Notability Free vs. Paid: Which Note-Taking Plan is Better?

Notability is an amazing note-taking app. It offers flexible pricing — whether you’re looking for the free or paid plans.

If you’re in search of the perfect note-taking app, Notability has likely caught your attention. There’s the free plan as well as paid or premium options. Here’s how they’re different:

The main difference is that the free plan of Notability provides basic note-taking features, while the paid plan offers advanced tools like enhanced annotation options, unlimited note styles, cloud backup to various services, handwriting recognition, improved audio recording capabilities, and an ad-free experience, making it a comprehensive choice for those seeking a premium note-taking experience.

This simple guide will break down the key features, benefits, and limitations of each plan to assist you in finding the ideal fit for your needs.

Notability Free vs. Premium Versions: Feature Comparison at a Glance

Here’s a handy table chart comparing key features of Notability Free vs. Paid:

FeatureFree VersionPaid Version
Note-TakingBasicAdvanced annotation tools
TemplatesLimitedUnlimited styles and templates
Cloud BackupiCloudMultiple cloud service options
Handwriting RecognitionNot availableConvert handwritten notes to searchable text
Audio RecordingBasicEnhanced trimming and cropping

Features of Notability Free Version:

Imagine a clean, minimalist room with just a comfortable chair and a sturdy table. That’s what Notability’s free version offers — essential, functional, but without the fancy decor.

In the free version, you get:

  • Basic Note-Taking: You can create and edit notes with text, images, and drawings, making it suitable for capturing essential information.
  • Recording and Playback: Notability allows you to record audio alongside your notes, which can be beneficial for lectures, meetings, or adding context to your notes.
  • Sync Across Apple Devices: Your notes automatically sync across your Apple devices via iCloud, ensuring accessibility from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  • Free of Charge: The free plan is, well, free, which makes it an attractive option for those on a budget or casual note-takers.
  • Suitable for Casual Users: If you primarily need straightforward note-taking capabilities without advanced features, the free plan can meet your basic needs.

However, it’s essential to note that this plan has limitations, including a lack of advanced annotation tools and the presence of ads, which may not be ideal for users seeking a more robust note-taking experience.

Notability Free Plan Pros and Cons:

1. Basic note-taking capabilities1. Limited features compared to paid plan
2. iCloud synchronization2. Lack of advanced annotation tools
3. Recording and playback3. No cloud backup to other services
4. Easy accessibility on Apple devices4. Handwriting recognition not available
5. Free of charge5. Basic audio recording functionality
6. Suitable for casual users6. Contains ads

Features of Notability Paid Version:

Now, let’s step into the premium version of Notability, where you find yourself in a well-furnished office — spacious, organized, and equipped for productivity.

In the paid version, you unlock:

  • Advanced Annotation Tools: Imagine using a highlighter with multiple colors or a pen with various line thicknesses – it’s the detailing that matters.
  • Unlimited Note Styles: Pick from a wide array of templates – lined paper, graph paper, music sheets, and more. Make your notes truly yours.
  • Auto-backup to Cloud Services: Your notes are not just confined to iCloud; you can automatically back them up to services like Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Handwriting Recognition: This feature turns your handwritten notes into searchable text. Imagine the convenience of finding that specific note from months ago.
  • Audio Recording Enhancements: In the paid version, you can trim, crop, and enhance your audio recordings for crystal-clear playback.
  • No More Ads: The annoying distractions are gone, allowing you to focus entirely on your work.

Notability Paid Plan Pros and Cons:

1. Advanced annotation tools1. Requires a one-time payment
2. Unlimited note styles2. No continuous software updates included
3. Cloud backup to various services3. May be overkill for occasional users
4. Handwriting recognition for searchable text4. Not all users need advanced features
5. Enhanced audio recording capabilities
6. Ad-free experience

Notability Free vs. Premium: Pricing and Subscription Options

Now, let’s talk about the financial aspect.

The free version of Notability is, well, free!

But if you’re eyeing that well-furnished office, you’ll need to pay a one-time fee of $8.99 for the premium version. No pesky monthly subscriptions here, just a single payment.

Notability Free vs. Premium Versions: Comprehensive Feature Comparison Guide

How does the free version of Notability stack up against the paid or premium versions, let’s find out below in this in-depth side-by-side comparison.

1. Note-Taking and Annotation Tools:

Imagine you’re in a lecture, and the professor is explaining a complex concept. With the free version, you can jot down the basics.

But in the premium version, you can highlight crucial points in different colors, add diagrams for clarity, and even draw attention to a key formula with a thicker pen.

2. Cloud Sync and Storage:

Think of your notes as treasures. In the free version, you store them in your room (iCloud), but it’s a small room, and you might run out of space.

In the paid version, you have the luxury of a much larger storage unit (cloud services like Google Drive or Dropbox), ensuring your treasures are safe and easily accessible.

3. Export and Sharing Options:

Sharing your notes in the free version is like sending a handwritten letter. It’s personal but not very efficient.

In the paid version, it’s more like sending an email.

You can export your notes in various formats (PDF, RTF, and more) and share them seamlessly with colleagues or classmates.

4. Customization and Templates:

Imagine you’re decorating your workspace. In the free version, you have a few basic options — like arranging your furniture in a small room.

But in the paid version, it’s like having access to an interior design catalog. You can choose from numerous templates or even create your own, making your workspace truly yours.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials:

Still unsure which version is right for you?

Let’s hear from some real users. Sarah, a college student, upgraded to the paid version for its enhanced note-taking capabilities.

She found it invaluable for her classes and research projects.

John, a professional, praised the paid version’s audio recording enhancements. He said it improved the quality of his interviews and meetings.


Let’s answer some of the common questions about the Notability app:

What is Notability?

Notability is an easy-to-use note-taking app designed for Apple devices. It allows users to create, edit, and organize digital notes with text, images, drawings, and audio recordings.

How Does Notability App Work?

Notability syncs notes seamlessly across all Apple devices through iCloud, ensuring accessibility anywhere. Its intuitive interface and extensive annotation tools make it easy to capture and organize information.

The app’s flexibility makes it a valuable tool for students, professionals, and anyone looking to streamline their note-taking process in a digital format.

Is Notability available on Android devices?

No, Notability is exclusively designed for Apple devices. It can be used on iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers, making it a seamless choice for Apple users.

Can I access my Notability notes from multiple devices?

Yes, you can. Notability syncs your notes across all your Apple devices through iCloud. This means you can start a note on your iPad and continue editing it on your iPhone or Mac without any hassle.

Is Notability free to use?

Notability offers both free and paid versions. The free plan provides basic note-taking features, while the paid plan, available at a one-time cost, unlocks advanced tools and capabilities. Users can choose the plan that suits their needs and budget.

Is Notability’s Paid Plan Worth it?

In the end, your choice between Notability’s free and paid versions depends on your needs and budget.

If you’re a casual note-taker looking for basic functionality, the free version might suffice.

But, if you’re a student, professional, or anyone who values productivity and customization, investing in the paid version is like upgrading to that spacious, well-furnished office where you can work comfortably and efficiently.

Remember, both versions serve a purpose, but the paid version takes your note-taking experience to a whole new level.

It’s like upgrading from a cramped room to a spacious, well-organized office — the choice is yours!