An up and coming app that can blow the competition out of the water, Noteshelf app has quickly became my favorite PDF annotations app! It’s a stable app, super friendly to use, and works beautifully with my custom designed planners.
I have started using Noteshelf quickly after I became disappointed with Goodnotes 5 new app. Somehow Noteshelf team has managed to create an app that mixes the best of Notability and Goodnotes 4 & 5 into a well-crafted app that did not freeze, or let me down when I need it the most. So, whether you are a student or a working professional, Noteshelf may be a perfect note-taking app for you, especially if you’re using one of my digital products.
I personally support the work of Noteshelf team so much that I became a proud affiliate and promoter. Feel free to use my affiliate link to get Noteshelf, or go to Apple store and download it.
10 reasons why I use Noteshelf for my digital planners and notebooks:
#1. Decent storage needed for my notes and audio recordings
Definitely Notability app is the best at this chapter, but Noteshelf app is quite good too! I do keep my digital planners and notebooks inside the app for 1-2 years, so keeping the storage size as decent as possible is a must.
#2. Automatic backups and faster synchronization of notes
Noteshelf support auto-backup with Dropbox and OneDrive only. Plus, you can use iCloud to keep your notes synchronized across your iPad and iPhone.
#3. Performance and speed
I honestly think that in our times we should expect this by default. However, due to Goodnotes 5 poor performance and readability issues (this did not happen in Goodnotes 4!), I need to highlight that Noteshelf is the fastest and most stable app when it comes to rendering my pre-designed planners (even if the files size exceeds 10MP!)
#4. Beautiful organization system in Categories and Groups
No more chaos allowed when working in Noteshelf! Now I keep my work organized in categories. I keep my 2019 Digital Planner, The 240 People Book, The Journaling Book, The Health Tracker and The Undated Reading Tracker inside My heaven on earth (2019) folder while everything else stays in dedicated categories.
#5. PDF Table of contents
This is A MUST HAVE for me. To enable an easy navigation through my digital planners I have built-in the PDF Table of Content (or Outlines) to quickly jump to a section like: a monthly page, meetings section, projects section and more. This feature is also on top of my customer’s preferences list so i am not going to give up on it.
#6. Easy to bookmark and label a page
This is a very useful feature whenever I need to bookmark a client profile page, or a particular meeting. I do delete the bookmarks once a project is completed, or if I no longer need them, but you feel free to keep them as much as you want.
#7. Easy to navigate the pages of my digital planners using the hyperlinks and functional monthly tabs
This is a time saver feature and it’s my favorite! You don’t have to change the pen tool to be able to click through pages (like you do in Goodnotes) and you don’t have to click on a link-to-page preview (as it happens in Notability). You just write your notes, and click the links with no interruption what so ever!!
#8. Easy to use my digital planner’s built-in templates WITHOUT MESSING UP THE HYPERLINKS
I put a lot of effort into creating my digital planners with 30k+ of hyperlinks. So, whenever someone wants to use one of the 16 templates included inside the digital notebook, I really want them to be able to copy-paste those templates inside the my custom designed digital planner WITHOUT losing up the hyperlinks functionality. In Noteshelf they can!
#9. Record and playback audio
Thank you Noteshelf for allowing me to record audio while taking my meeting notes!! While notes are not automatically synced with audio recordings (as it happens in Notability) I still like to use it to record my meetings or Skype discussion while talking notes on my dedicated Digital Meetings Book.
#10. Easy drag & drop text, photos
It’s easy to drag & drop text, photos from other apps into Noteshelf with Multitasking – this helps me a lot when reviewing clients work (for my visual design & consulting business). I just drag and drop images or text from their websites and start scribbling the changes. What I love about this is that whenever you drag and drop a text you can place it wherever you want inside your notebook page (in Notability I did not find this option).
#11. The new multi-window feature
You can now have up to 3 active sessions of Noteshelf ✍️ and many more in the background! Check their video on Instagram:
Plus, a lot more flexibility to edit the digital notebooks:
- Paper customization: While you can’t move multiple pages at a time, you can change a page template without changing the whole document
- Easy to add images or import new documents inside an active notebook
- Great handwriting experience – great sizes and color choices for the ink, and highlighter
- The text editing feature has lots of formatting options. Just double tap ANYWHERE on the page to start writing. For an organized content you can choose to use headings, checkbooks and other useful settings
- Convert handwriting to text works pretty decent in Noteshelf
- Advanced lasso tool – This works very well! You can move the selection around the page, copy it, delete it or resize it! For the handwritten content you can also change the pen color or convert it to text
- The eraser tool works super smooth – it can delete parts of the stroke, the entire stroke or the highlighter only giving me so much more flexibility when taking notes
- The search feature – Because I work with Bookmarks, Tags and the Table of Content, I rarely need to search thorough my planners and digital notebooks. However, Noteshelf team has indicated in their product description that, the app can search your handwritten notes in 65 different languages!
While I do love Noteshelf, here’s why I am not 100% sold to it
- The smoothing effect that happens every time I click to see a new page is annoying and uncomfortable, so I hope the Noteshelf team will take care of it soon.
- Copy – paste a page in a new location is not straight forward and it would be very useful when people are using my built-in templates inside the master digital planners. At the moment, what I recommend them to do is to save the pages as a template then import them at the desired location. But wouldn’t it be so much easier to just Copy the page, navigate to the new location and just Paste the copied page? Just saying …
- Go Back / Go to Page buttons – I got used to these 2 buttons when working in Goodnotes 4 (“Go Back” no longer exist in Goodnotes 5 app – such a pity!) so I could see how massively useful they are! If there is one NEW feature that I would like to see implemented in Noteshelf that would be the “Go Back” Button
- DOES NOT recognize dates links, emails and phone numbers so I CAN’T use them directly from my notes to add events to the calendar, call a phone number or write an email (you can do this with Notability instead). If Noteshelf would implement this too, then I am 100% sold!
- Does not support vertical scrolling – although this does not impact my workflow, Noteshelf team may want to consider the vertical scrolling feature that is super useful to students when talking lecture notes.
That’s my experience with Noteshelf so far. Again, I mostly use it to keep all my personal and work notes organized inside my carefully designed digital notebooks, while I still take fast notes using Notability.
How about you? How are you using the Noteshelf app? Are you using it in conjunction with another PDF annotation app?
Eager to try one of my planners? Download my FREE 2019 Digital Planner and get started today.