I would like to think that my iPad could eliminate the need for me to carry different note pads with me to several of my classes, instead taking “just” my iPad. While browsing the App Store a couple of weeks ago, I found an app which looked very promising for this, CourseNotes.

Good Looking and User Friendly Interface

One of the reasons why I decided to give CourseNotes a go was that it looked well from the screenshots and the app icon. After using the app for two weeks now to see how well it works I have found the interface to be helpful to me in that it allows me to find what I need quickly. This is essential when in a class as to not miss out on anything because you wanted to say, start a new note.

Managing Subjects and Creating Notes

Setting up CourseNotes, you can add all the subjects you wish to take notes for. Each subject can have an icon attached to it so that you can visualize which one it is quickly. This course setup screen also lets you type in your instructors name and also a subject website (if there is one).


Each subject is built up by a note session which is in turn made up by the individual notes you make. A note session is a holder set for each day you make a note. For example, if I create a note session on Monday for my Monday lesson in say, history, I get a note session with Monday’s date and time. All note sessions are organized by the respective weeks.

Inside of a note session, you can create as many notes as you like to, allowing you to keep them fairly short and sweet as well as clearly structured with headlines that match up with the following text.

Exporting and Backing Up

Relying on my iPad for taking notes in my subjects requires the app of choice to have a solid export and backup system. I must give it to CourseNotes for having a good export system, giving you an easy export into a well formatted email.

Speaking backups however is another story. In the latest update they added integration with Facebook for sharing your notes with friends. This is considered syncing and their form of backup. For me, this does not cut it and I am not sure if I want to “sync” notes up to Facebook.

While I think it probably is not viable for a smaller app developer to start their own online service together with the app, I call for easy export out to say PDF documents or even a simple .txt file (as you do not do much formatting in the app anyway). This PDF document could then be sent to my computer and I can use it in my normal backup scheme.


I love almost everything about CourseNotes. As a student I require a lot of any note taking app that aims to replace the trusted note pads and as a tech junkie, I am one of the first to want to switch over, saving my back a couple of kilos every day. Notation-wise, I am ready to switch over to CourseNotes but I am on the fence about doing it only because of the omission of a solid backup system.