If you’re like me, you have a million notebooks full of different notes – and no idea where any of them are at. When I found a note taking app on my tablet, it was like a whole new world opened up. Digital Note Taking 101 Class is in session – here’s how I use Goodnotes and my ipad to take notes like a BOSS.
Digital Note Taking 101 | How I Use Goodnotes and my iPad to Take Notes like a BOSS
Want to watch a video version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
If you like to take notes on a tablet, whether or not it’s an iPad, you better buckle up.
I recently got the new 2020 12.9 inch iPad Pro, and I love it. I have been using note taking apps on my iPad for years now, but I like it even more now because I got a larger iPad. The bigger size feels more like a real notebook. But you can use these apps on any size.
A whole other facet of digital note taking is using a digital planner. If you want to learn more about that, you can click right here for another video!
What should I use to take notes?
If you’re entirely in the Apple ecosystem like me, then I would HIGHLY suggest GoodNotes. GoodNotes isn’t yet available in Android or other formats. So, if you have an iPad but have an Android phone or something like that, then I would go with something like OneNote so that you can access your files anywhere.
Honestly, all of the note taking apps are relatively the same – it just depends on what you need to use more. For me, the biggest difference between OneNote and GoodNotes are the pages. In OneNote, you can have one page that is endless and goes on and on forever. Rather than having a notebook with pages, you could just have one giant page. On GoodNotes, your notebooks are made up of pages that are a certain size – there’s no endless page option. I personally like the page format because I think I would lose things in an endless scroll.
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Like I mentioned before – I’m a serial notes loser. Recently, I was trying to find notes I took on a call with one of my contractors, and I couldn’t find them anywhere. It drove me crazy. And I learned my lesson! So now, I’m taking notes on my iPad.
We’re all so used to jotting down notes on our phone anyway. Having a fast, easy way to access your notes is so important. Why not make that easier on yourself and merge the two?
I would have LOVED to have this in college. I had so many different notebooks and sections within those… If I had used an iPad and taken notes digitally, my backpack would have been much lighter. (And that time when I fell in the parking lot and got a scar because my backpack flew over my head and trapped me… wouldn’t have happened. Digital note taking could have saved me an actual scar).
How does digital note taking work?
All you need to start is a tablet and a pencil/stylus of some sort. In every digital note taking app, you’ll be able to create pages, notebooks, and folders to split up your notes. In every single folder, you can have multiple notebooks. So I can have a ton of different organized notebooks that don’t end up in a heavy stack.
In each notebook, you have pages. You can bookmark pages inside of each notebook so that you can easily flip to specific sections. You can also do some fancy things, like changing the type of paper, adding images, highlighting, changing your pen color, and lots of others.
Probably the coolest feature of GoodNotes is that I can use the search box to search for any word and it will find it even in my REALLY sloppy handwriting. That’s right – it can search your handwriting, even if it’s very messy. Searching and finding your handwriting is magical.
GoodNotes also works with the new scribble feature on the iPad. If you want to insert typed text but don’t want to take the time to type it, you can just insert a text box and use the scribble feature on the iPad to turn your handwriting into text.
Beyond those features, you can also share your notebooks with people. And you can move pages around! If you wrote something in the middle of your notebook but wish it was at the front – now it can be, no page ripping and stapling required.
It also makes it so much easier to do things you would normally have to print out. When we sold our house, the bank would send all of these documents that had to be signed. Instead of printing it, signing it, scanning it and then emailing it, I did it all on my iPad. I downloaded the document to my Goodnotes, signed it, and emailed it right back. The same goes for workbooks. You don’t have to print them if you can just write in them on your iPad!
Digital note taking is WAY more versatile than a traditional notebook. And as someone who loves stationery, that’s tough for me to say.
If you’re not in the Apple ecosystem…
I’ve already mentioned OneNote. It’s one of the best options out there that will go between Apple and Android systems. Another one that I have personally tried out and have had a lot of people recommend to me is Xodo. It seems to be very comparable to Goodnotes, but it only works with Android devices.
Overall, any note taking app that you choose will do pretty much the same things. As long as you have some sort of pencil or pen to use on the tablet, you’re good to go!
If you are in the Apple ecosystem and you’re getting started with GoodNotes, I’ve got an entire tutorial on it right here.
And digital note taking 101 is complete! You're ready to take notes like a pro.