Top 5 Best Digital Note-Taking apps to use in 2022 (on the iPad)

In today’s digital age, more and more people choose to go paperless by planning and organizing on apple devices using a digital planner.

A digital planner for iPad is a PDF file with hyperlinks that allows busy professionals to rock plans, meetings, and notes when used inside a notes app.

Having a digital planner is like having your paper planner just on the iPad.

You can take handwritten notes on the iPad and flip the pages just like you would do with a paper planner. You can move notes or erase them in seconds without leaving page marks. You can create endless digital notes, add stickers and voice notes inside the digital paper notebooks. And most important of all, you can have all your notes in one place, easily searchable and organized.

Plus, you can take private notes or collaborate with your remote team easily.

You need an iPad, the Apple Pencil, and a notes app like Goodnotes, Notability, Noteshelf, Zoomnotes, or Zinnia.

digital planner ipad noteshelf

A notes app can boost your productivity.

If you want to be more productive, you’ll love to use a paperless planner consistently. It will help keep you on track with your day-to-day tasks, but it can also act as a digital scrapbook for all of your ideas and inspirations. You can use the note-taking app at work to take meeting notes, sign documents, and brain dump your thoughts inside a digital planner.

What is a digital planner PDF?

A digital planner PDF file is a document that can be opened on an iPad, iPhone, or Mac using a PDF annotation app. The digital planner PDF file contains hyperlinks to other pages within the document to quickly navigate to the right section when you’re handwriting vital notes in your planner.

A digital planner is a great way to take your paper planner digital! With a digital planner and a notes app, you can easily create and customize your planner to fit your needs. A digital planner can include monthly, weekly, or daily planning pages, meeting sections, project sections, etc. This can make it easier for you to stay organized and be productive.

If you’re looking for digital planner templates that will help you stay organized the entire year, then download my best digital planner templates for FREE. These digital planners are available as PDF files with hyperlinks, and they can be used on the iPad with the Apple Pencil and a notes app.

What is a PDF annotation app?

A PDF annotation app also called a notes app, allows you to write on and interact with PDF files. There are many different PDF annotation apps available, so choose one that works best for you. Popular PDF annotation apps include Notability, Goodnotes 5, Noteshelf, Zoomnotes, and Zinnia Journal.

These apps enable a beautiful handwriting experience and robust handwriting recognition to easily convert your notes to typed text. To enjoy the whole note-taking app experience, use an Apple Pencil and a paper-like screen protector.

Most of the time, a note-taking app uses Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud syncing so you can backup documents or display them across all your devices. Also, the note-taking app should work on all your devices using iOS 14+ from iPad mini to iPad Pro 12.9″ and MacBook Pro.

When choosing a note-taking app, you must consider your main goal: if you want to decorate on digital paper, Goodnotes 5 or Zinnia apps are best for you. If you’re committed to being productive and making new notes faster, use Notability or Goodnotes. If you need to sync your calendar with the planner, check out the Zoomnotes app.

goodnotes 5 digital planner template

The Notability app

Notability is a powerful digital planner and note-taking tool that can be used to keep your life organized. Use it to take quick notes, make to-do lists, track actual events or add web links to your notebooks. You can also use it to store files, such as PDFs or images and add annotations. Notability’s searchable handwritten notes make it easy to find what you’re looking for. Notability is also great for storing and organizing research materials. You can create binders for each project and easily add PDFs. 

Notability app is a favorite notes app among students for its voice recording feature. Allowing students to record lectures and take notes simultaneously can be a lifesaver during busy weeks. This app will enable students to take notes during studies, complete and turn in assignments, and more. Teachers also use Notability to create videos and notes that they share with their students before and after class.

The app also has built-in Dropbox and Google Drive integrations, so students can easily store and share their notes with classmates or teachers. The iCloud syncing makes it easy to sync Notability across multiple devices.

The bottom line is that Notability is a full-featured note-taking app and an excellent tool for learning that can be used on all Apple devices.

Some of the reasons people love Notability are:

– great for lectures: take handwritten notes and record lectures at the same time

– supports hyperlinks in PDFs: Notability supports interactive PDFs (with hyperlinks), so you can click on links to jump to pages or open websites

– a powerful search tool that can save you time when looking for a specific note

– all in one digital planner: with all of your notes and ideas in one place, it’s easy to plan out your day or semester

– cross-device compatibility: use Notability on your iPad, then open your notes on your Mac to add more content

Notability Pricing

The Notability app offers two pricing plans for users to choose from. The “Starter plan” includes limited note edits and only three favorite tools. In contrast, the “Plus plan” includes unlimited note edits, twelve favorite tools, iCloud sync across devices, handwriting recognition, auto-backup, math conversion, and regularly updated content.

best free digital planner for goodnotes

The Goodnotes 5 app

Goodnotes is a digital planner app that allows you to keep track of your schedule, tasks, and digital notes all in one place. In Goodnotes, you can design customized planners and journals or use the available pre-made templates. Good notes also offers a wide range of features, including the ability to add hyperlinks, images, and audio recordings to your notes. You can also use Goodnotes to scribble or type your digital notes, sort notes, and share individual notes with others. The app has a built-in PDF viewer to open and view PDF files with hyperlinks. The hyperlinks are not a must for your PDF files, but they are handy for digital planning because they allow you to easily navigate between pages in your planner.

To get started with Good notes, simply download the app from the App Store and create an account. Then, you can start creating your own digital planners and journals. The GoodNotes app is a one-time pay app available on the iPad, iPhone, and Mac and can be used as your go-to digital planner.

Some of the reasons people love Goodnotes are:

– the app is smooth and feels natural when you write your notes on the digital paper

– you can create folders and sub-folders to organize your paperless notebooks

– there are lots of digital stickers available that you can add to your planner pages with a simple drag and drop

– it’s easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of steps to get started

– has the most extensive text formatting options

– you can add hyperlinks to web pages

– the search tool works beautifully, quite as impressive as in Notability

Goodnotes 5 Pricing

Good notes offers a one-time payment for the app. The app is available on the iPad, iPhone and Mac.

download goodnotes template noteshelf app

The Noteshelf app

If you’re looking for a way to make more efficient and organized notes than a traditional paper planner, Noteshelf is the most friendly notes app. You can take notes, create to-do lists, and track your progress on projects. It syncs with all your devices that have iOS14+, so you can access your digital notes from anywhere. You can also select notes to share with others, making it easy to collaborate on projects. Simply download the app from the AppStore and write notes on digital paper to get started.

The Noteshelf app is a digital planner annotations app used on an iPad and iPhone. Just like Notability, the Noteshelf app can annotate PDFs and record audio. This makes it a second favorite tool by students and working professionals.

Some of the reasons people love Noteshelf are:

– the app can be used to annotate PDFs, presentations, and more

– it is easy to fill out forms and sign contracts within the app, with the Apple Pencil

– highlight a specific note for better legibility

– work on multiple documents simultaneously with ease

– record lectures or meetings as you write them down – this is a great feature for students

– take handwritten notes in a hurry and play back the recording later

– special handwriting recognition and text conversion are available

Noteshelf Pricing

The app has a very user-friendly interface and is loved by many users. It is available on the App Store for a one-time payment. If you are looking to embark on the digital planning journey, Noteshelf is your app!

free noteshelf template download digital planner

The Zoomnotes app

Zoomnotes is a digital planner that allows you to take notes and sync them across devices. To take digital notes in Zoomnotes, simply create a new note or open an existing one, then scribble or type in your text. You can also add images, audio, and calendar events to your notes. Once you are done, Zoomnotes will save your notes in the cloud, and you can access them from any device.

Zoomnotes app is designed for business people, teachers, and students who need to take notes or sketch ideas on their iPad, iPhone, or Mac. It has many of the same features as Goodnotes, such as creating and editing PDF files, handwriting and drawing with a digital pen, and adding hyperlinks.

If you’re looking for a digital planner that lets you add your own links between pages and even between documents, Zoomnotes is an excellent option. You can import PDF digital planner documents and create your own customizable digital planner document.

The app automatically shows events from the Calendar app on the monthly, weekly, and day planner pages

Some of the reasons people love Zoomnotes are:

– smooth ink in eight different pens

– import and write over PDF, MS, and PPT documents

– create your own digital planner document or import a PDF digital planner document

– automatically show events from the Calendar app on the monthly, weekly, and day planner pages

Zoomnotes Pricing

The Zoomnotes app is available for free on the App Store, and you’ll be able to upgrade for more functionalities. Although the interface looks outdated, and there is a big learning curve with Zoomnotes, it’s a great tool for taking notes and staying organized, and it’s definitely worth checking out!

free planner template work life planner

Zinnia app

There are a lot of debates on goodnotes vs zinnia apps for digital planning. However I feel that the new Zinnia app is fantastic for you if you want to get started quicker! It has so many features that bring the look and feel of creative journaling and planning to your iPad and iPhone. You can explore a huge catalog of design elements like lettering packs, washi tape and stickers. Use a variety of practical habit trackers to enhance your productivity. Transform your organization with a vibrant selection of calendar layouts and themed journals.

You can use the app on your iPad, iPhone and Mac. The Zinnia team is always updating the app with new features and designs, so you’ll never get bored!

Some of the reasons people love Zinnia are:

– huge catalog of design elements

– a variety of practical habit trackers

– transform your organization with a vibrant selection of calendar layouts

– themed, ready-made journals

Zinnia pricing

If you’re looking for an amazing digital planner that lets you customize every detail, the new Zinnia app is perfect for you! The app is available for free on the App Store, and you’ll be able to upgrade for more functionalities.

download planner template digital goodnotes

Ready to start digital planning?

If you’re seeking paperlike digital planner templates that will keep you organized in 2022, download my best digital planners FREE selections today. These digital planners are available as PDFs with hyperlinks and may be used on the iPad with the Apple Pencil to:

– de-clutter your mind and focus on the bright side of living

– write important notes about your team, your customers’ needs, and one-to-one meetings

– lead your team to results, delegate tasks, and stay on track with your projects

– be overall more productive

If you’re looking to get the most out of your digital planner, make sure you use an Apple Pencil and a paper-like screen protector. That way, you’ll enjoy the whole note-taking app experience and take advantage of all the features digital planners offer.

taking notes goodnotes digital planner

Apple Pencil digital planner tips

The Apple Pencil is coming in two versions! One with an attachable cap that doubles as a Lightning connector and the other just a plain old pen-like design. The attachable cap version would make charging and keeping track of the Pencil more accessible, while the simple pen-like design would be more affordable. 

The Apple Pencil is a fantastic tool for digital planning, and it has a lot of features that you can take advantage of! For example, you can use it to:

– Take handwritten notes inside the notes app

– Annotate PDFs and screenshots

– Draw in many different apps like Goodnotes or Procreate

– Select typed text in a digital planner to move it around or delete it

The Apple Pencil is also pressure-sensitive, so you can control how thick or thin your lines are, and it has tilt detection so you can change the angle of your strokes for even more creative options!

iPad Screen protector tips

There are a few reasons you might want to use a screen protector when taking notes on your iPad. Using a screen protector will help keep your iPad screen clean and free from scratches. Additionally, using a screen protector can also help reduce glare and make the iPad easier to see in bright light.

If you’re looking for the best screen protector for digital planning, I recommend using a paper-like screen protector. That way, you’ll be able to take advantage of the Apple Pencil’s features and have a writing experience as close to pen and paper as possible!

Ready to start taking handwritten notes on the iPad?

Digital note-taking is a powerful way to organize your thoughts and ideas and quickly access them when needed. When using a note-taking app, there are a few simple steps to ensure that your digital notes are clear and concise. First, identify the general ideas or themes of the notes. Next, create a title for the digital notes that accurately reflects the contents. Then, start jotting down your thoughts on the topics. As you write, be sure to use bullet points or small paragraphs to make your notes easy to read. Finally, add any relevant supporting details or visual aids. These simple steps will help you take great notes inside your paperless notebook!

And if you’re not yet convinced… there are many benefits to taking handwritten notes, such as improving focus, memory, and creativity. Additionally, taking handwritten notes can help you learn and retain information better.

And the best part? 

If you’re looking for digital planner templates that will keep you organized for the entire year, download my best digital planners FREE selections today. These digital planners are available as PDFs with hyperlinks and may be used on the iPad with the Apple Pencil.

taking digital notes on the ipad

Who uses a digital planner?

Try a paperless notebook today and see how it can help you live a more productive life!

Digital planners are perfect for anyone who wants to get more organized and productive. They’re great for teachers, social media managers, artists, fitness lovers, busy entrepreneurs, working professionals, and active grandparents!

Digital Bullet Journals are a digital way of keeping track of your to-do lists, goals, and thoughts. They’re perfect for anyone who wants to de-clutter their mind and focus on the bright side of living!

Download my FREE digital planners now and gain access to digital planners for meetings, projects, people, plans, and more!

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