Goodnotes 101

How GoodNotes Uses GoodNotes

August 6, 2020

One of the best parts of building an app like GoodNotes is seeing all the different ways people use it.

What’s more, we’re users ourselves. As people who live and breathe GoodNotes, we wanted to share the different ways we as a team (and as individuals) use our own app every single day.

Here are some of the interesting ways we use GoodNotes at GoodNotes!

1. We use GoodNotes to sketch out early design ideas

With GoodNotes, you get the freedom to write and draw things anywhere on the page, just like paper, along with the added benefit of getting a digital copy.

Our design team often uses the app as a canvas for visualizing early ideas and sketching simple wireframes.

Hand-sketched wireframes from one of our designers, Rodney, when brainstorming the GoodNotes folder system.

Then, if they’re happy with some of the initial drawings they can follow up with them on the computer (since GoodNotes syncs with iCloud).

Leo, another product designer here, uses GoodNotes to freely organize his thoughts when evaluating how users might interact with different features.

Gabriel, who works on product and growth, also shares that when copywriting for the app or website, he’ll add screenshots of the existing design into GoodNotes and write over it:

“Not editing directly on Sketch helps me be more creative because I don’t have the constraint of a fixed format. I can cross things out, draw arrows and use different colors.”

2. We use GoodNotes to take notes during interviews

In our team, what you’ll always find is that if we’re interviewing a candidate, we have our iPads open to GoodNotes.

Vivien, our recruiter, shares:

“It’s less intimidating and ‘work-like’ when you’re handwriting notes. I’m also conscious of typing sounds when I’m interviewing candidates face-to-face.”

For every candidate, we have a hiring packet, which is basically a document with criteria on what to look for as well as a set of questions to ask. Many of us download the document straight into GoodNotes and write on top of it too.

3. We use GoodNotes to work out calculations for our machine learning technology

GoodNotes uses machine learning algorithms to power features like handwriting recognition, which allow you to convert your handwriting to text, and allow you to search your handwriting as if it were typed text.

This technology is actually based on a variety of complicated mathematical models.

If you’ve ever tried typing out a math equation on your computer, you’ll understand what a pain it can be. GoodNotes becomes a digital notepad for us to then work through these equations.

Marco, a member of our research team, explains:

“I usually derive these models mathematically by myself to make sure I really understand them before I use the models for modeling handwriting recognition.”

4. We use GoodNotes to digitally review and sign vendors’ quotations and agreements

We work with a variety of vendors to keep our office running smoothly. That usually means a lot of paperwork and agreements that need to be negotiated, signed and sent back.

Sherry, our office manager, filling out a PDF form on her iPad.

When we were working with our contractor to renovate our office, for example, their proposals could be up to 10 pages long, listing hundreds of items for us to review.

Thanks to GoodNotes, when vendors send us agreements, we can import and annotate long PDFs easily, and send them back without having to fiddle with a printer or scanner.

5. We use GoodNotes to read and annotate articles

A lot of us read academic journals, books and articles in GoodNotes too. It’s convenient to import these files into the app and then annotate them, or take notes on the side.

Denny, from our customer support team, shares:

“I often save articles on the internet as PDF file from Safari and import them into GoodNotes for reading later. When I consume those saved articles in GoodNotes, I’ll open another notebook in another window, read the PDF file on the left and annotate key points on the right side.”

6. We also use GoodNotes to take notes in class!

We know that a lot of GoodNotes users use the app to take notes in class — we’re no exception!

On the left are notes from Sherry’s Japanese class, and on the right are Rammy’s from her Buddhism class. Tip: Rammy uses the Zoom window to write extra small and neat!

It’s handy to take and keep digital study notes in GoodNotes, where everything is searchable and also accessible on the computer.

Fun fact: Everyone at GoodNotes gets a monthly budget to spend on personal development and learning.

7. We use GoodNotes to annotate sheet music (and create new songs!)

Sunny, one of our software engineers, keeps all his sheet music in GoodNotes, so that he only ever has to bring his iPad to choir practice. He can freely highlight and write notes over the music, such as performance directions or edits, knowing that anything can be easily erased again.

An exclusive look at our GoodNotes song, Notes!

GoodNotes also happens to have a variety of blank sheet music paper templates too — great for coming up with some new tunes.

Bonus: Team favorites!

We also asked the team which paper template and pen styles they use the most in GoodNotes and here’s what we found:

Amongst our team, the fountain pen and dotted paper template are the most popular choices!

Now it’s your turn!

We want to see how you’re using GoodNotes, whether you’re a student taking study notes, a working professional, or someone who just wants to go paperless. Tag us @goodnotesapp on Instagram or use #goodnotes when tweeting your notes!

Haven’t got GoodNotes yet? Download it here today and start creating!

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