GoodNotes Vs Notability: A Detailed Analysis of Two Leading Note-Taking Apps

If you like to maintain notes as a part of your routine or are assigned the task of jotting down minutes of the meetings, there may be other options than writing them down on a piece of paper. Thanks to technology, you can now easily prepare notes while saving time on looking for a pen and staying eco-friendly.

With apps like GoodNotes and Notability, you can now manage your daily notes on your smartphone. Two of the most popular note-making apps currently, we will discuss GoodNotes and Notability and find out which one is a better fit for you.

In this article, we will talk about the pricing schemes, unique features and what makes one app better than the other. Read on to find out more.

PricingOne-time fee of $7.99Free version available, Premium subscription for $14.99/year
Organizing notesOffers 10+ layers of folders, search feature to locate old notesUses subjects and dividers, up to five layers of organization
Unique FeaturesFlashcard maker featureAudio recording feature
TemplatesNo gallery feature, can import custom templatesRecently introduced gallery feature for customizable templates
Lasso toolDetects and colors shapesDetects and perfects shapes
Handwriting to textConverts handwriting to textSuperior conversion, includes mathematical and chemical symbols
Document ImportSupports importing and annotating documentsSupports importing and annotating documents
Community SupportHas a GoodNotes community of teachers and students for note-sharingNo specific community support
FocusMore focus on individual pages for notesOverview of all notes
Additional FeaturesBetter pen style choices, handwriting style and sensitivity levelAbility to add links and screenshots for website references

Comparing Costs, Organization, and Note-Taking Features

The most crucial part of any app comparison is its costing scheme and the base feature, note-making assistance, which is typical for both applications. GoodNotes and Notability are great apps that offer many in-depth features that make them the best note-making apps today.

Now, let us start with their prices and compare which one of the two- GoodNotes and Notability, offers a cheaper note-making option to users.

Pricing for GoodNotes and Notability

Here is a bifurcation of the pricing details for the Notability and GoodNotes app to help you choose the best option that fits your note-making requirement perfectly.

Notability Pricing Details

The notability app is known for its free subscription. However, many of Notability‚Äôs unique features remain locked and can only be accessed via a Premium subscription. If you are only looking to use the app for making notes and do not need any additional features, you can go with the accessible version of this app. But if you want to unlock the true potential of Notability, you must try its premium version, which is available at a yearly subscription of $14.99. 

Notability has special offers running now and then for student users and may offer a 100% discount for its premium subscription.

GoodNotes Pricing Details

GoodNotes has a one-time signup fee and is available cheaply at $7.99. It is a popular choice among younger users, especially students, and in comparison, to its rival Notability, it is cheaper and does not require subscription updates every time.

Organizing Your Notes with GoodNotes and Notability

Once you are through with the pricing details, the next thing to consider when comparing these two excellent apps is whether the app can organize your notes easily.

Organizing Notes in GoodNotes

GoodNotes is known for managing your notes efficiently while offering a clear view of all notes. You can use their customizable organizing formats that offer vertical layers of notes, keeping folders of notes within separate folders. You can go up to 10+ layers of folders, which means the app offers impressive depth to organize your notes.

Moreover, with its search feature, you can quickly locate old notes. If you g for the full version, you can unlock the handwriting feature that locates a file by recognizing the handwriting pattern.

Organizing Notes in Notability

On Notability, you can organize your notes with the help of its subjects and dividers tools. With these two features, you can manage multiple notes simultaneously and create multiple notes within the same day. The organizing bit for Notability is straight and simple, allowing you to add a subject on the left side of the app and add all related notes under the subject. It also lets you drag a note and drop it between different subjects. You can also use the divider feature to create five deep layers to organize the different subjects, one under the other.

Comparing Organization Features

In comparison, GoodNotes provides a complex yet more in-depth organizing ability. However, Notability provides a cleaner, organized view of the notes. So, it depends on how complex or straightforward your note-making requirement is.

Note-Taking Features in GoodNotes and Notability

Let us now discuss some exclusive note-taking features for GoodNotes and Notability that make them different.

Exclusive Audio-Recording Feature in Notability

Notability offers an interesting audio recording feature. You can switch on the recording option in the app while making notes, and it will sync up with the notes. Also, when you play the audio, the app will focus on the part of the text to show when it was written as per the audio. It is beneficial and helps you recollect why you wrote a specific detail in a certain way and how it is related to the audio.

Exclusive Flashcard Maker Feature in GoodNotes

The flashcard option in the GoodNotes app is a fascinating feature that allows you to create flashcards from the notes you wrote. The app asks you to add a question at the top of the screen and its response right below it in the form of the notes. But remember that you change the page layout and use the flashcard option when you do this. 

Also, once you have changed the page layout, you can use the flashcard format to create notes in a question-and-answer format. Once the sequence has been decided, the GoodNotes app will directly show the first half of the flashcards as the questions, and you can see the rest of it by tapping on the screen.

Comparing Templates in GoodNotes and Notability

Notability recently launched its gallery feature, allowing users to create new templates that are customisable. Even though this feature is unavailable on GoodNotes, you can still edit an existing page to customize it as required. Alternatively, GoodNotes lets you use the import feature to get custom templates from the library.

The Lasso Tool: The GoodNotes and Notability Face-off

An excellent feature that is common between GoodNotes and Notability is the lasso tool. The lasso tool is used for selecting and moving things around on a page. For Notability, lasso tool can detect shapes drawn using the Apple Pencil. The lasso tool will then detect it and draw a cleaner shape with proper dimensions for you. 

Now, with GoodNotes, you get the shape detection through lasso and another tool called Shape to help you color or snip shapes together.

Handwriting to Text Conversion: GoodNotes vs Notability

Both apps provide handwriting-to-text conversion options; however, Notability has the upper hand. Notability offers the conversion for handwritten mathematical text, chemical symbols, and Greek symbols, which is not available in GoodNotes.

Importing Documents in GoodNotes and Notability

GoodNotes and Notability offer document-importing features, allowing you to add notes to the imported file. You can use the Apple Pencil to make notes in a pdf file.

Exploring the GoodNotes Community

With the GoodNotes app, you can access its broad GoodNotes community, which comprises teachers and students, allowing them to share their notes. If you sign-up for the GoodNotes community access now, you will be added to the waiting list since there is no direct way to get added to the community. And unlike Notability, which does not offer this kind of support, the GoodNotes community is a great platform to learn from what others have to offer on the app.

Weighing the Note-Taking Features

Both apps have incredible features and each offers something unique too. Here is what I understand about their primary purpose i.e., the note-taking feature. While Notability is a good choice for those who need access to an overview of all their notes, a running screen that offers a glimpse of what the notes are about, GoodNotes is way better suited for someone wanting to have separate pages dedicated to different notes, offering a focused view of the most important or latest notes.

While on one side, Notability lets you add links and screenshots for website references; GoodNotes, on the other side, provides better pen style choices to make handwritten notes and lets you add handwriting style and sensitivity level for handwriting pressure that allows it to convert the text from the handwritten notes.

Final Thoughts on GoodNotes and Notability

Notability and GoodNotes are two of the most popular and fantastic note-taking apps that offer several benefits to students and teachers. But remember that the most exciting features of Notability can only be accessed once you pay for the annual subscription fee, which is again more than what GoodNotes is readily offering at a cheaper and only one-time login fee. 

Moreover, GoodNotes offers everything for students, making it an exciting choice. But if you can afford the yearly subscription, Notability is a great choice too.