Hey guys it’s Mike and Matty.
So, with the new release of the iPad Pro, we decided to make a video comparing the two most highly praised note-taking apps for iOS.
– Goodnotes 5 versus Notability.
– Yup, and we’re gonna help you decide which one is right for you.
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– And at the end of the video, we’re gonna help you decide which app is better for you.
– And keep in mind that we use these apps in medical school, so our analysis mostly comes from studying health and science.
– [Mike] Okay, let’sstart off with Notability.
The most important strength in Notability is the audio recording feature.
You can record audio using your internal or external microphone by clicking this button at the top right.
And you have the optionto play back the recording at a slower and faster speed, but even more awesome is that Notability tracks your own brush strokes during the recording and you can follow along with what you did while the recording washappening real time.
So for example, if youstumbled across some notes you wrote from class, and you weren’t surewhy you wrote them down, you can simply go backto recording at the top scroll to find when you wrote it down, and then listen to whatthe teacher was saying at that exact point in time.
This is absolutely an amazing feature.
So, the next neat strengththat Notability has is the ability to insert GIFs and stickys.
And I personally like to use GIFs as a memory palace for things that are difficult for meto understand or remember.
So, it’s pretty cool that you can search and use them right inside the app itself.
And next, if you’re usinga keyboard with your iPad, the Notability has a lotof dedicated hot keys that allow you to toggle between pens, highlighters, erasers, and other functions, to speed up work flow.
And you don’t have to spend time clicking back and forth up in the tool menu.
So, this in combinationwith the audio recording, can make you extremelyefficient during lectures.
And the final strength ofNotability I wanna emphasize is the organization of the interface.
I think it’s super clean and very easy to navigate.
You create dividers andplace subjects inside them, and the layout is great, because you can physically see all the headings, titles, and names of everything very clearly, without having to dig within folders and folders.
– [Matty] All right, so I’m gonna talk about the key features that Goodnotes has, which Notability doesn’t.
First, and most importantly for me, is the superior search function.
Being able to instantly find information is key to effective studying.
And although both apps do havea search function available, the Goodnotes one is justway better for two reasons.
First, for no extra cost, it allows you to search handwritten and text characters in multiple languages.
And second, the searchfunction itself is nice because not only does it show you all the instances of thesearches you’re doing, but it also gives you the context of thesentence the search was in.
The next thing that Goodnoteshas that’s super awesome is the ability to make stencils.
This is definitely a key feature for anyone who like to makevery nice looking notes, or for those who are a bitmore creative with their notes.
I’m pretty garbage at drawing pictures.
But I found that using thestencil was super helpful when drawing diagrams orstructures for classes like anatomy or neuroanatomy.
And it’s really easy to do this.
You can either import photosfrom your camera roll, or you can find them on the web.
All you have to do is drag’em over to your notes, and then, zoom in, and then just draw over the picture that youwanna stencil with a pen, after you finished, then you can erase the picture behind it, and voila! A perfect stencil.
You can go ahead and highlight them in, whatever color you want, and make it look all pretty, and if anyone asks, I drew that myself.
All right, next feature, are the page templates.
So when you add a new page, you can choose betweenblank pages, line pages, or my personal favorite, the Cornell.
Which comes in very handy for making notes for active recall ortransferring them to flashcards.
And the last thing I wannatouch on about Goodnotes is the organizational style.
So unlike Notability, which is organized whereeverything is partitioned from tabs on the left side, Goodnotes is more ofwhat you find on Finder, or Google Drive, or WindowsExplorer, if you’re a PC user.
You can create folders, insidefolders, inside folders, and then you can fillthem with either pictures, quick notes, or notebooks themselves.
So it has a lot moreorganizational capacity.
– So next, let’s go aheadand compare these two apps because there are a lot ofthings that they can both do, but there are subtle differences that may sway you towardsone over the other.
So first, let’s talk about the shape tool.
In Notability, you canconvert any shape you draw into a more precise version of that shape.
If you hold the pen atthe end of the drawing for a few seconds afterwards.
But in Goodnotes, there’sa dedicated shape button which will convert the shape much quicker.
So in terms of ease of access, both of these apps allow you to quickly pull up any recent notes that you used.
But in addition to recent notes, Goodnotes allows you to select favorites, if there are any particular documents that you access frequently.
So both of these apps can multitask and open two notes at once side by side, both can sync with the cloud, and both have great highlighter functions that go behind the textwithout ruining your writing.
And something that both of these apps do way better than any other app, is that they simulate anamazing writing experience.
Some people say that writing on one app feels better than the other, but personally, I couldn’treally tell the difference, all I know is that these apps seem to make my handwriting look way better than it is.
– [Matty] Next, I wannatalk about the pens.
So, Goodnotes might have aslight advantage for pens, because you can create three color presets for your pens on the toptoolbar for quicker swapping.
You also have more controlover your pen’s style and how fine it writescompared to Notability, which just gives you choices.
So next is bookmarks.
So, both apps can bookmark any page by opening up the page viewer, and selecting the bookmarkon the appropriate page.
But Goodnotes might have aslight advantage again here, because it has adedicated bookmarks button on the toolbar at the top.
Next is the eraser function, both apps have great eraser functions, which can either delete entire strokes or parts of strokes.
But again, Goodnotes might have another slight advantage here, because it has something calledthe auto de-select eraser.
This makes your eraserautomatically switch back to a pen, after a single use.
So it saves you the key stroke of going up and pressing your pen again.
When it comes to importing images, both the apps do a great job, but Goodnotes again mighthave a slight advantage because it has a dedicatedimage importer on the toolbar.
Whereas Notability justhas a drop down menu.
This is just a subtle increase in speed, because of a few less keystrokes.
Both of the apps can import files, like PDFs, directly fromyour iPad into any notes, however, Goodnotes hasa slight advantage here, because you can import a PDF directly inside of a notebook.
Notability can only importa file from the homepage.
– If you go back andwatch older reviews of Goodnotes versus Notability, you’ll see that the two used to be very different from each other.
But, that gap is quickly closing, and the two are nowconstantly getting updated.
So the question is, which one is best for you? Well, it really depends onwhat kind of student you are.
We think that Notabilityis great for students who are looking for apractical experience.
The file organization is simplistic, in the way that you can seeall your documents at once, kind of like a table of contents, but for all of your notes.
And the biggest advantage is that Notability has thataudio recording function.
Cause not all your classeswill have recorded podcasts for you to listen at home.
So with that feature, youdon’t ever have to be afraid that you’ll miss anymoredetails from lecture.
That is, if you go to lecture.
Overall, Notability is morestraightforward, has less fluff, and allows for morestreamlined, focused study.
On the other hand, Goodnotesis great for students looking for a creative experience.
If you’re more artistic, you like to make aestheticnotes, study grams, then, Goodnotes is betterfor the customization.
You have more control over what kind of pens you wanna use, and easier access to yourfavorite color presets.
You can also stencil over pictures, which allows you to addcustom art to your notes, you also have a powerful presentation mode that’s great for studyingwith your friends and in groups.
– But there are people like us, who actually use both of the apps.
And this is because theindividual strengths of each app are useful for differentparts of the learning process.
We use notability for takingnotes in class or in lecture, because alongside the amazingaudio recording feature, I think that theorganization of Notability in managing files andPDFs and lecture slides it’s just easier to see.
Then after lecture, when we’re trying toprocess all the information and make sense out of it, this is when we use Goodnotes.
Because Goodnotes has a bettersearch function, import, and overall better manipulationof individual files that’ll help you makeconnections between your notes.
So, hopefully ourthoughts on these two apps will help you make a decision on which one you wanna use.
They’re both top of the line, and they’re both amazing note taking apps.
So it really just comes downto your personal preference.
Leave a comment belowif you have any thoughts or any experiences using the two apps, or if we missed anything really important that you think should’ve been included.
And definitely let us know if you wanna see morevideos on this topic, or if you wanna see howwe use them ourselves.
Thanks so much for watching guys, and we’ll see you next time.
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