GoodNotes 5 Reviews

GoodNotes 5 Reviews

Published by on 2022-09-21

Take beautiful, searchable handwritten notes with the note-taking app that turns
your iPad into digital paper. See why GoodNotes is Editors’ Choice. Download
now and unlock on all platforms. Available on the iPad, Mac, and iPhone. WRITE
- BETTER THAN REAL PAPER • Enjoy a fluent, precis...

User Experience Ratings

Positive experience

Negative experience


Table of Contents:
1. Reviews
2. Is it Safe?
3. Is it Legit?
4. App not working?
5. Report Issue

Reviews (32)


I LOVE this app, best notetaking app out there!

This is the best notetaking app ever. I'm an AP and Honors student in highschool, and I live for GoodNotes5. Since doing online school this year due to the pandemic, it has changed how I take notes and turned in assignment. I love how GoodNotes is uploaded to the cloud so you can look at your notes no matter where you are or what device you are on. I like typing my science notes on my computer, and I love that I can switch over to my IPad to draw graphs and symbols whenever needed. I love using my Apple pencil to take all my other notes, its perfect for hand writing notes. I love all the different paper types and the covers you can choose from. You can also organize all of your documents into folders. My favorite thing BY FAR is that you can download pretty much ANY pdf or worksheet into GoodNotes and write directly on the document. Especially because of online school, a lot of my teachers post their worksheets on GoogleClassroom, and being able to download the documents and write directly onto it, and then I can just drag and drop the PDF from my desktop into Classroom ITS AMAZING! It saves me so much paper, and has helped me stay so organized with everything in one place. The format and interfacing is incredible, you HAVE to try this note taking app, it's incredible. I would recommend this to ANYONE and EVERYONE. Please get it for yoruself and check it out!


For the most part pretty great

I was looking for an app where I can annotate pdfs, and switch between the computer and an iPad while doing so. I love the capabilities, and the layout. I like that you can choose covers for notebooks, and that there are even so many different types of "papers" to choose from, from dotted, lined to even Cornell notes. And that you can add pages to pdfs, or can easily take photos and then export them as pdfs. Furthermore, whenever I edit a pdf on the iPad, it would automatically sync to GoodNotes5 on the Mac. My main problem is with the glitches on the Mac app. Often when selecting the highlighting tool, the highlighting has to be done manually, which is difficult to do on the computer without touch screen. You can also select text and then click highlight, but I would like that capability when I am using the highlighter specifically. The option to select the text would also often not work after a while, and I would have to quit Goodnotes and open it back up again. And finally, there is also no convenient way to underline, which currently would require manually drawing lines under text. The layout of the files is also sometimes not as intuitive for me, and I would like to have the option of seeing my file folders on the side bar as well. But other than that, I am enjoying using Goodnotes so far, and feel that the pros definitely outweigh the cons (which I hope will be improved soon with updates!)


Fantastic notetaking app that showed me reading and writing on screens was feasible

I love GoodNotes5. Previously, I would print every single paper I read because none of the electronic tools I would use allowed me to mark it up the way I like to. GoodNotes essentially gives me all of the tools on my desk - pen, highlighter, etc. and allows me to read and manipulate a document as though it’s really in my hand. There is really no difference, and it’s actually even better because the highlighter can automatically snap to lines of text! I only have two wishes that would make this program better than it already is - which is near perfect: I’d like to be able to store more pen or highlighter colors on the top row of tools. I use lots of different colors for different notes, and it seems like there’s plenty of room (at least on the 12.9 inch iPad) for a few more options to allow for quicker switching. Second, it would be nice to have page hyperlink support. When you’re reading a 300 page manual, it’s a little annoying to swipe back and forth between pages, especially when the table of contents is right there. I know about the goto page feature, but that doesn’t always line up with the page numbers correctly, and it isn’t easy to determine the right page looking through thumbnails. Otherwise, GoodNotes5 is amazing!


Almost perfect!

After using OneNote for a while and finding it doesn’t have all the features I want like importing PDFs and PowerPoint slides or a really good writing experience, and then trying Notability but not wanting to use a subscription based service, I decided to try GoodNotes. First impressions, very clean app with good organization! Love how the notebooks are more like real notebooks with page separation (you can choose not to separate though) and different page colors and styles as well as some really pretty covers. Also love the writing experience, like all the pen colors and sizes are nice and everything feels smooth and adding pictures are super easy. I’m really glad there’s a search function as well to easily find stuff in my notes. Though, I do have some problems with GoodNotes5. I wish that I could put more than 3 pen colors at the top, I feel like a few more slots would be great. I would also love if the pen size could stay on each slot if that makes sense, kinda like OneNote, rather than me having the change the pen size every time I switch colors. I think it would be cool if like Notability there could be a voice recording feature, and paper styles with texture like real paper added. This is a smaller issue but it would be cool if some different folder colors were added as well for even better organization :) Overall really like GoodNotes5 but there are some improvements that could be made!


My Favorite App: Best Replacement for a Notebook

I'd been searching for a replacement for a notebook for a long time before I found GoodNotes, paying for several apps that didn't deliver or have the intuitive controls of a pen and paper. GoodNotes delivers. I use it for EVERYTHING for work and my home life. It's my personal budget planner, my personal calendar, my lesson plan book, my gradebook, my PDF annotater...everything! It's replaced basically all paper in my life. As a teacher, I could not be more thrilled with GoodNotes5's functionality. The ability to create different notebooks with specific templates (and upload your own) allows it to function as so many different things! As a teacher, I'm a big binder person so I can keep related notebooks and files near each other. With the ability to open new notebooks in tabs within GoodNotes5 , I can keep these files close at hand and jump between them--it's kind of like a big digital binder that stays organized and doesn't get overwhelming with the number of files. The organization of GoodNotes5 and the way you can navigate through it by flipping the pages like you would a notebook makes it my favorite app of all time. AND now that it has apps available for iPad, Mac, and iPhone that all sync up beautifully, I can access everything everywhere! Well done, GoodNotes; thank you!


Good notes 4 performs better than Good notes 5

I am writing this review to help the developers and potential buyers. First I’m providing this review in March 2019. Things may change later so if you are reading this review you should keep the date and version number in mind. 5.0.20. We are a large builder which use Blue beam, Procore, “go to meeting” and other related industry software. We found that Good notes 4 was simply the best vehicle for note taking and plan markups available. It truly was a “five star app”. We could be on a “go to meeting” with 15 consultants on a conference call and annotate plans instantly. (What I mean is hand write changes on the pdf plans to give direction. Not edit DWG drawings.) It was fast easy and simple. Superior to other products out there, even the industry specific ones. Now, with Good notes 5 the layout and folder structure have been improved. But, there is a big problem. If we open a set of plans and try to zoom in, the plans pixelate. Plus take an in ordinate amount of time to gain focus. Thus, most of us have stopped using this program. I have Good notes 4 and have gone back to it. I. Don’t know. If the developer is aware or working on a fix but it was a great program. If the developer is aware hope you can fix. I will check GoodNotes5 Store for updates. Will mark as 2.5 stars and revise rating if able to remedy problem. Good luck.


Would give a 5 star if the collaborative editing mode is stable and truly real time

I’m doing online teaching and would love a notebook app that can enable real time, collaborative editing for lecturing. GoodNotes does provide a feature that may work well. My setup is: I am doing white boarding on my iPad while sharing the screen of my laptop using Zoom. I open a GoodNotes session on the laptop and project GoodNotes5 to Zoom’s shared screen. While the fast collaborative ode works well for newly created document, it becomes really lagged when 1) the document has been opened for a while (20 min to 1 hour), and/or 2) I re-open an existing document that I created a while ago (with fast online editing mode enabled). The latency is too long—ranging from 10 seconds to sub minute— to be acceptable for real time editing. I have to switch to a different app in order for my lecture to proceed as expected. I love the user experience of GoodNotes’ other features; but talking about the collaborative editing feature, it really pisses the users off. I’d really demand the team to fix the lagging issue of this feature. I’m not sure if this is due to the backend design options like periodically moving a doc to a slower tier that syncs using the slow iCloud storage or not. But this issue does persists for at least few weeks. Thanks!


Closest to pen and paper I've found

For me it's all the little UI decisions that make things wonderful in GoodNotes5. I like as minimal clutter as possible, hide the UI whenever possible, make it as much like a pad of paper I'm looking at. It feels like a pad of paper because I can swipe between pages. I CANNOT OVERSTATE how much this helps me to not have scrolling pages but instead a finite canvas size that the visual part of my brain can remember. For some reason scrolling I can't remember the shape and thus the location and then from that the information that's at each location. Same thing for swiping between pages to change them, it's probably just me but not being able to do this in the notes app or any other app drives me insane. I don't want to be looking at UI / the titles of other pages. I want a page that is adjacent / above / below my page and nothing else. I don't need any other information in front of me. I love that the Mac application bar at the top is basically hidden and it's only the stoplight in the top left. The fact that I can then move the UI to the bottom of the page so that it's out of the way make it look like I have my paper right there next to my main screen. THANK YOU for making these UI decisions that others may not appreciate but I certainly do :)


Complicated iCloud Syncing Settings

I recently confronted a syncing issue on both my Mac and iPhone. I just downloaded the apps on my Mac and iPhone today, since I normally use iPad for notes only. However, the documents are only partially synced to my Mac and iPhone (some documents were synced and some were not). I’ve tried to diagnose and fix the problem by myself, such as turn off and back on the iCloud sync in Apple ID Settings on all 3 devices, and restart the laptop to activate the new settings. But all these operations didn’t help to solve the problem. I logged into my iCloud Drive which doesn’t have the GoodNote folder in it, and I think this may be the root cause of the problem, but it doesn’t explain why some documents were synced. After a few hours, I noticed that in GoodNotes5 Settings, there’s another iCloud Settings > Use iCloud inside of GoodNotes5 , and then I found the problem: it was turned off on my iPad. Although the issue was solved, but I don’t quite understand what’s this setting for? Normally, users want to manage iCloud settings at one place, but not in each app. If I enabled iCloud for GoodNotes5 already in the system settings, but it was turned off inside of GoodNotes5 , then what’s the point of this setting? So, I would suggest you removing this setting inside of GoodNotes5 , and using the general iCloud setting should be more reasonable.


Love being paper free

I’ve been using GoodNotes5 for years, & recently upgraded to 5. There’s a lot of additional functionality, with more powerful tools, new objects, & way better templates. The only thing I miss is the way GoodNotes5 opens. Previously when opening GoodNotes5 it presented the view I left it int when closing GoodNotes5 . Now every time I start GoodNotes5 it opens to my folder list. I have a loootttt of notebooks, and remembering which one I was last using is sometimes difficult. Maybe I’m just not as organized as I should be, but it’s just annoying that every time I open GoodNotes5 I have to search through my folders & then my notebooks to get to the one I was in the middle of using. I open one notebook only to find that the page I’m looking for is actually in another one. Many of my notebooks hold similar data, but I keep the in separate books for specific reasons. I’d just rather not have to search every time I start, especially when I’m already used to picking up right where I left off with GN4. That minor thing aside, I love GoodNotes5 worthy of all 5 stars, & the upgrade to 5 was a great improvement. The developers seem to really pay attention to what additional functionality could be useful as the way we work evolves. So I’m always looking forward to the next version to see what new stuff I’ll get!


Great App. Please add audio recording!

I am a full time student and this multimedia platform is exactly what I need. It’s a way for me to synthesize all the hectic information coming from different places in digital and paper forms. Instead of having to get out my notebook, folder, binder, phone and computer to do one task, I can just scan anything paper and import anything digital onto my IPad! This way I can incorporate figures, worksheets, pdfs, lecture slides, hand written notes and typed essays all into one organized place. And because it’s searchable, I can go back and look at my learning process or to study. I can even turn anything in writing to typed form, which makes it easy to turn in essays or save the important stuff on a flash drive in simple text form. HOWEVER there are three things that I really want GoodNotes5 to do. First is to allow audio recording!! Lectures are a huge part of what I do and I need a way to organize them with the notes I take. Second, I would appreciate if the conversion algorithm could read written math symbols because that would be really helpful. Third, GoodNotes5 really needs a better hyperlink/table of contents situation. It is very impractical to use the goto feature or scrolling when quickly switching between pages or looking for something. Overall great app, I use it everyday. Please consider my suggestions.


update 5.6.9 has the features I’ve been looking forward to

This has been my main note taking app since Goodnotes 4. As a math teacher, I can use GoodNotes5 for all of my needs (worksheet creations, tests and even presentations). Until now, I’ve had to use workarounds for shapes whose sizes I needed to manipulate. As of this update, I no longer need any workarounds! GoodNotes5 is self contained. I am so impressed with the developers dedication and ability to redefine Goodnotes 4 to 5 and all of the impressive improvements along the way. I used to always look at new note apps hoping to find one that would fit all my needs (pretty lofty wishes), but I haven’t needed to look for any other note, pdf app in well over a year now. Favorite features: ability to crop and place pictures where I like; easy user interface that lets me copy, paste, move pages around in document; ability to search for a document based on a word search (I have hundreds of files and a large folder structure for organizing my work); and as of now, I can show graphs and can alter the lines easily to show changes in equations; ability to make my own templates and use them easily in new documents (graph paper, dot grids...). Can’t thank you enough for all the work you’ve put into GoodNotes5!


I don’t use anything else for notes anymore

GoodNotes5 definitely requires a stylus. Even better an apple pen because of the wrist touch problem, but my $10 stylus works fine. As the title reads, I no longer lug around notebooks that end up getting crumpled or lost or thrown out, contributing to waste. I’ll admit, I didn’t purchase this to save trees, but it’s awesome that it does, now that I think of it. I never buy apps either; that’s one thing that kept me from finally pulling the plug on this, but I’m glad I did. I REALLY like being able to use the dotted line tool thingy that allows you to just move a whole paragraph or drawing or chunk out of something to another area AND/OR to just simply copy and paste it somewhere else. That is my fave feature probably. Oh, AND you can change it’s size. That’s so much easier than erasing your notes and starting all over again when something was written to big or too small and you wasted a whole page. So again, 4 stars just cause sometimes it glitches and moves super slow, but that’s just cuz I’m usually using it for hours on end, and also I wish we could change the pen style to brush or pencil...maybe you can and I just haven’t figured it out yet. If so, I apologize but yeah I love GoodNotes5 and don’t use pen or paper or any other inferior app. I have yet to find a better one than GoodNotes


love it, but a couple concerns

Love GoodNotes5 , convenient for college and holds a lot of storage, I wish moving around pages could be easier. And the ball pen seems too stiff, fountain pen is a little awkward to use, and the brush pen is fine, but again the pens are something I need to get used to. I wish the eraser marks could have an option to be smaller, and not erase a whole line but exactly what my pen touches. So pens are not as fluid as it could be and may make your handwriting either better or worse. Zoom ins are great and resizing also never pixelates my writing, which I LOVE. I never write reviews, so I hope the concerns I listed will be considered and that this review helps those deciding whether or not to use GoodNotes5 . I wish I could download it to my computer without paying extra so that I can see both on my iPad and computer. For an app meant for taking and saving notes, it is an easy and great app to use, but pens are hard to get used to. If you are a high school student, digital note taking is okay, but it honestly isn’t necessary and teachers and classmates usually feel weird about it. In university GoodNotes5 is perfect since in my classes there is a lack of space for desks and so many places to walk to so the portability of a tablet is more useful then ( GoodNotes5 also allows for split screen which is convenient)


Best App Out There for Writing & Drawing with Apple Pencil ESPECIALLY

I downloaded several different apps that were free for note taking and or drawing in notebooks, etc. After not being satisfied with any of them, I decided to pay for this one. It is so worth the price! You can easily organize notes and notebooks while customizing them for whatever you need! The Apple Pencil works flawlessly as if you are using real pen and paper. I use the 1st Edition Apple Pencil with my 2019 iPad. One of the best things about GoodNotes5 is the fact that you can set it so that it does not capture anything from your hand or palm resting on the screen and allows you to still use your fingers to zoom, scroll through, and navigate GoodNotes5 all while still connected to the Apple Pencil. Also, it can literally READ and SEARCH your own handwriting so you can find where you left a certain note on a page. I have found that it this feature is very accurate! You can also customize your notebook covers, create outlines for easy navigation throughout a notebook, and you can create folders to organize each notebook even further. My only suggestion to the developers is to make it easier to get different templates for pages/covers and also allow those pages to have more background colors than just yellow or white.


This is the greatest app I’ve ever purchased

I’m in nursing school and I can’t tell you how GoodNotes5 changed my study routine because you would be here all day. Not to mention, I essentially will never have to purchase multi-colored pens, highlighters, no more erasers, or other odd items like stickers. Everything in GoodNotes5 allows you to creat fun, engaging, and detailed content. You can import documents (easier than any program I’ve ever used), you can export to any format you’d like without any additional conversion programs or making sure the order and format are correct. It makes everything easy! You can take photos and crop as you need, add text, move your notes around if they’re in the wrong place rather than having to re-write them all together. My favorite feature is drawing on things you can import to GoodNotes5 : need to take notes on diagrams? You can do it. Need to draw on a photo and export? You can do it. Everything is so intuitive and super simple to figure out/organize. I know $9 seems a little steep for GoodNotes5 but I promise you, you will get the full value of GoodNotes5. Retrospectively, even if GoodNotes5 was $30 I would still purchase it. If you’re on the fence, don’t be! Get. The. App. You’ll be glad that you did.


Great, with a couple glaring missing features

GoodNotes5 is great and the sole reason I use my Apple Pencil. It’s got plenty of features to maintain its notebooks, but isn’t so feature-filled it gets bogged down and bloated. I’ve kept digital notes for years now; this is the first time I feel like I have all the benefits of digital note taking along with all the benefits of physical note taking, without any of the drawbacks of either. That said, there are two issues I would like to see added: iCloud drive support for auto-backup. This is seems like a weird miss, but at least you can manually backup to your iCloud via the Files app for now. Secondly, handwriting recognition is awesome, but it would be so much more helpful if it supported multiple languages in one notebook. When taking notes for language learning, it’s normal to take notes in your native tongue and in the language you’re learning (in my case, English and Japanese, respectively). As it stands, handwriting recognition’s usefulness for language study is limited. Still, there are plenty of other ways to organize and find your content. I use GoodNotes5 nearly every day, and I’m finding more and more uses for it all the time. Thanks for the great app!


Two reasons to like GoodNote, and one complaint

I use pdf apps almost every day on my iPad to both read, review, and mark-up technical papers, and to present college lectures. I use pdf apps on my mac for similar purposes. Having experimented with almost every pdf app available for iOS, I am excited about two features in GoodNote that have made it my primary pdf app. (1) Goodnote has an excellent laser pointer mode with delayed trails, that make if an excellent choise for giving technical presentations from pdf slides. It is easy to flip back and forth between laser pointer mode and mark-up mode. (2) Goodnote allows the iPad screen to be split into two sides, showing the same document on both sides of the screen. This is extremely useful when reviewing technical documents because one half can be used to read the document, and the other half can be used to refer to equations, citations, tables, etc., located on other pages of the document. To my knowledge GoodNote is currently the only app with these two features. The complaint: documents are synced between iOS and OSX using iCloud, but not stored in an iCloud folder (or any other folder as far as I can tell). Documents can only be viewed and accessed within the GoodNote app. There is no integration with Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.


Best Notes App for Organization

I had my doubts about GoodNotes5 honestly, but it is safe to say that it is currently my favorite app on my iPad. I like to color coordinate my notes, it makes it easier for me to see and understand my notes. I love that you were able to import files directly into this app. For example, as a college student, I use the Canvas School App. I am able to import all PDF readings, notes, PowerPoint‘s, and even test blanks directly to a new or previous folder and then edit them all while my professor is teaching. It loads quickly, there is not much of a learning curve for beginners. It’s honestly that easy. I love that there’s tons of free “Templates” if you wanted to use GoodNotes5 as a planner or a binder as well. My only suggestion, is highlighting your text at the very end of class. If you highlight everything first, then decide to edit the text size or font later, anything that was highlighted will not move with your text if that makes sense. All of it will resize together as one if you use the “resize“ button. However, if you resize your text in any other way, or change it in any other way, the highlighter markings will not format themselves to fit your new font or text size.


Not stable with IOS 14

Currently writing this review because I have no way to contact the developers. It is freezing and crashing constantly. After IOS I have a constant pop up with in GoodNotes5 stating that iCLoud sync is not working. Extremely annoying. There is no other app I have this problem with and I have plenty of storage. Also every-time that I try and scroll up it skips up 10 to 20 pages when I scroll down just a little from the top of the page it will add an entire new page. Also I can not access the flashcards feature and there is no update available. I attempted to install and reinstall GoodNotes5 on my ipad and now I cant access any documents from my ipad. ***Update: most of the major issues have been resolved. Still a little glitchy but no where as bad as it was. I was able to use the flashcard feature but unfortunately wasn't too impressed. I use lots of diagrams to study but when using the flashcard feature the flashcard paper doesn't larger for pictures so I spent all that time making flashcards only to spend more time squinting than actually studying - I know it’s in beta so this could be an amazing feature but I hope the developers will allow the flashcards features to be full screen when you try to review.


Makes Doing Work a Pleasure!

Thank you GoodNotes! Since I’m an old person of 35 years - it took a few college student vlogs and some practice before I could really get to appreciate all that GoodNotes5 can do...but that little bit of time was SO WORTH IT! Your app rocks. YOU HAVE BROUGHT JOY BACK INTO MY WORK LIFE! Seriously though, I’m enthusiastic but not sarcastic on this point. I work with boring documents/sit in LONG meetings (that go on for days on end) and have to take copious notes...and thanks to GoodNotes I can be efficient&creative while having fun highlighting my documents with rainbows of any colour I like, and taking notes that are both fun to write&read afterwards, as well as pack maximum info/images into a single, my past life of piles of notepads and sticky notes has been left in the dust where it belongs. THANK you for saving my shoulder from breaking off with a stupid/heavy briefcase, and for making me smile while I create the most beautiful notes I’ve ever taken of some of the most boring subjects I’ve ever had to keep awake and pay attention too. GoodNotes has probably played a significant role in my ability to excel at my job (and maintaining my sanity whiles getting it done). Cheers!


Zoom window functions!

I like all the added features, and i sincerely appreciate the infinite folders and sub folders feature, but what happened to multifunctional tool bar in the zoom window!? It’s missing the other buttons from the original toolbar in the zoom window. I’ve owned GoodNotes ever since it was first released, thus, I am very fluent in navigating GoodNotes5 . I have recommended it to everyone I know, and have gone completely paperless because of it. I am eternally grateful to GoodNotes. But with this new update, I really needed the zoom window tool bar before it was even added to the first GoodNotes, and it has been a dream come true ever since it was added, but now it has been taken away in Goodnotes 5. I really hope the toolbar is reinstalled soon. The undo and redo buttons, and the three colors and the eraser were all apart of the zoom window, and much more convenient than reaching to the top of the screen every time I had to undo a pen stroke. I don’t even want to consider using GoodNotes until the zoom window is copied from GoodNotes 4. While it may seem like a silly feature, it made GoodNotes5 100% more useful to me. I hope this is taken into account and an easy fix to to release soon. Thank you, Your original customer Also, your textboxes are very persnickety and glitchy, please, please fix!


Please fix the zoom function, moving screen, and straight lines

The "automatic zoom" feature is turned off but I still have this issue where the screen moves while using the text box function and keyboard. I don't see very well and I cannot write for very long. I am an artist and own the Apple Pencil but most of my note taking is done via keyboard and textboxes. To input notes, I take a small portion of the screen and zoom into it. However, when the keyboard appears, the screen moves to the middle of the document? You can no longer see what is going on. Especially if you are in putting text boxes near the bottom if the screen. It's annoying. I wish GoodNotes5 would give a work space similar to procreate, where you could zoom in and out of any corner of the page. Also, the straight line function is no longer disability or shaky hand friendly. For various reasons,I cannot draw in a straight line or make perfect circles, blocks, etc. The straight line function was great because it didn't matter how shaky my hands and body got, it would be a straight line. It was a really stable app. But now GoodNotes 5 no longer corrects lines as strictly. Sometimes it corrects lines, other times it doesn't. Maybe they assume I'm drawing or am purposefully making obscure lines and shapes. But I'm not. GoodNotes was once a great option for assistive tech but not anymore. Please give people the option for strict line correction.


Excellent Search Improvements, Backup options limited

I have been using Goodnotes for extensive note taking during graduate school. Version 5 keeps many of the aspects that have made it my favorite note taking app, but again this version is not quite perfect. The best improvement from version 4 is the document search feature, which includes your handwriting. I also enjoy the continuous scroll feature. Thank you, developers! On the downside, version 5 does not seem to have the diverse backup options that were available in version 4. I had been using Dropbox since I work on many devices that are not made by Apple, and I liked to be able to access the up to date backup from anywhere. Now, however, iCloud is the only backup option. Please make the other cloud sync services available. One feature that was carried over without change from version 4 but I hope to see updated in version 5 is the 3 size eraser. You can make the pen very fine to write small (which I love), but you can’t make the eraser very small to make fine tuned corrections. A few more small eraser options are needed. I would also like to see version 5 create an option to open 2 notes side by side (similar to the feature in Notability).


Love Hate relationship

I am a big time user of GoodNotes. As a student i spend about half my day on goodnotes every day for the past 2 years. I absolutely love GoodNotes5 . I waited a really long time for the 2 major updates that came earlier this year. Those are the universal search tool as well as the introduction of unlimited hierarchy. I am a major fan of both updates and they both make my use of GoodNotes5 much more productive. With that being said the ease of use with the new app has gone significantly down since the update. At first i thought with in 2 to 3 weeks they would work out the kinks and bring it back to standard but its been 4 months now and it hasn’t happened. One thing i sorely miss are the keyboard shortcuts that used to be available in GoodNotes 4. They are gone from GoodNotes 5 and have never been replaced. Besides for that the “smoothness” of GoodNotes 5 has just never been the same as 4. The crashes and just plain unstable use that haunted GoodNotes5 at launch are for the most part gone and GoodNotes5 can now be relied upon again for every day use however i still use 4 as much as i can because it is just so much nicer to use than 5. I really hope the developers continue to work on bringing GoodNotes 5 back to the standard of GoodNotes 4. The two big updates are a major addition and if the rest of GoodNotes5 comes back to the level of 4 there will be no app that can compete in this AppStore.



I think I will stick to GoodNotes 4. It’s not a bad update and it looks nice. I am sure I would get used to the layout after using it a but but some things are gone and new things that are highly requested aren’t here yet. There is a place for outlines in the thumbnail view in a document but I can make a new outline. When I imported my notebook from 4 I had bookmarks that aren’t there anymore. The bookmarks have changed to favorites which show up as thumbnails and I need them as the outline list like in 4 but can’t add that now. If I unfavorites something that was named from 4, it doesn’t allow me to rename it. GoodNotes5 still doesn’t have a way to add hyperlinks attached to texts or shapes or strokes are whatever, to other pages in the document which I really need. So I guess add hyperlink ability (if there are already hyperlinks in the document you import, you can still use them if you turn on touch mode, but you can’t add any new ones), fix the bookmarks/outlines/favorites situation to work the way it should, and then just to be picky, why does the view change when I go into touch mode... I don’t like that either. Make it like in 4 where it doesn’t change anything in the view


Great app for students, or everyone. Would be nice if there was an option for black paper.

Hey developers of GoodNotes, I’ve downloaded your app for note taking and educational purposes. I’ve been using it for a little while and I began to fall in love with GoodNotes for note taking. The features that caught my eye is personalizing your own notebook covers, and using your Apple Pencil to flawlessly take notes with palm rejection, and pressure sensitivity. Pressure sensitivity and palm rejection is a big deal for me, which is why I have the Apple Pencil. What I would love to see is color options for paper such as black paper, and I’d love to sometimes remember those days of using a black board for chalk and write everything down. It would be nice if you add bunch of colors including black for taking unique, and odd looking notes. And overall, Goodnotes is just getting better with students or people going paperless by using their cloud storage of choice for importing their notes, and data, and being able to help the environment by using less paper using the iPad. I’m glad you made GoodNotes5 and hoping you keep GoodNotes5 going on as you make more future updates.


It’s OKAY.

So. The new Goodnotes 5 is OKAY. I actually really don’t like it. It has some new features that I do like and enjoy but, I prefer the older Goodnotes 4. Firstly, it seems to me that the sensitivity or the palm rejection on this version isn’t as good as the 4. Every time I am writing my page moves or “jumps” and I never experienced that with the older version. Also, the beloved Zoom box is TERRIBLE on this version. I use the zoom box all the time on the GN4 - it zooms in perfectly so I can write my notes neat and the transparent “blue box” carries on to next space on the sentence so I don’t lose my spot while I’m writing and then, continues down perfectly to next sentence. On GN5 it does not do that. Instead, of moving over to the next space of the sentence, it jumps down to other sentences and I have a whole gap of space on my current sentence. It also sometimes, jumps down a few spaces or will even move on to the next or previous page! I honestly feel like the newer version has too many bugs and I can’t enjoy it at all considering the fact that I do appreciate some of the newer feature like the folders, the ability to erase just the highlighter, the new page and cover options, and the pen options. I’m also really disappointed about the lack of the ability to view multiple documents simultaneously or side by side. Just an over all disappointment. I will continue using GN4 for my note-taking.


I like the new features, but there are lots of bugs.

As someone who loved GoodNotes 4, I was very excited for the transition over to number 5. First, I must start off by saying that I really enjoy the new formatting and some of the new features they’ve added such as being able to move text around with the lasso tool or adding the Insert a Picture feature right on the tool bar. But, I’ve noticed a lot of bugs since transitioning; GoodNotes5 crashes on me several times a day and no matter what I set the palm rejection sensitivity to, it still confuses my palm with my fingers. For example, if I use the zoom in text box feature while writing and it suggests a new place to start, as soon as I lay my hand back down to begin writing, it mistakes my palm as my fingers and moves the screen around causing many random scribbles and not legible letters. I use GoodNotes5 primarily for journaling and note taking which makes it inconvenient when GoodNotes5 shuts down or interferes with my writing. Additionally, the vertical page scrolling is still very glitchy even though the newest update was supposedly supposed to fix that. I’ve added too many things to GoodNotes 5 to convert back so I guess I just have to wait until they fix all the bugs. Like I mentioned, the new features are nice, but they don’t outweigh the cons. Shouldn’t have transitioned over.


GoodNotes 5 is Improving Significantly

Since mid-January, Goodnotes 5 have been getting updates consistently. Now it is almost flawless. Goodnotes 5 is definitely better than Goodnotes 4 --> The management of files is the biggest winner for me. Now I can organize my files depending on projects or topics using the unlimited multiple folder structures. Now I use it exclusively, whereas before I was using Notability and Goodnotes 4 depending on my goals. If I was reviewing engineering plans (page size: 22"x34"), sketches (page size: not letter sized), or reviewing large files with bookmarks, then I was using Goodnotes 4. If I wanted a quick and short note (less than 5 pages), then I was using Notability due to the vertical scrolling; but Goodnotes 5 supports this feature now. Goodnotes 5 really shines with the bookmarks, supporting different page sizes, vertical scrolling, and now the management of files. Still waiting: I"m looking forward to get Goodnotes 5 on my Mac and eventually seeing two notes at the same time when using my iPad. The latter is less of an inconvenience for me because I'm usually working with my Mac and iPad at the same time. Goodnotes 5 on my Mac is a must.


A Great Upgrade

Upgraded from GoodNotes 4. I read the other reviews before updating and noticed someone said their Apple Pencil lags. I haven’t had any issues with GoodNotes5. The file organizer makes things better. The biggest improvement for me is having the pages scroll vertically instead of horizontally. I like being able to choose the type of pen and the fact that the hi lighter can automatically hi light a perfect horizontal line. The look is updated and more modern. The search function works well. I’ve had no issues and will definitely be using this over GoodNotes 4. I like that they added more paper styles but still no engineering paper unfortunately. That being said, there still are some features from OneNote that I would like to see. When importing photos, OneNote allows you to define the 4 corners you want, and it will straighten the image which is useful if you took a picture from an angle. OneNote then can turn the photo into black and white with increased contrast similar to a PDF scanning app. OneNote is also a bit better at adding typed text and gives a lot of options similar to Word, whereas GoodNotes is more basic.


Missing goodies from 4

*Latest update: thanks for adding the custom outlines feature this is a BIG help. The one thing it does need is the ability to delete old outline items (some of my documents imported with outlines that I didn’t create and don’t want. I can’t find a way to remove them and they clutter the flow of my intended outline. The Mac app remains a highly desired item. If these two items are added GoodNotes5 gets a 5 from me. Prior review: Hi - big fan of Goodnotes 4 but the two glaring holes for me in that version were 1) an easy way to reorder pdfs in large batches (I solved this by getting the Mac app which was great) and 2) nested folders. GN 5 has the nested folders which is great but now the ability to create an outline of text bookmarks has been removed so you just see images of your favorite pages. I used to use the favorites feature as a Table of Contents but now I can’t so now organizing very large documents is much more difficult. Would be great if you could add functionality to create / edit an outline in GoodNotes5 . Also need a GN 5 version for the mac. If you solve these two issues it gets a 4 stars from me. 5 needs to get the ink a bit more responsive like GN 4. For some reason theres a little lag now on occasion which is distracting.

Is GoodNotes 5 Safe?

Yes. GoodNotes 5 is very safe to use. This is based on our NLP (Natural language processing) analysis of over 201,077 User Reviews sourced from the Appstore and the appstore cumulative rating of 4.8/5 . Justuseapp Safety Score for GoodNotes 5 Is 66.1/100.

Is GoodNotes 5 Legit?

Yes. GoodNotes 5 is a totally legit app. This conclusion was arrived at by running over 201,077 GoodNotes 5 User Reviews through our NLP machine learning process to determine if users believe the app is legitimate or not. Based on this, Justuseapp Legitimacy Score for GoodNotes 5 Is 66.1/100.

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