GoodNotes 4 - Notes & PDF

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Solid digital note-taking app helps kids get organized.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

In addition to a fairly intuitive design, short user guides pop up to help users complete basic tasks and guide them to an online tutorial for additional help. However, some features, such as typing with a keyboard, are hard to find.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Icons allow users to copy content from or upload content to sources such as box Dropbox, Google Drive, iTunes, and SkyDrive.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The app provides a way to turn off cloud storage options but lacks a privacy policy to guarantee security. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that GoodNotes offers lots of features designed to make note-taking easier for kids and grown-ups. Older kids and teens can choose from multiple templates, including lined paper and graphing squares, draw perfect shapes with the shape-recognition tool, and create multiple notebooks full of notes. They can organize them using various fonts, colors, and other handy tools. With so many options, young note-takers will have an easy time accessing and organizing their notes, making study time simpler. Note: Some kids accustomed to using a keyboard function may be frustrated with the "handwriting"-only style.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • brainstorming

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Keeping notes organized and marking up documents may not be incredibly exciting for kids, but they should be appreciative of this app's pretty handy features. 

Learning Approach

Multiple features allow kids to take notes they'll actually find useful, organize those notes, and even mark up other documents. However, the app lacks a keyboard feature, meaning kids have to "write" their own notes.

Support

A comprehensive user guide helps note-takers explore the many features; unfortunately, it's text- and image-based rather and doesn't provide video evidence or support as kids actually take their own notes.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • brainstorming

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Kids can learn how to take and organize their notes using multiple tools such as highlighting, color-coding, and the ability to add shapes and other images. GoodNotes also gives them ways to organize their notes, allowing them to create notebooks labeled with specific subjects or topics. Using the notebook covers to the note-taking templates, kids can customize their notes in a variety of ways, making them fit their needs. They can even use their fingers or a stylus to take notes in their own handwriting, helping them personalize and take ownership over their notes and the learning process. The variety of features makes GoodNotes a solid addition to a teen's bank of study resources. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Stacy Zeiger

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What's it about?

Instead of using actual notebooks, users of GOODNOTES will take and organize their notes in digital notebooks. Although they may look like traditional composition notebooks on the outside, they're definitely not limited to the lined sheets of paper. Instead, note-takers can fill the notebooks with graph paper, lined paper, blank paper, and even their own templates, allowing them to take notes on whatever background they desire. As they take notes, not only can they write in their own text or draw images, they also can highlight, add images, or even search their notes to find specific information.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

GoodNotes has a fairly intuitive design, which makes it easy for note-takers to jump right in and start taking notes without too much instruction. Although it comes with multiple features designed to make the process easier and more effective, it focuses on having users write notes using their own handwriting rather than typing text. For those without a stylus or who have sloppy handwriting, this could prove to be a frustration, particularly when the handwriting tool attempts to correct the handwriting and creates more illegible text. Fortunately, developers have included an option to type with a text box, although it may take users some time to learn how to use it.

With a stylus, good finger control, and discovery of the text-box feature, however, note-takers will appreciate the ability to organize their notes into clearly labeled notebooks and quickly flip through all the pages in a notebook using the thumbnail feature. They'll also have the ability to mark up PDF documents and save the notes they've made on them. The ability to share pages through multiple cloud sources also makes it easy for note-takers to share their notes or easily access them whenever they need them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why note-taking can be important. Ask your kids if they retain information best when they hear it, see it, or write it down themselves. What does taking good notes mean to your kid?

  • Show your kids how you keep organized, whether it's through to-do lists, spreadsheets, or notes scribbled on napkins. Ask them why it's good to have your own system for keeping your life in order.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$5.99
Release date:February 24, 2014
Category:Productivity
Size:42.40 MB
Publisher:Time Base Technology Limited
Version:4.2.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 7.0 or later

This review of GoodNotes 4 - Notes & PDF was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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