GoodNotes 5 Review

Ready to write with GoodNotes 5

My Thoughts on GoodNotes 5

I have used GoodNotes 5 since its release and I thought it time to let people know what is good and what is bad about the app.

Version based Review

This review is based on version 5.0.20 of GoodNotes 5. When Time Base Technology Ltd. first released GoodNotes 5, there were some issues that needed to be worked out to make it usable. The company has been hard at work making many small adjustments since this versions initial release. With regular updates being sent out, the app has gone from hard to use to something I am happy to have downloaded. All the recent updates have brought a lot more functionality to the app.

Updates in the previous two weeks.

What is GoodNotes 5 used for?

GoodNotes is a note taking app that is available in the Apple App Store and is primarily geared towards people with an Ipad that is capable of supporting the Apple Pencil. The app can be used with your finger, though I really DO NOT recommend that. 

The designers had “completely redesigned” the code behind the app to allow them greater ease for updates and flexibility for future versions. This redesign seems to have allowed them the ability to look into a number of new features, which you can discuss on their website forum.

I have downloaded a number of note taking apps since getting my Ipad Pro and Apple pencil. GoodNotes 5 is turning out to be one of my favourites, above others like; Notability, the native Apple Notes app, and Nebo.

Pros and Cons

Some of my favourite things about GoodNotes are as follows:

  • Three custom pen colours always available and just one tap to switch between them
  • Pictures inserted into the notes are able to be moved around
  • The *NEW* unlimited organization of notebooks within folders

Some of the things I am not a fan of are:

  • The pages don’t auto-lock to the width of the screen.
  • The developers do not let you decide the backup file format.
  • There is no voice recording function.


The good things about GoodNotes 5 have thus far outweighed any negatives I have had about the app thus far. I really do wish that you could have all of your backups automatically formatted to PDF, like notability, but unfortunately that is just not an option here. They have stated on their blog that they are working on a voice recording option, although, I have never used the one in Notability that often.

I have noticed since using GoodNotes and Notability that GoodNotes seems to use up less battery than the latter. That may in large part be due to the voice recording function in notability being on as I have been trying that out. I will do a better side by side comparison in the future to get a more accurate result to show you though.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the $10 that this app costs is fair for the functionality that they provide. I would highly recommend this app to someone who needs or wants to take notes by hand and has an Ipad and Apple Pencil.

GoodNotes 5


Ease of use




Equipment Requirements



  • Pen Colours
  • Moveable Pictures
  • Organization
  • Search Feature


  • Backup File Format
  • No Voice Recording
  • Page Width Doesn't Auto-Lock
Posted on: March 15, 2019, by :

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