Best Note-Taking App for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil 2018 – Notability vs GoodNotes vs Noteshelf

19 replies
  1. Terra Herald says:

    Hi Tom. I was checking out the webpage. Do you have a video on the Digital Journal on your page? I searched YouTube “Tom Solid Digital Journal” and it seems like it is just giving me reviews on all of the apps. Thanks.

  2. Jim Siverts says:

    This is awesome! Can you do, or have you ever done a video on how you do videos? Love the way you show the app in the background as you work on it. What tools do you use to do that. Very cool stuff.

  3. José Cruz says:

    There is one thing where GoodNotes it's better, it has more zoom on the page than the others. I like the beauty of Noteshelf 2 but the zoom almost don't exist. I like to write a lot on a page. The best zoom I have found was on Zoom Notes, it doesn't have a nice UI but the features, unbeatable. NoteShelf2 team, add a more deep zoom and I am almost sold out. Notability, the first app I bought long ago, I don't like the way that the shapes are drawn.

  4. Christopher Bennett says:

    Which is the best for handwriting? I.e. least amount of lag and most like your handwriting with a pen? I think Noteshelf looks amazing but people say notability is better for handwriting.

  5. ilikewhitenoise says:

    Any tips on how to make moving from one program to another less painful? I have used Goodnotes for couple months now, and your video inspired me to try Noteshelf 2 (I also have Notability, but like GoodNotes better). Nothing, except Plumbago on Windows 10, makes my handwriting as good looking as Noteshelf. So I would be tempted to switch, but I don't want to have notes spread between two programs.

  6. Deepak Patnaik says:

    The Notability team has stopped caring about the app. They are working on some new content creation and collaboration software so I think they have dropped the focus on Notability. It is under maintenance only with few updates, e.g. colors, every 6 months. They are trying to milk the product without investing any more in it. That is what it looks like. What was the last big update?

  7. Jim Baker says:

    Thanks Tom.

    I would love one of these apps to be able to convert one or all pages of handwritten notes into text. I hand write emails and reports as I find I’m more creative when writing rather than typing, but the steps to convert bits of a page is a hassle.

    I like both Notability and Noteshelf 2. The fountain pen is nice on NS2, but the ability to see all thumbnails whilst still having your page open in Notability is nice.

    Any suggestions on the process of converting a multi page handwritten report into text (word or similar) so it can be sent as a professional report?

  8. Carsten Przybylski says:

    my favourite note taking app is zoom-notes. with its upcoming multiview it is unbeatable feature rich and extremly flexible

  9. MilleniumSoldier says:

    I think, the problem with Goodnotes is, that the developers need to much time to release Goodnotes5! They focus so much on their new product, that they forgot, that there is Goodnotes4. If you compare the updates and added features, Goodnotes4 is mainly the same app as it was 1 year ago.

    Goodnotes5 needs to be released within the next 2 to 3 month and better be the best handwriting app out there. Otherwise I can't see Goodnotes as a main competitor to Notability and Noteshelf2 anymore….

  10. MilleniumSoldier says:

    Like you, I have done a long journey through different notetaking apps. Came from Goodnotes, using Notability and going to change to Noteshelf2. Here is why:

    In the beginning, the most important thing for me was handwriting recognition. This feature was the main reason, I changed from paper to the iPad. Back in the days, Goodnotes and Nebo were the only two apps that supported this. With the minimalistic features, Nebo offered back then, I chose Goodnotes. This was 1 1/2 year ago. Since then, Goodnotes doesn't came up with major updates. There where bugfixes and some kind of performance updates, but thats it.

    Meanwhile, Notability and Noteshelf2 got tons of new updates and features.
    The reason, why I changed to Notability half a year ago is, that it got handwriting recognition. The handwriting feeling has also been improved, so for me it felt more fluent than Goodnotes and looked nicer. However, for this improvement I lost a few other things, like the ability to rotate a page. The reasons, why I changed to Notability and not to Noteshelf2 were: missing handwriting recognition, handwriting feeling that were not as good as in Notability and that you could not search exported documents (at least if you exported them as PDF).

    In the last updates, Noteshelf2 became more and more interesting for me.
    All those missing features are now implemented and the handwriting feels better than in any other app I own (which includes Nebo and Notes Plus). That, and the awesome support you get from the team behind Noteshelf, are the reasons why I will switch to Noteshelf2 for the next Semester.

  11. Roy Gaggino says:

    Hi Tom, another stellar review as usual. These are so valuable. I'm subscribed so I can make a decision on which note taking app to use when I buy my IPad Pro. I'm a retiree and I want to write a novel and start blog posting using handwriting to get my content down on the screen (I'm from that age demographic which actually feels more comfortable writing than typing hahaha). I would edit on the iPad Pro or on my Macbook Pro. Would Nebo best suit me as from your reviews, it auto converts to text or would you suggest another app for my investigation on your site? Appreciate whatever guidance you can provide for my use case.

  12. George Blake says:

    I downloaded and paid for almost all the note taking apps for IPad Pro. I finally settled on Notability to take notes in class and Notes Plus to write my books. I like in Notability the global search, the way i can organize my notes, the way i can import a pdf of the slides the professor is using then record my professor talk while I take notes on the slides. I like Notes Plus because of the easy use of lines and arrows, drag and drop import and handwriting to text conversion with transparent background.

  13. José Arroyo says:

    I currently use Goodnotes, but I am thinking about starting to use Notability. Thank you for the video, Tom Solid!

Comments are closed.