Skip to content

Collanote Is Better Than Goodnotes. My Personal Experience

  • by

I am writing this based on my usage of both Collanote and Goodnotes, and why I’ve chosen the former as my preferred note taking app. I will cover a few key areas on why I chose Collanote. For the record, I have paid versions for both apps. I am also not biased to any of these apps as this article is not a sponsored post to promote (or unpromote) either.

A Brief on Collanote and GoodNotes

Collanote is a powerful notetaking app started by then-student, Quoc Huy Nguyen but has now evolved into an organization that continues to develop the app. It gained popularity for its unique features and capabilities, among them are the real-time collaboration and the toolset of pen and brushes . Real-time collaboration allows you to share a note with another person so you can brainstorm and work on an idea together. The huge choice of pen, brushes and color options makes it very attractive for those who want more than the usual. For those who love planner templates, you can import PDFs and all links can work like usual. In their latest update, folders and covers are customisable – so you can really be the YOU that you want to be. Currently Collanote can be stored locally on your iPad or it can also be on iCloud. I asked the developer if they would have other options of storage such as Google Drive and they said they would look into that in the future. They offer both free (minor limitations) and paid option(you get all pens, brushes, customization possibilities).

GoodNotes is a very popular note-taking app used by a huge number of iPad users for note-taking and planning purposes. It was previously only available on iPad, but with the latest updates you can also use it on Android devices. GoodNotes offer you all the usual features you would expect of a notetaking app, but with some extra interesting stuff like converting handwritten text into typed text, ability to index & search your notes (so cool!), and some cool AI features. The app can correct your maths homework, complete your sentences and correct your typos! While all these are cool, I never had a need for it because sometimes I deliberately do typos (eg write G’Morning instead of Good Morning). I think I had enough of autocorrection on my phone. For some reason I find the pen options and color choices limited in GoodNotes. Maybe I have a little bit more preference on customizing the look and feel – thus I prefered Collanotes. Goodnotes however could store your notes in Google Drive (very nice if you need to access your notes on another device) or sync to iCloud.

  Unleash Your Inner Planner Guru - Top Tips for Customizing Your Digital Planner

5 Reasons Why I Prefer Collanote

I am going to cover why I prefer Collanote and will focus on the features that I love. In case you are wondering, I still use GoodNotes but most of my notes are in Collanote for obvious reasons.

#1 Large choice of pen and brushes

There are a lot of pen and brush options in Collanote – among them include ball pen, fountain pen, modern calligraphy, sketch pencil, writing pencil, felt tip, dotten pen, water brush, highlighters and more! I particularly like the sketch pencil because it gives a real feel of using pencil on paper (and if you’d like you can enable the writing sound effect). All pen and brushes can be customized to be thicker/thinner (width) and darker/lighter (opacity). This to be is a game changer as I like to experiment with different styles in my notes.

#2 Beautiful preset colours

Once I choose a pen type, I will be given a choice of colors to choose from – and they have an amazing range of carefully chosen options. From primary colors to pastel soft colors, I love all of them. I like the preset options that I didn’t even need to custom add any more colors. If you prefer specific colors, you can add them with a hex code or simply choose from a spectrum. I have not reached the point where I needed to add a new color.. yet!

#3 Favorite pen and brushes in your custom selection

I like that I can save my favorite pen in easy-to-use section (it is floating on the right side of your notes) so you can just tap on it to change to that pen option. Each writing tool can be customized to be of a specific width (size), opacity, and colour. I am quite fussy when it comes to highlighter colours, so I need mine to be of a specific green, pink, yellow, and blue. I have all these favorites across all my notes so it is so easy to style my notes consistently on my favorite colors.

  Mindful Planning - Balancing Work and Life as an Entrepreneur with Your Planner.

#4 Choice of Templates & Paper Types

The amount of paper types and beautiful templates are aplenty – all for free! If you are taking notes, you will find Cornell (there are a few types to choose from) very useful. Or if you like to do bullet journal, you can always go for square dots (choose from S, M or L). Maybe you prefer grids? Or just plain old lines. Collanote has it all. If you like a little more designs, colors and cute patterns, check out templates where there is a nice selection to choose from. Choose from Weekly Planners, To Do Lists, Monthly Planners and more. If all these are not good enough for you, you can import your own PDFs! All our freebies are compatible with Collanote, so download them and try it out. For starters, check out our Minimalist Daily Planner.

#5 Custom Folders and Note Covers

Previously all Collanote covers were in light blue and I really hated that. Now with paid version you can customise the covers to sport either a solid color, color + your handwriting note/design, or an image of your choice. I like mine in pastel shades as they are soothing to my eyes and I love it. In future, I might experiment with an illustration. For the notebook itself, you can personalise it with a variety of preset covers or you can select a solid color & put in your own scribbles/doodles. If you are uploading a PDF, it will take the first page as the cover as default, but that can be personalized if you prefer.

  How to Organize Your Life with a Bullet Journal - Master the System from Set-Up to Customization

Collanote for all my notetaking and planners

So there you have it. The above 5 are my top reasons why I prefer Collanote over GoodNotes. I opted for the paid version of Collanotes when it debuted. I already love it even without these features, and the additional features were just a cream on top of the icing.

I paid for GoodNotes 5 and then version 6 came and I did not upgrade as I did the trial and didn’t quite fancy it. It is a personal preference, as I am sure many people enjoy using the new version and happily paid for it. GoodNotes is available in both yearly fee and lifetime payment. If I were to opt, I will pay the lifetime fee. GoodNotes 5 still work like a charm, but if you are on a free version you are limited to 3 notes. If I got it right, GoodNotes 6 is only available for paid members as the trial lasts for only 30 days.

What about you? If you are on the fence, I suggest trying out both as your usage and experience may differ from mine and that could sway you on either side. For me, absolute love for Collanote and I hope the team continue making it awesome! 🙂