Tuesday, October 19 2021

The iPad has become a workaholic in recent years. With the introduction of iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, the transition from pen and paper to digital note-taking is more achievable than ever. GoodNotes 4 is one of the best digital document note taking and annotation apps available on iOS.

What is GoodNotes 4?

GoodNotes 4 is like two apps in one. One aspect is note taking, designed to turn your iPhone or iPad into a virtual notepad for capturing handwritten thoughts. Second, it is a powerful PDF and document markup and annotation app. If you are familiar with the original iOS Notes app (from iOS 9), it looks like an improved version of Apple’s built-in app.

Why is this awesome

One of the coolest features of GoodNotes 4 is its collection of “paper” templates for taking notes. Whether you need grids, lines, musical staff or blank pages, the app has you covered. If there is something more specific to your needs, custom paper templates can be added to your notebook.

Another key feature that makes GoodNotes 4 particularly useful is the writing “zoom window”. By automatically reducing your writing as you go, you can fit more words on a digital page without the need to write smaller. Best of all, if you make a mistake, you can easily erase, copy, or move a piece of text with just a few clicks.

GoodNotes 4 cover page and annotated document on iPad Pro
GoodNotes 4 is like a digital version of the physical notebooks of the past.
Screenshots: Ian Fuchs / Cult of Mac

Another powerful feature is the annotation of PDFs and documents in GoodNotes 4. Instead of printing documents for a meeting or presentation, you can just take notes right on the document and easily access or share them.

The last killer feature of GoodNotes is optical character recognition, or OCR. By analyzing your handwriting, the app allows you to quickly search for a specific word (or words) in your scribbles. This makes finding a note on a given topic, or an annotation on a specific document, as easy as typing a word and searching.

Who is the GoodNotes note-taking app for?

GoodNotes 4 is ideal for anyone who wants to take handwritten notes in the digital world. The app shines for anyone taking notes during a conference or meeting. And it’s a boon for people who frequently need to annotate or mark up documents.

Bottom line: GoodNotes 4 is the best notes app

GoodNotes 4 is a solid upgrade to the built-in Notes app on iOS. From customizable paper styles to powerful annotation tools and automatic OCR, GoodNotes 4 is the notebook of the future.

Price: $ 7.99

Download from: App Store

See more of our 50 essential iOS apps

Want more reviews of essential iOS apps? Check out our ongoing series, 50 Essential iOS Apps.


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