Kilonotes vs. Goodnotes: Which Note-taking App is Best?

The digital note-taking industry has experienced exponential growth, with the global market expected to reach $8.61 billion by 2027.

Both Kilonotes and Goodnotes contribute to this growth by providing users with efficient and versatile note-taking solutions.

Kilonotes excels in simplicity and ease of use, catering to users seeking a straightforward and streamlined note-taking experience.

Its minimalist interface and essential features make it ideal for users who prioritize simplicity and efficiency in their note-taking process.

So what’s the difference between these two digital note-taking apps?

The main difference is that Kilonotes focuses on providing a minimalist and straightforward note-taking experience, while Goodnotes offers advanced features such as handwriting recognition, PDF annotation, and shape recognition, catering to users with diverse note-taking needs and preferences.

Kilonotes vs. Goodnotes: Key Features at a Glance:

PriceCheaper plansPricier
Audio Recording✔️
Built-in Templates✔️✔️
Sticker Integration✔️✔️
AI Assistance✔️
Handwriting Recognition✔️✔️
Cloud Sync✔️✔️

What is Kilonotes and how does it work?

Kilonotes is like your digital school backpack. It’s designed for students with features like audio recording for lectures, AI-powered summaries, and loads of templates. You write notes directly with your Apple Pencil, import PDFs, add doodles, and organize everything into colorful notebooks.

Pros of Kilonotes:

  • Affordable
  • Great for students
  • Audio recording rocks
  • AI helps with assignments
  • Lots of templates and stickers

Cons of Kilonotes:

  • Not as polished as Goodnotes
  • Handwriting recognition can be a bit glitchy
  • Fewer advanced note-taking tools

What is Goodnotes and how does it work?

Goodnotes is the king of digital note-taking for a reason. It’s hyper-focused on making your handwriting look fantastic, with a huge array of pens, paper styles, and organizational tools. If you want your notes to feel as close to real paper as possible, Goodnotes delivers.

Pros of Goodnotes:

  • Incredible handwriting experience
  • Super polished and smooth to use
  • Powerful organization tools
  • Excellent for handwritten notes
  • Wide range of paper templates

Cons of Goodnotes:

  • More expensive
  • No built-in audio recording
  • Fewer student-specific features

Kilonotes vs. Goodnotes: A Comprehensive Side-by-Side Feature Comparison

1. User Interface:

Kilonotes boasts a minimalist user interface with intuitive navigation, allowing users to organize and access their notes effortlessly.

Goodnotes offers a visually appealing interface with customizable templates and digital handwriting tools, providing a personalized note-taking experience.

Verdict: Goodnotes wins for its customizable templates and digital handwriting tools, offering a visually appealing and personalized note-taking experience.

2. Features and Functionality:

Kilonotes offers essential note-taking features such as text formatting, organization tools, and cloud synchronization. Goodnotes provides advanced features including handwriting recognition, PDF annotation, and shape recognition, enhancing note-taking efficiency and productivity.

Verdict: Goodnotes emerges as the winner for its advanced features and functionalities, offering a comprehensive note-taking solution for users with diverse needs.

3. Compatibility:

Both Kilonotes and Goodnotes are compatible with iOS and Android devices, ensuring cross-platform accessibility for users on different operating systems. Additionally, they offer synchronization options with cloud storage services like iCloud and Google Drive, enabling seamless access to notes across devices.

Verdict: It’s a tie; both tools excel in compatibility and cross-platform accessibility.

4. Customization Options:

Kilonotes provides limited customization options, allowing users to customize text formatting and organization preferences.

Goodnotes offers extensive customization features, including template customization, digital handwriting styles, and color options, enabling users to personalize their note-taking experience.

Verdict: Goodnotes wins for its extensive customization options, providing users with greater control over their note-taking environment.

5. Export and Sharing:

Kilonotes allows users to export notes in various formats, including PDF and text files, and share them via email or messaging apps.

Goodnotes offers similar export options with additional features such as AirDrop and Dropbox integration, facilitating seamless sharing and collaboration.

Verdict: Goodnotes wins for its additional sharing options and integration with popular cloud storage services, enhancing collaboration and productivity.

6. Search and Organization:

Kilonotes provides basic search and organization features, allowing users to search for notes by keyword and organize them into folders or categories.

Goodnotes offers advanced search capabilities with handwriting recognition, allowing users to search for handwritten notes and organize them with customizable tags and labels.

Verdict: Goodnotes emerges as the winner for its advanced search and organization features, providing users with efficient note retrieval and organization options.

7. Price and Subscription Model:

Kilonotes offers a one-time purchase option with no subscription fees, providing lifetime access to all features and updates.

Goodnotes follows a similar pricing model with a one-time purchase fee, offering continuous updates and support without recurring subscription costs.

Verdict: It’s a tie; both tools offer affordable pricing with one-time purchase options, providing value for money without ongoing subscription fees.

Use Cases for Kilonotes:

  1. Lecture Notes: Audio recording + note-taking sync lets you focus in class and fill in details later.
  2. Assignments: AI helps with brainstorming and generating drafts to get you started.

Use Cases for Goodnotes:

  1. Calligraphy and Art: If beautiful handwriting is your goal, Goodnotes’ pen tools are incredible.
  2. Detailed Planners: It offers the customization needed for complex planners and project layouts.

Kilonotes vs. Goodnotes Pricing at a Glance:

Pricing PlansKilonotesGoodnotes
One-Time Purchase$9.99 (iOS)$7.99 (iOS)
$7.99 (Mac)
SubscriptionNot AvailableNot Available
Free TrialNot AvailableNot Available
UpdatesLifetime Free UpdatesLifetime Free Updates

This table summarizes the pricing plans for both Kilonotes and Goodnotes. Kilonotes offers a one-time purchase option at $9.99 for iOS, while Goodnotes is priced at $7.99 for iOS and Mac.

Both apps provide lifetime free updates and support. There are no subscription options or free trials available for either app.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Digital Note-taking App

Here’s a more in-depth look at the 5 factors to consider when choosing between Kilonotes and Goodnotes, aiming for approximately 120 words per factor:

1. Budget:

Let’s be real, money matters. If you’re on a tight budget, Kilonotes is immediately attractive with its free plan and cheaper premium options. It’s especially compelling for students.

Goodnotes, while a fantastic app, requires a more significant one-time investment. Consider how much these tools will save you in paper and organization in the long run, and weigh that against the price tag.

2. Must-Have Features:

Do you need to record lectures alongside your notes? This is Kilonotes’ killer feature. Do you dream of AI helping with research or outlining papers? Again, that’s Kilonotes territory.

On the other hand, if your heart yearns for the most realistic digital pen experience with tons of customization, Goodnotes is unmatched. List out your non-negotiable features before buying.

3. Focus on Handwriting:

How important is the actual feel of writing on your iPad? Both apps do well, but they have different vibes. Kilonotes feels functional and gets the job done. Goodnotes obsesses over making handwriting an art – if you crave a paper-like experience with endless pen and paper options, it’s a clear winner.

4. Student Workflow:

Kilonotes was built with students in mind. Audio recording, AI summaries, and template libraries align perfectly with school needs. However, if you’re a researcher, creative, or business professional, the broader note-taking tools and organization abilities in Goodnotes could be more appealing. Think about how the app fits into your daily tasks.

5. Existing Ecosystem:

If you’ve already invested in a ton of Goodnotes templates and custom setups, switching to Kilonotes will come with a transition period. On the flip side, starting with Kilonotes and later deciding you need Goodnotes’ handwriting prowess could mean paying for both. Factor in any existing digital assets you have when making your choice.


Get answers to some of your questions right now.

  • What devices are compatible with Kilonotes and Goodnotes? Both Kilonotes and Goodnotes are compatible with iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads. Additionally, Goodnotes offers compatibility with Mac computers, allowing users to access their notes across multiple Apple devices seamlessly.
  • Can I sync my notes across devices with Kilonotes and Goodnotes? Yes, both Kilonotes and Goodnotes offer synchronization options with cloud storage services like iCloud and Google Drive, enabling users to access their notes across different devices and platforms.
  • Do Kilonotes and Goodnotes support handwriting recognition? Goodnotes supports handwriting recognition, allowing users to convert handwritten notes into digital text for easier editing and sharing. Kilonotes, however, does not offer handwriting recognition features.
  • Can I import PDF files into Kilonotes and Goodnotes? Yes, both Kilonotes and Goodnotes allow users to import PDF files into their note-taking interface, enabling them to annotate and edit PDF documents directly within the app.
  • Are there any recurring subscription fees for Kilonotes and Goodnotes? No, neither Kilonotes nor Goodnotes require recurring subscription fees. Both apps offer a one-time purchase option, providing lifetime access to all features and updates without additional costs.

Is Kilonotes better than Goodnotes? Takeaway

There’s no single winner in the Kilonotes vs. Goodnotes showdown. Here’s how I like to think about it:

  • If you’re a student on a budget, Kilonotes packs in incredible value. The audio recording, AI help, and templates can revolutionize your schoolwork.
  • If you’re obsessed with beautiful, handwritten notes, or use them for calligraphy/art, Goodnotes’ focus on the pen experience makes it the top choice.
  • If you need both audio/AI and the best handwriting tools… well, it gets tough! You might love using both apps together—Kilonotes for classes and Goodnotes for creative notes.