Rating Penbook - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 5+
Downloadfor iOS

About Penbook

Penbook is a powerful note-taking application for iPad and iPhone. Build your perfect notebook from hundreds of choices. Use the notebook as a monthly planner, a sketchbook or even a calendar using the live dynamic paper in conjunction with an Apple Pencil, stylus or just your finger. The application includes features such as Live Paper, variations of academic, scientific, and planning stationeries, Unlimited unique cover combinations for your notes, the ability to Search your handwritten notes for words or phrases and drawing features that will Snap your strokes to create perfect shapes with shape recognition.

The application provides a seven-day free trial before the annual subscription which provides unlimited notebooks, access to new stationery and covers as they're designed, and regular app updates.

There are in-app purchases but no in-app adverts. The application is rated for ages 4 and above but is ideal for users who wish to keep a notebook on a regular basis such as business professionals, academics or students. 

Penbook Review

What is the Penbook app?

Penbook is a powerful note-taking app for iPad and iPhone. Once the application has been downloaded the user will see informative splash screens explaining features the application offers along with hints and tips. Choose your paper vibe from the following fonts Avenue, Correspondent or Saint-Germain. Follow this up with a choice of paper shades and tones. The user can choose a number of different paper types from lined notes, mixed ideation, blank pages, grid paper, lecture notes, sketchbook, sheet music, science notes and engineering paper. Personalising the notebook is a lovely idea and the user can choose from a number of front covers. The options above can all be changed later on if the user changes their mind.

There is an option to trial the application for seven days before the annual subscription is applied. (please note that the home screen did mention a one-day free trial instead of a seven day, we are unsure if this is an error).

The user has the notebooks they have created displayed in ‘My Library’ where further notebooks and pages can be added.

Once the main page has been chosen the application displays a number of key features. The bottom left menu enables the user to scroll through their notebook as well as the option to add extra pages. 

The top right menu enables the user to return to ‘My Library’ along with the ‘Settings’ icon which displays page options, page orientation, calendar options, font options, page favourites and much more. This menu also includes step forward and backwards icons, page export features and toolbar removal.

The left-hand toolbar includes the following: A pen tool, a fine liner pen, a chisel tip pen, a pencil, an eraser, a crayon, and a ruler. All of these tools work beautifully and can be changed accordingly including pen stroke width, colours, transparency and colour overlay.

The bottom left-hand menu also offers the user the chance to add images such as camera images, items saved to the clipboard, sticker sets, banners, labels and so much more. Each of these items can be rotated, enlarged and positioned as needed.

The ‘Washi Tape’ feature enables the user to choose a length of graphical tape for their notebook, once again there are a number of designs to choose from. Below this feature is the ‘Text note’ icon which allows the user to add ‘Post-it’ style notes to their page. The notes can be edited, rotated, enlarged and positioned. 

The ‘Scratch Pad’ icon displays a small pad where notes, annotations and sketches can be made without affecting the main note page. This is ideal for quick thoughts and note-taking.

What we love about the Penbook app 

This application delivers on many levels and we particularly enjoyed the following: 

We love the initial setup of the notebook and the options it provides. An easy-to-understand interface which works seamlessly. 

We really enjoyed the 'My Library’ feature as the user can keep a number of different notebooks for different scenarios.

The user interface for the writing tools is seamless and very easy to use. There are so many options for the tools enabling the user to really personalise their notebook.

With the number of different stationary tools available the notebook application would appeal to many different types of users such as journalists, students and even artists.

The ‘Washi Tape’ feature is a really nice tool that adds a graphical tape across the page. Again there are a number of options here to choose from.

What skills does it teach?

The application will assist users in keeping an online digital notebook tailored to their own needs. The application will encourage users to keep journals, diaries, sketchbooks etc up to date using the unique tools and features. We could see this being used for students who study Art and Design or for those who need to record their day-to-day progress. It would also be used by academics for lesson planning, scheduling and note taking. The ability to add different pages and multimedia means that the digital notebook has endless appeal to a vast array of users.

What age is it appropriate for?

The application is suitable for users over the age of 4 as listed on the Appstore. Again this depends upon the type of user. A young child could easily use the notebook for drawing, creating pictures and scrap books as well as an older student, teacher or parent who may use the notebook for planning, scheduling or creating a digital journal.

Is the Penbook app easy to use?

Penbook is a versatile application with menu systems and features that are very easy to navigate. The application has a clean look to the interface and the graphics are excellent, at no point does the screen look cluttered. The fonts, graphics and tools make the application a pleasure to use. We are very impressed with the number of options the application has to offer.

How will students benefit?

Students could use this digital notebook to record lesson notes, schedule lessons, add drawings and diagrams, solve mathematical equations, create a digital research scrapbook, create a digital journal to record progress and so much more. The options are simply endless and the application could have a use for every curriculum subject. 

How will teachers benefit?

Teachers can use this digital notebook to replace their everyday diary, lesson planner and calendar. Using a mobile device the teacher can annotate students' work if imported, sketch and draw diagrams to explain theories and much more.

How will parents benefit?

Parents can use this digital notebook to replace their everyday diary, planner and calendar. Combining the application with a digital pencil or stylus really makes the app a pleasure to use. Notes can be stored, edited and exported and shared.

How much does the Penbook app cost?

Penbook provides a free seven-day trial for all users. Thereafter the user has the option to sign up for in-app purchases billed on an annual basis. There is a Penbook Pro version, a Penbook Premium version and a Penbook Premium Lifetime version.

What is included with the free version vs. paid?

As the application is available with a seven-day trial period there is no difference between the paid version compared to the trial version. It is noted that users can have a single notebook, with all of Penbook's features, for free and indefinitely. The upgrade is necessary if the user wishes to have more than one notebook at a time.

Is Penbook safe to use?

Yes, Penbook is safe to use. The applications 'Terms of use' and 'Privacy Policies' can be seen on the applications supporting website and App Store listing.

What the Penbook book app could improve on?

This application delivers on many levels but we did feel that the application could improve the following:

Sorting, adding and combining pages is a little cumbersome at times. We did find ourselves lost in pages in different notebooks.

The application is missing a number of key tools such as the ability to crop images along with the ability to convert handwriting to text.

The developers could also include subject-specific pages such as a World Map for Geographers or a Periodic table for scientists. They could also include the ability to create a classroom register or mark book.

The application could benefit from user tutorials to explain the full power of this application.

The developers could consider pages that are suitable for those users with dyslexia which provide a coloured overlay or coloured note paper.

Overall Rating of the application

Penbook is an excellent application which provides a flexible digital notebook. There are several digital notebook applications available and this is by far one of the best. What makes Penbook stand out from its rivals is its customisation and endless functionality. The application Penbook book comes highly recommended by The Educational App Store.

App Details

Teacher Ratings


iPad, iPhone




Communication Skills
Organisational and Productivity Skills
Life Skills
Tech Skills
Time and Task Management


In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No


User Camp

Download Penbook

You can download Penbook on your iOS devices from the Apple App Store.

Downloadfor iOS

Screenshots for Penbook

  • PenbookPenbookPenbookPenbookPenbookPenbook