I’ve been using Evernote, and taking it seriously, for over 2 years now. It’s my go-to app for note taking, long term projects, and goal setting. Quite honestly, it took me a while to figure out how to make it work for me but it’s now become a staple in my work flow.
I think this is most useful for an intermediate user. I started using it when I was having a tough time finding things in my notebooks because the notes started to accumulate. I knew I needed a system to find things quicker. So I created a Table of Contents for every active notebook I have. The main goal of the TOC is to have a go-to document with things to other notes within those notebooks. I’ve labeled each TOC “01 Table of Contents” so that it will always remain at the top so long as my notes are sorted by title.
Within each TOC I use note links so that I can navigate to each note quickly. I’ll also organize the links into categories so It’s also easy for me to find within the TOC. I’ll prioritize the notes that need my attention this week. I’ll put other categories below that so that goals and projects aren’t out of sight, out of mind.
I’ve found that the TOC helps me keep my long term goals at the forefront of each week so I don’t get side tracked. The only thing is, I have to remember to open, organize, and look at the TOC every week. So I put a daily reminder in Todoist to open it up. I know it may seem redundant to some, but it’s the only way it works for me lol!
Do you have a workflow that works for you? I would love to hear how you have yours set up to improve my own!
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!