iPad Pro What notes app do you use and why?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Aeparker, Nov 19, 2016.


Which notes app do you use?

  1. Onenote

    29 vote(s)
  2. Apple Notes

    43 vote(s)
  3. Notability

    26 vote(s)
  4. Good Notes

    18 vote(s)
  5. Evernote

    11 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Aeparker macrumors newbie


    Aug 27, 2016
    I have an iPad Pro 9.7 inch. I am a photographer that doesn't like a lot of paperwork. I am trying to find a solution to keeping up with my PDFs. I have client files on my iMac or should I say iCloud Drive. I am trying to locate the best way to annotate and highlight relevant information for wedding details. I currently use Onenote. I have been known to change my note apps from day to day. I used to use Evernote, but I left them earlier this year and hadn't thought of going back. I have used the Apple notes app also. I also have Notability and GoodNotes. I like Onenote because of how easy it is to organize my notes. I can also write notes next to whatever I type. I can even cross things out with the Apple Pencil. But today, I found out that I cannot highlight PDFs. Is there something that I'm missing? Which notes app do you use and why?
  2. Aeparker thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 27, 2016
    I have not tried Note Plus. I might have to take a look. Right now, Notability is the closest to what I need.
  3. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    I've had Notability for years. I switched to Zoom Notes, and then later tried Notes Plus. I can do everything I need with NP, including importing and notating web pages, PDFs, and images. I love the pen lines, too.
  4. Aeparker thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 27, 2016
    Can you highlight PDFs or mark on them?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 19, 2016 ---
    I actually find Apple Notes hard to beat.
  5. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    You seem to be using a note-taking app and a PDF management app interchangeably, but I treat them as two separate apps with their own uses.

    For PDFs, I use notability and PDF expert. I personally prefer notability as it is simpler and easier to use, but it sacrifices more advanced features (like being able to actually highlight text) for this simplicity.

    My files are stored in Dropbox and downloaded to my iPad via the documents app.

    For note taking, I have been using the notes app since iOS 9, but I am now trying out the Bear Notes app. It runs on a subscription model, and I know many people will balk at the idea of paying $15 a year for it, but I would like to see if the advanced formatting options will improve my note taking experience.
  6. Aeparker thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 27, 2016

    I have Bear also. I haven't used it much though. I need to take a closer look at it.
  7. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    As you've found, OneNote is great for a lot of things, but directly manipulating PDF files is not one of them. I'd second the above suggestion to separate your note-taking from your PDF file management. Either with a dedicated PDF program, or with another program like GoodNotes or Notability, both are first-class writing/note/pdf management programs (but not as full featured as OneNote - at least if you sync back to a computer somewhere to get OneNote's full features).
  8. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    Honestly, neither have I. It happens to be the end of the school term here for me, so I have much less reason to take notes for work-related purposes. Hope to be able to play around with it more over the next few weeks.
  9. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    Apple Notes and Notability for macOS compatibility.
  10. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    I'm now using Apple Notes and am quite content with it. I like the ability to lock individual notes with a dedicated password and sync a note over all my MacOS and iOS devices. I use this to do such things as keep a master list of my passwords and other confidential info locked across my devices without needing to be ultra security conscious about access in general.

    I previously used EverNote and was not happy. It was flakey and hard to use. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. Never really understood why. In fact, it is still bugging me. Even though I tried to uninstall it, there are still remnants of it on my iMac. For example, after each time I reboot the iMac the first time I try to print something I get a splash screen from EverNote. No idea why, but can't seem to get rid of it.

    I'm not really a "power user" of Notes, but for my purposes it seems to be ideal.
  11. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2014
    I like OneNote for traditional note taking however MyScript Nebo is my favorite to use with the Apple Pencil.
  12. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    Yes, because once you've inserted a . PDF into Notes Plus, you can write all over it. You can't edit the PDF, but you can use the highlighter pen on it.
  13. jrs22 macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2012
    I use Notability for several reasons.

    - Apple Pencil integration is tops
    - my notes are a mix of annotated and highlighted pdfs and regular handwritten notes, with the occasional typewritten note thrown in.
    - I can add a page of lined 'paper' to a PDF when I want to annotate with more than fits in the margins.
    - it syncs with my iPod touch and MacBook Pro so I have access to all my notes wherever.
  14. bensisko macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2002
    The Village
    OneNote. I love the organization structure (perfect balance between complex and simplistic) and it works fantastically cross-platform (for the most part - ironically the Windows mobile app can be flakey at times).
  15. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008
    OneNote and Notes

    OneNote for work notes, Notes for the little bits of daily stuff I make a note on.
  16. Jessica08 macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2015
    Roll Tide
    I'm starting back school in January so I will be using my IPP, which I'm getting for Christmas so I don't have it yet, to take notes. I've heard good things about notability. Can you print the notes from this app?
  17. Kostas3000 macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2016
    New York
    I use apple notes a lot. I love that you can add pdf or photo attachments and you can very rapidly type in when you are using the app in the iPhone.
    For pdf annotation, nothing beats PDF expert, by far the best pdf app.
    I also use notability for brain storming, it has an excellent integration of the pencil (draw with pencil, scroll with finger), while in other apps there is usually an extra step when you want to draw with the pen.
    All three are excellent apps with different uses. I use them for different uses.

    Another app to consider for pdf-note taking is Devon think to go. It has some different strengths and weaknesses. No iCloud sync though. Marginnote is also an interesting app for pdf annotation, but it is more complex than it should be.

    My personal workflow is now leaning towards:
    Adobe acrobat on my mac for initial pdf editing (such as adding links to pdf), reading the pdf on my iPadPro with PDF expert.
    Typing in quick notes (to do lists) on the apple notes. Apple notes offers the fastest way to type in notes and to retrieve them.
    Devonthink to go for local storing of sensitive documents (it manually syncs over wifi between iPhone/ipad/mac). Medicine is one of the business areas that has very strict document storing security regulations (almost all cloud options are NO-NO)

    As I have written many times, I love my iPad, I wish I could do all of my work on an iPad. However I still do 40% of my work on my 12in retina MacBook. I love this machine for anything that involves typing. I also like using it when I am lying on the bed, because the keyboard acts like a stand.

    Having said that, I am looking forward to the new iPad Mini. From testing it at the best buy store, I realized that it offers a very rapid thumb typing (optimal distance of the keys for my thumbs) and a very convenient one hand holding function (very light and compact).
  18. Tacit37 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    Everyone has a different opinion. I am a student who has used iPads all 3 years of my 4 year master's program. I now have a Pro 9.7 with apple pencil and have Notes Plus, Notability, Good Notes, as well as Documents and PDF Expert by Readdle.

    I use Notability for all notetaking for school and Documents/PDF Expert for books and PDF. I have tried Notes Plus for school but it had bugs that made me lose material. Also Notes Plus does not write as fluidly as other apps. Some of the design functions are great. I use it for journaling. Good Notes is pretty awesome but I chose Notability over it due to preferring the layout of the app. I have also used others but these are the most notable to me.
  19. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    I find Apple Notes hard to beat too. I use PDF Expert for PDF files.
  20. DGGoingUphill macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2015
    I use Notability for most of my note taking, but store no notes in it. Instead, I keep all my notes as PDFs in Dropbox. I use a year-month-day prefix for each note to keep them in nice order. I have a different folder for each project and sync those folders via Readdle Docs to keep local copies always handy and I can edit them with Docs, if I want to. I also use Readdle Scanner to make PDF notes out of what I do on paper. With this system, I have the right tool for the job to create a note, can view my notes from any computer via Dropbox, have local files on all my machines and am future-proofed in terms of file formats. I went to this system after getting stuck too many times in a proprietary system that didn't meet my needs or stopped being reliable in later versions.
  21. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Jun 6, 2015
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    Half the replies didn't even read your post.

    You should try PDF Expert by Readdle.
  22. username: macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2013
    Fact is there is no good app for Mac and iOS. They all have trade offs. its a shame. Still waiting for someone to develop a decent one
  23. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    This is the correct answer. IMO of course :)

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45 November 19, 2016