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Tech Tips from the Class of 2017

June 19, 2016

11 Reasons I love Notability (by Charlotte Smith)

I have Notability for Mac and iPad—I love it and use it every day. I rarely take notes on paper anymore and I’ve really enjoyed not having to carry around binders. I’ve found it has helped me keep up with the pace of this program and still feel organized. Here are some reasons why I love it!

1. All my notes automatically sync between devices

If I want to pack light for a day, I’ll just bring my iPad and my notes will all be on my computer when I get home.

2. You can drag and drop import most types of documents

This works really well on my Mac: I just download the file from e-class and drop it into notability at the beginning of a lecture. On my iPad, I just select “open with” notability when downloading the file. Works for word, pdf and PowerPoint files, and usually takes less than 5 seconds to load.

3. You can write all over your notes in multiple colours

This keeps things fun. Having my notes in multiple colours is useful for some classes (stats) but also makes reading and rereading notes just a fraction more enjoyable.

4. It’s easy to zoom in and out

This was especially useful on my iPad when I wanted to draw small diagrams

5. You can switch back and forth from drawing, typing, and highlighting

I found I drew lots in stats, mostly just highlighted in anatomy, and typed in the rest. I really only used the drawing function on my iPad and found that using a stylus made things easier.

6. Everything syncs to google drive 

No risk of losing all your files! (Although you do have to set it up to do this)

7. It’s searchable

This is a new feature. The program still recognizes the text even after a PowerPoint is converted to pdf. It will also pick up on typed notes (not handwritten though).

8. You can add extra pages if you run out of space

You can insert a new page at any point in the document. You can also insert images. There were a few occasions when there were paper handouts that I wanted to include in a note, so I would just take a picture of it with my iPad and drop it in.

9. Easy drag and drop organization 

I have everything sorted by class.

10. You can scroll

This may sound like a given but a lot of PDF annotation apps will make you flip pages and this drives me crazy.

11. You only pay once

Even though this is an app you have to purchase, it does not require that you pay a subscription fee. With Evernote, on the other hand, you have to keep up your subscription to keep access to all the features. Last time I checked, Notability was $5.50. I’ve definitely got my money’s worth.

Only downside is you have to purchase it separately for each device.

Bonus: It has an audio recording feature

I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard people like it!


  • I’m pretty sure it is currently only for apple devices.
  • It can crash when you are searching. This has never affected data for me.
  • If you try to delete too many slides at once it can delete the whole note. This has only happened to me once but I would recommend going slow if you have to delete duplicate pages.

Some sample of what my notes look like below!

notability 1

notability 2

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