If you’re interested in learning how these features work, we have covered them in our free Noteful course on Paperless Humans. They are scattered throughout the course, as we were still creating the course when some of them were released.
The first major update came in July 2023. Noteful added page colour to our templates. They can be any colour you like, and the app has a decent collection of presets. Custom colours are easy to add, and you can even rearrange them to make the ones you use often more readily available. The app also lets you choose the line colour for your templates, which can also be any colour you want. We love that the colours are centralised, making it easy to apply the changes to all the native templates in the app at once. Trying to adjust each template would simply be too much work.
We thought layers were enough for active recall, but the developers at Noteful want us to have all the options. In August 2023, we got the tape in Noteful, which continued receiving more updates in the months that followed. The tape in the app can be straight, a rectangular shape, or freely drawn. It comes in five fixed sizes and several colours. It works like tape should: cover parts of your notes that you want to learn, and you can tap to reveal or hide them. The app also has the option to reveal all the tape on your page or cover all of it. We love that because it will save you time you’d waste toggling each tape. The only missing feature is the ability to erase only the tape without accidentally erasing our notes. With a bit of care, you can erase the tape alone, which works for now. But it’s still a workaround.
The most requested feature for Noteful came in November 2023: stickers. The app gave us very few templates for stickers, but creating collections and adding our own stickers to them is quite easy. The app lets you add photos from the Photos library or from the Files app. You can name your collections. We can group items on the page and even create custom stickers in Noteful. The app also supports Messages stickers that use the text tool. Those are my personal favourites; I have never got the other types of stickers. We love that the app has both types of stickers. Though, in Noteful, stickers lose their animation if they are animated.
Page crop and resize
The coolest update in Noteful came in January 2024: page cropping and resizing. This is one of the most sought-after features for PDF reading that we never thought we would find in a handwriting note-taking app. Noteful can add space around your PDFs for more annotations. The space can be on all sides, surrounding the page. It’s not infinite, but it’s large enough if you need extra room to write on a page that already has some notes or information you’re reading. The developers have really thought it through, because you can apply these changes to a single page, several pages, or all the pages in your notebook. So, you can add the space whenever you need it.
You can also crop pages when they have parts you don’t want. The page size options we get in the app act as presets for cropping pages. Personally, I don’t see page cropping as a useful feature for my workflow, but I still appreciate the option. Let us know if you’ve ever wanted to crop pages of a PDF before and how you’d use this feature.
We also received several minor updates that are worth mentioning. We now have a ruler tool in the app. Rulers are helpful for measuring and drawing scaled items. It adjusts accordingly when you zoom in and out of the app. We’re curious to know if these digital rulers are actually useful in the classroom.
We can now arrange items on the page in relation to each other. We can either move them to the back or to the front of other items on the page. It has made my scrapbooking fun. We can also stretch and shrink our images. That’s another feature I don’t get. Why would I want to use distorted images? Let us know how you use this feature, if it’s a part of your workflow. Another minor update is that we can now rearrange our favourite pen tools on the toolbar. We’re happy about that, because the old way was cumbersome and tiring for a digital workflow. Last but not least, we can now add notebooks to our current notebook when we import them from other apps. Noteful adds them to the next page, which is convenient, and you won’t need any extra steps to move the pages where you actually want them.