Unlock the Power of Hybrid Note-Taking: Integrating GoodNotes with Tana

Ev Chapman
May 20, 2024

Ever felt like your ideas are trapped within the confines of text?

Apps like Tana and other note-taking app are fantastic for written notes. But ideas don't just live in written form. Sometimes in order to explore an idea, or get a breakthrough we need to draw out a concept, brainstorm or visualise our ideas in some way. Quite often I'll reach for my iPad to draw something out as I'm exploring a new topic.

But trying to get a good workflow being your note-taking app and your handwritten drawings can be a nightmare. Luckily I've been working on this for quite a while and feel like I've been able to develop something that works fairly seamlessly between my iPad sketches in Goodnotes and Tana.

Here's How It Works:

What you'll need for this to work is the Goodnotes App for IOS (it costs $14.99 one off - I've never once regretted paying for it) and an iPad with a pencil.

Setting Up GoodNotes for Success

To make this process as seamless as possible I think it's worth investing some time into setting up your ideal note-taking environment in Goodnotes. I've been using Goodnotes for 8 years now and I think I've got a good thing going. Here is what I suggest:

  1. Create One Notebook For The Year:Just like starting a fresh notebook, I create a new digital notebook in GoodNotes for each year. This keeps my notes organised and easy to reference. I have notebooks dating back to 2018, each filled with insights and sketches from that year.
  2. Choose Your Paper Type:GoodNotes offers various paper templates, but my go-to is the dot grid paper. It provides enough structure without being restrictive, perfect for both writing and drawing. But it' up to you what you like to draw on.
  3. Customise Your Pens and Colours: Much like my physical desk, I set up digital pens in GoodNotes with my favourite colours Having these colours at my fingertips makes my notes visually appealing and consistent.
  4. Use a Paper-Like Screen Protector:To make the iPad feel more like traditional paper, I use a paper-like screen protector. It provides a tactile experience, making the transition between digital and physical note-taking smoother.

Exporting Notes from GoodNotes to Tana

Once I’ve created my notes in GoodNotes, exporting them to Tana is a breeze. Simple press export on any page of your Goodnotes notebook. Select Image and then when the share menu pops up choose Tana Capture. Seconds later your image is in Tana ready to be added to your digital notes.

The One Click 'Skip The Inbox' Command

If you're anything like me when things are out of site they are out of mind. And that includes anything that lives in my Tana Inbox. I've tried all sorts of things to remind me to look in there - but failed every time. So I setup an automated command that moves everything I capture with Tana Capture to my day page.

Skip to the timestamp 10:43 in the above video to see how I set this up.

And if you don’t have an iPad, you can still use this workflow with traditional pen and paper. Instead of exporting notes from Goodnotes. Simply grab your favourite notebook, start drawing & then take a snap of of it from your Tana Capture app on your phone. Easy as that!

Hybrid note-taking is the best of both worlds. You can still develop & connect ideas together digitally. And when you need to visualise things just grab your iPad & start drawing!

Whenever You’re Ready To Turn Your Information Chaos Into A Powerful Personal Knowledge System — Here Are Three Ways I Can Help:

  1. Get some easy, quick Tana tips to take your workflows to the next level with my free Tana Toolbox Newsletter.
  2. Check out my Tana Fast Track Course if you want to jump all the way into building an AI Powered Personal Knowledge Platform that doesn’t just organise your work — but does work for you.
  3. Need some extra help or to setup something custom in Tana? Book a 1:1 Coaching Call& we can get it sorted.

If you like this video and you want to get even more out of Tana, then check out my Tana Fast Track Course. Learn the fundamentals of working with Tana and the 6 Core Workflows to help you unload your thoughts & ideas, make room in your head to think & create and move through your day fully engaged & energised doing work you love.

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