GoodNotes 5 improves the notes app in every way

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GoodNotes 5 finally gets app-wide handwriting search.
GoodNotes 5 finally gets app-wide handwriting search.
Photo: GoodNotes

GoodNotes is one of the most popular notes app on iOS, and the Mac. and with good reason. It combines a great PDF viewer with a free form notes app, and mixes the two together. This week, GoodNotes 5 launched, an entirely new app (with upgrade pricing for users of the old app) that blows out the dust, and the olde-timey app UI in favor of a clean and organized view.

GoodNotes was always good for notes

I used GoodNotes for quite a while. I really like that you can take a PDF and add to it. A user manual can become a personal guide, complete with notes, pictures, and whole new pages. I also dig its handwriting recognition, although I never liked that handwriting search was limited to the current notebook.

I stopped using it after it kept locking up on me, and failing to sync. I also got sick of the clunky interface, which felt like I was always tapping around without actually finding anything.

GoodNotes 5

All that is fixed in GoodNotes 5. To start with, it’s a whole lot cleaner. You can organize by folders, and nest as many folders as you like. You also view everything in a list view. In fact, it looks a lot like the native iOS Files app.

GoodNotes 5 on iPad and iPhone.
GoodNotes 5 on iPad and iPhone.
Photo: GoodNotes

 

Even better, you can now search across your entire collection of documents and folders, including your handwritten notes. That’s worth the upgrade right there. And speaking of upgrades, GoodNotes 5 has a nice take on it. The app costs $7.99, but it also comes in a bundle with the previous version. If you purchased GoodNotes 4, then you can buy this bundle for as little as $0, depending on how much you paid for the precious version. I paid $1 for the bundle.

A great upgrade

There’s a lot more in this release — a redesigned toolbar, and overall a much nicer look. In short, if the old version frustrated you in any way, those frustrations are probably fixed now. You may as well try it out. After all, for existing users, it will only cost you a buck or less to do it.

GoodNotes 5

Price: $7.99

Download: GoodNotes 5 from the App Store (iOS)