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What are digital note-taking apps and how to get the best from them with Doodle Reads Digital Editions?

Welcome to the exciting world of digital note-taking! We're going to explore what digital note-taking apps are and how, when used in conjunction with Doodle Reads Digital Notebook Editions, they will change the way you think about being hands-on with ebooks for fun and learning!

How Doodle Reads Digital Editions work
Doodle Reads Digital Notebook Edition of Pride and Prejudice in use on an iPad

Hands-on interactive books now also in digital!

At Doodle Reads, we love creating hands-on interactive books that you can doodle on, glue into, write on, colour in, and customise. This works great with printed books, but how do we achieve the same level of fun and interaction with digital ebooks?

Well, excitingly, that's where these fantastic note-taking apps come in! At Doodle Reads, we are now publishing more and more titles for use with these fun and easy-to-use apps, enabling us to offer you that same creative experience that we've brought you in print, but now with the added convenience of being digital!

What are digital note-taking apps and what do they do?

Digital note-taking apps open up a world of new creative possibilities for your iPad or Android tablet. They allow you to take handwritten or typed notes in digital notebooks just as easily as you can on paper. Except now they have all sorts of other features, like the ability to search, edit, and erase; share your notes with others; or sync between devices.

There's still plenty of scope for creativity too; you can doodle, sketch, draw, and trace. You can stick in your own pictures or things you've found on the web. You can embellish it with digital stickers, highlight text, or colour it in.

What devices do I need to use a digital note-taking app?

You'll only need an iPad or an Android tablet, and ideally a writing stylus comes in handy when using note-taking apps. Although a stylus is not required, it is highly recommended if you want to have the best writing, drawing, and doodling experience. A stylus is simply a pen-like tool that allows you to write on the screen of your iPad or tablet as if you were holding a pen on paper. There are styluses for every budget, from the most basic to the most expensive, such as the Apple Pencil, which has extra features like pressure and tilt sensitivity.

Sorry, but at this time, Kindle Fire devices are not compatible*.

Macbeth digital note-taking edition on a smartphone

Can I use my smartphone too?

Yes, you can use your smartphone with most good note-taking apps. However, keep in mind that you will have a better note-taking experience if you use an iPad or tablet and a stylus, simply due to the screen size. Always save your notebooks to the cloud, then a smartphone can be a fantastic way to quickly access them for easy reference from anywhere!

Where can I get a digital note taking app so that I can enjoy Doodle Reads Digital Notebook Editions?

Finding a digital note-taking app to use with Doodle Reads Digital Editions is super easy!

You'll need to head over to the App Store on your iPad or Play Store Android tablet and get one from there. Some are free, some can be purchased for a small one-off cost, and some have a low-cost (but ongoing) subscription.

There are a few particular features that you'll want to have to make your experience the best. To enjoy the interactivity of our digital books, you'll need an app that fully supports PDF annotation, enables you to use digital stickers and add pictures, as well as other creative features like pen types, colours, and erasers. Luckily, there are several excellent choices out there, and next we will let you know our own favourites.

4 great digital note-taking apps you can use straight away

Notability 11

For iPad from:

For Mac from:

If you're looking for a comprehensive, easy-to-use note-taking app, Notability is a great option. It offers a wide range of features, including the ability to type, handwrite, and record audio notes, as well as import images and stickers. Notes can be organized into folders, and you can also add tags to make searching for specific notes easier. One of the best features of Notability is the ability to add sketches and diagrams to your notes using the built-in drawing tools. Notes can be exported as PDFs or shared with other Notability users via iCloud. The only downside is that Notability is currently only available for iOS devices, so if you're using Android, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Notability is offered in a limited version for free, which is great for trying things out, but for day-to-day use you will need to use their subscription option, which unlocks all the app's features for a very reasonable annual or monthly fee.

Schools and educational institutions can get Notability for free through Apple School Manager, learn more here.

GoodNotes 5

For iPad from:

For Mac from:

GoodNotes is a fantastic digital note-taking app that offers a great set of writing and drawing capabilities. The app is extremely user-friendly and offers a great set of features for those who want to take their notes digitally. The drawing capabilities are top-notch and allow users to create beautiful notes and drawings that can be easily shared with others. The app's handwriting recognition is also excellent, making it easy to convert your handwritten notes to searchable text. Overall, Goodnotes is an excellent digital note-taking app that offers a great set of features and tools for anyone who wants to take their notes digitally.

You can create your first three dgital notebooks for free with GoodNotes, and then for any more you will need to purchase the app for a very reasonable one-off price. GoodNotes is available for Apple iOS and Mac devices only.

Schools and educational institutions can get GoodNotes for free through Apple School Manager, learn more here.


For Android from:

For iPad from:

For Mac from:

Noteshelf is one of the digital note-taking apps available for both iPad and Android devices. It is a very user-friendly app that allows you to quickly and easily take notes and draw on your device. The app has a variety of features that make it a great choice for taking notes, including the ability to create multiple notebooks, the ability to add stickers, images, and voice memos to your notes, and the ability to share your notes with others. Your handwritten notes are also searchable. Noteshelf is a great choice for anyone who needs a simple and effective way to take notes on their Android tablet or iPad.

Unlike the last two apps, unfortunately there is no way to try out Noteshelf for free. It can be purchased from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for a one-off price.

Xodo PDF Reader & Editor

For Android from:

For iPad from:

As an excellent PDF reader and editor, Xodo is not, strictly speaking, a traditional note-taking app! However, its ability to let you annotate interactive PDFs using a selection of great tools makes it an excellent free choice for use with Doodle Reads Digital Notebook Editions. You can add handwritten notes, drawings, type, stickers, and images. Unlike the other apps mentioned, your handwritten notes are not searchable, but the text of the ebook itself is.

Xodo is available in a free and a premium (subscription) version. There are also versions for Windows.

*What about Kindle Fire?

Unfortunately our Digital Notebook Editions are not currently compatible with Kindle Fire devices. This is because at the moment there are no note-taking apps available for Kindle Fire which support interactive PDFs. We hope this may change, and we'll post information here if it happens.

What about Microsoft OneNote?

We get asked about Microsoft OneNote from time to time, and we understand why. It's a great tool with lots going for it, but unfortunately it's currently not able to fully support our Digital Notebook Editions. That's because OneNote doesn't fully support interactive PDFs. But OneNote fans, we hear you! We're currently investigating how we might publish OneNote compatible versions. Join our list and keep updated. In the meantime, you might be surprised at the fantastic iPad and tablet targeted functionality you get from the other big players, such as Notability, GoodNotes, and Noteshelf; why not give them a try?

Doodle Reads Digital Notebook Editions for English Literature Students using ipad and tablets with Goodnotes, Notability, Noteshelf, and Xodo

Meet Our Digital Notebook Editions

Studying English Literature is a breeze with Doodle Reads Digital Notebooks. Make notes directly alongside the ebook on this nifty tablet edition. Includes digital workbook, planner, and notebooks. Perfect for GCSE students, high school grades 9 to 12, and teachers too.

Perfect for English Literature GCSE and High School Grade 9-12. For Notability, Goodnotes, and other good note-taking apps on iPad and tablets