Good Notes 5 Review: Is it Worth it?

GoodNotes 5 is a note-taking app. It can be purchased through the Apple App Store.

GoodNotes 5 is a note-taking app. It can be purchased through the Apple App Store.

Cori Lollis, Web Content Editor-in-Chief

   With new technology being a popular Christmas gift for high school seniors headed to college, I received an iPad for this past Christmas. I had heard good things about the note-taking app, GoodNotes, so I decided to try it out. On Apple’s App Store, it costs a one-time fee of $7.99. I have been using Good Notes for the past month to take notes for school so here’s my honest review of the popular app. 

   Setting up the app was easy, as it automatically syncs to your iCloud. The app stores all of your documents, files and notebooks within your iCloud; this is what allows you to open them up on other devices logged with your iCloud. Though this is a nice feature, it is difficult to use unless you buy more iCloud storage. If your files don’t sync to your iCloud, then you are not able to access them on other devices. This also means that they are only stored on your device so you can’t get them back if something happens to your device. 

   Using the app was easy and self-explanatory. All of the tools including the pen, eraser, highlighter, stickers and lasso are located at the top of the screen. There are lots of options and features available using the tools, like adding custom colors to your presets and adding a sticky note sticker. 

   Another feature that GoodNotes has is the ability to upload images and documents like Powerpoint Slides or Google Docs. Once in GoodNotes, you have the ability to write on the documents and images. Additionally, GoodNotes will allow you to view pages within a notebook in the split screen view. 

   Overall, my experience with GoodNotes has been positive. I will say I find the iCloud storage annoying because unless I buy a larger iCloud plan, I can only see my notebooks on my iPad. I love the ability to import documents as I take a lot of my notes with Powerpoint slides. So I will import the slides into my notebook and take notes on them. I also love the split screen capabilities because I am able to look at more than one document at a time. 

   So, is it worth it? 

   Personally, yes. I think that the capabilities are perfect for its intended purpose. If you have a specific use for it, I think that compared to the free Notes app by Apple it is well worth the money. Though, if you casually take notes to jot things down or make lists, I think that Apple’s free Notes app is still an effective option. I plan on using GoodNotes in college as I prefer writing out notes rather than typing them.