I thought I’d weigh in on 2 popular journaling apps. From what I know these are the top 2 annotation/journaling apps out there for the iPad at the moment. I wanted to give you a list of pros and cons of each and then weigh in on which one I prefer to use. But first, let’s talk about what I use these apps for so the pros and cons will make a bit of sense.
I’ve been experimenting with my work flow for a few years now. I’ve tried using everything. From to do lists, notes, and calendar apps native to my iPhone to paper planners. I’ve tried carrying around a notebook. After much trial and error I’ve found that for me a combination of apps and a planner works best for me, but more on my workflow later. In April I tested out turning my bullet journal into a digital one and I’ve never looked back. Journaling apps like Notability and Goodnotes are great for taking your planner or bullet journal digital.
I have to admit that I felt like I was betraying the stationery world a little bit by taking my planner digital. Don’t get me wrong, I love paper. I mean love. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I actually prefer my digital bullet journal to my paper planner!
When I first converted over to a digital planner I used Notability. I had purchased it in the past (it costs $5.99) so I decided to give it a try.
A few pros to Notability:
Great UI, easy to figure out.
Ease of writing. My penmanship doesn’t look butchered like it normally does on digital screens.
Pen options. I like that I can change the stroke of my pen and highlighter with a couple of taps.
Eraser tool. It’s a smart eraser so if I erase part of a shape or letter it’ll erase the whole thing.
Handwriting is searchable. I don’t use this feature, but I imagine a lot of people will find it useful.
Side-by-side notes. This is pretty cool, might play around with it to see if this will alleviate my need for a landscape mode. More to come on this feature.
A few cons to Notability:
Ease of moving images. Every month I have a memories page in my planner and while it’s easy to add images into the notebook it’s really hard to move it. Maybe I just couldn’t figure it out lol!
Landscape mode. This was the biggest con for me. I like to use the app in landscape mode but the actual “paper” itself can’t be rotated to landscape. My planner templates that I designed are all in landscape mode so they feel a little small and have a lot of extra paper room at the bottom that I feel goes to waste.
Notability’s cons were enough for me to try Goodnotes (it costs $7.99).
A few pros about Goodnotes:
Good UI, easy to figure out.
Smart drawing. Makes it easy to draw circles and straight lines.
Different papers. I like that I can add different paper types to 1 notebook. I can import a template, use grid paper, lined, or blank. I noticed in Notability it’s 1 type of paper for 1 notebook.
Landscape. Freakin. Mode. HECK YES! If I import a landscape page, it imports as landscape! Also, the papers that are available in Goodnotes are by default portrait but I can easily rotate the paper to landscape in a few taps.
Ease of importing templates from Procreate. I like that I can import files directly from Procreate and it’s formatted the way I intended it without much effort.
A few cons about Goodnotes:
For some reason I don’t like the pen UI on Goodnotes compared to Notability. I like that Notability has more colors to choose from, not just shades of the same color. I also like that the pen size is visual on Notability vs. a slider on Goodnotes. I guess that’s just a preference thing.
As a lefty, I notice that when I write in Goodnotes it’s kinda glitchy when I drag my hand toward the top left corner. It’s rare that it happens, not a deal breaker, but I use the app so much that I do notice it and it gets a little annoying.
Pricier than Notability. But only by $2.
After using both for quite some time my current fave is Goodnotes. The biggest deal breaker for me was the lack of landscape papers on Notability. I do have to try, though, the side my side notes feature in Notability to see if that’s a good alternative. I just couldn’t convince myself to be ok with portrait planner pages. If it weren’t for that I think i’d use Notability. So Notability, if you’re reading this get on that landscape mode!
I know this may be a weird topic but trust me, it’s a story in itself. As an entrepreneur, there are high seasons of business and there are low seasons. Some times you have more business than you can handle and other times you’re searching for the next customer to come around. It’s the nature of being an entrepreneur. Because of that, I’ve learned that knowing when to budget and when to splurge is really important.
This process doesn’t just apply to grocery shopping, but shopping in general is a long process for me. I actually rarely shop for myself. My mom was a very thrifty woman, and she taught me that there are moments when you save and there are moments when you splurge. When it comes to grocery shopping this is especially important. There are moments when you can buy rib eye steaks, and there are moments you buy chuck.
The rule growing up was my mom would buy me anything as long as it’s food and I will eat it. Meaning, whatever is in our cart (including the items she picks) I have to be willing to eat. I’d buy Kid Cuisines, Fruit Roll Ups, and Squeeze-Its. She would buy salads, vegetables, and fruits. I thought it was fair trade. When I’d go shopping with my mom she would show me how to spend our grocery money wisely.
My mom LOVES a good deal, I mean LOVES. Plus, she worked with numbers all the time. She was in accounting before she was in real estate. She would drive all the way to a different grocery store for rib eye steaks if it was only on sale there. Even if it was $0.50 per lb. cheaper she would still go.
I may not be as extreme as her but she did teach me how to make sure I was getting the best price for my money. If we were buying toilet tissue I wouldn’t just look at the cheapest price tag with the same amount of rolls. You would think that 24 roll is 24 rolls. But my mom taught me that not every brand has the same amount of square feet per roll, and that’s where the true savings lie. So when I go to the store I’ll look at the square footage on the packaging. I’ll divide the square footage by the price and find the most affordable from there.
I use this same method when I buy everything – meats, rice, vegetables, etc. I would look at the cheapest price per ounce or per pound. This ensures that I get the best price that I can. So, how do I decide where to shop?
The weekly ads, duh! 😝
Once I get the ads in the mail I’ll sit down and look at all of them, circle things I’m interested in buying, and whichever has the most circles is where I’m going to shop that week. Simple as that! I don’t do extreme couponing or anything, but if I happen to have a coupon on top of the savings that’s icing on the cake! I’m not as extreme as my mom, she’d go to 2-3 grocery stores to grab every single item she needed on sale. I’d rather just go where the most items I want or need are on sale, one stop and I’m done!
I’ve found that this helps me save the most amount of money per week. Between Charlie and I we average about $50 per week on groceries. That averages out to a little over $3.50 per person per day. Not bad!
OMG guys, I can’t believe how long it took for us to finish this project! What we thought would turn into a 2-3 month project turned into a year! We started on July 13, 2017 and finished the project on June 11, 2018. Granted, life and work definitely got in the way. We could’ve finished this project way sooner if it weren’t for work and stuff.
When we bought our house the front and back yards weren’t landscaped. Our ultimate goal is to be able to use more of our yard since we have so much square footage back there. So the first project was to create an area where we could put our outdoor chairs and tables. Kinda extend our covered patio so we could BBQ, have outdoor dinners, use our fire pit, etc. As first time homeowners we knew this would be a huge undertaking for us. It was going to be our first big investment into our home. Since It was kind of overwhelming we didn’t really know where to start. We didn’t even know how much to budget but thought about $3000 might be reasonable. We contacted a few landscapers to give us an estimate but it was way out of our budget so we decided to just slowly work on it ourselves. It was so rewarding to finish but damn, it was so hard! No regrets, though.
Our first goal was to decide how big we wanted the space. Our backyard is flat land with no trees or anything to abstruct/work around so we had a blank canvas to work with. It is also a rectangle so it was really easy to dissect the yard into. We decided to go with a 725 sq. ft. space for what we called the “patio extension.” I did extensive research, went online, watched YouTube videos, read blogs, and went shopping at Lowe’s and Home Depot to start to create a realistic budget.
Once we decided on the dimensions we got to digging! This was the hardest part, it’s really labor intensive and took time to make sure the slope of the land was going away from the house for rain fall. You don’t want excess water to pool or go toward the house. That can lead to foundation issues down the line. We started with 4 inches closest to our covered patio and went down to 6 inches as we went farther away from the house. This is what took us over a year to do lol!
Once we finished digging (a year later) we wet the soil to help it settle a little and sprayed it with weed killer. A few days later we laid down our weed barrier, put in some landscape edging around the perimeter, and went to order our rock. At first weren’t sure what we were going to use for the patio extension but obviously price was a factor. We were thinking about doing concrete, stepping stone with rock or grass in between, brick, or rock. We decided to go with rock since it was the most affordable option and the most versatile. We could always add stepping stone in the future if we wanted to.
There’s a great family owned building materials company about a mile from our house, Jacobi Building Materials. We went there, told them what we wanted, and everything was spelled out and really simple. They asked for the dimensions, they told us how much weed barrier we’d need, how much gravel, and they were right on the money. We hardly had any waste! Plus, they deliver! If you live in the San Fernando Valley area, I highly recommend seeing them.
The rock was delivered at 7 am sharp and we got to work right away. Charlie and I moved all the rock from our driveway into the pit we dug in 6 hours. It was just us, 2 shovels, a wheelbarrow, and lots of water!
All in all we spent a total of about $800, WAY LESS than our expected $3000!! The $800 included shovels, a wheelbarrow, a tamper, the weed barrier, weed killer, the edging, gravel, and delivery.
In hindsight there are a few things I would’ve done differently:
I would’ve dug 2 inches and sloped to 4 inches instead of 4 inches to 6 inches. It really wasn’t necessary to go that deep and we probably would’ve spent a little less on the rock.
We should’ve done this in the fall or winter, it was so hot most of the days we worked on it and I got such a bad tan!
Because it took us so long to dig the pit weeds and grass began to grow where we previously dug. It took extra time to remove and kill what was growing in that area. Next time I’d make sure that we could consistently work on the project so we don’t create extra work for ourselves.
We made the mistake of not creating a straight line to follow when we were digging so our patio extension is a bit squiggly lol! We’re going to cover it up eventually but it still bugs me! We should’ve either spray painted the perimeter, used wood for our edging so it would be pretty straight from the beginning, or put stakes at the corners and tied rope to keep the lines straight.
Honestly, if I could do it over and had the money to pay someone I think I would still do it myself. The sense accomplishment and pride I feel for my home after finishing this project is invaluable. I got out there, sit on the patio, and stare out into the yard for no reason. I rarely ever went out there before this. Now I have breakfast outside, we have friends over and eat dinner back there. Even though the yard still has a long way to go (we still have so many different sections to work on) I love being out there and get to enjoy the space!