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Goodnotes 6 Review: The Best Note-Taking App for iPad?

Goodnotes 6 is one of the most popular note-taking apps for iPad. But is it worth spending money on? We took a close look at all its features.

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goodnotes 6 review

If you’re looking for an app to organize your digital notes, capture your thoughts, or even transform your creative ideas into digital artworks, then Goodnotes 6 could become your digital Swiss army knife.

Goodnotes 6 is available for iPads and is the latest version of the Goodnotes app. In this review, we won’t be focusing on its predecessor, Goodnotes 5.

There’s also “Goodnotes for Android,” available in the Google Play Store for 8-inch or larger Samsung tablets with at least 3 GB of storage. However, it lacks some features, such as AI support, compared to Goodnotes 6. This version is not the focus of this review.

We thoroughly tested Goodnotes 6 on the iPad.

Below, we describe the document creation options, assess the success of Goodnotes 6’s AI integration, especially in solving mathematical equations or handwriting recognition, and delve into the strengths and weaknesses of the app.

Goodnotes 6 User Interface


Goodnotes 6 offers the option to display the user interface as a list or grid.

For some time now, a sidebar has also been available. By clicking on the icon in the top left, you can open it. Documents, Favorites, Search, Share, and the Marketplace can be found there.

You can view all your documents under the “Documents” section. For instance, you can create a folder and insert notes, study sets, images, etc. into it. You can also create a variety of subfolders. As a test, I created ten different subfolders, and the limit was still not reached.

You can also create a note directly without using a folder. However, I recommend creating a folder to stay organized.

For example, I created a folder for daily to-dos and then created subfolders for each day of the week. Each subfolder contains a note with the current to-dos for the day.

Additionally, I have a folder called “Shopping List.” The folder contains a note with a shopping list and the receipt, which I insert after shopping to keep track of my expenses.

Documents marked with a star as favorites can be accessed under Favorites.

You can also bookmark a page in a note. This way, you can quickly find the desired document.

The search function of Goodnotes 6 is excellent. You can search for both handwritten and typed notes using the search function. PDF files, document names, and folder names can also be found using the search function.

Under the “Shared” section, you can see at a glance which documents you have already shared with others.

To share a document, simply click on the upward arrow symbol in the top right if you have it open. You can export a page or the entire document or share a collaboration link. Your notes can be viewed, commented on, and shared by friends, colleagues, or family members.

Symbols in the top right of the app lead you to settings and notification functions. You can also choose whether your documents should be displayed as a list or grid in the top right.

Initially, the user interface of Goodnotes 6 confused me a bit, especially the differences between the various document types were not immediately apparent.

Marketplace for Planners, Stickers, and More


In the so-called “Marketplace,” you have the opportunity to purchase individual, theme-specific planners.

For example, the “Ambitious Planner” is recommended for productivity-oriented individuals. This planner is designed to help you keep track of your appointments, to-dos, and other important things.

The “Ultimate Planner for Students” is also cool. Whether you want to record your latest reading, a changing exam schedule, your workouts, or your shopping, this planner provides space for it all. It offers a year’s worth of undated pages for monthly, weekly, and daily planning. Additionally, there’s a customizable timetable linked to overview pages for each course. Moreover, there’s an extensive set of study templates, including task trackers, study logs, project planners, and more.

Navigation tabs and hyperlinks help you find the desired page or tracker with a single tap. However, the “Ultimate Planner for Students” is priced at 14.99 euros and is certainly not a bargain. In theory, you can also create your own templates in Goodnotes 6.

In the Marketplace, you can also buy stickers, for example, to spruce up your notes.

Read: This is how useful iPads can be

Academic Notes

Academic Notes Goodnotes6

Especially for students, academic notes are handy.

For example, there’s the document “Admission Test Mathematics – complete handwritten guide + formula sheet.” This is a comprehensive guide to the mathematics admission test handwritten in Goodnotes. The guide has four main chapters: Core of Algebra, Problem Solving, Pass for Advanced Mathematics, and additional mathematics topics. This costs 9.99 euros.

There are also academic notes for chemistry, physics, economics, and more, which can make your student life a bit easier.

Document Creation

When creating a new document, you have the choice between a notebook, study set, folder, or image. Additionally, options like “Scan Documents,” “Take Photo,” “Import,” and “Quicknote” are available. Depending on the document type you choose, different tools will be available afterward.

Folders are self-explanatory, and I’ve already explained how I use them in Goodnotes 6.

Study Sets

studysets Goodnotes 6

Things get more interesting with the so-called “Study Sets.” When creating a study set, you are prompted to give it a title, choose the desired language, and select a symbol color.

Afterward, you can enter a question and an answer.

This is super handy for preparing for exams or learning vocabulary, for example.

Also Read: Best Note-Taking Apps for iPads | 2023 Edition

Smart Learning

Once you’ve created all your study sets or flashcards, you can quiz yourself in the app. You can also access the “Smart Learning” feature.

“Smart Learning” uses a spaced repetition system (SRS) to distribute your practice over a longer period. This is a scientifically proven method to improve long-term memorization of topics. The system uses your performance in your study sets to adjust what you see next.

For example, cards that you struggled with in previous sessions are more likely to appear in the next one. Cards you’re confident with, on the other hand, will appear less frequently. Moreover, you’re notified when you need to revisit a study set to maximize your learning efficiency.

This is done by predicting when you’re likely to start forgetting a card so that you’re quizzed again in the next session.

The main advantage of this method is that this learning technique (reviewing when you start to forget instead of daily) has been scientifically proven to be one of the optimal methods for learning and reviewing.

In short, the “Smart Learning” feature essentially checks how well you perform with each card in a study set and adjusts it daily based on your individual progress.

If only this had been available during my school days.

Creating a Notebook

When you create a new notebook, you give it a title, choose the language, and decide whether the notebook should have a cover. The cover is just a nice visual touch and helps you keep track

 if you’ve created multiple notebooks. You also have the choice of various paper templates. There’s dotted, lined, and more. You can also opt for a blank sheet of paper, of course.

Tools for Note Creation

tools within goodnots6

After making your choice, you can start creating your note.

Various tools are available to you.

Goodnotes 6 includes pen tools, an eraser, a lasso tool, and a text box tool, among others.

What’s cool is that with the Apple Pencil, you can simply draw a circle around an object and tap on it to select it. This makes selecting super quick and intuitive.

The app also offers a shape tool, allowing you to fill shapes with colors and join lines.

You can, of course, create handwritten notes with the Apple Pencil as well as drawings. If you want to erase handwritten text, you can simply “scribble” over an unwanted word to remove it. This works more or less well; sometimes, a few strokes remain. However, thanks to Goodnotes 6’s spell check, this is not a big issue.

The app also supports the conversion of handwriting into machine text.

Read: The Best iPads With Pen Support You Can Buy

Goodnotes 6 also offers so-called AI-assisted writing. This allows the app to learn and generate text according to your handwriting. This feature is far from perfect but is actually a pretty good idea.

This is practical, for example, when you’ve written handwritten notes, and the app detects a spelling mistake. Even with handwritten text, the useful spell check works, correcting errors and adding or removing letters in your own handwriting or in a more or less similar one. The more you write by hand in your “Goodnotes 6 career,” the better the AI can mimic your handwriting.

In practice, it works “okay.”

Here, you can see an obvious error in a handwritten sentence of mine:

The correction of Goodnotes 6 looks like this: The AI has added an “n” and an “l.” The incorrect “h” has been removed, but the word is now even more incorrect with the additional letters “n” and “l.” So, you see that it doesn’t work perfectly yet. In other cases, the spell check worked without any problems, even if we didn’t always recognize our own handwriting. It probably depends on individual handwriting and the specific word. The feature seems somewhat immature to me, but it definitely has potential.

Audio recordings can also be directly recorded and saved in the notes.

A cool feature of Goodnotes 6 in this context is audio transcripts. With the help of audio transcripts, audio recordings are converted into text. Afterward, you can quickly find what was said using the search function. Handy!

Interactive Exam Preparations

Interactive Exam Preparations goodnotes 6

It’s also great that you can solve handwritten mathematical equations directly in the notes. Additionally, handwritten equations can be converted into machine equations.

The AI in Goodnotes 6 not only helps you solve mathematical equations but can also point out errors during your solution process. There are a few learning tasks that you can download to improve your math skills. Unfortunately, there’s still no “Interactive Exam Preparation” in the field of mathematics specifically tailored to German users, and the selection is still quite limited.

Sharing and Exporting Notes

You can export your notes as a PDF file, image file, or in the Goodnotes format. You can also send a link to collaborate on a note in real-time with colleagues or friends. However, they must also have Goodnotes 6 installed in the latest version.

As a backup option, conventional cloud services such as iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive are available.


The premium version of Goodnotes 6 costs $9.99 annually for iPad or $29.99 as a one-time purchase.

In the paid premium version, you can create an unlimited number of notebooks (only three in the free version), and you can record audio without time restrictions (max 20 minutes in the free version). Additionally, you have access to the AI math tutor and can export documents without watermarks, among other features.

On the corresponding Samsung tablets, you can also try “Goodnotes for Android” for free for a week. Afterward, the app costs around $6.99 for Android.


Goodnotes 6 is a comprehensive note-taking and organization app that offers many practical features for academic, professional, and personal life.

From creating handwritten notes to sketching and structuring project plans, you can’t accuse Goodnotes 6 of lacking versatility or having a limited range of functions.

The sensible organization of notes into folders and subfolders allows for effortless management, while the app’s adaptability through templates, practical writing tools, and handwriting recognition adds a personal touch to your notes.

It’s unfortunate that there are so few “Interactive Exam Preparations” for the German market so far, and the “Academic Notes” primarily cater to an English-speaking audience. Criticisms also include the sometimes hefty prices for certain planners and templates. Additionally, we’re not yet convinced by the spell check for handwritten text in our test; the feature seems underdeveloped.

Nevertheless, Goodnotes 6 remains an excellent choice for those willing to pay the corresponding price for a well-designed and thoughtful note-taking and organization app. With its diverse features and customization options, it’s practically the Swiss army knife for your productivity and creativity, supporting you in both professional and personal life.

If you’re looking for a note-taking app with a comprehensive range of features and exclusive features like an AI tutor for solving mathematical equations or the ability to collaborate on notes in real-time, there’s no way around Goodnotes 6.

The app appears well-thought-out, looks stylish, and is enjoyable in daily use.

Apple App Store: Goodnotes 6

Google Play Store: Goodnotes for Android

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