One of the most popular uses of the iPad is as a tool to take notes — especially for those of us in medicine. We use note taking apps for Grand Rounds, to annotate our favorite literature articles, Journal Club, and a host of other types of functionality.

We have previously chosen our favorite stylus based note-taking apps here and decided Note Taker HD was one of the best.

However, in response, many commentators suggested that we take a look at Notability, another popular note taking app offering many advanced features.

Read on for iMedicalApps review of Notability.



Notability is designed as an all around note taking app which can be used with a stylus.

Notability offers a range of useful features for annotating notes. Users can select a range of paper types as well as use a pencil, highlighter and eraser for annotating and making notes. There are standard options to change the color and width of the pencil as well as options to use highlighters etc.

In terms of using a stylus and making notes, Notability has a good quick system allowing you to make notes quickly and effectively. The quality of the input is high and notes are generally easy to read. There is a palm rest available so that you can write quickly and there is also a zoom box with auto-advance.

The zoom feature also offers options to undo text and you can simply drag the input box around the screen to your desired area. For all you left handed people out there, there is even an option for you.

Notabilty has another useful note-taking feature whereby it can record audio using the inbuilt microphone and syncs this with the notes you are taking. This is very useful when taking notes in meetings etc. Notability also has a good range of import and export options including to a range of cloud based storage providers.

Needless to say, Notability is not HIPAA compliant and thus shouldn’t be used to store or record sensitive information.

One feature strength of Notability is its ability to link to Dropbox using projects and notebooks which is very similar to Evernote. This can be setup to automatically sync and store notes in PDF files for maximum ability to transfer.


  • $0.99


  • Wide range of features
  • Ability to import and export from/to a wide range of sources
  • Ability to record audio and sync it with notes
  • Ability to sync a folder structure in Dropbox to easily build a collection of notes


  • No inbuilt template functionality


  • Notability is a fantastic note taking app that is feature laden and powerful whilst remaining simple and easy to use. The stylus input is effective and the ability to build up notebooks which sync is invaluable for many users. Well worth a look if you use your iPad to make notes with a stylus

iTunes Link