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I've been using Notability to take handwritten notes for a few months now, but I decided to give Goodnotes 5 a try, because it had other features that Notability was lacking: 1) clear page separation (which is helpful for printing), 2) horizontal scrolling, 3) better file organization, 4) better highlighter, 5) option between partial and full-streak eraser, and 6) better shapes. I ultimately went back to using Notability despite all these features, because 1) Goodnotes required you to do a pull gesture (which was highly inconvenient) to flip to a new page, in comparison to Notability's infinity scroll which would automatically start a new page for you, 2) no audio recording (I'm a student so this is essential for lectures), 3) noticeable handwriting lag on notes that are over 50+ pages, and 4) no multi-note split view. Overall, I feel like Goodnotes gives you a more skeuomorphic real notebook feel, with the way that it organizes your notes into a notebook, simulates how you would flip pages, and gives you the freedom to separate them into folders. And, this might be something to consider if you will be using them to study. However, the handwriting lag is a dealbreaker for me, and I definitely will have no notes to study because the lag is so irritating, despite all of the useful features. Thus, I highly recommend Notability because of its stability and simplicity to use.
I’m using notability post nursing school to help me study for my NCLEX. I also just got an iPad recently too. I wanted to make my studying easy and accessible anywhere. Whether on the bus or waiting for someone. Notability is very simple to use so if you are like me and like something that is basic and simple then this is the app ! I read some negative comments but got it anyways and I’m glad I did. I am able to put some study books on the app as well as other pdf books. It’s easy to pass notes via airdrop from my other devices and share documents on my iPhone etc if I want my iPad notes on there. If I don’t- it’s like a clean slate on my iPhone notability. I can have 2 different sets of notes basically if I want more business or personal related goal notes on my phone rather than all my iPad notes. So if you are in school- this is very simple, easy, and legit way to use notes. I even have a digital planner on it too which is amazing. I feel more inspired to be creative and do my goals for the day. If you have a keyboard you can type your notes Incase you don’t want to write but I love to highlight, mark notes, and bookmark certain pages to make it easier to find. I do use the split screen option at times but depends on your study preferences. I like to read first, study, then create a note and hand write my notes to make sure I got the info down.
Writing a review of Notability is hard. On the one hand, I use it every single day on my iPad. I do a lot of reading/research for my job, so Notability has saved me from being buried under an endless pile of paper. I even pair it up with Scanbot so I can quickly scan materials in meetings and then have all my notes/handouts in a single place. Being able to search my handwriting is a game-changer! So is having access to my documents and notes everywhere, including my laptop, and having all changes and edits synced through iCloud. I’ve always wanted to go paperless with ubiquitous access to everything; Notability is my hub for that. Which brings me to my chief complaint about Notability: it’s iPhone app is terrible. It’s nice to see my notes on my phone if I need to skim something quickly on the go, but basic functionality is missing. You can’t search a document, highlight pages, see all the pages in a document—if you’re looking for something, you can only scroll until you find it. That’s ok if you’re talking about two pages of notes; but if you are looking at a 50 page journal article trying to find something, it’s ridiculous. Competitors have this functionality on iPhones, but Notability has never added it. I wish they would! I also wish they would format text-only notes like Google Docs, adjusting text size for a given display without affecting the formatting.
I’ve been using this app for years, and appreciate all the updates that have occurred since then. This app has sufficed all my note taking needs, in and out of the classroom. One feature I would like to see is the ability to rename recordings, and possibly to attach these recordings to individual pages. One thing I’ve tried doing this semester is have the recording function on while at a lecture, but having numerous recordings in a file that grows daily is difficult with the current set up. If you don’t remember the time stamp or recording number for a particular point, you have to guess and listen for a bit to see if it’s right. It’s either that, or guess based on the date the notes were recorded. If you could at least rename the audio files, the app would be more useful. It would also be nice if you could change the paper style of individual pages, as well as a feature that easily allows you to draw geometric shapes (adding a figure on top of a graph sticky or any other element get tricky when you click on the wrong one. Sometimes because of that, the graph background ends up on top, and the figure behind it, rendering it useless). There aren’t really any visible bugs with this version of the app, Would recommend for someone looking for a suitable note taking app, whether it’s handwritten or type. I think the addition of a few features would make it better.
I was using OneNote on a Surface tablet until the digitizer stopped working. I decided to try using an iPad Pro instead, since they’re lighter. Notability was the only app to offer most of the same functionality as OneNote on a Windows tablet. There are many things that I prefer about Notability, but there are a few issues that prevent me from giving it more stars: first, I would like the ability to create a group of commonly used highlighters/pens for marking up documents. I have a system of using certain colors to represent certain things, and I would like to be able to organize all those highlighters and pens into a group where I determine the order and placement. If that is possible in Notability, I haven’t been able to figure it out. Secondly, I use Notability in a setting where I’m regularly working with several languages (including RTL - Right to Left languages like Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic). Notability does not have good support for combining multiple languages in one document at this time, especially not mixed English-Hebrew or English-Aramaic. Please give Notability the ability to recognize and format RTL languages. I can do that natively on most Apple apps, and many 3rd party apps, so the inability to do that on Notability really sticks out. Please improve these issues, and I will gladly give it a 5 star rating. In fact, if those two issues are fixed, I won’t even miss using OneNote for most of my coursework.
Welcome to Notability: powerful, yet wonderfully simple note-taking and PDF annotation.
Apple Editors' Choice on iPad, iPhone, and Mac! Top selling paid app on iPad App Store, regularly ranked #1.
Students, teachers, and business professionals use Notability daily to enrich their lives. It is uniquely designed for each device to provide the best note-taking experience at school, home, and work.
STREAMLINE YOUR WORKFLOW
• Become fully
paper-free, in the classroom, office, and at home.
• Complete, sign, and share documents in Notability.
• Drag and Drop to move files, text, photos, GIFs, web pages, and more from other apps into Notability with Multitasking.
• Secure and lock your notes using Face ID and Touch ID.
HANDWRITE AND SKETCH WITH BEAUTIFUL INK
• Fully express your artistic side with custom colors and match any color with the color dropper.
• Easily create perfect shapes.
• Precisely erase freehand ink or shapes with varied brush sizes.
• Ink is fine-tuned for 1st and 2nd generation Apple Pencil for the most responsive, precise writing experience yet, including double-tap gesture for switching tools, erasing, and more.
SEARCH AND CONVERT HANDWRITTEN NOTES
• Search for handwritten words from the Library and in the note view in any of our 15 supported languages.
• Convert handwriting to text.
• It all happens on your device, so your information stays private.
SAVE TIME WITH MULTI-NOTE
• Multi-Note lets you work with two notes side-by-side.
• Quickly switch between notes with the Note Switcher.
• Drag & Drop handwriting, typed text, images, and more between notes.
• Notability includes full-featured, left-aligned typing with word count and a wide range of fonts, sizes, and colors.
• Create outlines, interactive checklists, and text boxes.
• Save time with keyboard shortcuts.
IMPORT AND SHARE
• Import PDFs, DOCs, PPTs, images, GIFs, and more - conversion to PDF happens on your device, so your information stays private.
• Annotate imported pictures, lecture slides, and meeting agendas, or complete class assignments.
• Share notes via email, AirDrop, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, and more, or share note content to other apps with Drag and Drop.
RECORD AND PLAYBACK AUDIO
• Get more out of your lectures and meetings when you record them.
• Notes are automatically synced with audio recordings so during playback you can listen to what was happening as you wrote.
AUTO-BACKUP AND ICLOUD SYNC
• Use iCloud to automatically sync your notes to Notability on iPad, iPhone, and Mac, or to retrieve previous versions of your notes.
• Use Auto-backup to send your notes to a cloud service for archiving or recovery. Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, WebDAV, and OneDrive are all supported!
Mac app sold separately.
Notability is a registered trademark of Ginger Labs, Inc.