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More Robust Virtual Note Taking

Using Notability or Goodnotes to enhance your study and note-taking on a digital device.

After I got my first iPad, a friend recommended a note-taking app called Noteability. I purchased it but never really used it.

Fast forward 6-7 years and I find myself using it at least weekly. I've learned that I can import Google Docs and them write all over them with my apple pencil. This is a game changer!

I have weekly meetings where I generally get a print out of the agenda. I would take notes on the agenda and generally forget about the paper. Now I request that no agenda is printed. Instead, I just import it into Noteabilty from Google Drive. I can then take notes on it in various colors, make highlights, etc. I can edit those notes as needed. I then take all those notes and use them for action items. It has been great.

I would like to say I thought of the idea myself, but someone else in the meeting got a new iPad and started doing this with Goodnotes. As he was telling me about all the features, I found I had the same features in Noteability, so I didn't bother purchasing another app.

If you want to see the differences between Goodnotes and Noteability, I found there are lots of comparisons out there.


Recently I learned someone was using Goodnotes as their scripture study tool. This is cool! Now you can have the same format of scriptures as others with the ability and hightlight and write in margins, etc., as you would with real scriptures. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Download the scriptures in pdf format. You can google this, but here is link to the Book of Mormon, for example.
  2. Use DeftPDF to resize the pages of the PDF to add more room in the margins. This makes it easier to write all the notes you want on each page. On mone, I added 1.5 inches on the left and the right. You simply upload the PDF, add additional margins, then download the new PDF.
  3. Import your new PDF into Noteability or Goodnotes. I used Airdrop on my mac and my iPad accepted and prompted me to open it in Noteability. It was that simple.

I hope these tips give you some ides for better note-taking it our amazing digital world.

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Dustin Davis

Dustin Davis is a software engineer, people manager, hacker, and entreprenuer. He loves to develop systems and automation. He lives with his wife and five kids in Utah.

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Dustin Davis