Highlight an App: GoodNotes

by Niki Messmore

There are plenty of things that I do not believe in – shoes (prisons for your feet!), Miley Cyrus’ ability to twerk, and wasting printer paper. Fortunately, I have a solution for the latter – my beloved iPad.

Allowing me to download articles for easy perusal, my iPad has been a savior throughout my time as a grad student. However, some of the platforms for reading PDFs can limiting. Thanks to my friend Anna, I’ve discovered my new favorite app for PDFs: GoodNotes.

GoodNotes app allows the user to download PDFs, make handwritten notes, and highlight key information. I love the ability to write in the margins (using different pen sizes and colors) and highlight when I’m researching – all without needing to kill trees (and print credits!) by printing off articles. Not to mention, it is fun to doodle all over the page (especially when I get frustrated by long articles) only to click the ‘reset’ button and have it revert to its shiny new state.

Worried that your handwritten notes will look rubbish? Goodnotes’ pen function flows easily across the screen. Even if that does not work, there is also an ‘insert text box’ option.

There’s even an ‘insert image’ function! Imagine: You have 200 pages of articles to read. You are weary. But! There is hope in the form of fun graphics. You can insert images of student affairs grumpy cat or the cast members of SuperWhoLock to the end of different pages in order to reward yourself for a job well done!

Additionally, the navigation tools are easy to use, allowing you to bookmark and flip through the pages easily.

The only downside? The initial download is free but only allows one PDF. In order to process more, the user is required to purchase the app for $5.99….which, for a grad student, is a little painful to spend.

Eh. I’m the kind of person who attends all the campus events with free food in order to reduce my spending, but surprisingly I love this app enough to make the commitment. It simplifies my crazy #sagrad life and for that I am grateful.

Do you enjoy using GoodNotes? Got any tips on other similar apps? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter at @NikiMessmore.

Highlight an App: GoodNotes