GoodNotes basically enables you to take handwritten notes on your iPad, iPhone or Mac. You can also doodle and draw. PDF hyperlinks are fully functional in imported documents so you can use digital planners and navigate between pages via hyperlinks. You can organize your notes with folders and subfolders. You can back up all notes automatically to cloud storage. No matter where you access your notes you will see the latest version. The app only works on Apple devices and is not available for PC and Android. It is used with an Apple Pencil or 3rd party stylus.
Features that GoodNotes Offers
Converts Handwriting to Text
You write with your Apple Pencil and the app will convert your writing to text. It does a great job and nearly always successfully converts my handwriting to text.
The search function will search both in typed or handwritten text.
Annotate PDFs and Powerpoint Presentations
You can add handwritten notes to PDFs, Word documents, and Powerpoint Presentations.
Add Images to Notes
Add images to your notes and drag them, resize them, rotate them and crop them.
Wide Range of Pens with Various Strokes
GoodNotes offers a wide range of colors for doodling, drawing, and writing. There is a large selection of pen types with many options to adjust the stroke via pressure sensitivity. For those who use a paper planner and enjoy using many brush pens and other planner pens, you will love the options that GoodNotes provides. You don’t need to buy expensive brush pens anymore, and you get an entire set with all the colors without carrying them around. And they don’t dry out as real brush pens do!
Scrolling both Horizontal and Vertical
You can scroll both horizontally and vertically. Scrolling is flexible so you can switch between the directions. You can also switch back and forth between documents via the document tabs.
Change the Theme and Color Per Page
There is a variety of paper templates available (graph, dotted paper, dot grid, lined paper). You can also add your own custom template with our free planner printables. You can add pages and change the color and theme of each page separately. One page can have dot grid paper and the next page can have lined paper. One page can be pink and the rest can be white.
There are a variety of notebook covers and designs that you can choose from. Notebook covers are fun and pretty, but they also help you find notebooks easily if you use different covers.
GoodNotes offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to organizing your files and folders. This is achieved via nested folders (i.e. sub-folders inside the folders). You can add as many folders and sub-folders as you need.
The app uses Apple’s iCloud sync to back up your notes. You can automatically back up your files to third-party storage systems such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.
GoodNotes added a cool feature that enables you to write a question or prompt at the top of the flash card and then add your answer at the bottom. This is helpful when you want to test yourself. When you initiate the flash card review, you’ll see the question and when you tap the screen, you’ll see the answer.
GoodNotes does not enable you to work on multiple notes side by side. However, if you open the app twice and use the Split View functionality that the iPad offers then you can achieve the same result. This is useful when you need to compare documents. You can drag and drop information from one note to another.
Install on Multiple Platforms
When you buy GoodNotes, you can install it on your iPad, iPhone, and Mac at no extra cost. You do not need to buy separate apps as you do with other apps. This is really important if you have all products as you will want to use them on a bigger screen when you are at home and when you are at the supermarket and want to remember what is on your grocery list, then you will want access from your iPhone.
You can share a link with others if they also have GoodNotes installed. You can share or export entire notebooks or selected pages. Multiple people can even edit the same document if they all have GoodNotes installed.
If you want to create a quick note, then use the QuickNote option. Double-tap the “+” button to create a new QuickNote. It will use your default paper template, but you can change it in page templates. You can either leave the note as-is or add it to a notebook later on.
Features that GoodNotes Lacks
Sync audio and handwriting together
This function is helpful for students who want to record lectures or for those who want to record business meetings. GoodNotes does not offer this option. Notability does offer it (see GoodNotes vs. Notability).
GoodNotes cannot recognize basic mathematical expressions, functions, symbols, and rules Notability does offer this function (see GoodNotes vs. Notability).
Draw perfect shapes and straight lines.
We offer a large selection of free digital planners that you can use with GoodNotes.
We offer a large selection of free digital planner stickers that you can use with GoodNotes.
Is GoodNotes Free?
GoodNotes offers a free version which is limited to three notebooks. It is an excellent way to try the app without investing first. The free version doesn’t have handwriting recognition, prioritized email support, and the ability to import documents via email. If you reach your three notebook limit, you can upgrade to the pro version that gives you unlimited notebooks.
Is GoodNotes available for Andriod?
No GoodNotes Android, unfortunately, does not exist. GoodNotes is only available for Mac/iOS (i.e. for use on an iPad, iPhone, or Mac).
Is GoodNotes available for Windows?
No. You cannot download GoodNotes for Windows. However, there is a workaround. You can use an iOS simulator (such as the iPadian) to download it to your PC. Download and install iPadian on your PC. Open iPadian. Search for the GoodNotes app via the search bar. Install GoodNotes on your PC. Credit for this workaround goes to techforpc.com.
How to Add Stickers
GoodNotes doesn’t offer a built-in function to add stickers, but you can do this easily with the lasso selection tool. Simply select the stickers and move them anywhere. You can also resize or rotate them. Pre-cropped stickers are even easier to use since GoodNotes lets you drag and drop almost anything.
How to Add Stickers Step-by-Step
- Select the Lasso tool and make sure that it has the image option highlighted.
- If the stickers are made for GoodNotes and pre-cropped then roughly select a sticker with the lasso tool and your Apple Pencil. You don’t need to select the entire image. If they are not pre-cropped then select the sticker with the lasso tool making sure you select the entire image.
- Tap on the image that you selected and hold it for a second or two.
- A pop-up menu will appear.
- Tap on “copy”.
- Go to your planner.
- Go to the page where you want to stick your sticker.
- Press and hold with your Apple Pencil wherever you want to place the sticker.
- Select “paste”.’
- If you open your sticker and your planner in two windows next to each other, you can press and hold with your Apple Pencil and drag your sticker onto your planner.
To resize the sticker, click and hold until a pop-up appears, and tap on “resize”.
To move the sticker, circle it and then drag it to wherever you want it to appear.
The built-in sharing function is limited to sharing only with those who have GoodNotes installed. If you need to share with someone who doesn’t have the app installed, you could either email or export your notes as PDF files. The exported PDF file can be viewed with any other app. This method is also helpful if you have a PC or Android phone or tablet.