Using Notability alongside EFBs
I’ve noted in the past, that the current Australian iPad EFB crop (AvPlan and OzRunways) have woeful annotation and note-taking capabilities.
So this is what I do instead:
Notability is a fantastic note-taking app that I’ve long used for work, and also find it useful in flying – the key features for use with EFBs being:
- You can import PDFs or images to insert in your notes
- It has graceful drawing and highlighting tools, that you can use to annotate the PDFs, or write your own notes
- You can zoom in for detailed annotation
- Easy erasing (it remembers each line as an object, so you can delete the object without having to ‘scribble’-erase it out)
- Easy adding/scrolling of pages (2-finger scroll)
- Automatic sync via Dropbox
It’s the one app that is actually as easy as paper to use, and this goes for aviation as well; I can import a flight plan or ERSA page, and write over it, highlight key information, and write notes in-flight.
The other handy thing over an in-app notepad, is it’s easier to reach. Rather than exiting a detailed screen in the EFB, you can simply four-finger swipe across to switch apps to Noteability. This way, it’s an ever-present flight log and rolling journal that you can switch to whenever you need. It’s also independent from your EFB app, should your EFB suddenly start crashing repeatedly (which I’ve had once). And with the iPad, you can’t drop your pencil under your seat.
It also syncs automatically with Dropbox, so you can archive all notes, datestamped, without having to lift a finger.