Import Notability into Goodnotes

I have collected lecture notes/lesson plans into Notability for several years. I am interested in switching to Goodnotes but don’t want to copy and paste everything.
Is there a workflow for this?

Why not export them to pdf and import those into goodnotes?

Is there a reason to have all the Notability notes in GoodNotes all at once? Why not keep the two apps on your iPad, use GoodNotes for the new notes/plans/etc, and maybe move notes from Notability to GoodNotes on a case-by-case basis as needed.

I’m not a fan of jumping out and doing a lift-and-shift to migrate data from one application to another – especially when there is years of data involved. Usually, one just ends up with excess data because the historical data isn’t needed very often.

(After working with GN5 for a while now, I’m also convinced that head-to-head, Notability is still the better of the two. GN5 has a lot of shortcomings.)


Yeah—I have two students who are using Goodnotes and they really like it. I like the idea of having separate ‘notebooks’ for everything but of course Notability has folders.
I’m frequently guilty of drinking the MacSparky Kool-Aid.

This is exactly how I use the two apps. Notability is great as a lab notebook and easily imports documents for quick markup. GoodNotes seems more like a long-form writing type of app and I tend to use it for things like journaling or making outlines, mind mapping, etc.

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I’ve been using GoodNotes for several years now and absolutely love it. The universal search feature in GoodNotes 5 is a game changer for me. Their handwriting recognition is the best out there IMO.

I also really like the quick notes feature they added.

I know this really doesn’t answer the question about import but like @anon41602260 said, I would just start afresh or export Notability notes as a PDF.

Another excellent suggestion. . thanks.
I did read that the current GoodNotes for Mac is not compatible with the iOS 5.0 version—that was a deal breaker. . Has to sync across both iOS devices and the Mac to work for me.

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This might be useful – and the link back to GoodNotes’ web site. I believe they have good reason to update GoodNotes on macOS.

I don’t think you can create a workflow (or Shortcut) to move the notes, because as far as I can tell, neither Notability nor GoodNotes have hooks into Shortcuts on iOS, and I know that Notability is NOT scriptable on MacOS. I haven’t checked that for GoodNotes.

I think you would be stuck exporting everything as PDFs from Notability and importing into GoodNotes. That will almost certainly be easier on MacOS, but since GoodNotes 5 isn’t out for MacOS yet …

I have also spent some time waffling between the two. For now I am settled on Notability, in part because it provided better hierarchical storage than GoodNotes 4. Now with GN 5 out, that could change (since Notability limits you to two levels of nesting), but until GN 5 is out for MacOS, I won’t be making the move. I also don’t like that GN 5 on iOS does not allow you to visualize the entire hierarchy tree all at once, an interface decision that creates some cognitive dissonance for me, so maybe I won’t be changing…

Yeah I can see that being an issue, and might be partially the reason why I use it for journaling. It’s like an artificial way to keep the app as a walled garden, so to speak…

The scenario you raise is the very reason I use Notability for work-related tasks. I can switch between my iMac at work and my iPad Pro seemingly quick and without syncing errors between the two.

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I’d agree with this. I’ve used both apps but I’d never want to keep anything in a proprietary format for long term storage. I mostly use them for conference note-taking and make it a point to export everything as part of the post-conference processing.

“Lift and shift” - I never heard that before. It’s a perfect description though. Thanks.

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I started using Obsidian for “Second Brain” and notes. I like the idea of a non-proprietary format for long-term viability of notes.
Notability and GoodNotes are both great for handwritten notes although I am exploring Apple Notes more since the Ventura version is a great improvement.

P.s. to my original post. I am no longer using either GN or N for lesson plans. I really do better with Pages even though I still don’t understand why I have to create text boxes :slight_smile: