NoteShelf - Transitioning to Paperless

Published February 3, 2022

I finally found the right note-taking app. The name of the app is NoteShelf! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with it. I’ve been searching for the right note-taking app along with a digital planner and NoteShelf fits the bill. By the way, it’s compatible with Android and iOS.

My Paperless Transition

Now that I’ve completed my year-long transition from PC to iOS, I’m ready to tackle the paper. Yes, that means I’m aiming to go paperless, or as paperless as possible

Too Much Paper

I’m notorious for having little slips of paper, notes, and lists all over the house, in the car, and in my back pocket (can’t tell you how many of them I’ve found in the washing machine). I’d jot notes and lists so that I’d remember things and then lose the slips of paper. And I’m sure I’m not the only person that does this! Yes, you can blame it on my age, but I know a lot of young folks with the same talent.

Finding the Right Electronic Alternative

Paperless with Notes and CalendarI do use the Notes app on the iPad, but Notes only touched the surface of what I needed. I like and frequently use the document scanning feature in Notes, but I needed something more. In addition to taking notes, I wanted a digital planner. I wanted to view my tasks for the month, day, or week at a glance.

Yes, I tried using both Notes and the iPad’s Calendar app, but I just couldn't get things to click the way I wanted them to. So I began to search for something better.

GoodNotes 5 or Notability

My search led me to two popular apps, GoodNotes 5 and Notability . From what I gleaned, both apps were good note-taking apps, but Notability seemed to be more popular with students. Notability has an audio recording feature that GoodNotes 5 doesn’t have. The ability to record a lecture on a device while simultaneously taking notes is something I could only dream about back in the day. Better yet, when you play the recording, Notability will show you which notes you took during the lecture.

GoodNotes or Notability

Alas, I’m not a student, so I didn’t need Notability’s audio recording feature. Plus, GoodNotes 5 seemed simpler so that’s what I purchased.

I like GoodNotes 5, but I quickly realized I needed a digital planner. GoodNotes 5 does not come equipped with a digital planner so if I wanted one, I had to purchase one. Or, if I had the time and inclination I could create one myself. However, I have neither the time nor the inclination.

The Elusive Digital Planner

Next, I began my digital planner shopping. There were too many choices to select from. Most of the planners were too busy (ornate) and didn’t have the simple features I wanted. As a result, I ended up downloading and purchasing the Tasks app. With the Task app, I was able to plan and be reminded of the tasks. It's a simple app yet it still wasn't what I was looking for. The interface didn’t work for me.

Tasks App

Switching between GoodNotes for writing the “to-do” details and scheduling things in Tasks became cumbersome and didn’t flow naturally for me. I found myself bending my natural habits to accommodate these apps. That’s crazy! Who gets a tool and modifies themself so the tool can work. It should be the other way around.

NoteShelf to the Rescue

Finally, I stumbled across Noteshelf. I couldn't believe I hadn't heard about it when I did my initial research. I watched a few videos and decided to spend $9.99 to give it a shot. If it's not what I want, I've already wasted more than enough money. What’s an additional $10? So I downloaded the app and created my first notebook.

Paperless with NoteShelf

Imagine my surprise when I found I could create a simple digital planner in Noteshelf with just a few taps on the screen. It took seconds to create and it was the planner that I wanted. A simple digital planner and note-taking app in one! No need to shop for and purchase an additional planner to compliment NoteShelf.

NoteShelf Features

In a future post, I’ll attempt a more comprehensive comparison between GoodNote 5 and NoteShelf. There are plenty of features in both of these apps that I have yet to explore. The one thing that NoteShelf does have that GoodNotes doesn't (aside from the digital planner) is the ability to record audio notes.

Digital Planner

I’m still getting warm and fuzzy with the app, but within minutes of downloading it, I knew it was the app for me. I’m not throwing shade at GoodNotes because I believe it’s a more robust note-taking app. It’s just that at this stage in my paperless journey, NoteShelf is what this Grandma needs.

Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low tech blogger.

Last Modified: 3 September 2023

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