Notebooks – Write and Organize

Rating Notebooks – Write and Organize - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • iPad, iPhone
  • Paid
  • age 12+
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About Notebooks – Write and Organize

Notebooks is an efficient and flexible app for writing, notetaking, organisation, and project management. Automated link management helps keep your notes coherent, and support for many widely-used formats gives you control over what you produce and how you use it.

Notebooks is available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and PC. The app requires a separate license for each platform, but this is a single, one-off, reasonably priced purchase.

Notebooks – Write and Organize Review

What is Notebooks app?

The Notebooks app has the phrase Write and Organise as a subtitle, which sums up the app well.

Let's consider write:

Notebooks gives you the freedom to write however you want and use it in whatever form you need. Make a quick note or memo, complete a diary entry, write a novel, or research a topic — all are easy to do within the app and maintain the flexibility to combine, link, and repurpose as you choose.

User choice in the case of Notebooks is broad. You can write in plain text with maximum compatibility or within a word processor, making it easy to add formatting.

Alternatively, you can use markdown. This sounds technical, but if you've never used it, it is easy to learn, and its flexibility is impressive. Essentially you add extra symbols to plain text, which lets markdown processor software (such as that included in Notebooks) know the function of each part of the text.  

Markdown documents have universal compatibility, and as their formatting is not locked down, as it would be in a Word Document, it lets you publish the same text in different formats. The Notebooks website has a short but informative guide to markdown and how to use it in this app.

You don't need to worry about any aspects of Notebooks that you don't need, but those who have specific document requirements will recognise the following supported technologies and appreciate their inclusion: MathJax, Katex, LaTex, Mermaid, CriticMarkup and more.

Then there's organisation:

When writing and notetaking, it is common for new documents to have relevance to existing ones. You might not want to merge those notes but still want the connection maintained. Notebooks lets you link your notes across documents.

If you've used some productivity software where you build up a final product from disparate sources, you might have encountered broken links as you rearrange your file structures. Notebooks manages this for you to ensure that the integrity of your cross-document links is kept.

Even if it is spread across multiple files, what you write is easy to compile into a new document in commonly used formats such as PDF and eBooks.

You can use iCloud to synchronise and store your writing, but using a service like DropBox lets you organise your notes and documents into a structure that reflects how you think about and mentally structure what you have produced.

Notebooks Smart Books feature lets you easily structure your work for a specific context without making in-depth or permanent changes. You won't need to manage multiple copies of the documents to have them in different formats suitable for various purposes.

The organisation doesn't only apply to the text and notes but to your workflow too. As you make notes, you can add task lists, todo lists and alerts to build up what started as a hastily jotted note of an idea into a full project.

An Apple Pencil is by no means essential to use Notebooks, but iPad users who have one will appreciate that they can use one with it. As the Apple Pencil does not work with Macs or iPhones, you'll only have the option of employing it on an iPad, but sketches and annotations feel much more natural when you do.

What we love about Notebooks app

Notebooks offers the most-used functionality of various other apps, which could let you halt those subscriptions. It certainly makes it easier to learn, as you can do all of those tasks after familiarising yourself with this one app.

You can scan, store and extract text from documents using Notebooks as a scanner with its built-in optical character recognition (OCR) system. You can combine your notes, scans, text, and documents within the app to create PDFs and eBooks. As well as handling all of this, Notebooks helps to organise your files and tasks. 

Split across multiple apps, each one of these tasks would need you to become familiar with a different way of working. Joined within this one well-designed app, the overall learning curve is much shallower and the convenience much greater.

Before you invest in any app in which you enter, record and store information important to you, you should always check how easy it is to transfer your data if you decide. Notebooks uses commonplace formats for the documents created within it and has straightforward export tools.

Sadly, many other apps do not have this open approach, but Notebook's supporting website provides guides and workarounds for moving from other note apps, such as EverNote.

Notebooks has lots of options to ensure that the app responds to how you want to use it rather than you having to work within its restrictions. If you have a preferred way to organise your files, you can do this as the app integrates well with third-party cloud storage such as DropBox as well as iCloud.

The app's automatic link manager lets you keep the freedom to adapt and manage your files without breaking any links between your documents. It cleverly tracks and updates the links as you change your file locations.

What skills does it teach?

Notebooks is great for producing and organising notes, documents and more. Users of this app will indirectly learn how to stay on top of the enormous amounts of information modern life often requires, but the app does not directly teach knowledge or skills.

What age is it appropriate for?

The ideal age to begin using Notebooks depends more on whether kids need its tools rather than their age. Once kids start making notes, organising their thoughts, or creating documents for school, they could find this app very useful.

Teachers will find the app a superb assistant to ensure they have all their documents and notes to hand in an easily searchable format.

Is Notebooks app easy to use?

Notebooks is consistent for users within its own toolset and in following established application processes. Anyone with a general familiarity of apps or software should find it easy to learn to achieve their aims with this app. 

How will students benefit?

High school and secondary school-aged kids use notetaking apps effectively to support their studies and Notebooks is a great one for them to use. Making quick notes of thoughts, ideas, and current understanding gives students the tools to create useful revision material later in the school year. The linking tools provided by Notebooks can be especially useful for cross-curricular reinforcement where, for instance, students could reinforce physics understanding with links to their math notes.

When learners come to write assignments, Notebooks is an efficient tool for building up a full project from an initial notetaking and research session. Its todo lists, task management and alerts also support effective time management.

It isn't just having these tools available, good though they are; a significant benefit comes from having them all in one app. Firstly, this is cost-effective, but secondly, it suits kids' attention spans. If they leave an app, they become vulnerable to distractions preventing them returning to the work. With the notetaking, writing, and organisation all possible within Notebooks, students can stay within the app and be more productive.

How will parents benefit?

Notetaking and organisation are not exclusive to the teaching profession. Many people will benefit from using an app like Notebooks, especially as it does not require an ongoing financial commitment. Like teachers, parents can keep on top of professional, personal, and family matters using Notebooks.

How will teachers benefit?

Whether planning courses, managing daily admin, jotting down reminders, or planning a fantastic new lesson, Notebooks will save time and effort.

Teachers juggle a lot of information, and it can be challenging to link relevant parts together and present them clearly. Notebooks' features make it easy to connect various documents' contents for clarity or repurpose it for new situations.

Many general-purpose apps don't fit in with the unique requirements of teachers. To gain the benefits of such organisational apps, teachers must adapt to new workflows, which can lead to abandoned attempts at improving administrative efficiency. 

Whether migrating to Notebooks or adopting it as their first app of this type, teachers will feel like they can work in the way that makes sense to them, and the app will support them. The comprehensive options, flexible storage choices, and open file formats allow a level of freedom not commonly found in apps.

What can Notebooks app improve on?

Notebooks is a powerful app elegantly developed to be easy to use, but newcomers to this type of app might not appreciate how useful each feature is or how to use them. The supporting website does a good job of explaining how the app works and the benefits of the workflows it allows but we'd like to see it go further.

For example, some video content showing an overview of the advantages of the Smart Books feature or markup will help newcomers learn which aspects of the app will help them the most.

How much does Notebooks app cost?

As we've mentioned, Notebooks uses the consumer-friendly one-off purchase model, which gives you full access to the app's features for a single fee per platform. You'll need to make a small additional purchase to add further custom storage locations. These are far from essential, and many users won't need this functionality, but it is an excellent option.

If you want to enjoy Notebooks on multiple devices, such as phones, tablets, Macs or PC, you'll need to buy the app separately for each. We feel this is entirely reasonable as the app does not require ongoing payments and allows you to pay more for multi-platform convenience only if you need it.

You can buy the Mac version of the app either through the Apple App Store or from the developer directly. There are differences between these versions. The conditions imposed by the App Store on its apps to offer security comes at the expense of flexibility. If you expect to use links heavily, you might be better off downloading directly from the developer.

Is Notebooks app safe to use?

Notebooks is a blank slate waiting for its users to add their notes, ensuring it does not contain inappropriate content. The app does not contain any advertisements.

Overall rating of the app.

Notebooks stands out for its consumer-friendly approach. Other apps are available that make notetaking or writing more efficient, but this app does them both and does them well. Add to this the single payment model, non-proprietary file formats, and agnostic approach to cloud storage, and you get an app that is hard to ignore.

We highly recommend Notebooks, and encourage teachers, students and parents to think about how it could make their life, work, and studies easier. We have awarded Notebook five stars in this review.

App Details

Ratings

Devices

iPad, iPhone

Skills

Organisational and Productivity Skills
Time and Task Management

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Alfons Schmid

Download Notebooks – Write and Organize

You can download Notebooks – Write and Organize on your iOS devices from the Apple App Store.

Download Notebooks – Write and Organizefor iOS

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