Note-taking for the 21st century

While it may be most frequently associated with students, note-taking is an incredibly useful practice. It helps you organize your thoughts in a flexible and personalized way, so that you can easily store and recall them. Goodnotes takes this concept and pushes it beyond mere pen and paper with a host of features, while still retaining the personality of handwritten notes.

The easiest way of understanding Goodnotes is as a collection of digital notebooks. In the latest version of the app, you can select from a variety of colorful covers for your notebook, the page orientation, and the layout of each page. All of your notebooks are stored in folders, similar to a file directory, for easy access and organization.

As far as the note-taking itself, it has a wide variety of features. You can import pdfs and other files directly into a notebook, drag images straight from your web browser in split screen mode, even take a photo with your iPad and immediately embed it in the text. It is also very easy to export your notebooks for sharing.

While you can type out notes with a keyboard, the core of the app is in how well it integrates the process of actual handwritten note-taking with the dynamism of digital technology. Using a stylus you can write out notes, highlight, even make sketches and drawings. There are a variety of different pen-strokes available, and you can modify the style and size of your lines. You can also customize the color.

One of Goodnotes’ most useful and impressive features is its ability to search text. You can look up keywords in your notebook and see the words highlighted together with the context in which they were written. This feature even works on your handwritten notes with a high degree of accuracy. It even works in multiple different languages.

Goodnotes is very functional and straightforward. It does its job and does it well, with a wide variety of features that make taking, viewing, and sharing notes easy. It has a clean and simple visual design and is just an all around solid app.

Goodnotes is available on the App Store.

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