You are currently viewing Key GoodNotes Features to Know for Digital Planning and Journaling

Key GoodNotes Features to Know for Digital Planning and Journaling

Despite what digital planner you’re using, It is important to learn the basic GoodNotes features, This is what you’ll be using on all your GoodNotes documents, and the better versed you are with the application, the more enjoyable digital planning will be. 

That being said, let’s get straight into it!


1. Pen Feature

To use the pen feature in GoodNotes, select the writing/pen icon. It is the second icon in the tool menu.

GoodNotes Text Toolbar

There are three styles you can use.

1. Fountain Pen

This pen is pressure-sensitive. You can experiment with the width variation.

2. Brush Pen

The brush pen is also pressure-sensitive and is appropriate for more artistic-like strokes.
This pen works well for hand-lettering.

3. Ball Pen

This is the ball pen. As you can tell, there is no stroke variation in brush stroke. I like to use this pen for writing bulleted lists and other quick notes.

2. Marquee tool

If you want to move items around, you can do it with the Marquee tool. You can use it on objects like images, text, and writing. It has to be objects you or someone else added into GoodNotes.

To use the Marquee tool:

  1. Select the Marquee icon as circled above (dashed line circle)
  2. Draw around the item you want to select
  3. Move, rotate, cut, copy, or resize

Pro-tip: You can also select what you want to move and what you don’t want to move in the options window.


How to Paste Items

Another useful thing to learn is how to actually paste items. It took me a while to figure out, but it’s really simple.

To Paste items:

  1. Use your finger or Apple pencil and hold down on a spot.
  2. A prompt to paste something should appear. Tap on it.
  3. You’re done!


3. Highlighter

GoodNotes Highlighter

To use the highlighter:

  1. Tap on the highlighter icon (fourth item on the menu bar)
  2. Choose your highlighter color and brush size
  3. Highlight away with your apple pencil or finger!


Example in notes


4. Shape Tool

With the shape tool, you can draw perfect lines and shapes. To use it, select the icon with a square, circle, and triangle circled above.




5. Undo

One of the reasons I switched to digital planning was because of the undo and seamless erasing feature.

To use this feature:

  1. Find the reverse arrow
  2. Tap on it (as many times as you need)
  3. You’re done!

If you want to re-do something, but tap on the forward arrow to the right of it. I labeled what each arrow stands for in the image above.

6. Eraser

The eraser tool is also handy. You can access it by tapping on the eraser icon as shown below.


Using the eraser tool is simple:

  1. Select the eraser icon as circled above
  2. Erase whatever writing you wish
  3. You can also choose the most appropriate size.

The eraser tool only works on things you wrote with the pen, shapes, and the highlighter.

Pro-tip: With an Apple Pencil 2, you can double-tap on your pencil to switch between writing and erasing modes.


7. Type Tool

If you prefer to type out your notes or planner/journal entry, you can type on GoodNotes.

To use the type tool:

  1. Select the T icon (with a square around it) as circled above
  2. Tap on a spot you would like to type on
  3. Type using your fingers or a Magic or Bluetooth Keyboard compatible with your iPad

In the text styling window, you can change the alignment (left, center, right), the font, text size, background color, border color, pt size of the border, and the padding.

There is a wide variety of different fonts on GoodNotes. You can even add fonts the one you like isn’t on the list.


8. Using Hyperlinks (if applicable)

This is applicable if the digital notebook you’re using has or came with hyperlinks.

To use them, you have to first exit edit mode.

If you’re in edit mode, this is what your toolbar on top should look like (above image).

In order to use your hyperlink, click on the circled icon shown in the photo above (pencil cross).

If your toolbar looks like this, you can proceed to use the hyperlinks. To go back into edit mode, just tap on the circled pencil icon.


9. Adding images

To add images:

  1. Select the image icon as circled above
  2. Choose the image you want to use
  3. Resize, crop, or rotate however you wish

10. Adding Pages

To add pages to your notebook, journal, or planner:

  1. Click on the paper icon with the + symbol
  2. Select the type of page you want to add
  3. Choose whether it goes before or after your current page (or to the last page)

There should be a mini window that opens up. You can add another page of the current template, any of the GoodNotes paper choices, or import a page/document or photo.

A question I see a lot is:

Does adding new pages affect the linked pages?

It does not. Your GoodNotes pages were already linked to specific pages before, so adding new pages won’t affect the links.

That’s all for this post. If you have any questions about using GoodNotes, comment down below!


Helpful Resources:

4 Ways to Transfer files to your iPad

How to open a .zip file on your iPad

How to import a file into GoodNotes


Leave a Reply