Notebook ipads: The best note-taking apps for iPad in 2023

Notebooks for iPhone and iPad • Notebooks

Notebooks for iPhone and iPad

Notebooks for iPad and iPhone combines the functionality of a whole set of different apps: it is a Note Taker, a Word Processor, Markdown Editor, HTML to Markdown converter, a Task Manager, a File Organizer, a Clipboard manager, PDF converter and PDF Reader, an eBook Creator, a Document Converter and much more.

Declutter Your Home Screen

Having all that in a single app avoids cluttering your iPad or iPhone with countless apps, and what is even more important: it helps you stay focussed on your work in a consistent environment, which makes you and your workflow more efficient.

What’s New in Notebooks 12

Notebooks 12 for iPad and iPhone is a major upgrade and comes with many changes, improvements and additions. It runs on iOS 12 or higher, and it is a free upgrade for all users of Notebooks 11.

  • Notebooks 12 welcome you with a fresh App Iconrefined book and document icons and a modernized appearance.
  • With a simple gesture you can mark books and documents as Favorites, which adds them to a new smart book at Notebooks’ top level. Favorites are like a shortcut to items you need to access frequently, or a quick collection of items you want to temporarily group together for creating an eBook or a PDF, for example.
  • You can pin documents to the top of the list, independent of the selected sort order. On an iPad, Notebooks can automatically display a book’s first pinned document as index or default document.
  • It is easier than ever to select any book within Notebooks as Default Inbox. The inbox can appear as smart book, so even a deeply nested inbox is quickly available from the top level. Notebooks also uses different inboxes for different storage locations.
  • The Apple Watch App is much improved. It offers Complications for quick access, and it lists your Favorites and the contents of your Inbox, too. While notes display as plain text, Notebooks can lay out, indent and colorize the text if you want. And if you add or append to notes from your watch, Notebooks automatically extracts context tags.
  • Internal link and Wiki links resolve even smarter. With just a title or part of a filename given, Notebooks can find the target, no matter where it is located. So you are no longer forced to enter the full path – although you still can.
  • Notebooks now supports Automatic Link Management. This makes sure that links don’t break when you move or rename books and documents.
  • Documents can have Backlinks, which makes it easy to see which other documents are referencing or mentioning them.
  • To enter the path for a link, hit or tap the TAB button for a list of auto complete suggestions. This makes it much easier to add the path to any document within Notebooks.
  • The same auto complete is available for context tags, too.
  • If you are into screen writing you will be happy to hear that Notebooks now supports Final Draft documents. They display in a perfectly rendered layout, including scene numbers.

The full list of changes and additions is pretty extensive, you find all the details in a separate article.

To read what was new in Notebooks 11, refer to the related blog entry. More information about previous versions is available in the version history.


What is the Difference Between the Paid and the Free Version?

The free version of Notebooks

  • runs on iPhones only,
  • is based on Notebooks 8,
  • does not receive any relevant upgrades.

The paid version, in contrast,

  • runs on all iOS devices,
  • is actively developed and maintained,
  • receives regular updates and upgrades, and thus offers an improved interface and much more functionality.

You can read more about the functional difference in these articles about the major upgrades Notebooks 10 and Notebooks 11.

Troubleshooting Notebooks 8 on iOS 14

If you are still using Notebooks 8 on a device running iOS 14 you probably notice that opening formatted documents or Markdown documents causes Notebooks to close. This is a known issue with Notebooks 8 which we are unable to fix, because Notebooks 8 has been discontinued in early 2020. You find a guide how to work around that on a dedicated blog entry.

Migrate Documents from Notebooks 8 to Notebooks 11

Notebooks 8 and Notebooks 10 provide a convenient method for migrating your documents directly on the device, without duplicating it. A detailed guide is available on this site.

However, you can also set up Notebooks 10 without migrating documents from Notebooks 8, and instead import the documents from your Dropbox or a WebDAV server by setting up the same sync method that you have been using in Notebooks 8.

Where is the Optional PDF Reader in Notebooks 11?

Notebooks 10 does not support the optional PDF Reader any more (it was available in Notebooks 8). The main reason for this move is that you can now have free PDF editing apps which are much more capable than our PDF Reader ever was. Still, we want to provide our users with the same functionality we had and offer equivalent alternatives:

  1. Notebooks 10 supports the PDF annotation tools that are part of iOS 13. So you have basic PDF editing tools available simply by tapping a PDF document once. (Notebooks‘ PDF handling capabilities will grow with the next releases).
  2. In Notebooks 10 you can use the “Open in…” menu to open PDF (and other) documents in external apps without duplicating them. So you store and manage your PDFs in Notebooks, but use external apps to open, view and edit them. All changes you make are stored in Notebooks.
    If you need a recommendation for a PDF editing app – and if Apple Books is not capable enough – you could look at the free app PDF Viewer, which is the more grown up version of Notebooks’ former PDF Reader.

By the way: if you tap and hold a document’s action buttonNotebooks immediately displays the “Open in” dialog. So with just two taps you can open a PDF in an external app, and that is really just one tap more than it used to be.

The 6 Best Note-Taking Apps for iPad in 2023

Do you love the tactile experience of taking notes on paper but prefer the organizational features of digital note-taking apps? We do, too.

And until recently, the best compromise we’d found was taking notes on paper and scanning them into an app like Evernote.

While this approach worked, it wasn’t as seamless as we wanted. So for a while now, we’ve been experimenting with ways of taking handwritten notes with an iPad. And we’re excited to share that we’ve finally found a method that combines the best parts of writing by hand with the best parts of digital note-taking.

The key is to use a quality stylus, a screen protector that mimics paper, and, most importantly, the right note-taking app.

In this post, we’ll show you six of the best note-taking apps for the iPad. With a bit of practice, these apps will give you all the benefits of writing by hand without sacrificing the convenience of digital organization (except for app #5, discussed below).

Note: All of the apps below work for both the iPad Pro and Classic, though the Pro’s larger screen size makes note-taking easier.

If we had to recommend just one iPad note-taking app, it would be Notability. The app offers a delightful writing experience, yet it also makes it easy to embed images, annotate PDFs, and even record voice memos.

Sketching and drawing in Notability is downright delightful. Being able to doodle and quickly sketch out illustrations is one of our favorite things about taking notes on paper. Notability does an excellent job of emulating this experience, while also allowing you to do things you can’t do on paper such as resizing and moving your drawings.

In addition, Notability includes a variety of flexible layout options. This allows you to, for instance, have a slide or reference material open on one side of the page while you take notes on the other.

And beyond the layout of individual pages, you can also organize your notes using digital “Dividers” (which is perfect if you’re used to taking notes in a physical binder).

Finally, Notability gives you plenty of options for exporting and sharing your notes, including Google Drive, Dropbox, and AirDrop.

Price: $11.99 / year

Check out the video below to see Notability in action:

Noteshelf was our favorite note-taking app for the iPad before we discovered Notability, and it’s still a superb option.

It has many of the features we love in Notability, including the option to annotate PDFs and multitask with the iPad’s split screen. You can also record voice notes to go along with your handwritten notes, which is perfect for recapping a lecture or meeting at a later date.

If you speak/write multiple languages, you’ll also be pleased to know that Noteshelf can recognize handwriting in 65 different languages. This makes it a powerful tool whether you’re taking a language class or learning a language on your own.

Finally, Noteshelf lets you export your notes to iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Evernote. The option to export to Evernote is noticeably missing from Notability, making Noteshelf our top pick for serious Evernote users.

Apple Watch users will also benefit from the app’s ability to record voice notes using the Noteshelf Apple Watch app.

Price: $9.99

Up next, we have GoodNotes. This app has everything you want for taking notes, including the ability to switch between typing and writing. You can choose from several built-in note layouts and templates, as well as import your own.

Notably, GoodNotes lets you adjust the sensitivity and palm recognition of the pen to match your writing style. This is perfect if you’re like me and tend to press very hard when writing.

Finally, GoodNotes includes a “Presentation Mode” that lets you turn your iPad into a digital whiteboard.

Using either AirPlay or an HDMI cable, you can project what you’re writing onto a larger screen while still being able to see the GoodNotes interface on your iPad. This is handy whether you’re giving a class presentation or pitching a business idea.

Price: Free (limited to three notebooks). Upgrade for $7.99 to get unlimited notebooks and handwriting recognition.

Want to learn how to take better notes? Check out our guide to the best note-taking systems.

We couldn’t discuss iPad note-taking apps without mentioning Apple Notes. The app comes free with macOS/iOS devices, and it does a great job of letting you type or take notes by hand. The app’s drawing features are also solid, making it easy to add sketches and illustrations to your notes.

Aside from being free, the biggest advantage of Apple Notes is its deep integration with iOS. If you use iCloud and other Apple devices, you can effortlessly switch between taking notes on your iPad, iPhone, and Mac.

Plus, everything you create is automatically backed up to iCloud, and you can even create voice notes with Siri while you’re on the go.

Price: Free

Unlike the other apps we discuss in this article, Notion isn’t meant to mimic the experience of handwriting. It is our favorite note-taking app overall, however, so we had to include it.

At its core, Notion is a graphical programming language that lets you build tools. These tools can be as simple as a to-do list or as complex as a project management system for an entire company.

Or, of course, a system for managing all of your notes across subjects.

As you can see in the screenshot above, Notion gives you many options for formatting and laying out your notes. You’ll find all the standard options from any word processing software.

But you’ll also find some features missing in other note-taking apps, including the ability to comment on specific lines of your text.

Where things get interesting, though, is how Notion lets you organize your notes. Any page you create within Notion can be nested inside of another page, allowing for large hierarchies of information. You can also embed and link to other notes within pages, making Notion ideal for building a personal knowledge database.

Price: Free

Notion – All-in-One Workspace

Notion is one of the most flexible and powerful apps I’ve ever used. It can be a note-taking app, but there’s also a database feature with multiple views (including Trello-style kanban boards and calendars) the ability to make anything into a template, and great collaboration features. At CIG, we use it for all of our team documentation, and I also manage every YouTube video I make with it.

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Odds are, you’ve used (or at least have access to) Microsoft OneNote at work or school. But did you know that the OneNote iPad app allows you to take handwritten notes?

OneNote lets you write notes either on a blank page or a layout that emulates a sheet of lined paper. The general setup of the app mimics a physical binder, allowing you to organize your notes by topic.

OneNote for iPad also offers a variety of multimedia features. You can type text, insert graphics, and even include voice recordings. You can also search notes for specific words and view your notes across devices. And everything you create in OneNote is automatically backed up to OneDrive.

If you’re already a serious Microsoft app user, then OneNote will integrate seamlessly into your workflow.

Price: Free (with a Microsoft Account)

Looking for digital note-taking apps for your computer and phone? Check out this list of the best note-taking apps.

Start Taking Notes With Your iPad Today

I hope this article has shown you the exciting options you have for taking notes with your iPad. It’s now easier than ever to get the benefits of writing on paper without sacrificing the organizational features of digital apps.

Of course, to benefit from taking notes, you need to make it a habit. If you’re looking to build the habit of taking notes (or another productive habit), you’ll love our course on mastering habits.

Click the button below to learn how you can take it (and thousands of other classes) for free:

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Building habits isn’t just about discipline; there are real-world steps you can take to set yourself up for success! In this course, you’ll learn how to set realistic goals, handle failure without giving up, and get going on the habits you want in your life.

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Image Credits: Noteshelf

HUAWEI MateBook D16 (2023) laptop review: the workhorse of the


Laptops and tablets

Review of the laptop HUAWEI MateBook D16 (2023): a workhorse

Georgy Lyamin

HUAWEI MateBook D16 is representative of the office notebook category. These are workhorses with a balanced set of characteristics, which, as a rule, differ primarily in a decent margin of performance and convenient input devices. We tested the laptop in business and are ready to share our impressions.

Equipment and design

The HUAWEI MateBook D16 (2023) package is quite standard. In the box, along with the laptop, the manufacturer put a 65W power adapter, a USB-C cable, and documentation.

As befits a working tool, HUAWEI MateBook D16 (2023) received a concise and utilitarian design without any frills – everything is strict and to the point. The laptop is available in Space Grey. The brand’s logo is on the lid.

On the left side are two USB-C ports, HDMI and a 3.5 mm jack for connecting wired headsets. On the right – two USB-A. The supply of ports is optimal – in any case, there was no shortage of them during testing.

The main design feature of the HUAWEI MateBook D16 (2023) is ergonomics, as it is literally a 16-inch laptop in a 15. 6-inch device form factor. All thanks to the very thin bezels around the screen and compact design. The thickness of the case is only 18.4 mm and weighs 1.7 kg.


As mentioned above, HUAWEI MateBook D16 (2023) is equipped with a 16-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 × 1200, a pixel density of 141 PPI, an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a contrast ratio of 1200:1. Useful display area – 90%. With a screen of this size, it is comfortable to work in an everyday scenario without an external monitor.

The maximum brightness is 300 nits. In fact, this is enough for indoor and outdoor use, but not in conditions under direct bright sun. We also note good viewing angles – the image remains without distortion even with strong inclinations.

The screen has achieved 100% coverage of the sRGB color spectrum. Color rendition is natural and pleasant. Good for photo editing.

The display protects your eyes from harmful blue light (TÜV Rheinland certified) and flicker (DC dimming). Thus, the strain on the eyes during long work is reduced.

Input devices

HUAWEI MateBook D16 (2023) is equipped with a full keyboard with a numeric keypad, which is convenient for users who work a lot with numbers. Input speed is greatly increased. Note that a full-sized keyboard is rarely found in models from a similar form factor. In the upper right corner above the keyboard is the power key with a built-in fingerprint scanner – the sensor works quickly and flawlessly.

The key travel is quite short and quiet. The size of the buttons on the main keyboard is optimal – it does not affect the typing speed. The keys of the digital block are slightly narrower compared to the main ones, but this does not affect the convenience of entering numbers.

The touchpad is located directly below the keyboard. It is slightly shifted to the left side, but is located in the center relative to the main keyboard unit. The touchpad surface is matte. Fingers glide pretty well on it without leaving marks.


Our test HUAWEI MateBook D16 (2023) is powered by the 13th Gen Intel® Core i9-13900H processor. The device also has 16 GB of LPDDR4x RAM and a 1 TB SSD. We tested the device in CrystalDiskMark (drive speed), Geekbench (CPU and GPU performance), and Cinebench (CPU performance) benchmarks. You can see the results in the screenshots below.

The performance margin is enough for most office tasks. The laptop also performed well in batch processing photos in Lightroom. When working with office applications, such a performance margin allows you to quickly open heavy spreadsheets and presentation files, and this is especially important at events with colleagues or clients so as not to keep them waiting.

The HUAWEI MateBook D16 (2023) uses a Metaline antenna. It uses an artificial material with a special structure, among the characteristics of which is a negative refractive index. This improves the performance of the antenna. According to the manufacturer, Metaline improves signal conversion efficiency by 56%, providing a stable network connection in difficult conditions. File download speed is 34.2% faster than previous generation devices. This increase is noticeable even if there are two walls between the router and the laptop.

Due to changes in the format of work and the transition of many employees to remote mode, the laptop began to replace the entire office for employees. Therefore, the issues of the correct operation of audio and video in working laptops have become especially relevant. In addition to the usual set of intelligent and ecosystem functions, which we discussed in detail in a separate Superdevices review, the software has added various functions of Smart Video Conference:

  • distance up to 5 meters and 1080p AI camera with 88° field of view
  • Noise Cancellation System – Powered by AI, cancels echoes and reduces background noise
  • Voice amplification technology – works with headphones to amplify the voice of the interlocutor and eliminate noise
  • The FollowCam keeps you in the frame and the image is clear
  • Virtual Background – Allows users to set different backgrounds in video calling applications. Use this feature to hide background clutter or distracting details

Battery and power adapter

A battery with a capacity of 60 Wh is responsible for autonomous operation.

Recall that the laptop comes with a 65W power adapter. This is a very compact device, which outwardly practically does not differ from a smartphone. It is convenient to carry this charger with you – it is lightweight and does not take up much space in a backpack or bag.


  • Processor (in our test configuration): Intel® Core™ i9-13900H 13th generation
  • Screen: 16 inches, 1920×1200, 141 PPI, 16:10, 100% sRGB, 300 nits
  • RAM: 16 GB, LPDDR4x
  • Storage: 1 TB
  • Webcam: 1080p
  • Battery: 60 Wh
  • Dimensions: 356.7 × 248.7 × 18.4 mm
  • Weight: 1.7 kg


HUAWEI MateBook D16 (2023) is a versatile work tool. It is perfect for working in office suites, as well as in graphics at a basic level. The advantages of the device include a pleasant laconic design, a large screen, an up-to-date processor, a full-fledged keyboard with a numeric keypad and a decent set of intelligent functions that are maximally revealed in a chain with other brand devices.

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For those who are not afraid to dream big


ROG’s 2023 lineup of laptops features models with exclusive Nebula display, some with advanced Nebula HDR. They will appeal to those gamers who want to get the highest possible image quality.

A set of technologies that allow the laptop to show its full power without sacrificing its acoustic characteristics.

Maximum speed in games

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