All iPads Between the two, which is better? One note or notability?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Ghost31, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Ghost31 macrumors 68000

    Ghost31

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #1
    I am having a hell of a time deciding between the two and which I like more. What do you guys think?
     
  2. Zari macrumors member

    Zari

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I tried many different note apps when I got my iPad Pro & Pencil, and I preferred Notability at first and used it daily for work. However, searching your notes was next to useless and I needed to be able to search what I had written, sometimes going back months.
    This is where I started using GoodNotes as you can search your handwriting, which works very well even on my frantic scribbles.

    I still use Notability every now again, but for daily note taking Goodnotes wins hands down for me.

    Hated Onenote so much I uninstalled it after a day.
     
  3. c14nhl macrumors 6502

    c14nhl

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    Oct 30, 2008
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    Edinburgh
    #3
    I switched to OneNote from Notability purely for the ability to search my notes. Both great apps but OneNote wins for me.
     
  4. sjleworthy macrumors 65816

    sjleworthy

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    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    #4
    Notability for me. super easy and simple and not bogged down with a zillion 'extras' and options. just a simple note pad that syncs to my dropbox flawlessly.
     
  5. lexvo macrumors 65816

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    Nov 11, 2009
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    The Netherlands
    #5
    You can search notes in Notability, it searches both titles and text of notes. What search function were you missing?
     
  6. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #6
    I use primarily OneNote and Goodnotes. Notability has some nice features - possibly the best handwriting engine and the ability to record a lecture in sync with your writing, but overall I don't like the UI as much as Goodnotes. For me GoodNotes is where I take most of my handwritten notes, or mark up PDF's, and OneNote is where I store everything. But I'm heavily invested in the Windows side as well where OneNote has a huge edge. If I didn't have access to my notes on Windows, I'm not sure I'd choose OneNote as the iPad/Mac versions are relatively limited.
     
  7. Kekinash macrumors member

    Kekinash

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    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    Sunny South Texas
    #7
    After years using OneNote I moved to Notability, I like it very much, still missing tables, but I was able to recreate almost all my OneNote pages with Notablitiy without any major problem.
     
  8. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
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    192.168.1.1
    #8
    Goodnotes can do handwriting search, which is awesome. Not sure if Notability can, but I prefer Goodnotes.

    OneNote has tons of text-related features that the others do not, but I find the Pencil drawing experience on OneNote to be very frustrating. The page will move and magnify/shrink when I put my wrist on the screen, something that never, ever happens with Goodnotes.

    So, unfortunately, my notes are split up between the two. I've sent some feedback to Microsoft, but I'm not holding my breath.
     
  9. lexvo macrumors 65816

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    Nov 11, 2009
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    The Netherlands
    #9
    I tried Goodnotes. It is a good app but somehow it didn't click with me. And my handwriting is too bad to make use of handwriting recognition and search :) For handwriting I preferred Noteshelf: very fluid and natural writing.
     
  10. c14nhl macrumors 6502

    c14nhl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #10
    Apologies should have been clearer in my explanation.

    I used these apps for written notes only, no diagrams or images required.

    OneNote allows me to search handwritten notes which isn't something I've found Notability can do.
     
  11. lexvo macrumors 65816

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    Nov 11, 2009
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    The Netherlands
    #11
    No problem :)
    And you're right: Notability can't search handwritten notes
     
  12. RobinInOR macrumors 6502

    RobinInOR

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    #12
    That's exactly why I use OneNote. I ran a whole massive software installation project using OneNote and a 12.9 with the Apple Pencil - no more little pieces of paper/stickies all over my desk. I could capture everything, and the way you can make sections and tabs made sense to me - it kept me more organized.

    I didn't find Notability could organize my notes as easily. But I do use Notability to store any pdfs that I need - Notability makes it easier to make notes on it. I don't like how OneNote deals with pdfs.
     
  13. Cascades42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Personally I prefer Notability - it can sync the audio recording with your notes (typed or pencil), which is great. Either you listen to the audio and it highlights the notes as you get to them, or you can tap on part of your notes and it will jump to there. Very useful!
     
  14. jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #14
    Both are good programs/services, and OneNote has some great capabilities that are lacking in Notability. That said, consider your cloud strategy.

    I currently use OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, iCloud and Dropbox. OneNote doesn't work well with the other vendors and I'd take that into account if you are committed to a different cloud storage. Notability is more neutral (works with Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox) and I find the user experience of using OneDrive as my main cloud storage to be the worst of the five.

    However, if you don't need or want cloud consolidation, OneNote is fantastic and was a big help with my graduate degree. And you can always export your notes in OneNote as pdf files later.
     
  15. ardchoille50, Dec 4, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016

    ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #15
    If I might inquire, which Good Notes is the one talked about here? I see two apps, from two different developers, named GoodNotes 4 and the icons are identical as well. Which one is the "real" GoodNotes? I'm using Notability and would like to try GoodNotes to see if it might better serve my needs.

    Edit: It appears that the GoodNotes 4 app, by Ultimate Apps Inc, is a fake/copycat app. Someone should report this to Apple so this fake app can be removed from the App Store.
     
  16. antigonerex macrumors newbie

    antigonerex

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    #16
    How can you export your notes? As far as I can tell, you can export one page at a time as a PDF, but I'd like to export an entire section or notebook to PDF. Is that possible? My concern with everything going to OneDrive is that if I stopped using OneNote (say my subscription to Office ends), then I wouldn't be able to access my notes. Unless I exported them all.
     
  17. bensisko macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    The Village
    #17
    I can't tell you which one YOU like more, but I can tell you which one I like more!

    OneNote for so many reasons!

    1. Cross platform - OneNote is on iOS, macOS and Windows
    2. Cloud Sync - There were some hiccups in the beginning, but syncing over OneDrive means that my notes are always in sync on all my devices (of which I have many) - and if something happens to one device (battery dies) I can easily pick up on another device!
    3. Pencil - previously I used a Bluetooth stylus (used many but Wacom Fineline was the best for writing) and the best results were 'barely passable' - Using the Apple Pencil with OneNote is an absolutely fantastic writing experience! The vast majority of my notes are handwritten so a stylus is key.
    4. Search - the ability to search Handwirtten notes is invaluable
    5. Sharing - I can set up and access shared OneNote notebooks with my team at work or with friends (depending on the need)
    6. Annotate images - kind of a standard thing, but still a smooth experience.
    7. Organization - I love the way OneNote organizes notes! This should be higher on the list. It thinks like I do and makes sense to me.
    8. Paper choices - again, standard but I like being able to choose lined or graph paper
    9. Easy to use - the UI is simple and efficient (the desktop version is more crowded, but the mobile is great)
    10. All my stuff is there - I've been a long time OneNote user - since Office 2007 (when I used it on a Compaq XP tablet pc) and it's been good to be able to move all my stuff from device to device over the years.

    I really like Microsoft's commitment to OneNote - they're constantly updating it and improving it. Their support team is quick and helpful.

    All-in-all, OneNote is one of, if not the, finest products Microsoft has ever put their name on!
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2017 ---
    OneNote is free and so is a bit of OneDrive storage so you shouldn't need to worry about that (also, you still have your notes locally).

    You may need the full desktop version to export notes to PDF.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2017 ---
    Or you can just use OneDrive just to sync OneNote docs and use other cloud services for your "main" storage.

    After all, you know what they say about eggs and baskets... ;-)
     
  18. jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #18
    It seems to be a Windows only function. It's never affected me because I haven't had to export my OneNote notebooks (just individual notes). I also always have a Windows PC or two available (work is all Windows, I always keep a Windows computer or VM around).

    Edit: As @bensisko mentions, you don't need to keep all your eggs in one basket. You can copy your OneNote folder to a different storage provider or download it to a hard drive. It will still work with the OneNote app, it just won't have the full range of abilities as it would if it was saved on OneDrive.

    Agreed.
     

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