Noteshelf Review 2023

Our Noteshelf review article was originally published in 2019 and most recently updated in March 2023.

The plethora of digital notetaking apps have made it easier than ever to get your thoughts on the page.

That’s especially true if you’re trying to replace notebooks and laptops with an iPad or Android tablet.

But with so many options to choose from, which app is best for taking notes and jotting reminders?

We’ve already compared GoodNotes and Notability, two notetaking apps that dominate the market, but they might not be the best fit for everyone.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at Noteshelf by Fluid Touch, one of the smaller (but still significant!) notetaking apps on the market today.

Let’s get to it!

Key Takeaways

  • Advanced customization, including page templates, notebook covers, and tools.
  • Favorites Toolbar saves time on customizing your tools for different needs.
  • Zoom Box offers magnification with a toolbar so that switching between tools is easy while working in this mode.
  • Cross-platform compatibility with all Apple devices, Android, and Windows.




Specs, tech, & costs

Noteshelf was created in 2010 by Fluid Touch, and it’s grown a lot in the last decade. In 2023, it’s become a bigger contender in the notetaking world, largely due to its availability on multiple platforms. It’s now available on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Android, and Windows.

Unlike GoodNotes and Notability, Noteshelf doesn’t offer any kind of free trial or freemium option. You’ll have to pay for it to see if you like it.

Pricing for each platform is slightly different, so here’s a quick breakdown:

Unfortunately, you will need to purchase a separate copy for each of the operating systems, and there’s no way to sync between different platforms, other than using iCloud for all Apple devices.

#caption#Image: Noteshelf

#alt#Image of an iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch, all using Noteshelf with an Apple Pencil laying in front of the iPad and the words, “Take awesome notes anywhere, anytime!”

Note creation & document management

When you’re searching for the best notetaking app, it’s not just about on-page functionality. Keeping your content organized is just as important as taking notes.

This section of our Noteshelf review will cover everything from how you keep your notes organized to search tools and interface friendliness.

When using Noteshelf, you’ll interact with all of these features — and that’s important because it’s a big part of the Noteshelf system.

#caption#Noteshelf users have the option to select a new cover and a new page template for their journals and notebooks. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)

#alt#An image demonstrating the Noteshelf 2 notebook creation page.

Note creation

One of the most important things to realize when working in Noteshelf is that every note that you create is actually a notebook in disguise.

As a good rule of thumb, if your note is visible from the main user interface (the thumbnail selection screen), it’s a notebook. This includes scanned documents, imported images, and every other file type.

It’s a different approach from GoodNotes, where imported documents are treated as standalone files, and it can complicate your organization if you aren’t careful.

Notebooks come equipped with a ton of fun customization options. You can give them a title and choose their cover and default page setup. Noteshelf features a variety of default page and cover designs, including templates for digital diaries and digital planners.

Protip: Go to Settings (tap the gear on the upper right of the sidebar), then tap on Free Covers & Paper Templates to access free designs and paper templates, such as stickers, trackers, study planners, and more.

If you want to go further, you can also enable the auto-backup feature using the various cloud services available through Noteshelf or set a password to protect your document.


Noteshelf’s organizational structure only goes so far. You can create categories from the sidebar and then press and hold on to a notebook in the thumbnail menu to move that notebook to a specific folder.

This is great if you’re using Noteshelf in multiple scenarios. For example, say you were taking notes at both work and school.  In those situations, it might make sense to create a “School” and “Work” category folder to make navigation easier.

Similar to Notability, Noteshelf won’t allow you to add subfolders to your categories. What you can do is create something called “Groups,” which is another way to organize your notes.

When would this be useful?

Let’s say you had a “College” folder, and you had a notebook for every class. At some point, it might make sense to group those notebooks together by subject (ex: Lit 101 & Lit 102), so that you know where to find all notebooks pertaining to a specific area of study.

You can go even further by creating groups inside groups, with as many subgroups as you want.

#caption#You can move notebooks inside of Noteshelf by either dragging and dropping or using the Edit menu. Select the notebook you’d like to move and tap the Move button. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)

#alt#Image of the Edit menu in Noteshelf with a red notebook highlighted and a red arrow pointing from the notebook to a red box around the Move button.

Moving things in Noteshelf

Merging and migrating notes inside Noteshelf is something of a challenge because every note is a notebook.

To shuffle your notes from one notebook to another, you can either copy/paste or use the edit function, but neither of these methods is intuitive.

Noteshelf doesn’t provide many workarounds, unfortunately. But, while you can’t merge different notebooks and you can’t merge notebook pages, you can move the pages from one notebook to another.

Overall, these limitations can create difficulties during document management.

However, it’s worth pointing out that Noteshelf isn’t the only perpetrator here. Both Goodnotes 5 and Notability have their own confusing processes when trying to merge and manage notes.

It’s just part of the process and something that you’ll have to learn in order to use the software effectively.

#caption#In Noteshelf, you can either tap the + icon once to open a menu with note options and tap Quick Note or just double tap the + icon to automatically open a Quick Note. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)

#alt#Image of the Create menu in Noteshelf.

Quick Notes

The Quick Note feature will help you create notebooks at lightning speed. While you can customize your settings, the main idea here is to help you get from the main menu to the notetaking screen as fast as possible.

You can even bypass the standard note-creation workflow entirely if you’re in a hurry.  Just double-tap the notebook with the plus icon to skip the selection menu and immediately open a Quick Note.


Quick Notes generate and open a notebook with a random cover and a default white page so that you can start taking notes immediately.

But remember: This option creates a notebook, not a note — because everything is actually a notebook!

Unfortunately, using this feature can eventually lead to issues when it’s time to manage and organize your notes because your options to consolidate your notes will be limited (see the previous section for more detail).

If you’re serious about minimizing clutter, it’s worth taking the time to create and organize everything up front.  It might take longer, but you’ll save yourself from the frustration of trying to merge and combine notes after the fact.

#caption#Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike

#alt#A view of the search bar and a list of recent searches.


The main search bar is located on the selection menu with all of your notebooks. This is a powerful tool that helps you navigate through your notebooks with speed and precision.

As you create your notes, Noteshelf’s built-in optical character recognition (OCR) scans and indexes them for easy search and recovery. The app does this for scanned documents, handwritten notes, and typed text — and it’s pretty good at it, even if you have terrible handwriting.

It takes a few minutes for your note to become searchable after it has been created, but search results are instant once everything has been scanned and indexed.

Protip: While you can scan every document by using the main search bar, you can also limit the scan to a specific notebook by opening that notebook and accessing the right sidebar. The search function located there will only return results from the selected notebook.

You can also use bookmarks in Noteshelf to mark important pages in your notes, but this feature is limited. As with Notability, this functionality is difficult to locate and doesn’t seem to promote fast navigation or better organization.

#caption#Image: Noteshelf


#alt#Image of the writing tools in Noteshelf.


Like most other apps, a great part of Noteshelf’s usability is defined by its tools. Fortunately, this app comes with everything you need to take great notes.

Here’s a closer look at each of the major tools that Noteshelf provides to help you get your thoughts onto the page.

#caption#The four different styles of pen options allow you to customize and stylize your handwritten notes. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot picturing the pen interface and three example lines at varying thicknesses of the ballpoint, calligraphy, fine-tip, and pencil styles.


Probably the most important tool in the bunch, the Pen tool is what you’ll use most often when taking notes. This tool responds to touch and/or a stylus like the Apple Pencil and allows you to make notes on the page.

Noteshelf comes equipped with four different types of pens to help you create beautiful, handwritten notes:

  • Ballpoint. The standard ballpoint pen is the default writing instrument in Noteshelf. While it draws clear lines that are easy to see, the strokes are slightly soft around the edges and can appear fuzzy, especially when used at larger sizes.
  • Fine-tip. The fine-tip pen is similar to the ballpoint, but it offers thinner lines and less bleed. This results in crisper, clearer lines compared to the ballpoint pen.
  • Calligraphy. The calligraphy pen creates the kind of stylized writing that you’d expect from a specialized nib. The pen tip is angled, creating classic, calligraphic linework while you write. This is a great pen when you want writing that is both pretty and legible.
  • Pencil. Compared to the other pen options, the pencil stroke looks grainy, but this is by design and will give notes taken with this tool a very unique feel. While all of Noteshelf’s pen tools are pressure sensitive, the result is most obvious when using this variation.

Each pen has nine predefined sizing options built in. If you tap on the pen size slider, the app will automatically adjust the pen to the size nearest to your tap. You can also adjust the size to taste by sliding the indicator left or right to suit your preference.

Color selection is different. While there are preset colors at the bottom of the selection menu, you can double-tap on any color to customize it. You can even add hex codes to get the exact color that you want and save it to the quick-select menu.

Protip: You can save any combination of pen, nib size, and color to the favorites menu by tapping on the little heart on the right side of the customization menu.

One last thing to note here: Writing with any notetaking app can be difficult if you’re unaccustomed to a glass screen. Noteshelf does its best to account for this issue, but you can drastically improve the experience by using a Paperlike to change the slick surface of your iPad into a texture that feels like real paper.

#caption#The highlighter tool offers both round and slanted markup options, as well as various color options. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot of the highlighter UI and examples of the two styles, round and slanted, in varying thicknesses and colors. 


As with other notetaking apps, the Highlighter tool is used to annotate specific sections of your text. This is particularly useful when you need to emphasize details within your notes or import PDF files into Noteshelf, and you want to accentuate specific sections of the text.

Like the Pen tool, the Highlighter comes with various customization options around size and styling. With the Highlighter, you’ll have two styles — round and slanted — along with six pre-set sizing options on an adjustable slider.

You can also select any color you prefer for your Highlighter. Noteshelf will apply that color to your document in a reduced opacity so that the darker colors won’t hide the text. You can also darken the highlighted area by highlighting it more than once.

Protip: Enable the Draw Straight Lines toggle to ensure that your markings neatly cover the text you want to highlight.

Once you’ve built your Highlighter the way you want, don’t forget to save it to your Favorites Bar for easy access.

#caption#The eraser tool comes with a variety of selection tools, including stroke-based and highlighter-only erasing. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot of the eraser interface showing the different size options and extra features, including Auto-select previous tool, Erase Entire Stroke, Erase Highlighter Only, and Clear Page. 


Noteshelf’s Eraser tool is something that you’ll end up using quite a bit as you go along. It’s got some great features to enhance the notetaking experience and quickly clear mistakes off the page.

The Eraser comes with three different sizing options as well as an Auto feature. The automatic feature doesn’t erase an entire line or delete an entire stroke. (There’s a separate setting for that.) Instead, it simply resizes the Eraser to the size necessary to erase any detected keystroke in the surface area.

Unfortunately, the setback here is that the Eraser only resizes itself up to the largest size available, which isn’t very big.

Sometimes, when you want to erase an entire section of a page, it can take a while to scrub it clean. The Clear Page option is great if you’re looking to start fresh. The Lasso tool (discussed below) can also help you quickly clear large blocks of text that the Eraser can’t effectively handle.

On the upside, the Eraser offers some advanced options:

  • Erase Entire Stroke.
  • Erase Highlighter Only.

These two options (especially the latter) can be a godsend when you’re trying to avoid turning a simple erasing exercise into a surgical procedure.

You’ll also see an Auto-select previous tool toggle. The auto-switch feature is great if you’re just erasing one stroke, but it can get annoying if you need to erase more because the tool switches back automatically as soon as the stylus nib leaves the glass.

Protip: Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) users can ignore this feature since the Apple Pencil already has a built-in tap-to-switch feature (enabled in Settings). When you’re done erasing, just tap the body of the Apple Pencil twice to switch back to the pen.

#caption#The text box tool and font customization interface can help you quickly add written text to your note. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot of the text tool UI with the keyboard underneath and a text box with the words, “This is a text box!”

Text box

Noteshelf’s text display options are excellent.

The functionality and organization in Noteshelf’s layout just make sense. Text boxes are easy to resize, and formatting your text is intuitive and simple, with bold, italic, and underlining options quickly accessible.

But Noteshelf doesn’t stop there.

You can also indent text, add bulleted/numbered lists, and align boxed text based on your preferences. Customizing the text style happens in one place, and the customization options come with a huge selection of fonts, colors, and more.

While Noteshelf already has preselected headers and body text, everything is customizable and easy to adjust. Rearranging and copy/pasting the text in any way you see fit is also straightforward and uncomplicated.

Protip: After you finish customizing everything, you can save your settings, so they’re ready to go for your next note.

All of these options are extremely useful if you’re using the Convert To Text feature (more on this below) because they give you the ability to condense your text into a format that is easy to read and understand.

#caption#With the selection tool, you can select, move, or resize anything in your document. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot depicting the lasso tool UI and the sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” circled with a blue dotted line.

Lasso tool

Of all the basic tools in the Noteshelf toolkit, the Lasso tool is probably the most important after the Pen. This selection tool allows you to reshape or resize your text and move it around the page.

If you have large handwriting and need to make more room on the page, the selection tool can help. If your manager or professor rambles and you need to restructure your notes so that they make better sense, the Lasso tool is your go-to solution.

All you’ll need to do is draw a lasso around the text that you want to move, and the full options menu will appear. From here, you can modify the text, take screenshots, change the text color or size, and even convert handwritten notes to text.

The Lasso tool has two major drawbacks:

1. Enlarging your text through resizing is iffy. Oftentimes, enlarging your keystrokes makes the text look blurry, something we didn’t expect since Noteshelf uses a vector-based graphic engine.

2. Text conversion is weird. Based on the size of the font, Convert To Text tries to find a font size similar to the writing itself, but it often guesses incorrectly and creates text that is much larger than expected.

Protip: In the Convert To Text menu, change the Font Size to Default, and it will automatically convert to the saved font size in your Text tool.

Overall, the Lasso tool is an essential and unavoidable part of the app. It gets the job done for simple moves and organization.

#caption#Image: Noteshelf

#alt#Image of a PDF document with annotations on a blue background and icons for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more surrounding the document, as well as the words, “Annotate PDFs, images and more.”


Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some of the additional tools that you’ll see when using Noteshelf.

You’ll find important and useful features, like a zoom box, shapes, audio recording, document scanning and PDF annotation, presentation mode, and more.

#caption#The zoom box can help you get up close and personal with your text. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot of the sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” A box appears over the words “fox jump,” and those words are magnified at the bottom half of the screen. 

Zoom Box

The Zoom Box is a lifesaver when you need to write smaller text. This is also a great way to get a closeup of existing text if you’re parsing a document for notes.

You can access this feature by clicking on the More icon (the ellipsis icon on the righthand side of the menu bar) and switching the Zoom Box toggle to green.

A magnifying glass will appear in the bottom right corner of the app. Tap on it, and the Zoom Box will appear on the bottom half of your screen.

Protip: The Zoom Box is highly customizable. Use the Zoom Box toolbar settings to adjust the position of the margins, the line spacing, the position of the buttons on the screen, and disable the auto-advance option.

While this feature will help you write smaller notes, the glass display can make your handwriting sloppy regardless of size.  A Paperlike adds friction and resistance (just like real paper) to improve accuracy and precision while you write. Grab yours today.

#caption#Toggling the Shape tool allows you to draw perfect shapes and straight lines in Noteshelf. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot depicting several shapes, including triangles, a circle, oval, star, rectangle, and more.

Shape tool

As you might expect, the Shape tool helps you draw shapes on the page. This is particularly useful for drawing a box around a specific set of notes or illustrating something with a simple diagram.

This tool works well with most basic shapes, but it gets a little overzealous if you add more than four or five lines to your illustration. Squares and pentagons are no problem, but hexagons and octagons often get automatically transformed into a circle if the drawing isn’t precise.

The shapes drawn by this tool aren’t automatically proportional, meaning that it’s possible to draw imperfect but necessary shapes, such as an isosceles triangle or a long, short rectangle.

Protip: While you can use this tool to draw straight lines, you don’t have to. Toggle Hold to Convert to Shape in the Pen tool settings to draw straight lines and convert shapes without switching to this specialized tool.

In the summer of 2022, the Shape tool got an upgrade, and now you’ll also find a few preset shapes, making it even easier to quickly circle, box, or add an arrow to your notes. You can edit the sizing of both these presets and converted shapes, change the color, and more, to get exactly what you need.

#caption#Audio recording is a powerful Noteshelf tool. When you activate it, the recording icon will automatically appear on your screen. This icon can be moved like a normal object on the page. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot of the audio recording interface with the sentence, “The audio recording indicator!” An arrow points to an orange circle with a microphone icon in it.

Audio recording

Noteshelf’s ability to record audio while taking notes can be a huge timesaver, but it comes with a few caveats.

While Noteshelf will allow you to capture audio on a specific page, the audio isn’t linked to the text on playback in the way you’d experience with Notability.

Access and activation aren’t easy, either. There are two ways to do it:

  1. From the notebook selection screen, you can create an audio note. This creates an entirely new notebook, complete with a lined page template, and turns on the audio.
  1. If you want to add audio to a page inside an existing notebook, you’ll need to open the notebook, tap the + icon in the top left, and select Record Audio from the Add Media window.

In both cases, the audio will activate automatically, and a control bar will appear at the top of the screen, just below your standard toolbar. From there, you can start and stop the audio, as well as speed up playback.

As with Notability, it’s possible to record multiple audio notes inside a single notebook. You can even add them to the same page! If you do this, you’ll see multiple audio note icons (the microphone surrounded by a circle) appear on the page that you can move to any place on the screen.

Document scanning & PDF annotation

When you “scan” an image, you’re really just taking a picture with your iPad camera and importing it to Noteshelf. Some apps have the ability to change the way the scan looks when imported to your device, usually by enhancing the contrast. Noteshelf doesn’t do anything like this. It’s just a picture.

That being said, this is actually a handy tool.

When you use the scanning feature, the AI will try to find the edge of your document compared to the background. You can also use handheld toggles to manually select the document if the system gets it wrong.

Once you import the image, the scan works like the base layer of a document, allowing you to annotate PDFs or write and draw on pictures.

As an added bonus, the built-in OCR will scan your imported document and catalog the text. When you import PDFs, this makes them searchable within Noteshelf, which is a great feature to have when you’re trying to stay organized.

#caption#Noteshelf’s Presentation Mode allows you to share your screen with an audience. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot of the presentation mode interface with the words “laser pointer” and an arrow pointing to the laser pointer options. At the bottom of the screen are the words, “Presentation mode!”

Presentation mode

This tool allows you to share your screen via Airplay or an external display, and it turns your app into a whiteboard.

To activate, click on the Projector icon (last icon in the center section of the menu bar) to activate this feature. This will open a menu that allows you to hide the UI from your audience for a distraction-free presentation.

There are two tools available to you to aid in your presentation:

  • The Laser pointer allows you to easily draw attention to any point on the screen. It comes in three different colors, all of which are visible on any page or background.
  • The Pen tool allows you to make annotations on the screen. It is especially helpful if you’re demonstrating how to solve a math problem or sketching out an idea for your audience.

#caption#Interactive checklists in Noteshelf allow you to check off boxes. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot of a shopping list with milk, eggs, bread, and cookies. Each item has a white box in front of it. The box in front of “cookies” has a checkmark inside it, indicating completion.

Other useful tools

Noteshelf also offers a few more useful features, such as a read-only mode, movable favorites toolbar, and interactive checklists.

Read-only mode allows you to hide your toolbar. When this is enabled, you won’t be able to draw on the page or add additional handwritten notes to your file. This is a useful feature if you’re reviewing your class or meeting notes and you want to make sure you don’t add unnecessary marks to the page. It’s also essential when you’re using a digital planner or digital calendar, and you need to navigate using hyperlinks.

The movable Favorites toolbar allows you to completely customize your experience. Not only can you add all your favorite pen, highlighter, and other settings, but you can also move the toolbar to anywhere on the page that makes sense for you.

Interactive checklists also make it even easier to keep track of your shopping lists or to-dos. Instead of using bullet points, you can create checkboxes and mark them off once the item is completed.

#caption#Image: Noteshelf

#alt#Image of an iPad screen with the Noteshelf app open with half the screen typed and the other half handwritten on a blue background and the words, “Handwritten or typed - take notes the way you like.”


Noteshelf comes equipped with a ton of user-friendly settings to help you customize your experience and create great notes in the process.

From adjusting the appearance of the app to changing the stylus you use, Noteshelf gives you the options you need to make your workspace your own.

#caption#Noteshelf offers multiple color schemes and combinations. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot of the appearance interface with two rows of top bar color options. There’s also a toggle that says, “Show Date on Shelf.”

Appearance & UI

Noteshelf comes equipped with a variety of customization options in the user interface, but this feature is really focused on changing the color of your top bar compared to the rest of your background.

As a default, you’ll have a white background with a choice of colors for the top bar. If you prefer a black background, you can change from Light Mode to Dark Mode in the display settings on your iPad, and Noteshelf will automatically shift with it. You can also choose the Auto color scheme, and the app will change from light to dark mode based on the ambient lighting.

Since we’re night owls here at Paperlike, we’ve chosen the Midnight setting to make things easier on the eyes.

Noteshelf doesn’t offer any way to change the basic layout. You’re locked into using a thumbnail view for all of your notebooks, and you can’t resize or change the layout.

This is a miss since many other apps (GoodNotes, Notability, Apple Notes) all provide options for switching between a list and gallery view.


Noteshelf’s handwriting style and customization options are top-notch. Not only can you select one of six different writing styles (based on how you hold your stylus), but you can also change the handwriting recognition engine that Noteshelf uses to parse your text.

As far as selecting a handwriting style, you’ll just tap the image that looks most similar to how you write. Even if you forget to do this, the system is still responsive, but selecting the correct writing style helps with palm rejection and navigation.

#caption#While the Apple Pencil may be the go-to choice for many users, Adonit and Wacom pens are also an option. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot of the Stylus UI depicting the Apple Pencil on a blue background in the top half of the screen. The bottom half includes the options, Enable Apple Pencil, Pressure Sensitivity, Double-Tap Action, and Support. 


For stylus support, Noteshelf offers compatibility with three separate brands: Apple, Adonit, and Wacom.

We tested the app with an Apple Pencil (2nd generation), and the results were what you’d expect from using an Apple-branded product on an Apple-made device.  In this setup, Noteshelf is highly responsive and wonderful to work in.

Some newer functionality, like the double-tap action that allows users to switch between tools, felt like it made some of the auto-switching features in Noteshelf redundant, but those options could be customized from this menu.

#caption#Noteshelf’s settings menu contains your syncing and backup options. (Image: Noteshelf / Deniz Kurtoglu / Paperlike)


#alt#A screenshot of the settings menu in Noteshelf. Options include, Appearance, Handwriting, Stylus, Cloud & Backup, Advanced, What’s New, Free Covers & Paper Templates, Support, and About Noteshelf.

Storage, backup, & sharing

Noteshelf allows you to connect to multiple backup and storage options, including iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote, OneDrive, and Google Drive.

You can also automatically back up your data to any of these third-party services in addition to syncing across iCloud — which is important if you’re planning to use Noteshelf on your iPhone, Apple Watch, or the Mac app.

Unfortunately, you can’t sync between platforms (other than Apple devices) at this time, but Fluid Touch has said they’re working on this feature for the future.

#caption#Noteshelf allows you to export or share your work in a variety of ways. (Image: Noteshelf / Screenshot by Lindsay Armstrong / Paperlike)

#alt#Image of the exporting/sharing menu in Noteshelf.

You can share your notebooks with others, and Noteshelf gives you a lot of options for this feature, including:

  • Current page, Select Pages, or All Pages.
  • PNG, PDF, or .noteshelf formats.
  • Page Template and Title & Page No. toggles.

Once you’ve made those selections, you can choose from a variety of ways to export or share your work. You can send through Messages or Airdrop, send to other apps, and so on.

But, this doesn’t actually allow you to collaborate on your notes. Instead, it’s basically just giving someone access to them. While they may be able to edit them in their own app or another app of their choice, you won’t be able to see any of these changes.

#alt#A note about Human Lungs in Noteshelf app displayed on an iPad.

Final thoughts

Noteshelf has a lot of great features, but, as an app, it feels like it’s trying to walk a tightrope between GoodNotes and Notability.

Clearly, the app tries to take the best of both worlds and create a streamlined/simplified experience that it can call its own.

And it mostly succeeds.

In exchange, what you really get when using Noteshelf almost feels like “GoodNotes Lite.” The biggest advantage that Noteshelf has over the other notetaking apps is that it works on all platforms, including Android and Windows. Neither GoodNotes nor Notability are compatible with Android devices, which makes Noteshelf the best option for those that want to take notes and access them everywhere.

Bottom line: Noteshelf is worth a try.

Although Noteshelf is one of the smaller digital notetaking apps, recently added features and upgrades have made it a contender. Plus, Noteshelf has a YouTube channel and a blog with tons of support and news that’ll help you make the most out of the app.

If you love the UI and the cross-compatibility between Android, Windows, iOS, watchOS, and macOS, Noteshelf may be a great fit!

You can pick up Noteshelf from the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, and the Microsoft Store

You can also check out some of our other notetaking app recommendations to see if other apps are better suited to your taste.

#alt#An image of the word “F.A.Q.” written on a piece of lined notebook paper.


Is Noteshelf free?

No. Noteshelf doesn’t offer a free trial or plan. It’s a one-time purchase, and the cost varies by platform. However, it does come pre-loaded for free on select Samsung Galaxy tablets.

If you want to give it a try on any other platform, you’ll need to purchase it through the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, or the Microsoft Store.

Can you use Noteshelf on PC?

Yes! As of November 2022, Noteshelf is now available for Windows.

However, you can’t sync or even import your notes from any other platform to your PC, so it’s a standalone product.

Is Noteshelf a good app?

There are a lot of great things to say about Noteshelf. Whether you’re using it on an iPad Air or iPad Pro, the tools are more than enough to meet your needs.

While it’s still lacking some of the key features we love, like syncing recorded audio to handwritten notes, the ability to resize text without blurring, and being able to easily move notes around, overall, it’s still a great app for those who want to take handwritten notes.

Our review has covered the app in detail, so you should be able to decide if the advanced customization, Favorites toolbar, and other great features are enough to overcome its shortcomings.

What other hardware do I need in order to use Noteshelf?

With Noteshelf now available on Windows, you can use it on your PC, Mac, Android device, iPhone, or iPad.

If you’re using an iPad or Android tablet, a stylus like the Apple Pencil or Adonit Pro is great for handwritten notes.

If you hate trying to write on a slippering glass surface, our screen protector for the iPad makes it feel like you’re writing on a piece of paper.

Suffer from hand cramps? Our Pencil Grips can help. They’re designed to reduce cramping and fatigue when you’re writing.

#alt#An image of an iPad covered by a screen protector from Paperlike. An Apple Pencil with a Paperlike Pencil Grip is attached magnetically to the side of the device.

Improve your notes with Paperlike!

No matter what app you use to take notes on your iPad, don’t forget that you can drastically improve your experience by using a Paperlike!

Our screen protector transforms the iPad's slick, glass surface into something that feels just like real paper.

It’s a must for note-takers, artists, and creative professionals who want to use their iPad more effectively in class and on the job.

Pick up your own Paperlike today!