also have trouble picking up my Apple Pencil where I would have connect it over and over again. Is there a way to make scrolling to a new page easier while using the zoom box? I have exit the zoom box every time I fill the page up or I would have to minimize the page and pull the zoom box to the bottom of the page to add a new page. I’m not sure If I’m the only one with this problem but sometimes the lines on the pages don’t connect and it looks pixelated.
Taisaacs95 - Please fix the zoom function, moving screen, and straight lines
The "automatic zoom" feature is turned off but I still have this issue where the screen moves while using the text box function and keyboard.
I don't see very well and I cannot write for very long. I am an artist and own the Apple Pencil but most of my note taking is done via keyboard and textboxes. To input notes, I take a small portion of the screen and zoom into it. However, when the keyboard appears, the screen moves to the middle of the document? You can no longer see what is going on. Especially if you are in putting text boxes near the bottom if the screen. It's annoying. I wish this app would give a work space similar to procreate, where you could zoom in and out of any corner of the page.
Also, the straight line function is no longer disability or shaky hand friendly. For various reasons,I cannot draw in a straight line or make perfect circles, blocks, etc. The straight line function was great because it didn't matter how shaky my hands and body got, it would be a straight line. It was a really stable app. But now GoodNotes 5 no longer corrects lines as strictly. Sometimes it corrects lines, other times it doesn't. Maybe they assume I'm drawing or am purposefully making obscure lines and shapes. But I'm not. GoodNotes was once a great option for assistive tech but not anymore. Please give people the option for strict line correction.
Kem 86437 - Makes Doing Work a Pleasure!
Thank you GoodNotes! Since I’m an old person of 35 years - it took a few college student vlogs and some practice before I could really get to appreciate all that this app can do...but that little bit of time was SO WORTH IT! Your app rocks. YOU HAVE BROUGHT JOY BACK INTO MY WORK LIFE! Seriously though, I’m enthusiastic but not sarcastic on this point. I work with boring documents/sit in LONG meetings (that go on for days on end) and have to take copious notes...and thanks to GoodNotes I can be efficient&creative while having fun highlighting my documents with rainbows of any colour I like, and taking notes that are both fun to write&read afterwards, as well as pack maximum info/images into a single page...plus, my past life of piles of notepads and sticky notes has been left in the dust where it belongs. THANK you for saving my shoulder from breaking off with a stupid/heavy briefcase, and for making me smile while I create the most beautiful notes I’ve ever taken of some of the most boring subjects I’ve ever had to keep awake and pay attention too. GoodNotes has probably played a significant role in my ability to excel at my job (and maintaining my sanity whiles getting it done). Cheers!
powerwriter8 - Excellent Search Improvements, Backup options limited
I have been using Goodnotes for extensive note taking during graduate school. Version 5 keeps many of the aspects that have made it my favorite note taking app, but again this version is not quite perfect. The best improvement from version 4 is the document search feature, which includes your handwriting. I also enjoy the continuous scroll feature. Thank you, developers! On the downside, version 5 does not seem to have the diverse backup options that were available in version 4. I had been using Dropbox since I work on many devices that are not made by Apple, and I liked to be able to access the up to date backup from anywhere. Now, however, iCloud is the only backup option. Please make the other cloud sync services available. One feature that was carried over without change from version 4 but I hope to see updated in version 5 is the 3 size eraser. You can make the pen very fine to write small (which I love), but you can’t make the eraser very small to make fine tuned corrections. A few more small eraser options are needed. I would also like to see version 5 create an option to open 2 notes side by side (similar to the feature in Notability).
DMZack-TX - Hope someone will finally respond...
I totally love the app and was using Goodnote 4 for a while. And I bough the new release of Goodnotes 5 without any doubts... However, right away, when I set the app for a left handed person and started to use it, I found a bug that I’ve emailed and complained about a couple of time... I was promised someone will try to do something about it... But it’s been almost 2 years since I brought it up and no one yet fixed it. Every update I was hoping... But here is the new update and nothing changed.
Now, about the problem...If you set the tool bar to be on the bottom (handy if you’re left handed) when you try to type a text the virtual keyboard slides out and covers the tool bar so you can’t edit anything (color/font etc) until you hide the keyboard. That was never a problem in Goodnotes 4 and as soon as you insert text there’ll be a tool bar above the keyboard to change the font’s style, size and color. And that was great and very comforting for a left handed person like I am. Now in Goodnotes 5 it’s a useless feature to have the tool bar on the bottom.
So I’m giving it 1 star and hope someone will try to look into it and fix it or at least will remove this bottom tool bar feature that’s left there as a joke... Looking forward into someone’s response and would love to change my 1 star to 5 as the app truly deserves it... but this glitch is killing it all.
Dfman762 - Love Hate relationship
I am a big time user of GoodNotes. As a student i spend about half my day on goodnotes every day for the past 2 years. I absolutely love the app. I waited a really long time for the 2 major updates that came earlier this year. Those are the universal search tool as well as the introduction of unlimited hierarchy. I am a major fan of both updates and they both make my use of the app much more productive.
With that being said the ease of use with the new app has gone significantly down since the update. At first i thought with in 2 to 3 weeks they would work out the kinks and bring it back to standard but its been 4 months now and it hasn’t happened. One thing i sorely miss are the keyboard shortcuts that used to be available in GoodNotes 4. They are gone from GoodNotes 5 and have never been replaced. Besides for that the “smoothness” of GoodNotes 5 has just never been the same as 4. The crashes and just plain unstable use that haunted the app at launch are for the most part gone and the app can now be relied upon again for every day use however i still use 4 as much as i can because it is just so much nicer to use than 5.
I really hope the developers continue to work on bringing GoodNotes 5 back to the standard of GoodNotes 4. The two big updates are a major addition and if the rest of the app comes back to the level of 4 there will be no app that can compete in this AppStore.
NesPro54 - GoodNotes 5 is Improving Significantly
Since mid-January, Goodnotes 5 have been getting updates consistently. Now it is almost flawless.
Goodnotes 5 is definitely better than Goodnotes 4 --> The management of files is the biggest winner for me. Now I can organize my files depending on projects or topics using the unlimited multiple folder structures. Now I use it exclusively, whereas before I was using Notability and Goodnotes 4 depending on my goals. If I was reviewing engineering plans (page size: 22"x34"), sketches (page size: not letter sized), or reviewing large files with bookmarks, then I was using Goodnotes 4. If I wanted a quick and short note (less than 5 pages), then I was using Notability due to the vertical scrolling; but Goodnotes 5 supports this feature now.
Goodnotes 5 really shines with the bookmarks, supporting different page sizes, vertical scrolling, and now the management of files. Still waiting: I"m looking forward to get Goodnotes 5 on my Mac and eventually seeing two notes at the same time when using my iPad. The latter is less of an inconvenience for me because I'm usually working with my Mac and iPad at the same time. Goodnotes 5 on my Mac is a must.
mytw0b1ts - The problem with apps
The problem with apps is that there's so many options and every option presents someone else's point of view on how, in this case, note-taking should be done. And you'll quickly find you use multiple apps because not one person has all the right ideas down. As is the case here, I love the structure and organization of Good Notes, but that stops in the main UI. When working with text, it definitely feels like an after thought. One of the things I loved about Notability is the fluidity of jumping between text and hand-writing. But the implementation in Good Notes is lacking (both visually and functionally from an organization perspective). Notability also has audio/note-taking syncing which is invaluable and something you won't find here on Good Notes. The Good Notes Mac app is soooo much better than Notability, but I think a lot of that goes back to UI and what our expectations for the look and feel are. The UI structure [organization-wise] for Good Notes is strong on iPad and the Mac app is a mirror of that. Even if you set the bar low, Notability is likely to come in under. Now that I'm typing notes more, Good Notes is starting to feel less and less like the right app for me, so I'm starting to look at actual writing apps like Ulysses.
Kirbsley - It’s OKAY.
So. The new Goodnotes 5 is OKAY. I actually really don’t like it. It has some new features that I do like and enjoy but, I prefer the older Goodnotes 4.
Firstly, it seems to me that the sensitivity or the palm rejection on this version isn’t as good as the 4. Every time I am writing my page moves or “jumps” and I never experienced that with the older version. Also, the beloved Zoom box is TERRIBLE on this version. I use the zoom box all the time on the GN4 - it zooms in perfectly so I can write my notes neat and the transparent “blue box” carries on to next space on the sentence so I don’t lose my spot while I’m writing and then, continues down perfectly to next sentence. On GN5 it does not do that. Instead, of moving over to the next space of the sentence, it jumps down to other sentences and I have a whole gap of space on my current sentence. It also sometimes, jumps down a few spaces or will even move on to the next or previous page!
I honestly feel like the newer version has too many bugs and I can’t enjoy it at all considering the fact that I do appreciate some of the newer feature like the folders, the ability to erase just the highlighter, the new page and cover options, and the pen options.
I’m also really disappointed about the lack of the ability to view multiple documents simultaneously or side by side.
Just an over all disappointment. I will continue using GN4 for my note-taking.
lordbeautifulzoey - I like the new features, but there are lots of bugs.
As someone who loved GoodNotes 4, I was very excited for the transition over to number 5. First, I must start off by saying that I really enjoy the new formatting and some of the new features they’ve added such as being able to move text around with the lasso tool or adding the Insert a Picture feature right on the tool bar. But, I’ve noticed a lot of bugs since transitioning; the app crashes on me several times a day and no matter what I set the palm rejection sensitivity to, it still confuses my palm with my fingers. For example, if I use the zoom in text box feature while writing and it suggests a new place to start, as soon as I lay my hand back down to begin writing, it mistakes my palm as my fingers and moves the screen around causing many random scribbles and not legible letters. I use this app primarily for journaling and note taking which makes it inconvenient when the app shuts down or interferes with my writing. Additionally, the vertical page scrolling is still very glitchy even though the newest update was supposedly supposed to fix that. I’ve added too many things to GoodNotes 5 to convert back so I guess I just have to wait until they fix all the bugs. Like I mentioned, the new features are nice, but they don’t outweigh the cons. Shouldn’t have transitioned over.
TXLynch - Too buggy
I was a daily GN4 user and was very happy with the app. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I was thrilled to see the GN5 update because I optimistically believed that all that I liked about GN4 would only get that much better with the update. I was wrong. GN5 has a lot of bugs that ruin the experience—the text box does not align with the lines on the pages. Tab returns take you to other pages instead of remaining on the active page. There are ghost-like flashes when you erase. Etc. Besides the bugs, there are two design changes that, for me, make the updated app less useful: moving the eraser and the undo/redo buttons to the top tool bar instead of keeping them on the text box. With GN4 I could write quickly with my Apple Pencil erasing and undoing errors with only a slight movement of my hand. I am off to find other apps that will meet my needs. Maybe I’ll check back now and then to see if GN5 has reached its full potential.
UPDATE: After a six month hiatus, I am back to using GN5 every day. The bugs I noticed before have been fixed. I still would prefer that the eraser and undo buttons were on the text box.
kobster66 - A Great Upgrade
Upgraded from GoodNotes 4. I read the other reviews before updating and noticed someone said their Apple Pencil lags. I haven’t had any issues with this app. The file organizer makes things better. The biggest improvement for me is having the pages scroll vertically instead of horizontally. I like being able to choose the type of pen and the fact that the hi lighter can automatically hi light a perfect horizontal line. The look is updated and more modern. The search function works well. I’ve had no issues and will definitely be using this over GoodNotes 4. I like that they added more paper styles but still no engineering paper unfortunately.
That being said, there still are some features from OneNote that I would like to see. When importing photos, OneNote allows you to define the 4 corners you want, and it will straighten the image which is useful if you took a picture from an angle. OneNote then can turn the photo into black and white with increased contrast similar to a PDF scanning app. OneNote is also a bit better at adding typed text and gives a lot of options similar to Word, whereas GoodNotes is more basic.
dehasbro - Best available but could be better
I am an undergraduate student and use GoodNotes for just about all of my classes. I love the notebooks and organization, as well as the color options. I think this app is great for taking notes because you can bookmark pages, search, and easily navigate the pages within a notebook using the outline or thumbnails. However, there are a few features I wish could be improved on. I so, so, so wish there was a way to sync audio recordings to your note taking. I have some professors who just speak way too quickly or I just need to be able to go back and listen to what they said and this feature would help so much. I use another app that has this feature for certain classes, but would much prefer if GoodNotes offered this as well. This other app also allows you to have two notes open side by side. GoodNotes does have the convenient tabs at the top, but having two notes open would be much easier. I also think the text feature could be improved, maybe allowing an option that lines the text up with the lines on the paper. Overall, great app and will continue to use, but I do need to use a different app for some classes.
Loldudewhet - A students dream journal
I have been using GoodNotes for about a year now and it is the best note taking app I have used. Don’t get me wrong, the already installed notes app that comes with all the apple products is good too, however, GoodNotes gives so much variety and feels like I can be more organized.
As a college student this is a lifesaver for school and classes. Everything saves and is stored in app and also on icloud so if you need it transferred to other device you can either download the app again and download the notes or upload to your icloud files. It’s also so good for the pandemic, since everything is online. It is a lot easier to do work on GoodNotes then upload what you need onto things like blackboard, D2L, canva, etc.
Aside from it being a great note taking alternative, it is sort of eco-friendly in the sense that it helps save paper and helps from not having to use pens or pencils anymore. Just need a electronic device that can download the app and preferably a apple pencil or surface pro stylus (anything that can write on the device).
Overall it’s a great app and a great investment for everyone and anyone!
EmkayNYC - Missing goodies from 4
*Latest update: thanks for adding the custom outlines feature this is a BIG help. The one thing it does need is the ability to delete old outline items (some of my documents imported with outlines that I didn’t create and don’t want. I can’t find a way to remove them and they clutter the flow of my intended outline. The Mac app remains a highly desired item. If these two items are added this app gets a 5 from me.
Hi - big fan of Goodnotes 4 but the two glaring holes for me in that version were 1) an easy way to reorder pdfs in large batches (I solved this by getting the Mac app which was great) and 2) nested folders. GN 5 has the nested folders which is great but now the ability to create an outline of text bookmarks has been removed so you just see images of your favorite pages. I used to use the favorites feature as a Table of Contents but now I can’t so now organizing very large documents is much more difficult. Would be great if you could add functionality to create / edit an outline in the app. Also need a GN 5 version for the mac. If you solve these two issues it gets a 4 stars from me. 5 needs to get the ink a bit more responsive like GN 4. For some reason theres a little lag now on occasion which is distracting.
Zadron Xion - My favorite notes app with just one downside
There are only two decent notes app for iPad out there: Notability and GoodNotes. Both have everything that a notes app should have but both have also have a single downside that is pretty much the only deciding factor for which one would prefer. GoodNotes can only sync to iCloud and does not sync to any other cloud service but Notability can sync to a multitude of cloud services. I chose GoodNotes over Notability because Notability is messy with its file system. In Notability, you cannot put folders within folders which is really annoying because it makes it impossible to sort out my notes by semester, subject, hw or lecture, etc. With GoodNotes I can sort out and organize my notes using folders within folders which is far more important than being able to have it automatically sync to Google Drive. If this app could sync to Google Drive, I would give it 5 stars. There are also a few very minor bugs too but they don’t really hinder me whatsoever so I’m not complaining. Great app! Make it possible to sync with Google Drive and this will by far be better than Notability!
ColleenAli - CANT LIVE WITHOUT!!!
I never knew how much I needed this app until I bought it. Don’t tell the developers but it is worth much more than they’re charging. I do EVERYTHING in this program. I have numerous notebooks for personal use, my business, my day job and for the classes I am taking. I also have a journal and a planner that I imported from an Etsy purchase. I love that I can make notebooks for everything, I can easily move things around, I can import PDF’s right into the notebook, I can insert graphs/pictures/etc from my digital texts books or a website, I can also upload a website right into the notebook as well. I am a very visual person so being able to import these things and then mark them up is amazing! I love that I can highlight and use different colors as well. The variety of notebook covers and options for page formats is so nice as well. I also absolutely freaking love that I can “search” my notebooks, it even searches my messy handwriting. This option saves me so much time from having to look back through all my notes to find mentioned of 1 thing. Seriously.... get this app, its literally my life!
-XelaAlex- - FIRST NOTETAKING APP....IT'S ALRIGHT (ipad pro 2018)
I bought the bundle for goodnotes 4&5 and I've gotten use to only using goodnotes 5. Folders is really useful and keeps all my school stuff organized. Note taking with the apple pencil is great. For the most part this app has been efficient. However, page scrolling is really laggy and is not as fluid, even with just moving around the same page. You cant move images selected with the lasso between pages. You have to cut it/copy just to get it to a different page, which is kinda silly. You can't import multiple documents at once so that's a bit annoying. I would really love to see the ability to customize the toolbar to remove/add functions in order to better fit our own needs. Plus assigning more pens/colors than the three provided would be nice, instead of switching back and forth between pens and then colors, it'd be nice to be able to switch from a ball pen red, to a fountain pen green, with just one click, so having extra presets is on my wishlist. The shape tool definitely needs A LOT of improvement, very buggy, I'm pretty sure my crappy circles are not supposed to be squares. overall it's a good app, haven't tried notability but I got this for the highlighter, it's better than notability.
S795K - Absence of Recording Feature is a Dealbreaker
I’ve been using both Goodnotes and Notability for four years in college, and the only thing that’s prevented me from solely using Goodnotes is the fact that it lacks the recording feature which syncs audio to handwritten notes. This may not be relevant to all users, but as a college student who’s often jumping between long lectures all day it truly does make a difference. Everything else about Goodnotes is pretty much perfect, from customisability to functionality and efficiency, but the addition of the recording feature would be the ultimate deciding factor between this app and its competitor for many students and users. Many users, myself included, are finding it difficult to stick to only one of the two apps as their primary note-taking app due to this, but I’m certain that this feature would resolve many internal debates when comparing the features and choosing an app. I would genuinely love to make this my only note-taking app but the absence of the recording feature keeps holding me back.
Please do consider implementing this feature to help make the choice easier for a large portion of digital note-takers.
LoopyLooTwo - Replaced my paper notebooks
I've been using GoodNotes since mid-March (it's the end of May now), and I couldn't be happier with it! I'm a college student, and it's so much easier to carry my iPad around than to carry multiple (large) notebooks on top of all my textbooks around in my backpack. My shoulders thank you, GoodNotes! An added bonus is that I can move my writing around, rather than erasing sections when I want to move them. The organization system is robust, and I love that I can read and annotate PDFs right in the app—then put them in a folder with my notebook for a class! When I was deciding about switching from paper to digital notes, I was concerned that my learning/retention would be affected (because of all the studies that said notetaking on a computer wasn't as effective), but I'm still writing (I use an Apple pencil), so I still have all the benefits of taking notes by hand, but without the hassle of taking them physically. I'd put off switching to a digital note-taking system for so long, but I'm so glad I finally made the leap!
GoodNotes is the best sort of life-changer! :)
BarryMG - Excellent iPados app with one severe flaw
I teach at university, and have multiple requirements from a note taking app. I have been an extensive user of Notability, but, with the advent of drop-and-drag multitasking in iPadOS I’ve been playing with both the new Apple “notes” app and GoodNotes. In particular, I’ve been testing how well these apps handle the transfer of drag and drop data between split screens.
GoodNotes handles handwritten and pen-written notes fluidly, and allows the most flexibility in resizing drag and dropped images, text manipulation and the like. However, one glaring flaw (unless I’m missing something) is the inability to import URL’s with a hyperlink using GoodNotes. Yes, you can drag the link as text into the app. But, to open the link, you need to select the text box, copy the url, and paste it into the browser window. Compare this to “notes” ability to convert a dragged link into a thumb window in the note that automatically opens the url in the browser window when clicked on in the note. Even Notability will import a hyperlink into a note, albeit using a rather clumsy “import url” tab and multiple steps. In today’s world, this seems like a rather glaring omission.
Fix this in GoodNotes and, IMHO, it’ll be the leader of the pack !
HeresMyTwoCents - Still so far behind the others...
Just bought version 5, installed it, opened it, tested it, and the only thing I could say was, “Really... that’s it??!!” I should have just kept version 4. I stopped using GoodNotes a long time ago after I saw all the added features Noteshelf 2 provides, but have been hoping that GoodNotes would catch up. Sadly, they still haven’t.
It’s mind-boggling that even after all these years, GoodNotes STILL doesn’t provide dark paper to give a less glaring screen to write on. Geez, dark mode is everywhere these days, and after using it on all my apps, I hate looking at an all white screen background now. This is one main reason I switched to Noteshelf 2 They offer beautiful black and muted black papers that make writing and sketching an absolute pleasure.
GoodNotes 5 has added some glitter from version 4, but just read all the reviews from even their most loyal customers, and you’ll see that everyone is pretty fed up with the ongoing lack of features. So once again, it’s goodbye to GoodNote. Enjoy my $5.99 that I just gave you for nothing. Hopefully you’ll actually put it towards developing some features your customers are actually asking for! I’ll keep the app on my iPad and keep watching what new features are released. But I sure won’t be holding my breath!
ian800726 - Need handwriting conversion and cloud backup features
I used to use GoodNotes 4 and was quite satisfied with it, hence I updated to the 5th version. But the cloud synchronization, which was there in the 4th version, is gone. I knew you already noted on your website, but I just don’t under stand why this has not been fixed after months went by.
Also, I think it would be nice to have an in-text handwriting to text conversion feature. Your current conversion can only recognize handwriting to text, but if I want to replace the handwriting to typed text, I will have to manually copy the converted text and then paste it in the documents. After that, I also have to erase the handwritten text. The whole process is quite tedious. It might be better to have a feature to automate these actions, which your competitor Notability has already implemented a long time ago.
Albeit these drawbacks, I was quite happy with 4th version. Thus I am willing to give 4 stars as an encouragement to the development team. But I really hope these bugs and features can be fixed and added sooner. This could at least make me not feel fooled to pay for the upgrade.
Hebeljen - YES
I just checked out the new Goodnotes 5 after upgrading (thank you, BTW)...and, omg I'm so excited right now. I use this app for EVERYTHING --from school notes to my digital Planner to diy beauty recipes to artwork and hand lettering practice. I have tried many different programs (Notability is good, but I don't care for the handwriting I produce and the style of the nib; I love INKredible for the nib, but it doesn't do much else; Procreate does some amazing things but it's extremely feature-heavy and doesn't offer typing which is a big bummer for creating planner printables ; and probably 5-10. Other apps that were so un-noteworthy i. Can't even remember them by name) but goodnotes is the one I always come back to. It has been missing one crucial thing for me --the ability to use the font profiles I have in my library. Until NOW!!! THANK YOU! I'm so excited I've been, up until now, having to type my template printables in Pages, then import into here and then I get stuck with a white background and is just a big mess but not anymore!!!!! This is what you've been missing and I am thrilled with the updates.
Art and Grace - My Daily Driver
After using a few other notes apps that take handwriting as the primary input, I have settled into GoodNotes as my notes app of choice. I use it for everything. I’ve always found that I have better recall when I write something as opposed to when I type. It’s always been that way. For years I tried using notes apps like Evernote, Apple Notes, Notability, OneNote, etc. to try and ‘force’ myself into typing out notes, journal entries, reference and so on. It never stuck. And I mean, it lasted maybe a day or two. GoodNotes has been my savior in that I actually want to journal again, to write down information when I’m on the phone, keeping reference notebooks. I like that GoodNotes tries to keep the ‘feeling’ of having physical notebooks but the organizational structure of folders. It’s a great app and I highly recommend this for anyone who is a prodigious notebook user.
My only nitpick is I would love it if I could create ‘hotspots’ within my notes to reference pages in other notebooks. This may just be wishful thinking, but it’s something I would appreciate.
Tiffany Batiste - Couple bugs overshadowing the otherwise great app
I’ve been a long time GoodNotes supporter and would like to continue this support, but a couple of annoying bugs need to be addressed first:
1. The app randomly returns to page 1 in the document, regularly. While reading, I suddenly find myself back at page 1 and I have no idea how or why. Super frustrating.
2. No longer supports different pens for different documents. I used to be able to switch between documents - highlighting in one while taking notes in the other. Now, if you’re highlighting in one, the highlighter remains selected across all documents and you must manually switch back to pen (or whatever you were using in the other document) as you switch back and forth. Small feature, but very helpful when doing school work and research.
3. Highlighting feature not quite intuitive enough. I love that the highlighter now auto creates a straight line, but it’s not quite intuitive enough to always understand when it needs to be straight. If on a bumpy surface (riding the train or in a car), there’s no way to force a straight line out of the wavy mess that inevitably ensues.
Fixing these practical bugs would go a long way towards enabling continued support of this great platform!
ken011001 - OMG Long Waiting Auto-backup to 3rd Party Cloud Drives went online 👍
This is my first review and I normally won’t write the review just rate even the App gives me a pretty outlying experience. But this time is different.
As a very intensive Apple Pencil - iPad note taking user, I have nearly experienced almost all the paid note taking Apps. The functions like straight highlights, auto detect geometric figures and zoom in are pretty basic across all the Apps and they all done pretty well. For me, the main difference lies down to file organizing - cloud synchronization.
Yes all the Apps can backup files automatically to cloud drives and we can organize files in the App. But none can further fully synchronize the folder structure to the cloud drive. GoodNote 4 can synchronize two layers of folder, “Create Master Category” and “Create Category” and the category/folder retains at your cloud drive. That’s why I was still using GoodNotes 4 until now. GoodNotes 5 now can create as many layers of folder as you like and synchronize to the cloud, which increase my productivity to another level.
iRateeeAppsss - PLEASE ADD THIS
GoodNotes 5 has personally served me well throughout the fall semester at my University. I decided for this school year to ditch my MacBook Pro and switch over to the iPad Pro 11’ as its more portable and has many Mac-like features. I did extensive research on finding the best note taking app and became stuck between purchasing Notability and GoodNotes 5 (both widely regarded as the top note taking apps). In this predicament, I decide to purchase both apps and test for myself which I felt more comfortable with. Over time I eventually grew closer to GoodNotes 5 and fell in love with all the features this app pack. Plus, the organization of all my notebooks is unmatched by any other app. The user interface may be overwhelming to some at first, but once to get used to the flow of GoodNotes you will never look back. I would give this app a 5 star rating, but the only thing I PLEAD GoodNotes 5 to add is a recording feature (seen in Notability). Recording is so convenient, especially during dragged out college lectures and would be an amazing compliment to an already amazing app. GoodNotes 5 > Notability in my opinion. JUST PLEASE CONSIDER ADDING A RECORDING FEATURE!!!
arikmops - Extremely practical as a PDF reader...
I genuinely depend on this app. I have it on my Mac, my iPhone and ESPECIALLY on my iPad Pro. With the Apple pencil you can really get creative with how you use this app. I also have it connected to the cloud so it updates on all my devices. The UI on all devices is the same so it feel familiar throughout. You can create folders with subfolders; archiving your PDF's works great with this app. You can export your files easily and rename them on the fly. I don't really use the handwriting recognition feature even though I take many notes. You can also type within the app using any keyboard, such as a Magic Keyboard. Seriously, I use this app to run my business. It's simple yet full of wonderful features. *** Some things I would love added or enhanced - if the developers are reading this - (I use this app DAILY for EVERYTHING) is to make the eraser button able to resize or adjust. In other words, allow us to make it smaller of finer. *** If I can think of more I will reach out. Thank you for an awesome app.
SmashedBroccoli - Updated review
Hooray! I’m so happy this app is finally running smoothly. I love it so much, and I’m so relieved! GoodNotes is a truly wonderful app for organizing and note taking, my college courses would be incomplete without it! This is everything I wanted when the app first launched, so happy.
Previous- For the past couple weeks I’ve been having a lot of problems with lag on GoodNotes but no other apps, I’ve updated my iPad, changed the nib on my Apple Pencil and redownloaded the app, I’ve tried everything to get this app to work again the way it did before but it’s just incredibly frustrating to work with now.
I don’t want to switch note taking apps because this one was so amazing but for now I’ll be taking notes in class with old fashioned pen and paper. I can’t write quickly without it jumping or skipping strokes, when I try to erase something it undoes my erase so I have to go over the same spot 5 times before it’s fully gone and it takes much longer to load pages than it used to. I don’t know what else to do. It’s unusable for now. :(
TallulahI - Amazing for journaling/notetaking!
Okay, just wow. I am constantly blown away by what you can do on GoodNotes 4 and now GoodNotes 5. I am definitely someone who prefers to write vs type most of the time and this helps to bridge my need for that but keeping everything digitally based. I feel so much better knowing I can just open this app on either my iPad or iPhone and using iCloud, sync my thoughts where I might be.
One thing I would absolutely love to see is a bit more integration with the keyboard however. I know I mentioned that I like to write vs type most times, but when I am on the go and only have access to my phone, the keyboard steals the show. I love creating lists and having a bullet point option would just be the icing on the cake. Then when I get home or have access to my iPad with the pencil, I can either rewrite my notes or simply just continue with the typed bullet list that I have now created.
Thank you for making a wonderful app and I can’t wait to see what is added next for all of us to efficiently take notes.
Junior music - Rough Transition
I am a medical student and I switched from Notability to GoodNotes 4 because I liked how functional and easy it was to use. It has been a huge asset to me in organizing all of my lectures and notes for school. When GoodNotes 5 came out I was excited to try it. I immediately upgraded and went to class. They changed a lot in this upgrade. It is a completely different program and in my opinion it lost some of its functionality and became more complicated to use. Many of the features I loved were either very different or not there at all. When I tried to look up where they went it said that they were working on adding that functionality to this new upgrade. Importing became quite a hassle with the new setup. I still love the app but it was just a huge learning curve to adjust to the upgrade. I hope that they are able to bring more of the functionality back to the app quickly.
Now a year later, there is still a lot of issues. I’m probably going to find a better app to use because I don’t have time to keep trying to make this app work.
pineapplesambert - Version 5.0.7: Best yet, but what about Google Drive?
Cosmetics have never been better with this app, but goodness I miss some of the features from Goodnotes 4. I use the feature of template creation all the time, and since the switch I haven’t been able to access photos. I create templates IN Goodnotes and then screenshot it to make a template, and this feature becomes much more complex when you need to upload that image to Google Drive, make sure it’s in the correct folder, and make sure you know the name (because there are no image previews of the documents), AND make sure that the Drive you’re linked to is the correct Gmail account. It’s disappointing, and a tad annoying, but I have faith this will improve in time.
My biggest beef is with Google Drive. I had to reset my iPad recently, and I was relying on my Google Drive back up to provide a mostly-seamless transition into GN5, but I have yet to see a feature where I can back up my documents to the Drive. I am anxiously awaiting that time when I can do that once again - mainly because I have little way to back up my documents until then.
xAdoree - buggy.
Goodnotes is not syncing well with my MacBook.
I use Goodnotes 5 on my iPad and I was excited to get the app on my Macbook to accompany it. It was disappointing that I had to pay another 8 bucks just to have it on my Macbook but at least it syncs. Or it's supposed to. I have been using it for the past few days and everything has been going SUPER well... except for a few of my pages, the highlight does not sync up well. On my iPad, the highlighter marks where I want it to be, but on my Macbook, the highlight marks are a little off. I left it and re-opened Goodnotes 5 (I even tried to restart my computer after that), but the marks are still not syncing properly. After restarting did not work, I tried to move the highlighter marks on my Macbook's Goodnotes and it stayed. I went on my iPad, and I looked at the pages that had the problem, but the highlighter marks were off. I don't know how to fix this, since I think it has to do with the syncing capabilities and it's probably a bug. I hope someone fixes this so that I can print from both devices and they would look great. Thank you
JBChiron - My Go-To App
I've used GoodNotes to make my business almost paperless. I have to write A LOT of client notes and typing isn't nearly as efficient especially when diagraming ideas. I take my iPad Pro everywhere in lieu of a notebook and I especially value the GoodNotes sync across my MacOS/iOS devices, pulling my notes up from anywhere with a cloud backup as needed.
My only criticism is the battery drain of the app. Recent versions have improved on this through several iterations but I'd encourage the developers to keep finding ways to limit battery consumption. I suspect part of it isn't just the app itself but user behavior. By using the app as much as I do, I'm using my device more and thus the screen is illuminated/"awake" more.
I still give it 5 stars for ease of UI/UX directly and across the Apple ecosystem, reliability, minimal latency, consistency of updates for both bug fixes and incremental power use imrpovements. I've recommended the app to anyone who has an iPad Pro and they have come to use it regularly as well.
Felinni - So much better than Notability and Noteshelf 2
After being an avid user of Notability for the past 4 months, I tried out Noteshelf 2 about three weeks ago (thumbs down). I had previously purchased GoodNotes 4 but I was not impressed. Since it hadn’t been long since I went looking for another solution, I decided to give the GoodNotes 5 update a whirl. So glad I did. I haven’t experienced any of the glitches some other folks are mentioning. I am using it on a new iPad Pro 11” and new Apple Pencil. The new folder system is exactly what I was wanting. Previously I had taken all these notes but none of the apps had a good way to organize them logically. This new update is exactly what I needed for my digital notebook. I have now exported all of my old notes from Notability and Noteshelf to GoodNotes 5 and I have them organized like I have always wanted. I’ve even used the search feature and found that to be extremely helpful. It recognizes even my sloppy handwriting. I am thrilled with this new tool. Outstanding update. Home Run!
Nazeef Mashroor - Excellent Note-Taking app with some annoying pet peeves
The app in general is excellent. It has a wide array of tools and features that amplify the digital note taking experience. I am deducting one star because there are two features missing, that, if added, will make the app practically perfect.
1. A ruler. I know that you can select the shape recognition software and draw straight lines, that’s all good. The problem is when doing some mathematics, you often need to “measure” the lines you are drawing.
2. A shape insertion tool. I know there is a shape recognition tool built in and it works great for the most part. But when taking notes about a topic such as organic chemistry, those benzene rings really require perfect hexagons (which takes a lot of time and effort to draw with the current shape recognition tool). The shape recognition software is excellent but sometimes just straight up adding shapes saves a lot of time and effort.
Other than these this is good purchase. Would love to see the developer’s response to these issues and I hope they get resolved with a software update.
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User M01 - Brilliant
GoodNotes 5 is my favourite. Maybe it's just because I haven't got used to Notability, but the GoodNotes UI feels a lot more natural.
I am so happy that they haven't jumped on the subscription bandwagon - it makes the app feel more like a solid part of the iPad.
One of the improvements I would like to see is better shape tools. When you make a filled shape, it's transparent, which is just odd. And it's not very intuitive - it's rather difficult to get the app to recognise when I'm trying to draw a rectangle.
It would be wonderful if they introduced an editable table feature, similar to Microsoft Word (because last I looked, Apple's Notes app can't do basic tables to save its life and Word is a crashy laggy mess on iPadOS). I make a lot of lists and tables, and it would be good to be able to edit cells as you go (though the template feature is wonderful).
One last thought would be to add suport for more languages. I use the app partially to make notes for learning a language (Norwegian) and it's a little disappointing that the search doesn't recognise æ/ø/å. I know it's an obscure-ish language, but a girl can dream.
All that said, the app absolutely deserves #1 in productivity. Very much worth the money.
Edit: The app really lends itself to journalling and diaries, so it would be really helpful if I could encrypt specific folders/notes and make them unsearchable until unlocked. Thank you for reading!
Marco Hildebrandt - Wonderful easy to use app
Easy to use with an intuitive design, reliable and regularly updated. Developers listen to users’ feedback and if enough users support changes they are implemented. I use it to take study notes for university, medical research, recipes, receipts and other personal information and best of all it is not stored on someone else’s server. I can combine handwritten notes, screen shots, PDF handouts, pictures etc into a single journal where I can make further handwritten or typed annotations and drawings. Notes synchronize quickly between devices through iCloud. I have never experienced any issues with synchronizing or the software. I have tried a number of other notes apps and have found GoodNotes the best and easiest to use.
Freecookies - Customisable toolbar and split screen please!
GoodNotes has been a great app to use. However, again and again I am finding myself constantly wishing for a customisable tool bar and split screen function between two GoodNotes notebooks! It would be a lot more convenient for us to be able to choose what we want on our toolbar - for me specifically I would love to have more colours on the toolbar since I am switching between colours so often over the camera or text function which I never use. I am aware that these functions may be useful to some people so having that option to choose what to keep or remove from the toolbar would be AMAZING and would definitely improve the user experience :)
Notability also has this really cool split screen between notes function which I think is super useful when you want to have the questions / notes / PDF on one side and your answers on the other. I have been considering switching to Notability JUST for this function so I really hope this is considered in the next update!
chrischansan - Great app! BUT ONE HUGE PROBLEM - PLEASE FIX :(
I absolutely love goodnotes, takes a day or two to get the hang of with a wacom tablet, but it's changed the way I go about uni.
I've tried both notability and goodnotes, i defintely prefer goodnotes BUT I'm having to use Notability at the moment, as goodnotes for some reason, when writing (espeiclaly when writing quickly whilst taking notes), sometimes just doesn't register the stylus, so when writing a word or a sentance, everything is working fine and then one of your letters wont have registerd, but the next will just fine, and when you go back to re write the letter it works just fine. This seems to happen randomly, when writing fast or slow, no matter what the angle or the spot on the drawing pad. I've tried every fix in the book but still nothing has helped! And I literlaly mean every trick in the book. Wo I've been forced to go back to notability, and then export my notes into goodnotes to file them into folders, as the file system is brilliant!!! PLEASE please please try to fix this! I love goodnotes and it's such a pain having to export from notabilty and then not being able to edit notes in the manner I'd like to later on :(
I'm using a WACOM Intuos 4 Tablet with a Grip 2 pen.
Other than this problem (which i hope isn't too common), would 1000% recommend this app!!!
But please if any developers see this please look into it as I want to fully embrace goodnotes! :)
TheChiangShow - Amazing
This has completely revolutionised the way i study! For someone who hates to study, this has made studying so much more easier and interactive as it allows me to add drawings and colours to my notes that I couldn’t do before without starting over again if I made a mistake. It made note taking so much more enjoyable and in turn studying more enjoyable. I feel like I can retain a lot more information especially using the Cornell Notes templates and also understand the notes I’ve taken. With inbuilt handwriting search system it lets me go back to my notes and refer to my own handwriting if I need to search for a topic or subject. Simply an amazing app and a must have for any student!
squidlips08 - Pretty Good Upgrade
I use this every day as my notebook at work.
There is no longer support for connecting to one drive - but this doesn’t really matter as there is drag and drop which works easily.
The new folder system is something I always thought GoodNotes 4 needed.
I can be taking a note or drawing a diagram in my daily notebook and can easily drag a single page and drop it into other apps (mainly One Drive and PDF Expert)
One thing that appears missing.....AUTOMATIC BACKUP!!
Where has it gone, can you bring it back, the is only Backup Now.
Coming from using GoodNotes 4, there is definitely some items lacking, where is the pen size slider in the customisable colour, its gone, the autobackup is gone, the eraser sometimes does not fully erase or an erased line rerappears.
And i think the palm rejection is not as rock solid as the previous version. I have both versions running side by side to compare. Though it definitely is much more polished than the previous version. Just not sure why these features have gone missing.
When is AUTO BACKUP being reinstated. I am kicking myself...had an iPAD crash had to reset and lost a month or so of notes. My bad!!! GoodNotes 4 had it.
Still a good app.
AUTO BACKUP to OneDrive please!!!!
Keep getting an error with iCloud
Giggles0303 - Great for organisation but some problems with writing
I absolutely love the ability to scan in documents is such a good addition and it’s really high quality software - the fact that is also recognises text makes it so much more useable as well.
That said, on thing that frustrates me to no end is the limited movability of the page you are writing on. I’m left handed, I write at an angle and I need to write in the middle of the screen so that the edge of my iPad don’t get in the way. There is no way for the edge of the page to be moved to the middle, it’s stuck there and I hate it so much because I'm forced to write on the very edge of the screen. It’s messy and uncomfortable and I hate that there is no way to fix it. It’s such a stupid “feature” to force you keep the whole page on screen, it makes it look nicer sure, but it detracts from the actual usability.
Erica D B - Great
I had to decide between Good Notes 5 and Notability. Both apps are very similar but I went with Good Notes, mainly because it was a dollar or two cheaper and I’m very happy with the experience I’ve had with it so far. It’s so easy to write notes and actually makes note taking fun! I can customise them however I like and organising each document into folders is super useful. My only suggestion is improving the handwriting to text option. At the moment, you have to select the text, convert it, copy it and paste it again and it’s just a nuisance and so time consuming. I’d prefer if it automatically changed to text if you, say, double tap on it twice or something like an app called Nebo does. Otherwise, Good Notes 5 has fulfilled all my other needs.
App lover 7060101112 - ✌️😗
really good app, I use it for my year 12 study notes on ipad pro, it might cost a bit more than usual iphone apps but compared with typing and computing apps such as word and one note it is really cheap and a one time only payment. There is a wide range of options for organisation and has really cute designs for the individidual note pads to fill. One thing I'd say could be improved is the text feature, more structured formatting options could work well, especially for using it to type with a laptop. Overall love the app and would definitely reccomend it for students looking to organise notes easier.
gbdsl0 - Great except you have broken the straight line tool
A number of great improvements from GoodNotes 4 but some lost functionality. Shapes tool is nowhere near as good at drawing straight lines. Now that GoodNotes 4 is no longer supported and no longer works with Google Drive we have been forced to use GoodNotes 5. We draw a lot of diagrams that have straight lines and GoodNotes 5 does not function consistently in this area. Also has a tendency to hang when using lasso tool to copy and paste. A real shame. We will have to migrate away from GoodNotes 5 if these function are not improved. Did raise a support ticket about these issues and initially the response was good. Were asked to demonstrate the issues with screen capture which we did then received no further follow-up.
RainbowMAGMA - A few ideas in the future
Hi GoodNotes! Love the app, been using for over a year! I have some ideas that maybe could be implemented one day...
The first would be a full screen version of your notes that are still editable (no HUD) So you can still edit your notes but without the tools present on top. It’d look clean! Maybe a floating toolbar?
The second would be the ability to change the colours of files. I love the file system, but it’d be great to have multiple colours to choose from for your files, other than blue.
The next would be .gif, .mp3 and .mp4 formats support for notes. This would be really cool for things like lectures, instead of just putting a link.
Another idea would be having more pen options. Right now there’s two, it’d be pretty fun to have a pencil or crayon for example. Or maybe a glow pen that’s permanent (unlike the laser tool currently implemented)
Another idea is a ruler option, that shows actual measurements for IRL (centimetres, inches ect.)
Thanks again GoodNotes, really great app!!
Monicccccaaaaaaas - Good app! But improvements are possible
I love this note taking app to use with an Apple Pencil, has many good details such as shapes and highlighting goes on in straight lines and behind the text.
However! I would love it if it would be possible to change the template of multiple pages at once, instead of having to go one by one to each page to change templates.
I work with this app a lot to then do short presentations to my university tutors or group assessment colleges. I like to write on lined paper but like to present on plain paper. So I have to go page by page to change templates, I wish I could simply select all the pages and change the templates at once.
Jorgegus - Wonderful app, but...
Something happened in the latest update that means we are now not able to export a selection of documents as a zip file. This used to be one of the key ways in which I used to send the work done on this app, sonI am really annoyed by the change. Ideally, after selecting a few documents to export we should be able to choose to send them as a zip file or a collection of single documents in an email. My other issue since migrating from GD4 is that the smooth geometrical lines options used to work a lote better in GD4. Apart from this (quite important) things to fix, it is a wonderful app that I use all the time. Please fix it!
Vic078999 - Some suggestions
1.Record while writing ( Most IMPORTANT);
2.Support to use documents and PowerPoint in notes page
3.Can make a mind-map （by itself ) ;
4. can have contacts /key words for each pages, and you can touch the themes/keywords to jump to that pages
5. When I change the size, I hope I can choose change the thickness line’s can be changed or not;
6.Can add some shape like dash line; Can also change a circle with certain center, radius.
7.Can chose the changes of tool can be changed together or not while using split screen;
8. When I search something, I hope I can search formula and the words of pdf;
9. The outline can have second, third...tags when I type in;
10. While copy something, can automatically change the size which match the hand writing size, but not always just 24;
11. Can use translate in the app;
12. When I implore PDF of word and PowerPoint to the app, I hope I can select to have same size as my Nate page and select to leave some empty gaps.
Looking forward to the next update.
PicnicZ12 - Just the best
Fabulous product. I use this for planning my work, going to meetings and recording, for recipes, for any notes. I love that I can add my images, web images, use any colour pen and highlighter. I use the circle, line part of the app to get straight lines as needed. I also up or downsize the thickness of the pen. I can email a notebook or a page to myself or anyone else. I can print easily. I can store different aspects in a variety of folders keeping my work and personal life organised. This just is the best app for an iPad with a pencil. It makes my life so much more fun, colourful and organised.
aastrifsafr - Great app, a few added features would be ready though.
I’m not one to leave reviews but I’m very impressed with this app. It has no lag, its features are great and it’s aesthetically pleasing. The design was the reason I picked it over Notability. Being able to see customisable ‘notebooks’ and see thumbnails of the pages is really helpful for a visual learner.
I would love if they’d add a split screen and recording feature. I took a star off because there has been a glitch where when I click undo it sporadically erases content from previous pages not just the one I’m working on. Once I figured this out I stopped using it but it did cause a lot of frustration. Hopefully this is addressed soon. The app is still so amazing apart from that so I continued to use it. Honestly, I was hesitant about paying for the app but it has been such a blessing to my studies. Definitely makes it easy to study anywhere and the writing process is fluid. Its also really convenient having everything I need in one app: notes, PDF texts, assignments etc.
Love, love, love.
Willy_D_ - Amazing App
Simple and elegant design. Would be nice if more than 3 pen colours could be accessed from the toolbar. And the double tap on the pen could be used to change ink colours rather than the tool.
Templates are nice and simple, though It would be great if you could make your own templates that include a picture. I have to manually add a graph picture in each page to sketch graphs. It would be great it the app had an option to add it automatically or become a new template. App saves the size of the picture so it’s the same size on each page which is nice.
Overall best note app I’ve used.
kate? - Worthwhile upgrade
The good: new features added like continuous scroll (yay!), easier interface in terms of swapping pens, colours, etc. and I like the folders.
The bad: slower, especially when loading pdf’s, had a couple of instances of text disappearing (only just-written letters and things, no huge amounts of text), and random file swapping mid-way through writing.
Overall, if these bugs get ironed out in time I think the key features that might’ve set Notability higher than GoodNotes would have been addressed and it seems GoodNotes has it all now
PeterCard77 - GoodNotes 5 shows promise but missing basic features
This version definitely shows promise, but it is disappointing that many basic features on V4 haven’t been the starting point for GN5.
Examples are, lack of cloud backup (e.g. Dropbox), small size thumbnails that are hard to read (GN4 has bigger thumbnails that are just the right size), Navigation - “Go To Last Page” and “Go Back” are also missing from GN5.
Once you find a document using the search feature (which is very powerful), the information field that shows the document location is too narrow, vital information is chopped off the right hand side.
There are several other items that I can’t remember right now.
For the moment I will be sticking to GN4.
University Student Final Year - Almost 5 star
I have been using Good Notes 4 for almost a year now and it was great. Had no bad experiences, maybe would be good if you can make it work together with Samsung products as well and not just Apple.
This was you get broader aspects of good notes overall. Not that I am being biased but I bought my new iPad same time last year as well.
The reason I give 4 stars and not five. Maybe five once you update the app if I am using the lasso tool to move around my notes, why am I not able to move to next page without copy pasting and rather just dragging it.
For example during vertical scrolling, I wanted to move my notes from page 4 to page 3 and I wasn’t able to move it directly but had to copy paste and that took me too long. Maybe, if the developers can create such a function then it would be great and would allow short amount of time between writing, moving my writing and writing once again.
Appreciate your work
AshleyN17x - GoodNotes 5, I want to love you but I can’t.
First of all, I want to say congratulations. The long-awaited GoodNotes 5 has brought with it some amazing, highly-desired, new features that really improve the functionality of this app.
But one thing I really want to give feedback on is the writing experience - which has decreased dramatically from GoodNotes 4.
It’s so unfortunate, but somehow with GoodNotes 5 the time lag between the Apple Pencil and the output on the screen is far, far, FAR more noticeable than it was in GoodNotes 4. Something about writing in the app now feels slow, clunky and does not take full advantage of the capabilities of the Apple Pencil!
Where GN4 was highly comparable to Notability (which I consider to have the best writing experience out of all note-taking apps), GN5 feels like I’m writing on an outdated tablet from 5-7 years ago.
I’m sad because apart from this I LOVE GN5! Please just return to whatever algorithm GN4 was using for writing, and then GN5 will claim its rightful place as my Number 1 note-taking app!
Applesuxbigtime - Don’t download
Great ideas in this app. Very poor execution. Can’t upload any documents, always get errors. Can’t download any documents, just stops doing anything. I have let the iPad on to do this overnight, still nothing transferred. Constantly crashes, like every minute. If you do a cut and paste and the app crashes, you lose what you cut. Been trying to get this app to work for over a month, no joy. I sent an email to GoodNotes, no reply. I am stuck. I have been using GoodNotes 4 for the past year with not to many problems. Have even tried uploading back into that app, nope that doesn’t work anymore. All my documents are stuck in GoodNotes 5. Stupid me didn’t back them up, I just transferred them to GoodNotes 5. Yes I regret that now. If you are using GoodNotes 4, don’t go to GoodNotes 5.
Zunica - Split screen at last!
I’ve used this app for years in many iterations for my hand written notes for education, for meal planning, for travel planning, for annotating documents and other random uses.
Now that they have (finally) introduced split screen so I can view two GoodNotes documents or even two seperate pages in a good notes document I am finally writing a review because this app is pretty much perfect.
Other faves of mine include the quick switch in colours and the lasso tool.
Can’t even think of any negatives, this app is fantastic.
JordonWYL - Lag and buggy after latest update
The latest update with the addition of presentation mode has made the app very laggy when doing normal writing and highlighting. Previously, this app was near flawless. If this was amended, this app would be back at its 5 star rating.
With the presentation mode, I wished that the mode was hidden in the share menu instead of residing in the toolbar. I think that the presentation mode is not something I would need to use often, so putting it away in somewhere more hidden like the share menu would be ideal.
Chris Long 903 - A great productivity app
I use this app all day, every day. All my meeting notes over the last few years have been written with GoodNotes. The notes are backed up all the time. When I got a new device, they were all there on the new device.
I can use the search to find notes from months or years back. I can effectively carry around years worth of notes without the need to carry a stack of heavy notebooks.
I definitely recommend this app to everyone who needs to write handwritten notes.
chaedy10 - Love it...but at the same time I don’t
Seriously having a love-hate relationship with this upgrade.
Love all the new customisable features I can change now like the pen and highlighter size and the addition of the brush pen and how easy it is to import pictures from the camera roll.
- Not loving the new shapes feature. In good notes 4 I could just roughly draw a square and it would snap into shape. Now I have actually make sure i draw it quite accurately or else I’ll end up with an odd shape. Also, I hope you bring back the ability to draw shapes with the highlighter.
- Lately I’ve had a lot of issues where the eraser wouldn’t work properly and today it has kept crashing when I try and copy and paste things after using the lasso tool. Which is a feature I use the most and has almost made the app unusable for me.
There’s also been a few other bugs, but hoping these can be fixed soon or I may have to go back to Good Notes 4, which I’m not really keen to do because I am really enjoying the new features.
Lilo102300 - Pls fix glitches
I love using GoodNotes but lately, there’s been frequent glitches whenever I use it. It makes crazy random lines whenever I handwrite (I am using the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil 2 - if that’s relevant). I have tried restarting my iPad many times (like what the site instructs) whenever it happens but it doesn’t fix it permanently. I also recently deleted and reinstalled GoodNotes hoping it would fix it but it’s still happening. It’s getting very frustrating because I waste most of my time erasing or undoing the random lines. I don’t think it’s to do with my apple pencil bc it doesn’t do it whenever I use Notes.
Please fix this. Thank you
GomesJ - Teething problems with GN5
I love GoodNotes, however I think GN5 was probably released a bit too early. GN4 performs better under the same conditions. Several tickets logged with GNs around lag for page loads & PNG files not being able to import in GN5. Backup is frightening no idea if I’m backed up and how to restore one or all files. Will I loose my work? Manual back up is better but it’s manual. Features that were in GN4 are missing in GN5. The team are working to get these back in. Currently the issues are affecting my lively hood which is concerning. GN5 will be a great app. Right now it is just below GN4 but getting there. Released too early I think.
Definitely stick with GoodNotes though.
Chartilly - Love that notes are organised into books
Great app. Easy to use.
Couple of things that could be improved are the text formatting/editing settings. I would appreciate being able to adjust Leading (line spacing) and even tracking. Would be great to be able to save settings for your headings, body text etc, or copy and paste style options.
Also would be so great to be able to zoom out from the page, to see the whole page. Especially when using the on-screen keyboard, the bottom of the page gets easily lost.
Jozijang - PLZ FIX
One of the greatest apps to ever exist for a medical student. However, after writing an overwhelming amount of notes, the ONE FEATURE I rely and dependent upon is the SEARCH tool. GoodNotes consistently FAILS to search for the words I have written. Sometimes In my frustration I will test the feature by searching for a word that I can see clearly written on the page - and yet it still FAILS to find the word; instead it says 0 RESULTS or just loads FOREVER.
PLZ FIX THIS ASAP!
I came from notability to goodnotes and expected at least this feature to work well. I also bought both the MAC and IPAD goodnotes versions before the merge happened.. so I’ve spent and invested more money into this app than ur average customer... would really appreciate an update and fix please.
I can’t wait to see an update so I can finally call this app perfect again!
Added feature would be an UNLIMITED page size, for mind maps. Can zoom out endlessly to add more and more text. I currently do this on a A3 page - which is where the SEARCH feature really struggles.
Moe Kamel - Love the all
Best app for note taking .... period.
I have been using for as long as I can remember, when it was still showing shelves and stuff :)
Anyway, I am hoping the Catalina Mac version will be really better and stable than the current GN5 for Mac, as below are my notes I hope to be fixed:
- When the app window is closed while the app still running and reopen, it doesn’t maintain the size of the window (Scale) or last folder/location used.
- Not Manu setting can be tweaked from the Mac desktop version in Preferences
Finally, a feature I would like to see is the ability to password/Face ID lock a document.
Given the fact that more and more people use it, the need for protecting documents and notes is essential now.
Thanks for all the hard work and this great product
Nattylongshot - Not as good as Good Notes 4!
I use GoodNotes for EVERYTHING at work and in my personal life. I use the auto-backup function to save a copy of everything I write as a PDF on Dropbox. That way I can always access the most recent version of my documents through any phone or web browser in a format readable on any device. Since that function has disappeared in Good Notes 5, I will not be migrating, since that would restrict me to accessing backups only on iOS devices that have goodnotes installed... what a pain! I know I can still export individual PDF files to Dropbox, but it has to be done manually after every single time you change something... no thanks!
MarioGBB555 - Great program! No privacy protection.
I’ve been using Good Notes 5 for 2 weeks now. Does everything I need it to do. Search and OCR are very good.
One important feature is missing - notebook protection. I share my iPad occasionally. I have my diary as a notebook. I want to protect that one so that other people can’t see anything in it. Thus, individual notebook protection is very important to me. Nothing fancy, a simple PIN is Ok. Of course, TouchID or FaceID would be better but I appreciate the fact that may be more difficult.
Would give it 5 stars if I could protect individual notebooks.
Editors Review - DO NOT UPGRADE TO GOODNOTES 5!
Do not update or upgrade to 5! I can not believe Goodnotes have released a version that is so full of bugs and crash issues. Was there no testing?? What happened to basic ergonomics?? Importing to outlook is a complete mess now!
I use GoodNotes for business purposes and this upgrade was the worst decision I could have made. Frustration is 10/10 with this new version. Making things worse is there is now no way to re download version 4 in AppStore and I am now stuck with this mess. I’m at a loss at what to do, my business is suffering and everything is taking so much longer. I’m not sure what all these positive reviews are, maybe not iOS users, but for all the iOS guys out there steer well clear, GOODNOTES IS A COMPLETE FAIL!!!
Falcon.s - Screenshots in GoodNotes 4 were better
I’ve been using GoodNotes 4 for about a year and one of the features I really liked was screenshots. In goodnotes 5, the screenshots are resized to a much larger size than the original photo or text I am screenshotting. Could the screenshots be reverted back to a 1:1? If a person wanted to increase the size, it is easy to do so, however if they wanted the original size they need to estimate. Please change this back as it was really useful for screenshotting and taking parts of lecture and tutorials.
Auto backup feature is needed as well.
cwa98 - Undo and redo shortcuts please!
The new update brings some fantastic new features that have been requested for a long time however it would be wonderful if there were a future update adding a two finger tap shortcut (or something similar) for the undo (and redo) button similar to procreates implementation. It may not sound like much but I’m sure anybody who has used procreate can vouch that the feature saves SO much time and effort. It’s a shame as this was the feature I was most looking forward to being implemented in the new version.
promaccat - All excellent EXCEPT....
When I downloaded 100++ academic papers or a bunch of books from Dropbox to read and annotate on this app, it would save the same number of copies elsewhere depending on my choice (Dropbox, iCloud, etc.), rather than changing the original copies on the spot. This is undesirable because I want the papers modified using Goodnotes to be synced back to Dropbox imstead of generating new copies. It should work the same way as with Doument Readdle, where I just access Dropbox, open the file, read and annotate it, and see the file in Dropbox refect such changes.
paggxj - Bugs
I’m loving the update for GoodNotes 5. However, even after the most recent update, I’m still having issues with the app. The app now crashes every time I try to paste something, it is incredibly frustrating, as I love being able to transfer pictures from my lecture slides.
Also, in the zoom writing box, the blue box used to continue writing on the following line goes much lower down the page with GN5. This has ruined using this feature for me as I have to re-place it every new line.
I still love these app but I really hope these issues are fixed ASAP.
MiniKatalyst - Moving from GN4 to GN5, so far is a waste of time.
GN4 still seems to be the better app. My reason for this, is that there is no Google Drive or Dropbox integration like there is in GN4. When importing lecture notes or pdfs, ect in to GN5 I have to download them on to the iPad first and then import them. Wasting space and time, when previously I can just tap import and tap Google Drive. You also can't (from what I've seen) back up your documents to Google Drive like you could previously. This means I have yet another service I have to keep track of to back my data up to. With GN4 I can continue to keep all my documents organised and accessible.
zezebelle - Sticking with GoodNotes 4
I’ve had a chance now to thoroughly trial GoodNotes 5. Apart from still being buggy as hell, the redesign has actually removed some of the things that made GoodNotes 4 a step above its competitors. Usability has dropped, it’s harder to change setting, colours, etc. and just harder in general. I have had the issue with part way through taking a page of handwritten notes it starts rendering the handwriting as incomprehensible glyphs. On a cover, the text box I added would not accept formatting and then could not be deleted. The issues I have experienced are too numerous to list. As I said in the subject line, I’m sticking with GoodNotes 4.
FM18!> - Excellent App But A Few Big Issue… PLEASE FIX !!
Loved it the first day but now I have found problems.. The issue I have with it is that when I go back after I have made a mistake, it would bring mistake back from I dont know for example what I wrote 5-10 minutes ago, then there’s writing over the top of the new correct version of notes that I wrote....very frustrating. Sometimes it copies old things too and when I go to paste something in, the old text comes up. I really hate the snipping tool too, so mad that all the pictures are so blurry...
I adore the new filing system, so much easier. I would have preferred more styles of paper, even for the price we paid for it maybe add in it least one or two digital journals.
Oh good, I just found out one second ago that I cannot put my version 5 documents into the version 4 one...how disappointing - Now I will be writing my notes again in the version 4 as I require a very high quality snipping tool for my medical classes.
Thank you, please please fix these issues.
MetalCello - Goodnotes 5 - Superior to Notability for me.
Creating diagrams is far superior when compared to notability. Notability always fills in shapes so they can’t be overlapped to create concept relationships. This is a deal breaker for me.
The improvements in pen ink are great and nice to use. Better than notability.
Script to text function is on point with Notability and Nebo. When text is converted it copies to Storyist 5 left justified. This saves time for me. 2 extra clicks are needed to copy to another app however.
Saving to cloud locations that are not native to Goodnotes is clunky and awkward. Notability is far superior in this respect.
Goodnotes 5 does not have the voice record, note record function. Doesn’t matter to me as I don’t use this.
No app does it all. Good notes 5 is my go to app for script to text and note taking. (For now!)
Kuroodetto - Disappointed!
*Disappointed no split screen function where you could show two pages side by side.
*Disappointed no audio function added.
*Disappointed no selecting of multiple images at once in safari and adding to the page (this is a function available in iOS 12 and Apple Notes).
*Disappointed no selecting of multiple text at once in safari and adding to the page (this is a function available in iOS 12 and Apple Notes).
However this have been some other improvements.
Dewa Wisana - Love it, almost perfect.
This app really makes my handwriting note taking seems like doing it in old ways but digital enough. Smooth writinf and its features really lovable. Its easy to learn as well. However, there are several things that might need to offer for several users like me that will make this app worth 5 stars. Nees to have option to hide the toolbar. Or use pallet instead of classic long toolbar. Need a dashed line option when drawing a line. Also need curve (convex or concave shapes) available.
Booknerdsdontsuck - Amazing and simple
I use this for all my uni notes and the new update has led to so many improvements as I was starting to get annoyed at some of the bugs. One thing I wish GoodNotes would have is an audio recorder/tracker that noteability has or even split screen across different tabs would be great. The only reason I don’t have noteability is because of their filing system and small key features, which annoys me so much if I were to get the app.
Tori5693 - Excellent app for the Apple Pencil
I got the Apple Pencil for Christmas and I wasn’t sure which app to use for note taking I looked in the App Store and downloaded a few free apps ( some with in app purchases) and looked on you tube to see what others were saying about the paid apps and even though I had to pay for this one it had everything I needed. It would be good if it had voice recording but other than that it’s great.
Wtfnickname3424 - Too laggy and buggy.
We've been using the Good note 4 for our group study for an year now and we loved it. When Good note 5 was released we upgraded to it immediately then.... we regretted immediately.
- The version 5 is too slower compare to version 4. Takes much longer to open a note and to arrange pages in a note.
- We constantly share pages to each other by exporting a page via airdrop to others. We never had an issue with version 4 but with 5, we have to keep close and reopen the app every single time in order to send and receive pages to others' iPad because sometimes it's frozen while sending pages or doesn't show the window to ask me where to receive pages when receive via airdrop.
- Undo button sometimes undo EVERYTHING we have written on a page. We have to close and reopen the app to make the undo button its job.
- Eraser sometimes erase EVERYTHING I wrote on a page. So frustrating.
We will go back to version 4 unless an update comes to fix the issues soon.
Jonbi - Love the upgrade except ONE issue
My study life has changed dramatically thanks to ipad and the Goodnote app (thank you) but one thing I am extremely unhappy with the update is the disappearance of the menu bar in the zoom window. It is frustrating to having to reach up to the top in order to ‘undo’ and change pen/highlighter shades and I do use those functions constantly. Please bring it back!
Otherwise the new update looks a bit more sophisticated. I won’t go back to the old version
Ledbye - Not as good as the previous version
As many people have said, this is a bit of a step back.
I've found the whole thing quite glitchy and just overall not as intuitive as it was in the previous version. I get screen flicks and have had the note paper jump around causing weird markings from the pencil. I never experienced this in version 4!
You can no longer chose where your back ups go (iCloud forced) so I can't share my pdf version of notes from a shared folder with a Windows user easily.
Folders work better than categories and syncing across iPad and iPhone is good but would be much more useful if you could sync across iPad and Mac/Windows.
Still probably the best note taking app, but if you can still grab version 4 get that!!
Lionforce82 - Absolutely best notes app ever *****
I have purchased and used all versions of this app and it is hands down the best available notes app on the market. I also own a number of the other top notes app but none of them come close when it comes to the clean easy UI, the range of settings and the import/export and multitasking / multi tab options. Thank you for this great app and your continued improvements....genuine 5 stars. *****
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CanadaMedStudent - AWESOME APP overall, but can be improved!
This APP is great on the iPad. The handwriting is fluent and the options are great. I personnally adore the Cmd+F search that is capable to search handwritten words as well.
Perhaps, on the MAC version, it would be great to have the "two page view" instead of having to scroll down and only see one page at the time.
Finally, if there could be an option to have an "infinity page" like OneNote, it would make this APP the best one for notetaking.
Eiabw - Horizontal scrolling & bookmarks!
I used to use Notability as my main note-taking/PDF viewing app. however, the lack of horizontal scroll and built-in viewer for preset bookmarks makes it rather frustrating to scroll through large documents.
GoodNotes 5 has both horizontal scroll and vertical scroll, making viewing documents and taking notes a breeze. The built-in bookmark editor does not only present the preset bookmarks but also lets the users to edit the bookmark list. With the addition of multiple levels of folders and the “favourite” marking method, organization is superior on GoodNotes.
The writing experience is also smooth and enjoyable in every aspect.
NOW WE JUST NEED A BUILT-IN VOICE RECORDER.
Horizon Archaeology - Best handwriting note app I have used
I started using an ipad full time in 2017 for fieldwork - once the Apple Notes app acquired a scaleable ruler with degrees readout. By then I had already played with quite a few different note taking apps, some free, some paid for, before I settled on one (not Goodnotes).
Spring forward to 2019 and I had started noticing that the app I was using was becomoing more and more glitchy over time and was not seemingly able to keep up with the evolution of IOS. I even (gasp...) lost some data now and again - though not too much. I started doing some research again on what note taking apps were best to use. I finally chose Goodnotes 5 and have been exceptionally happy I did.
After using it over winter here are some of the reasons why I have recommended it to both my son for university and coworkers...
1) Stability. So far Goodnotes 5 has been rock-solid in my use. It has never ever crashed and I have never ever lost data (knock on wood). It also does not glitch when auto saving like other programs.
2) Ability to open multiple tabs. When I am doing fieldwork I have multiple places where I have to enter data. This is a trivial thing to accomplish in a paper field note book with tabs... but not so easy with a tablet. Goodnotes 5 handles multiple tabs seamlessly and elegantly.
3) PDF Handling. It works really well handling PDFs - especially when incorporating an existing PDF into an existing document. One can selecta PDF and open as a stand alone document, or elect to havwe it append to the next page of whichever Goodnotes document you have open. This is a great boon, especially for processing and collating the mountains of health and safety paperwork we have to deal with these days...
4) Easy incorporation of images into the notebook. Many programs do this ok, and Good notes also does it just fine as well.
5) The goldilocks level of writing options. The program I went to has a wonderful plethora of pen nib options and is quite lovely to work with and use - except for the crashing part. Goodnotes has a more limited colour palatte, but it is easy to use, and facilitates quick switching between nib types and colours. This is abotu as close as you can get to wrting on paper wiht one of those Bic multi colour selection pens.
6) Just an overall level of clean, simple, elegant UI that is easy to navigate and understand. It shows that the Goodnotes team has definitley tried to meld the best of paper and tablet together to make a solid, ease to use product. It does not have the immediacy of pencil and paper, but it is as close as I have seen so far, whilst also leveraging the power of a tablet.
kidsndog - Needs audio recording and two documents opened at once
Would love to have both of these features to make this an amazing app!
urapeasant123 - No tool bar in the zoom window!!!!
GoodNotes 4 has the pen colours, erase, undo, redo, and indent buttons on the zoom tool bar. GoodNotes 5 only has the indent buttons, which means you have to go all the way to the top of the screen to erase mistakes and switch pen colours. Sounds like it’s not a big deal but in reality it is rather inconvenient. This will take up precious time when you are taking notes during lecture.
I will be using GoodNotes 4 until a better update is released.
The Crying Uni Student - Very practical for students
UPDATE 2: please add a ruler feature! And a toggle to not have the highlighting darken when you overlap in different strokes
Dec - UPDATE: After using for a whole semester, I find that the app works well enough to keep up w me but sometimes it will glitch and won’t even open up and I have to quickly switch to one note, MID-LECTURE. Also, when using the zoom box, the jumps from indent to indent are so big and hard to control/predict. W the zoom-box you can only erase within the box itself, which is a waste of time bc you have to either scroll the box up or exit zoom mode altogether. Also, I wish they’d make the pen size REALLY big so I can colour things in or use it as whiteout (when annotating pictures/PDFs that can’t be erased). Another cool thing would be to add an equation feature. I would also really like to change the colours of folders. Maybe they could also give the option to ppl to add more preset colours or remove them, bc maybe someone only needs 2 or wants to have 5 at the top. I’m also waiting for the day auto sync to google drive will be integrated. I don’t have money to expand my iCloud storage and I would also like to look at my slides as PDFs on google drive. Although I personally screen record in lecture to record my profs AND see what I’m writing at the same time, it would be helpful if there was an integrated recording feature within the notes so I don’t have to watch the entire recording all over again just to find a 5 second tidbit. Another helpful thing would be to add a feature where you can use an infinite scroll/canvas with presentation slides, so I can annotate all around if I run out of space within the slide, instead of having to add a slide underneath, which is hard to do when using symbols and diagrams. All in all, it’s a solid app, save for a few minor pet peeves. I can’t imagine switching back to pen and paper.
I was very nervous about forgoing pencil and paper but once I got the hang of the settings on GoodNotes it turns out it’s so much more efficient to use this app. In paper switching colours, highlighting, erasing takes a lot of time, whereas this saves time, which is valuable when you’re in a lecture. You can move around what you’ve previously written, which you can’t do on paper, you can write directly on PowerPoints, which saves money from printing and storage space, you can add pictures, so much more. Add a Bluetooth keyboard to your tablet and you have a laptop. You can undo, split screen and have a calculator on the side, or your online textbook. I’ve never been more happy with a lifestyle/education app. Well worth the money.
Simon-O. - Handwriting issues
I have some issues with the handwriting: my lines are cuted in smaller lines, as if my Apple Pencil wasn’t detected some times. I always have the latest version of Goodnotes 5, and my Apple Pencil is working perfectly with other apps.
Talibut - Stay with GoodNotes 4
Not worth the upgrade. Key features are missing. New versions should augment and improve. That is not the case here. GoodNotes 5 is not improved.
Christine the captain - Going back to GoodNotes 4
It’s getting worse and worse as the months goes by. Been patient for a while now (especially in the beginning to give time to fix the little issues) but the lagging started and it is now excessive. It is literally slowing me down a lot. Got tricks to make sure I don’t loose anything but the frustration (and the fear to loose something important) is growing. The struggle is real. Going back to 4. Will even consider another app. If you can’t get better than what is it you have to offer?
Mr.GuyDTC - A good improvement, but not perfect.
Overall, I would say the reasons for upgrading are self-evident. The upgrade in visuals is very appealing and the ability to erase just highlighter or rotate imported pictures is super helpful. Although, I don’t see why there was a need to take away functionality that had already existed. The zoom function for handwriting has been changed, and now I can’t control how many lines are skipped when I hit return. Also, it would be nice see better integration with the IOS files app, so that you can move documents from other cloud services into your document more seamlessly. I hope, in the future, they can implement these features, because the added features don’t seem to warrant the price with what seems like it could have been a simple update to the previous app.
1234567890Az21 - Scrolling error
When i was scrolling as usual, the page was scrolled uncontrollably fast (i.e. when i intend to scroll up by a page, it actually went up by 5-6 pages). Please fix it!
MatiasGuerrero - The mac app is buggy
It looks and feels just like a clone of the ipad app, with pinch gestures that select items, and the ui not being optimized for a computer.
That would be ok if the app wasn't buggy, but it is. It is slow, sometimes crashes and has syncing problems.
The mac app is nowhere near the same quality as the ipad.
Iojv - Bug in latest version?
In the latest version, when I am scrolling a file, it can some times (averagely 1 per 5 times of scrolling) scroll A LOT more than I expected, sometimes with only one finger and small force, It let me to scroll a 70 page doc from the very end to the very beginning. This never happened before, the finger detection seems having something went wrong..
aekorps - Still needs refinement
Double tap to Undo?
Not sure why two-finger single tap isn’t enough: like EVERY iOS drawing app (Procreate, Affinity). It had to be double tap? Makes the extra tap basically slower than just reaching for the top. Can’t this be added to the preferences? Maybe add other customizable gesture actions.
Massive Top Bar, no focus
The top bar is now GIGANTIC. Forget a focus on the document at hand, the UI instead shows you EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. Not to mention that “bluejean blue”: yuck. Can’t there be a “focus mode” which hides the UI so I can just write without all this crap at the top?
A simplified focus mode and single tap two-ginger undo would take app from so-so to amazing.
麦克萨 - Terrible Bookmark
Please bring back the rename bookmark feature like GoodNotes 4.
meglizf - Lots of bugs!
I like the new features added to this version and was very excited for it, however it is EXTREMELY buggy. Not sure why this was released with this many issues. I use this daily for school as I’m sure many people do so it is very important that it actually runs properly so we can keep up with out work.
- when moving files, they only go to the destination you chose if you ONLY move files to that destination (eg. If you are sorting your files, they will all just go to the last destination you chose)
- if you have text tool selected you can’t scroll, it gets super glitchy and takes you to the first page
- handwriting (with apple pencil) is laggy, meaning I need to erase and re-write, slowly, a lot
- removed pen options in the zoomed writing window
JasonInCanada - Writing is not as smooth as GoodNotes 4
The writing is not natural. It existed obvious time gaps.
daddydaddydaddydaddydaddydaddy - NEW SCROLLING ERROR
I saw this in one other review - but this needs to be fixed! Scrolling is all messed up. If I try to scroll through 2 pages, it takes me to the end of my notebook. Very frustrating! Takes forever to get back to the page I was on when it scrolls ridiculously fast.
MapOfTheSoul7 - Vertical scrolling issue in large documents
I annotate my textbook pdfs using goodnotes (1000+ pages) and often times while im scrolling (either up or down), it would skip multiple pages at once and make me lose track of my page number
LiamLoo - Some bugs
some function keys do not work after using. have to quit and open the software again. For Mac Version
Charly S. - Excellent app but a refund is fair for those who bought both in less than a month.
Unfair to have been charged twice in less than a month since now it is a cross buy : universal app for iOS and macOS. It is possible to have a refund for the Mac version ? Otherwise the app is extremely nice and excellent.
uniprofmtl - Good application
All that is missing is copy/paste.
_unsu - Allow a new page to be added automatically without pulling
Thank you so much for making this app available in the Mac App Store for those who purchased it for iOS devices! It was very generous of you. Please keep developing and improving the app. My only request is please change the way a new page is added to a document. "Pull to add a page" feature is extremely inconvenient. Please allow a new page to be added automatically without "pulling". Thank you.
Rodders7815 - Impressed
Truth is, I’m not a student or an internet Wizz kid, I’m a truck driver, plain and simple, needed something to handle my PDF files for load dispatch, maintenance etc, however today I received some important documents to be filled and returned to our office ASAP, I opened the email app, imported the files, edited and signed the said document then returned by email. Perfect, 5 minutes all done, very impressed and I’m now looking at further ways to utilize your App.
It’s already paid for itself in saving time and not having to mess around with faxes or pay to get more ‘FAX’ credits with a certain other app.
Thank you Devs, major success story so far for ease of use, portability and brilliantly designed features.
Ur sooooooo bad - Bugged
There’s a bug right now that snaps the line and cuts off the top of the line when writing. It’s quite annoying and is not the problem of my Apple Pencil. Quite a few people online has been experiencing this as well. I hope this gets fixed.
%%%42? - GoodNotes isn’t so good
Halfway through using editing tools, they cease to function leaving the job half done.
Adri8998 - Password needed on app to protect docs
I’ve been using GoodNotes for years and I love the app BUT I’m researching other ones because I need my docs to be protected by a password, and the one needed to get into my iPad isn’t enough. I need an app that has its own password in order to get in. I was hoping with this update there would be one. Disappointed in this.
hanaaahhh1234 - Extremely helpful
I started university this year and I decided to bought an Ipad. This app is amazing, love it. Its so easy to write on PowerPoint, create notes... I suggest it to every student
Dawson misery - Partial erasing
You guys can actually improve the “partial erasing” feature. The problem with it is that even though it erases partially, it still takes out a somewhat big chunk of the line. In other words, it’s not very smooth. Zoom on a straight line and try erasing just a little bit of the line from one of the ends. You’ll notice that it erases more than it is supposed to.
Bill 696969 - One thing needed
I love the new “Automatic Backup”
Now if you would only add a passcode option it would make it a 5 star and would become my primary notebook.
´´´´h - Ne prend plus le crayon Adonit Pixel
Ne prend plus le crayon Adonit Pixel
RomeoandtheCrow - Impossible to import from Dropbox
Very disappointing, because most of the PDF files I tried to import from my Dropbox were not imported without an error code or indication to at least allows me to detect what was the issue.
Also it is not ideal that it is only associated with iCloud because I use Dropbox to save my work. It is my chosen cloud storage but seems this app works only with iCloud. Have to explore the app more and maybe I’ll find a way.
dlwns1988 - Refund this app
I am using ipad air2. It doesn't work well. Please refund my money back. I don't want to meep this app anymore.
elons22222 - Great
Wanted to have one of those cool looking written notes but didnt want to spend 500 on an ipad, so downloaded this on my mac to create those cool notes and it works pretty good
willzheng2 - please fix the issue when using dual monitor
When moving the application window to the second monitor the notes would be displayed in a zoomed manner that cannot be adjusted or even scrolled.
ceabog - Love it
very easy to use! Made the transition from writing on paper to the ipad seamless
whmadd - Great overall
I love everything about it and it's great for making notes, but it sometimes randomly shuts down. More often than that, it would jump to the overview page with all the notebooks in the middle of writing and when I go back to the page I was on, none of the buttons work, not even the "go back" button. I'm not sure if this is a problem only I'm having, but it would be great if it's fixed.
~jojo07~ - worth the buy
I've been contemplating whether to get an app like this, and I really like how it is so far! I love that I have a lot of colour choices for pens and highlighter and I love the fountain pen option!
Jayezun - Catalyst Makes It Buggy
The iPad app is great and designed well, but when using Catalyst to transfer the same functions just don't translate as well on the Mac...
I feel like they could have used a better framwork because currently on mac, the text rendering is horrible, like most Catalyst apps on Mac. It's blurry, the scrolling lags and the whole quality and functionality of the app just decreases significantly from the iPad. Though maybe useful, the mac app still needs a lot of work. Hope to see it get better :)
nekonekomii - Great
Really love this app. Please keep working on updates and feature improvements!
John Bonhomme - features
Features wish list:
- I need to rotate without resize
- I need to turn off automatic vertical and horizontal clipping when making straight lines. This is annoying when working on scans that are not perfectly straight.
JasonValleau - Almost the Ultimate Tool
The ability to manipulate PDFs is not new nor is it new to use our Apple Pencils to sketch, draw, or take notes. But it's a treat to be able to do this all in one organized app. The sync across devices and collaborative addition puts this app on another level. The last feature that would make it the 'Ultimate' would be to combine the word processing abilites of our native Apple Notes app. While I appreciate the last update to text fromatting we're still not quite there yet. Larger text areas to manipulate, bullet points etc would put this app over the edge.
Detrawast - Toolbar can be a little smaller
Ive used goodnotes and notability and out of the two, i would pick goodnotes. It is a lot easier to use in my opinion. The only down side about good notes is that the toolbar is a little large and when you try to hide it, the writing function does mot work. The toolbar is twice as big as notability so it ends covering some of the writing space available unlike notability. Make the toolbar smaller and this app would 100% better than notability
aradnoob - Really useful
Just wish I could flip(reverse) photos, and had more pen texture options...
NoZain - Great app, text (typing) can improve
This is a great app for writing notes with your pen. It feels robust, syncs quickly, and easy to use. The one downside that I find myself struggling with a lot is that the text tool has a number of bugs associated with it and isn't easy to use. Overall, I recommend this app!
SkyFang322 - Awesome
Good note taking application. However, is there a way to export bookmarks that I have created in the outlines into the PDF? Also shape tool can use a bit of work on identifying what shapes I’m making such as curves for graphs. Otherwise great app for taking notes as an engineering student.
RealMenDance - Glitches!!!
I loved this app but the glitches lately make it unusable. Looks like I’ll be switching to Notability....
castroset - What happened
When I first bought goodnotes it did everything I wanted, it was amazing. I would have given it 5 start. Yet after the last few updates, I am re-evaluating if I want to continue using it. The highlighter in dark pages no longer goes in the background now it is as the highlighter that is on white pages, which I hate. Why change it? The lines I use to be able to draw with the shape tools were straight all the time, now it is so sensitive that I need to use a ruler to draw lines that are straight. Not what I expect. I would think twice of purchasing, maybe look at other apps like notability, maybe they won’t change things on a whim.
Kelvinkkumar - Very slow response
I bought this app for the purpose of note taking and completing assignments, so I’m confused as to why the app takes time to respond to my Apple Pencils Touch. My iPad is also brand-new and when working with other apps the time to respond is never slow. I always have to close the Good Notes app to get the respond speed back up. Other than that the app is good but it’s annoying when I have to close the app during the middle of class or when I’m studying. Please fix it.
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MikeVila - I use this daily for my real estate business
I downloaded the 5 top note taking apps in the store, and played around with each one for one week, and for me and my needs in real estate this was the best. The more I use it, the more I find more uses for it. I went from taking notes, to filling out contracts, completing walk through inspection forms, and much more. I can add pages to the end of my reports and take pictures on the fly, or pull pictures from my Apple Photo, and they center automatically! It so many hidden features. I can import documents from my iMac or email, sign them and annotate, then email them back in seconds. I can search for documents through all the folders, create Favorites, sort by Name or Date. The toolbar has all of the essential tools for quick access, and if I click a tool icon twice, and change the attributes and defaults. You can create folders, then drag and drop files in each folder. And so much more!!! Give this app a try, you won’t be disappointed.
Yollew - Great but not Perfect
GoodNotes 5 brings several useful features to the table but where it lacks, is attention to detail. Sometimes having too many options is a bad thing as it over complicates a simple action. For instance you should be able to rotate or resize a picture/text/object with two fingers. Instead you have to use and small resizing box in the corner. It’s no biggie but I naturally keep trying to resize the object with two fingers and have to realize I can’t do that. Scrolling through a document is another issue. Importing a 50 page PowerPoint sometimes means you have to swipe a bunch of times to go to the very first slide. Like in other apps, including Apple stock apps, you should be able to hold the slider on the screen and quickly scroll. I have also experienced several bugs, like the app crashing randomly or the app becoming unresponsive. Also recordings with synchronized writing seems to be a core feature missing from this app. Nevertheless, this is a great app but needs to pay attention to the user experience and squash bugs.
Kwee G - This is terrible.
I have used Goodnotes for almost as long as it has existed. I love Goodnotes 4. There were some improvements I wished for, but it was reliable. I cannot Goodnotes 5 to stay open, it closes constantly. It syncs or reloads everything every time I change folders or categories, or even minimize it and then return to it. The hyperlinks unique to Goodnotes are not working in previous documents, and all the bookmarks that I had named are gone. But the real heartbreak is that, for example, my 2019 Planner - when it downloaded it into 5, it quit - because it keeps closing - and now has lost everything past January 7!!! It synced it back to the cloud like that, so it’s gone. I actually feel sick. I cannot believe my beloved Goodnotes did this.
UPDATE! It takes forever to load, only to close seconds later. It won’t even talk to the version on my Mac!?! Really?!? AND, Even though I “completed my bundle” I was charged $8!! This is the most betrayed I’ve ever been by an app - an app I have used for years!
Doodle Jump reviewer - Excellent for Note-Taking in Medical School!
I highly recommend GoodNotes 5 for note-taking. I am currently a medical student, and annotating documents and lectures using GoodNotes 5 has been fun, convenient, and much much better than using paper. When I was debating between this and Notability, one big feature convinced me to choose GoodNotes 5 — the lower writing latency. In other words, writing in GoodNotes 5 feels more smoother and silkier than in Notability. No matter what features a note-taking app might have, the actual note-taking will always be the most important and in my humble opinion GoodNotes 5 excels at it more than Notability thanks to GoodNotes 5’s lower writing latency. GoodNotes also mimics a pen with its tool while Notability only seems to have a pencil tool (no pen), and since I love writing with real pens instead of real pencils, I preferred writing in GoodNotes to that in Notability. Plus now with a recent update the latency is even further reduced, and writing in GoodNotes 5 is even more smooth and life-like. I highly recommend GoodNotes 5!
WanderLotus - Inclusive note taking app
Quite a dynamic note taking app. This app allows you to store your subjects in different files. You can have a blank notebook to keep notes for each subject with a plethora of different options for page layouts - Cornell notes, wide ruled, college ruled, graph, plain... to name a few. The notebooks have an option of using different color or design covers. It up and downloads PDFs, PowerPoint, papers, etc... In those documents and notebooks, you can highlight, write, draw perfect shapes, cut and paste, erase, add a picture, change the color and width of your writing objects, add notebook pages to add notes within the document. You can swipe left and right or scroll in any document or notebook. Cons: You pay for it (one time fee and no adds- totally worth every penny to me). It does not convert writing to text. If I could have everything I wanted I wish it had sticky notes and stickers. I am giving it four stars because I can’t sort my folders and notebooks in the order I want. They are sorted either by date added, alphabetical, or most recent.
MeiLim23 - Great Notetaking App for Students!
As a student who is going into school during the COVID-19 era, my teachers are sending many files as pdf's and I have to edit and annotate many of these files for assignments and projects. GoodNotes' interface and easy import system allows me to annotate PDF files directly without much hassle and it is very easy to use as well! There are many features on this app that I have found useful and it really helps that there are many tutorials and videos that show how to optimize the app to the highest extent. Also, many people have created free templates that are available to import and use, so that is definitely a great help you want to use other templates or add your own custom covers on your notebooks. I would say that I would like more variation in the pen types as well as the eraser and highlighter sizes, but overall, the app is amazing and I definitely recommend it if you are a student who is interested in digital notetaking with a tablet. Worth the purchase!
bgoody - My choice for taking notes with the Apple Pencil
This app has so many features that I like. It syncs well with the Apple Pencil. As a result, the lines that you write are following right along. I like the zoom view when writing notes as it brings up a larger writing area at the bottom enabling you to write in the smallest of clear spaces. I often import PDFs and mark them up. When you are highlighting if you hold the endpoint for a second and lift the highlight straightens. No more wobbly highlights. There is also shape assist which if you draw a circle or square or other shapes, the program does its best to figure out what you were attempting to draw and clean it up. If you prefer text of want to copy and paste from another app is supported as well. Import and exported are well handled..I don’t often pay for apps but this one is well worth it! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I also like being able to organize my notes into folders. The template selection is great well.
brianaish - Great for studying and personal use
I really enjoy using GoodNotes 5. It’s so easy to organize, search, and export files from email, Files, Word, PowerPoint, etc. I’ve found free-note taking to be the best way to study. I love the Bookmark and Favorites features to access certain notes faster. As a visual learner, I like to add pictures from the web, textbook, or PowerPoint lectures. They make it so easy to drag and drop! I love that I can access my notes on all my iOS devices. Perfect for studying on the bus or while waiting in line at the grocery store.
I just need them to add an “insert table” and a fill-color tool functions to make this app even better. I usually end up making my own tables with the Shape/Line tool, but it gets a bit tedious to get it evenly-spaced. And I’ve been using the Highlighter tool to fill in spaces with color, but it’s very transparent. Works amazing as a highlighter... not so much as a fill color tool.
You have to get a bit creative to make it work for you, but it’s still an amazing app. I’ve recommended this app to all my classmates
XL-9642-0803 - Needs to address some things...
I had goodnotes 4 for a good while and honestly the new stuff on 5 is amazing! However the little bugs are very annoying and if addressed would make this 100% better. The palm rejection seems to be way more sensitive then normal because writing on the left and center is fine, but when I reach the ride side it just keeps moving. The zoom feature (blue box) also keeps jumping way further then before (at least 2 lines down) and skips before reaching the right side of the page. Second there seems to be more glitches...for ex. when I would try to erase nothing would happen and instead the ink starts to glitch. Exiting out of the app does not help and I have to wait at least 5 mins before returning. Also I hate that the undo/redo feature is not a part of the zoom box like on goodnotes 4. Sometimes when I have to click undo at the top the screen returns to the first page (when in vertical view) and it’s extremely annoying. Once the glitch issues are fixed I’m sure my review will change and I can finally get back to writing notes without constantly having to leave the app and try to “restart” it.
XW-7665-2105 - Awesome app for notetaking and annotation
I have been using GoodNote 4 and 5 for two years and I need to say this app is my favourite app for notetaking. For my studies, I need to take a lot of notes and annotate on powerpoints, this app is making my learning experience very simple and easy. I always suggest my friends to use GoodNote if they are using their iPad for classnote. Kudos to the team for adding split screen within the app; this feature is very handy when I need to look up information while writing down my answer in GoodNote at the same time.
Here I have some suggestions to improve user experience:
1) is it possible to link pen size with window viewing magnification? I switch my pen size very frequently and it starts to slow down my efficiency when I need to zoom in/out to find the best window magnification. It would be wonderful if the window magnification is automatically switched to user preset magnification when the user changes pen size.
2) Could user edit/rearrange elements on the viewing window? I change my ink color often and the travel from the bottom of the page to top starts to add up and slow down my note taking speed. It would be wonderful if I can add eraser, ink color option, pen size and other features to the viewing window, so my hand won’t need to move back and forth too often.
Thank you for making this awesome app, I really enjoy using GoodaNote and I am looking forward to seeing it becoming better and better.
jr_coffee - I love this app, but there is one small thing...
I use this app for nearly all of my note taking and I absolutely love except for one thing...
Images. You have the option to insert an image from the app, but this means the image always becomes a new page rather than part of the page you are on. I know that you can multi-task use the drag and drop feature, but this is problematic for a few reasons. For example, it would mean having to google an image that is exactly like the one I have in front of me. Or take an image, save it to my camera roll, and use the multitasking feature on the iPad to drag and drop the image. While this admittedly not a big problem as it can be easily circumvented, it would be SO nice if I didn’t have to do that and I could simply have the option of inserting the image as a page or into the page.
All in all, I would highly recommend this app to anyone who loves to take notes by writing them or otherwise. It is truly an amazing app.
.mogg. - Brilliant note-taking app
I recently switched to from keeping notes on physical paper to using GoodNotes on the 2018 iPad pro with the 2nd gen Pencil, and I am positively amazed. The transition was very easy and I do not really miss anything from the old-school approach (apart from its battery independence). In fact, I have become fairly used to certain features such as smart-shapes assisted drawing and the ability to select and move text around.
I find the interface to be clean and functional. The notebook customization and organization options are great, and the ability to easily pull pages from the same or another notebook to a split-screen view is particularly handy. Overall, I am very satisfied with nearly every aspect of the app so far.
The main feature I am currently missing is automatic, rather than manual, back-up to cloud storage (it appears that this has been under development for a while, but was not included in the latest update). The ability to insert links, to pages in a notebook, other notebooks, or to URLs, would also be great.
Caveat: I have not tried any alternative note-taking apps, so I cannot speak to any relative benefits. Also, while it is possible to use GoodNotes for making notes on PDF documents, that functionality is limited. If one spends a fair amount of time reading and annotating papers, I would suggest a more specialized app for that; where GoodNotes shines is drafting, keeping, and reorganizing handwritten notes.
TheVapeLord - GoodNotes literally changed the way I work!
This app is so good that it is the first time I’ve ever actually written a review for anything. I have the 2019 iPad Pro 11 inch and the gen 2 Apple Pencil and together with GoodNotes it is absolutely amazing. They have a very clever mechanism for allowing you take notes on lined paper where you have a little section that is blown up and when you get to the end of the zoomed in area it projects a ghosted image of the next space on the left of the writing area. It Is hard to describe in text but in practice it is really convenient and stays out of the way. I am a software engineer who uses a ton of whiteboards to keep track of ideas and concepts for both work and personal projects. GoodNotes allows me to be able to have multiple notebooks for different subjects, plot out UML and logic flow diagrams, and even offer dot grid paper (most of these apps don’t). All said, I think GoodNotes is worth every penny and I enjoy having made it a part of my daily workflow.
Chella_11 - Too many glitches
This app is very frustrating. I’ll have times when it just closes on me. Recently I haven’t been able to use my highlighter and my preset colors. I have a hard time downloading to GoodNotes. I’ll be missing pages or content. If this happens I have to close the app and download again. For awhile this worked but now having to do this step 3-5x a download. One day everything was having problems. I lassoed a picture to delete. Deleted....goodnotes deleted my hyper link. I know it was the fault of goodnotes, I’ve done this step tons of time and never have deleted my hyper links. Now I have to work around my missing hyper link. It’s a lot of little things too. This tool won’t work, have to close out. It won’t lasso this item, have to close out. I try to look at the layout of all my pages in a certain folder, it force closes on me every time for this folder. I have the most recent update and this stuff is still happening. When it works it’s great, unfortunately this is few and far between now. The problems continue to get worse, nothing seems to be getting resolved with updates.
Vulgrin - Phenomenal
I rarely rate apps on the App Store. I definitely don’t rate them when unsolicited, but I saw the option to rate on the menu and decided “this deserves it.”
I got a new iPad purely for the pen and note taking / brain storming I wanted to do with it. After about three sessions of playing with GoodNotes and finally understanding all of the features, and going out there and testing out every other notes app I could find, I realized this is the best one out there.
The interface just works, and it makes sense. The analog to pen and paper is great - and better than other apps where you have to do a lot of “clicking” to add handwritten text in a separate screen, and then it imports as a picture. GoodNotes works like I would EXPECT it to work.
What held me up at first was not being able to move around notes that I had written. Today I realized what the dotted line tool in the toolbar was, and figured out how it worked. And then suddenly all my needs were met.
Only thing that is slightly annoying to me is that I had a small drawing with a lot of pen strokes in it, and selecting and moving / scaling that drawing took an extra second or two to select - assuming because of all of the data that was in the sketch. But its definitely not a show stopper.
I would also like the ability to load in my own notebook covers, but really, I’m scraping to try to find something wrong with an otherwise perfect app.
Love it. Thank you to the devs, this is brilliant.
Balbol - Missing essential features from GoodNotes4
I upgraded to GoodNotes5 expecting a smooth and improved experience. I have used GoodNotes from the early days, for 4+ years exclusively as my note taking app. The upgrade to GoodNotes4 was a great step in the right direction and I have been quite happy with it. With the upgrade to GoodNotes5, however, some basic but essential features have gone missing. I appreciate the nested folder structure and the more sleek icons, but what happened to backup to cloud services? Restricting to iClouds is a downgrade in service and versatility. It also became quite painful while writing in the magnifier window to always have to reach all the way to the top of the page to select the eraser or different colors or undo/redo or use other tools and switch back to writing with the pencil. These features were shown on the magnifier window itself in GoodNote4 and are essential to an efficient and smooth note taking experience. Once I hit this barrier, I just stopped using the new app and went back to GoodNotes4 since it's not worth my time to discover the remaining deficiencies in the app design. Please bring the best of GoodNotes4 back!
Nothappy!!!! - Needs some updates
Overall I like the organization of the this app compared to goodnotes 4. And there are some nice new features. However there are some features from goodnotes 4 that I miss and there are some bugs. The undo/redo buttons have been removed from the zoomed window so if you are writing this way you have to reach up to the top of the screen every time you make a mistake. Same with being able to switch between pen, eraser, and highlighter from this zoomed window. I also dislike that your pen stays the same color when you change tabs- in version 4 whatever color you were last using on a document was still selected when you went back to it. When you import a PDF with images in it, you can no longer press down on the image to copy it- like if I want to move an image from an e-textbook to my notebook. There is also a big bug- when I import some of my files to the app from google drive, the images disappear (these same files open normally in version 4). I love using goodnotes for med school but I will keeping version 4 until 5 has been updated.
Amy225576 - Amazing App for Grad School
I was hesistant for whether Goodnotes or Notability would be best for graduate school. I'm so glad I tried Goodnotes! It is the best tool (other than Evernote, but that has different goals) for organizing and notetaking in graduate school. Being able to place PDFs, files, and other forms of documents into Goodnotes and mark them up is FANTASTIC! I used to want things on paper for the tactility of taking notes, but using Goodnotes with an iPad and Apple pencil to take notes is not only better for trees, but also allows everything to stay organized in one place. And the ability to use my app across devices is fantastic. If I don't want to jump between tabs, I can easily display text on my computer and take notes with my iPad. And if you are a grad student who works with languages, you can easily look up definitions and translations of words even from PDFs that you have put in your Goodnotes app. Absolutely fantastic. Get it. You won't regret it.
Yumi1826 - Very convenient, but pen needs more options
I tried out this app and was pleased to see it had a lot of functions, but my only gripe is about the pen! I'm probably too used to most drawing software (like Procreate or Clip Studio Paint) but I would prefer if the pen had opacity, like you would when writing in paper on real life. I'm not sure how to describe it, but when I am exerting less pressure, I would prefer if the pen ink fades a bit while the stroke is also tapering off. What I mean is, I would prefer if the pen felt and looked more natural and how a pen/pencil instead of just looking "neat." Like how when you write with pencil on paper, the less you press on the paper, the thinner And lighter the letters will look, while pressing harder yields bolder letters (not by much) and darker letters. I hope this makes sense! I love this app's concept, but I'm afraid it won't be very useful to me if I can't read my own handwriting comfortably (I also admit my handwriting is quite messy). However, I understand if the pen is made a certain way and cannot be changed. I am just too used to the flexibility of drawing software haha
Ragg swag - Great App
REVIEW: Overall I think Goodnotes is a great app and the 5th edition made some great improvements. I'm a sophomore in college studying computer engineering. For my purposes Goodnotes does a great job of serving as a notebook for all of my classes. I don't think it's that different from other note taking products, but I find it much simple and clean than other apps with similar purposes. Goodnotes 5 is a great improvement and I really like the new UI and quality of life improvements. There are still some bugs, but for the most part they are extremely minor from my experience and Im confident they will be resolved during the software developmwnt process.
ISSUE: If anything my only issue is that there have been times when I have experienced severe lag whenever I am taking more intensive notes where Im covering the majority of my page. This is something I didn't experience in version 4 and was surprised it was as bad as it was. If this can be fixed I'd greatly appreciate it.
lwr032 - Deleted Notes and Restarts
DO NOT update to Goodnotes at this time. I had notes from January 3, 2019 thru January 27, 2019. I have iCloud turned on. I'm running it on an iPad 6th gen. Goodnotes 5 started out running very well after syncing with iCloud and Goodnotes 4. I
had January 3-17th imported from Goodnotes 4. All the notes from that point on were deleted from Goodnotes 5. The more notes I put into Goodnotes 5 the slower the app became. Then it started crashing and reopening. The last time Goodnotes 5 did it, notes 18-27 were gone. Those were very important notes to me. So DO NOT upgrade until the bugs are worked out.
UPDATE: There was another update to Goodnotes 5 that brought back the pages I lost returned. I still have a few problems with the app. It's still running slow and it crashes every so often but not like it use to. The app now syncs well to iCloud and I can stack graphics on top of graphics now. I raised the star rating from 1 to 2. I can't go higher at this time.
Miliad2345hahajaha - PLEASE READ
I absolutely love this app. I have only used it for about a week but it’s still the best note taking app yet. But I have a few suggestions. Well this ones not a suggestion but can you make it so we have to login to a account? I ask for that because it would be so much easier to login to my account on here on both my phone and my iPad than having to export my documents every 5 minutes so they stay the same.. And for some reason the “link sharing” thing never works. It always tells me to open the app menu in setting and turn this on and do that but what it’s telling me to do isn’t even a option in settings. Even if you don’t add that please make it easier to sync documents from different devices. But something I would absolutely love is if you would add a photo to text option? So that way when I import (for example) a math worksheet I don’t have to go over it with the text tool and it just does it all for me. Besides this I absolutely love this app and totally recommend it for people who have a hard time taking notes.
Samola - Really great organizational app
This app has been life changing for me. The ability to work in “paper” notebooks I can keep digitally has completely changed how I interact with organizing my life, and it’s been a major benefit. The only thing keeping me from giving the app 5 stars (would have done 4.5 if possible) is the ability to add links in documents/notebooks once they’ve been created. If I were able to create sectioned notebooks once I’ve started them, with a first page that lets me jump around or to change links I’ve already created in a PDF without having to reinsert and lose all my work, it would be the perfect app for my needs. While adding things to favorites helps, it’s not quite the same, especially if I’m trying to update an existing link where I’ve deleted the original page tied to the link, since it sends me nowhere but I can’t delete the link itself. I highly recommend this app for anyone who loves paper, but can’t carry multiple notebooks with them everywhere they go.
jazhaque - Great for Medical Students
I used to be a die hard notability user during my undergraduate years, however I quickly realized the organization of files was not nearly as great or streamlined as it is in goodnotes with their features to create folders so I can keep my hundreds of notes and lecture slides organized and in one app; and on the go with me on all of my devices (ipad pro, iphone and macbook). I am a big fan of the feature that allows you to have 3 top colors while you're writing so you can quickly switch between without having to rechoose from the palate again. This is an amazing app for both students and professionals alike, and I recommend it to anyone I know. My handwriting also looks great, which is not always the case in some other note taking apps even with the apple pencil. Overall, for me it's the small but simple features that makes this app great, thank you for your attention to detail developers!
Victoria Bahaan - Still improving on GoodNotes 5
Been using GoodNotes 4 and then transitioned to 5 for over a year now and wanted to write about some pros and cons...
First off, GoodNotes 4 was great, very stable, writing was smooth, maybe had 1 crash in over 8 months of using it. I was very hesitant to make the switch to 5 due to the initial poor ratings so chose to download it while I could still get the free bundle and continued to use 4. I have slowly been moving docs over to 5 and now use 5 completely. I’ve been using 5 for about 6 months now and have seen great improvement with it through continuous updates. The transfer of docs was very easy and I appreciate the new features of 5.
Pros of 5
- vertical and horizontal scrolling
- easy interface with changing colors on pen and highlighter
- eraser has highlighter only option
- multiple windows ability
- more templates
Cons of 5
- Downloading and inserting docs or PDFs sometimes causes crashes although the stability has greatly improved since its initial release
- Moving tabs is not as intuitive
Overall, I rely heavily on GoodNotes for taking notes and am pleased with the improvements that have come out. If you’ve never used GoodNotes, definitely take the leap and buy. If you’re using 4, go ahead and download it - the continuous updates have significantly improved its stability since the initial GoodNotes 5 release and am looking forward to continuous stability improvements.
syd ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ - Can’t imagine going back to paper
I love having my notes for my classes in GoodNotes- so easy to organise, share, and most importantly, make my notes look pretty. I love being able to have two documents open side by side, and it’s so easy to import my textbook pdfs from my computer to my iPad and instantly open them as new documents in GoodNotes. I really love being able to write in my textbooks, and the way it’s set up, it’s also super easy to navigate the textbooks. Recently I also find it useful to have two windows of the same document open next to each other so I don’t have to keep flipping back and forth to refer to something at the beginning. Hated doing that in a physical notebook (I hated ripping pages out more though) so it’s great to not deal with that anymore. I love how it’s simple enough that you won’t struggle to adjust, but still has many features and doesn’t confine your creativity when it comes to note taking.
JackF1212 - LOVE GoodNotes and recommend it to everyone...
I love this app. It’s one of the ones I use almost daily. I’m only logging in to give a review because they asked me this morning how I use it and I could only pick one option. My answer was “work”... but I also use it to study (I keep notebooks for piano lessons, business classes, cooking shows, and lots of other “masterclass” stuff I like to soak up)... and I use it for leisure stuff too, like writing notes for a novel and just keeping a handwritten journal. I used to do all this, by the way, in regular note books, of which I now have boxes and boxes of to lug around. I love being able to have countless notebooks going in the app instead. And all of it searchable. I also, by the way, use the app to mark up PDFs for work. It’s much better than just using a PDF reader like Preview (which is a fine app too). Anyway, I hope the folks that make GoodNotes read this and feel good about it. It’s very well done.
pp071 - Love it, but wish they could improve couple things
I really love the GoodNotes 5, I wasn’t the fan of the GoodNotes 4 honestly, but this app is great. I really wish that they could improve and add this features: voice recording while taking notes (like notability), being able to change the colors or pictures for the folders and being able to organize the folders in the order that u want, had more options for the pages (free or for extra $) and also if I could have the option to chose only the typing kind of document (like pages or Microsoft Word) that would be amazing.
Ps: I also was really upset that I had GoodNotes 4 but I wasn’t using it and then I started doing online classes again and found out that they came out with the GoodNotes 5 but I never got any promotional email that I could upgrade if for free and I wasn’t using the app so I had to pay again and the customer service didn’t care about it even though ppl who had GoodNotes 4 before just upgraded it for free.
Tired Studemt - Even better than before!
When the update to GoodNotes 5 first released, it was a pretty bumpy release. There were quite a few bugs and lag all over the place, but after a few weeks and patches, we finally got a great app. I would say ignore the reviews regarding performance from only on because this app is great at the moment. I love how we can now scroll vertically and the new folder system makes organization better than on GoodNotes 4. Also the new resize feature is incredibly helpful. If you’re a student like me, then this app is also great for your textbooks. It makes it easy to annotate on textbooks and it has the outline of the textbooks, so that you can you any chapter easily, which is a feature not every note taking app has. If GoodNotes 5 can get recording like Notability, then I believe it would be the best note taking app hands down. Even now, I have to say that GoodNotes 5 is probably the best note-taking app on the App Store.
ErnestJG - Really enjoy this app
I love this app and it’s growing versatility. It has gotten better with time which is why I’ve come to review it. I like how versatile you can get with the pencil and how natural it feels. Also different paper templates hat it has. I really like that we can make outlines within notebooks, import pdfs, and a lot of other documents.
Something I would like to see is more customizable paper colors and being able to add margins, as many as we’d like. This will allow for one to make a structure of note taking more consistent. These margins could be movable, would remain the same across one note book, and be transparent, in the sense that if we were to print this paper the margin wouldn’t print. Also, though there are ways to create ones custom cover page, I would appreciate it if we didn’t have to circumvent the current way to apply a cover, this would be an option to create the cover one wants, change the colors, maybe even edit ones that already exist to our lip kings.
🍆💪🙃 - Suggestion for a great app
I have been really enjoying my time using GoodNotes 5 for school. I really like the writing experience and the multiwindow experience. From my experience using the app I want to mention two areas that improvement in would improve my workflow.
The first is when using the zoom window. I use a few colors when writing my notes, and it would be much more efficient if the color selections were on the zoom window border. It would make switching between colors much quicker by bringing the selection right by where I am writing.
The second area is transferring screen captures to different documents. For example, when I am doing problem sets, I open two adjacent windows, one a blank page in a workbook and the other the pdf of problems. I want to capture one of the problems with a lasso and drag it over to my workspace and then work on it. In the current implementation I have to go through a slow screenshot process which works, but is clunky.
ScientistMcSnuggles - Amazing app!
It is not an exaggeration to say that this app has changed my life! (My work life, that is.) The find function works amazingly well with my handwriting, and the rest of app is easy to use, organize, and modify. I primarily use it to track the dozens of active projects we have ongoing in the laboratory, tracking conversations with my direct reports, managing To Do lists, and even using it instead of scraps of paper, for everything from math equations I don’t need to save to thinking through a problem. Additionally, I used the shapes function to create a template on a blank page, then exported it as a PDF and added it to my Templates, so I could keep a daily calendar/journal in a format I prefer (without accidentally erasing anything in the background). We have also had limited success sending other lab members pages from our notes (though we still need to play with this function more). All in all, a VERY good app!
studieswin - One more change to be great!
I’ve been using GoodNotes for 2 years. I’ve tried other apps but this one beats them on so many reasons. I love that you can customize and organize your notebooks, folders, etc. They let you save colors for pencil and highlighter on the right top corner, which makes it so much easier to choose colors then going back and clicking on the highlighter icon like on GoodNotes 4. Another reason is that you can favorite pages, just like a bookmark which is really useful when you need to study for test but have too many notes. The favorites sections lets you see your pages/notebook. However even though it is great I don’t think many people really enjoy having their top of GoodNotes the color blue as they’re taking notes. I’d recommend adding different colors to change it so it could feel more like our notebook. It would be really enjoyable to open the app to a color that we love seeing.
Kp3649 - Very good start, Needs refining
Let me start off by saying that GoodNotes 4 was phenomenal overall, but the interface was lacking. GoodNotes 5 certainly improved upon that with a great file management interface and the universal search function that is just amazing. There are some things that need refining in order to make it as reliable as GoodNotes 4 was. The writing algorithm is still not smooth and quick enough at times, leaving some strokes not accounted for. It was improved since the release of GoodNotes 5, but still needs more refining. Also an undo button in the zoom window needs to be added back. Finally, the “close tab” keyboard shortcut was removed unfortunately and I wish it was put back, on top of sometime the keyboard shortcuts not responding randomly unless the app is closed and reopened. Overall it’s great, but just needs some improvement upon the basic features so they are as bulletproof as the prior version.
Tayyters - Adore it BUT
I do really adore this app. I love that it mimics a notebook and also that I can use my own notebook covers. I wish, however that the covers would show on all templates and not just certain “sized” notebooks. I panicked for 30 min when I changed my templates to letter (want to print later); I would have preferred if the covers showed no matter what so I wouldn’t have wasted so much time switching around. I also love that I can print stuff out so that I can later place them in a binder for class (if I wanted). My other issue though, when it comes down to printing. I figured out how to print the full page properly but I want to remove the lines JUST FOR PRINTING. I do not want to have to change that template every single time I wanna print, just to turn it back to the original one I had. Please add this feature to print without background. I heard that 4 had this option, so not adding it to this one doesn’t seem right. Otherwise, I don’t have any complaints on the app. I’ll change my stars if the features I would like are added.
HM. Yes I'm still here. - This the best app for notebook lovers
The ability to upload templates and the existing template selection as well as the ability to have “Notebook Covers” really make the experience of using this app a joy. Add to that the OCR searching which allow you to search your handwritten notes and the ability to use folders, starring and outlines the organization/categorization features are phenomenal.
My only gripes are small nitpicks and nice-to-haves
- Adding pages requires far too many taps or the inconvenient tap-n-drag option
- Context menus don’t disappear after selecting an option, only when you tap elsewhere on the screen
- Select tool doesn’t allow you to change formatting in anyway (and I don’t think you can use it to move typed text around, can’t remember right now)
- Highlight tool doesn’t work as effectively in dark mode
- The lag on the pressure sensitive tools make it difficult to write quickly (I’m not sure if that’s the right term for it because it looks to me more like it’s trying to beautify the stroke)
- It would be nice if the geometric / shape tools had the “ snap grid” - like functionality of other tools. Or a ruler, something that allows literally straight / perfectly arced lines. It can also be difficult to draw consistent shapes with the tool without such guides.
- it would be nice to be able to add tags to notes / notebooks/ pages for searching and categorization
LowRoller2016 - Cool new features in 5, but should have sorted it before releasing it.
GoodNotes 5 is not quite ready for prime time. I love GoodNotes 4, and eagerly updated to 5. While the interface is better, the file structure is easier to use, etc, there are still little bugs. The Eraser tool in 4 worked flawlessly. In 5 it often fails to erase the whole selection, with little bits popping back on the page after being erased. So far I haven’t seen where 5 is able to auto backup to my OneDrive. Having the automatic backup is a great peace of mind. I would even pull up an older document on a laptop and reference it when creating a new document. Good Notes needs to get this backup thing figured out, and quickly. This is not a cheap application, and they charge you, again, for the “update” to 5. I am good with the cost, but the product should be sorted before rolling it out, not expecting your paying customers to beta your product.
Kalece D - Nursing Student 1st Year
I’ve only been using this app for about a week or so but I absolutely love it. I can look at two screens at the same time (looking at powerpoints on one side and writing notes on the other side), it has multiple options for writing utensils and colors. My favorite feature is that I can upload PowerPoints to here directly from blackboard (and coursepoint if necessary). I bought this bc my nursing program has decided for this year to start using e-books for the entire two year program 🙃 so I decided to get with the program and adapt to the change of e-notes. This app helps make that transition much easier. I also love that I can watch Netflix, Apple TV, etc at the same time as using the app and it doesn’t lag at all! I am also using this app on the 7th generation iPad with an apple pen. Keep in mind, I think the writing feature of this app does not work without a compatible pen.
Theresem - Waited to see if issues would resolve
Goodnotes 4 was reliable, easy to use, and intuitive. Goodnotes 5 is not. It is difficult to figure out how to do basic tasks. I spent a great deal of time to figure out that multiple files sent together would be always be zipped. Then I have to go to the PC and unzip the file to access the individual files. Not convenient when working out of the office on iPad and phone. Technical support advised me there is no way to go back to individual files sent in one batch as the zip file is for my “convenience”. So now I select one file, send back to Dropbox, go back to Goodnotes 5, select the next file, send back to Dropbox, etc. until all 40-50 files are sent. Who thought that sending files back one at a time so that other remote users could access the file even with out unzip app on their devices was a better idea than tap, tap, select all, send?
Help advises to import to One Drive and then access on iPad. 40 minutes later I still can’t access the files from One Drive to Goodnotes 5 for editing. Frustrating. I wish I had never upgraded.
tristeeeen - Just stick to 4 for now
The layout is nicer on 5, and everything looks really clean. I like how the highlighter is automatically straightened when you try and highlight something. However, the most important feature (in my opinion), the zoom box, is completely awful. On 4, at the top of the zoom box you had easy access buttons for changing ink color, switching to an eraser, and undo/redo-ing. PLEASE BRING THIS TO 5. It sorta messes up the writing flow when you have to stop writing and look for the buttons at the top to edit anything. The eraser isn’t fully functional either, I tend to doodle in class at times, and when I try to erase all of it and continue taking notes, the eraser doesn’t fully erase everything. As soon as I lift my pencil back up, some of it reappears. Also, I thought i was just imagining things, but I also found that the palm rejection on this one is worse. Seeing the other reviews, looks like I’m not the only one. I tried copying/exporting the one page i had written on 5 to 4, but it came out extremely blurry, and the export feature did not work. 5 has potential, but I will be sticking to 4 until the zoom box/bugs are fixed.
savannahgraceb - Love!! Update zoom feature?
I purchased GoodNotes 4 shortly after buying a 10.5 inch iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and ever since I have been OBSESSING over this app!! I love the simple note taking experience this app offers - it perfectly suits all my note taking needs. When GoodNotes 5 came out I downloaded it and was disappointed at first. But after using it and exploring the new design and set up I consider it a huge upgrade to the previous version. So far the only thing I miss from 4 is the features of the zoom box. In 4 I loved how switching from the pen to the eraser was right there, along with changing colors and undo. It is most inconvenient to move my hand to the very top of the screen to undo a simple mistake, of which I make many. PLEASE add these features to the zoom box in 5 soon!! It would make my GoodNotes experience so much better!! As I said, other than this simple issue, I just LOVE the update of GoodNotes 5! Thank you!!
NRSNGstudentWithOCD - BEST notetaking app on the market
This is honeslty one of the most versitlie apps for taking notes and so much more. The options are endless. The only thing that it lacks is the ability to sync recorded lectures with the notes (like notability). Occasionally the app has glitches/freezes especially if you've been in it the app for an extened period of time -- however these are quickly fixed by closing out the app and going back in. There were some bugs (undo button not working/working poorly) however these were just fixed with the latest update. The only reason that I am giving it 4/5 stars is the fact that when they roll out a new version (goodnotes 4 --> goodnotes 5) you have to PAY to upgrade, you cannot just update to the latest version. This incombination with the fact that you can't record audio and sync it with your note taking made me give it 4/5.
Ashleyckwood - 😢
This has been my most used app, and I have loved it up until the update. I am a full time student, wife, mom, etc and I have to keep up with my schedules plus that of my families. I had things in my calendar for the entire year! But suddenly, 2 days ago, I couldn’t use the app, as soon as I open it, it would close itself. Did this for 6hrs in class, couldn’t even use it. So I did the update, nothing changed. So I had to delete the app, and re-download it, on my iPad and iPhone. And when I opened, it instantly started loading all my files from iCloud, except my calendar! I have tried SO many things, even cutting off and on iCloud in settings, and my whole calendar was lost. I’m so sad, and lost! Thankfully I still have my calendar in GN4, but ALL the things I added since the upgrade are lost..... I don’t know if I can stick with GN5 after this.... cant have it happen again. Going to school to be a Dr, and boards are too expensive, I can’t risk losing study tools and documents! Not to mention I’m transitioning to paperless, and can’t risk losing important paperwork I scan and file on GN!
mesobored123987 - Great app across multiple platforms
This app is great for note taking and document organizing. I'm a surgical fellow. I read/highlight a lot of PDFs and take notes from various sources on this app via my iPad. It's really useful to copy/paste figures and diagrams on my computer, which then get automatically synced to the same open goodnotes document that is open on my iPad. Also I have my notes handy on my phone when I'm on the go and away from my laptop or iPad because they sync across the cloud. Also has a nice folder system for organization and a search function that searches both text and handwriting. Unfortunately it doesn't search text in photos that you may have pasted into a doc though. The pages also take a second to load as you scroll down if you have a lot of photos pasted in. Those are my two complaints...otherwise fantastic app and highly recommend!\
turtleduckxoxo - my first two weeks using goodnotes.
good things to know about this app:
*dark paper looks better than light paper. maybe i’m biased because i use dark mode on all my apple devices, but it looks more natural on the ipad, rather than the super bright light paper. i feel like it gives a good boundary between regular paper notes and ipad notes.
*the brush pen is absolutely ATROCIOUS. i might be biased because i’ve used procreate, but it’s so difficult for me to control and get the strokes i want using the brush pen. if you wanna do pretty cursive headers, you don’t wanna use this brush pen. i would recommend using a different app for making the headers and then making them into images with transparent backgrounds to use for headers.
i definitely like the fact that you can make your notes into online notebooks and that you can put pictures on the cover and customize it to your liking. i will most definitely be using this app a lot and i’m glad i chose it :)
Megananananan - Excellent app, 4 stars because...
They originally had some functionality built into the zoom feature for using the pen function.
Basically, when you used the zoom window for writing, you could choose from your pens colors, could erase, and also press the ‘back’ key to just erase what you’d just done.
With one of the updates last year, they got rid of this feature and now the zoom window only has the move forward, move back, and move to next line buttons.
I kept hoping with each update they would bring these minimal features back, but they have yet to do so.
I don’t want full pen functionality as with the main bar up top, just the color choices and eraser—even the back button isn’t necessary if the eraser is available (or visa-versa). And I don’t think changing the pen colors you’ve already set is necessary—keep that feature on top—as well as eraser size—keep that static when within the ‘zoom window’.
No need to add extra pressure to the app developers, but it was a great addition to the UI and it made for quicker note-taking while in class. Without it, my note-taking has definitely slowed down enough that I have to just come back around later or during pauses in lectures to fix things.
Anyway, other than this one, tiny functionality thing, the app is the most amazing thing since our ancestors figured out how to brew beer. It’s fantastic and well worth the money I spent on it.
Fireball9 - It is pretty good but I have a few issues
I’ve been using this app for a month or so and it really is nice, but it is only getting 4/5 stars though because it is kinda expensive for an app but I do enjoy its a one time payment rather than a subscription, and when making a quick note there aren’t as many page templates as I’d like, I wish I could add my own table or something, the biggest problem I had though was that the text box options are awfully frustrating if you change text color, size, or anything really it just reverts it back so if I’m writing in black but want the end to be red it will just keep changing the text to black no matter how many times I press red and it’s really really frustrating. Or if I change the size of text it wants to change it back. But the writing with an apple pen or stylus is fine, I think it does what it should for basically a notebook/notepad app. All in all, I just want to say overall I AM happy I got it.
Yanathan - I really wanted to like GN5
I was an avid GoodNotes4 user when it was out. It was my top recommendation to all of my friends when they were getting into digital note taking, and some of which did purchase the app. I had very high hopes for GoodNotes 5 since it was completely rejuvenated. However, after watching countless videos and making numerous attempts to make it work, I am putting it to the side for a while. The paper templates I believe is the best out there and there are still many very useful features that other note taking apps are now catching up to. After testing out GoodNotes4 again since I still have it downloaded, what I am learning to be my biggest drawback from this version as opposed to GoodNotes 4 was the last version’s simplicity. For me, GoodNotes 5 toolbar is a tad bit too cluttered and makes the process of getting to what I need take much longer than when I was using GoodNotes 4. It is still an amazing app, my friends who did purchase the app still are avid users. This version is just not for me.
ndjelamndrjje - Awesome app! But needs a few things
I’ve had this app for a while and it’s honestly the best note taking app I’ve found. I’m a generally horribly organized person so this app really helps a lot expecially with the folders >-< What I really think could make this app even better is making the page scrolling even better. Especially on iphone with us smaller screens users. Whenever I try to scroll while I’m texting because the screen is smaller the text box moves up instead of the screen. Or maybe if you could make it so that like as you type the text goes down as you are typing. Another problem I’ve run into is the new page button is really annoying if you’re taking lots and lots of notes. It would be really nice if there was a format where you could just write onto the second page automatically? Anyways that’s my two cents if those things were added it would make my review a 5/5 indefinitely!
detugyjkgce - Decent Note taking app but don’t a one stop shop.
This app has been great, I’m a student working towards my masters and using it for class has been great, I love that I can import complete PowerPoint slides and annotate them as well as word docs, etc. I also got this app to do digital bullet journaling but the app isn’t as user friendly I was expecting it to be. Some issues I’ve had are for starters I’m left handed and there really isn’t a great place to have the tool bar without my arm/hand hitting it and messing with my pen colors/type of pens which is a bit frustrating. Also, there is such a limited supply of pen styles I was hoping for similar to the Apple notes but no such luck the free notes app has more options...shame. Which means I have to import anything i draw for my bullet journal into the app which is also tedious. I think another great feature would be a table maker, so once again I don’t have to go to another document and import it, the shape maker is great for this but something quicker how Word has the feature would be great
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