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Good Notes Vs Notability: An In Depth Guide On Everything You Need To Know


According to Sensor Tower, Notability had around 50,000 downloads worldwide as of April 2019. Both Good Notes and Notability are used for handwriting notes on iPads with the Apple Pencil. They are terrific apps that users find hard to distinguish.

Differentiating between GoodNotes and Notability can be challenging. Picking the best app for handwritten notes requires an open mind. The reason is that both productivity tools have desirable features that you might be looking for.

Read on to learn more!

Features of Good Notes

GoodNotes is a tremendous app that many iPad users like. From the zoom window feature to the neat handwriting, its features edge out those of many related apps.

Below are some of the features of GoodNotes.

1. Document View

The GoodNotes app has a central view of notebooks, documents, and folders. The most recent upgrade of GoodNotes 5 has a superior file management system compared to GoodNote 4. You can organize your documents in a better way by using GoodNotes.

2. Search View

You can search your notes across the folders and documents. GoodNotes can hold infinite folders and documents, and you don’t have to go through any of those. All you need is to search the title of the note and retrieve the notes.

You can access the notes from the deepest subfolders with ease. The search view is your gateway to retrieving any information regardless of wherever you stored it.

Since GoodNotes indexes all written words, you can retrieve even if you aren’t aware of the document name. The search view also lists the recent documents such that you can recover without much hassle.

3. Favorites View

You can mark the most needed documents as favorites and retrieve through the favorites app. The favorite view is for the most important information.

To star a document as a favorite, click the star symbol, and it will appear in the favorites list.

4. Continuous Vertical Scrolling

GoodNotes enables you to scroll through your documents the way you prefer. You can choose between horizontal and vertical scrolling. Both formats are supported.

5. QuickNotes

The quick note feature helps you create new blank documents instantly. A simple tap is all you need to dive into writing. Double-tapping the ‘Add button’ gets you into writing.

The new document is created with the set default paper template, which you can change in the menu section.

To save the document on QuickNote, you can click on save. When you begin writing in QuickNote, your notes are stored as a draft awaiting you to save or discard.

6. Toolbar

Have you ever thought of doing things faster in GoodNotes? Probably yes! The GoodNotes toolbar is designed to make things easier. It has excellent navigation that reduces the number of taps required.

The toolbar also offers a better visual separation when editing notes.

7. Contextual Area

The contextual area is the right side of the toolbar. You can select some quick actions by tapping the toolbar on the right side. Below are some of the activities you can undertake in the contextual area:

  • Highlighter for changing thickness and color
  • Eraser for changing the width
  • Image Tool and Camera tool to access the recent photo gallery
  • Shapes Tool to improve thickness and color
  • Pen tool to change thickness and color

If you need any of these formatting tools, the contextual area is on the right side.

8. Brush Pen

A brush pen is a user-favorite tool for making special notes. To make a special note, you have to click the pen icon twice. The brush pen is highly sensitive and enables you to create stunning notes.

9. Now Shape Tool

GoodNotes enables you to make perfect shapes using this improved tool. You can draw more indispensable shapes with the newest version of the shape tool. The new mechanism allows for inline snapping and color filling.

Features of Notability

Notability comes with a set of features somehow different from GoodNote. The App is much more than a note-taking app.

Below are some of the desirable features of Notability.

1. Advanced Word Processing

Notability enables users to create all sorts of notes using the handwriting feature. You can change text formats and add images, new shapes, and specialized texts. You can change any styles, list formatting, and alignment of text.

2. PDF Annotation

The ability to annotate notes in pdf makes Notability a user-favorite app. You can import the PDF file into Notability and annotate in several ways.

3. Audio Tool

Imagine using an app that will enable you to make audio notes. With Notability, you can make audio notes without doing any writing.

You have to click the microphone button on the menu bar to start recording. After you finish writing, you can tap the stop function, and it automatically stops. Every time you stop the audio tool, the app saves the notes.

There is no limit on the magnitude of notes that you can make in a day using the audio record. All you need is enough storage on your IPad.

4. Library Organization

The Library View on Notability enables you to organize and navigate through notes quickly and more efficiently. The collapsible divider tier makes retrieval of information simpler.

5. Document Search and Navigation

Notability enables users to create multipage documents precisely. The page jump feature allows you to navigate to whatever page you want. Type in the page number you want and the system will navigate you to the specific page.

6. Multi-Device Sync

This feature helps Notability edge out related apps. Notability enables you to sync with iCloud. You can retrieve your documents from the cloud in one touch.

7. Multiple Exporting of Documents.

Notability enables you to export multiple documents at a go. If you want to move numerous files, Notability offers maximum assistance.

The above are the features of both GoodNotes and Notability. Before deciding what app to go for, the above details should be able to guide you.

A Guide to Picking the Best App for Making Good Notes

The app you pick for your digital journal journey should reflect on the nature of notes you want to create. Both Notability and GoodNotes are great apps but with different features. This guide should be your eye-opener.

I). Auto Backup

The new version of GoodNotes lacks the automatic backing of tools. On the other side, Notability has a backup that enables users to retrieve information without any trouble.

With Notability, you can sync files with OneDrive or GDRive. In GoodNotes, the only available option is an iCloud and manual backup. If you use the Auto Backup function, GoodNotes might not be your thing.

II). Eraser Function

Many users complain about the eraser function in Notability. The Notability eraser is so fast that you can lose essential data before you realize. Whenever you want to delete a small portion of whatever you wrote, you might end up losing more.

Fortunately, GoodNotes has a perfect eraser that enables you to do away with the unwanted details. You can delete in strokes or everything at once.

III). Changing Styles

In GoodNotes, you can change the page styles as you write. This is a desirable feature in case you are looking for more flexibility and flair.

Notability lacks this function, and you can only follow one style. Unless you start a new leaf, you can stick to one function.

IV). Writing Fluidity

The two apps are very different when it comes to fluidity. GoodNotes has a good reputation for providing the user with flexible writing options. It is simple to use and doesn’t require any expertise. In the event, you want to create many notes, consider GoodNotes.

Notability enables you to create notes but with far less precision than GoodNotes. The editor is a bit more complicated and lacks the ultimate page options. The audio recording tool is perhaps the game changer for Notability.

If you like moving your pencil up and down, then Notability might work. However, if you want well-crafted notes, GoodNotes should be the option any day.

V). Shape Tool

The Shape tool in GoodNotes has a great design to suit the average writer. It is incredible and defined, and it creates excellent shapes.

Many Notability users find the app’s tool unreliable. It doesn’t create precise images as it should.

The Bottom Line

Both the above productivity apps are great and useful, but the apps are designed to serve different purposes. Using the info above, you can figure out which app will work best for you.

GoodNotes is for writing enthusiasts who value the quality of their work more than anything else. On the other hand, Notability serves more casual purposes.

Notability works best at home, whereas you can use GoodNotes for professional purposes. Both apps can make good notes depending on the setting. Go for the app that will serve you without inconveniences.

For more information on digital information and apps, visit Digital Bullet Journals, and you will gather more information on creating good notes.

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