ZoomNotes UI: A Beginner’s Guide To Workspaces

ZoomNotes UI: A beginner’s guide to Workspaces

ZoomNotes UI can look cluttered and overwhelming. That is the problem we want to fix because ZoomNotes UI is customisable, so you can declutter it to leave only the tools you need.

ZoomNotes UI can have up to 46 icons and toolsZoomNotes UI can potentially be the most minimalist we have seen in any note-taking app.

The Simplest ZoomNotes Can Be

When you turn off all the features and tools in the app, you’re left with the following icons in: 

  • Palm rest
  • Apple Pencil
  • Full Screen

The palm rest and Apple Pencil icons indicate that as long as your Apple Pencil is connected, you can still write in ZoomNotes. Even at its simplest, the app is still functional. ZoomNotes remembers the tool you use for each document in the app down to all the tools’ settings. This is why you can still handwrite notes when you turn off all the features if the last tool you used in that document was a pen tool. So if the last tool you used is a text tool, for example, you are restricted to just adding text to your document when you turn off everything.  

Apple Pencil Icon

Under the Apple Pencil icon, you can turn on Allow gestures when drawing. You can also turn on Capture pen pressure if you’re using a writing tool that supports pressure sensitivity. Pressure sensitivity in ZoomNotes is only available for your: 

  • Draft ink
  • Felt tip ink
  • Pencil ink
  • Watercolour ink

You can choose the Pressure strength, of course, and decide what your Single finger does:

Even at its simplest, ZoomNotes has all the selection tool options you get with complex workspaces. ZoomNotes is simply impressive.

Workspaces In ZoomNotes

In ZoomNotes, a workspace is a group of settings that control the tools and features in your app. It determines what you can or can’t do and you set those limits for yourself. You can have a lot of workspaces for different purposes in ZoomNotes. You can have a workspace for:

  • Note-taking
  • Planning
  • Drawing
  • Journaling
  • PDF reading
  • Mind mapping

You could have a workspace that works like Notability, GoodNotes, Noteshelf or Apple Notes. In order to do that, ZoomNotes lets you customise your: 

  • Document management: everything to do with creating new documents and folders. 
  • Tools and features: turn features on and off. ZoomNotes has very few features you can’t turn off.
  • User interface: determines the tools that appear on your toolbar
  • Share options: control where you export your documents to and in what formats.
  • App-settings management: determines the app settings you can customise in that workspace.

Top Bar

Fixed Tools

The top part of the ZoomNotes’ workspace is called the Top Bar in the app settings. You can customise your user interface under your Settings > Workspaces > User Interface. You can turn on some fixed tools on the Top Bar. These fixed icons go to the left and right of the top bar, with only one (the document properties icon) in the middle. We have named these fixed because you can’t replace or relocate them to another part on the top toolbar. They are an addition to those icons that remain when you turn off all the features in the app.

Tools you can’t turn off

  • Back
  • Bin
  • Apple Pencil
  • Full-screen mode
  • Palm rejection (bottom left corner)

You can turn these tools on and off under Settings > Workspaces > Your workspace > User interface.

Tools you can turn off

  • Tools button
  • Undo button
  • Geometry construction
  • Settings button
  • Document properties
  • Page button
  • Layers button
  • Sound button
  • Share button

Variable Tools

In addition to these fixed tools, you can add up to ten variable tools. These occupy the middle section of your top toolbar. We have named them variable because you can replace and relocate them. Any icon with a tiny down-facing arrow on its lower-left corner is replaceable. All you have to do is long-press the icon or tap the small down-facing arrow for replacement options.

To turn on the variable icons for the top toolbar go to your Settings > Workspaces > Your Workspace > Tools and features. You can then decide, under User Interface, the number of tools you want on the top toolbar (0-10). To do that, tap Back to exit the Tools and features tab >  User interface and slide the button to choose the number of tools you want. ZoomNotes has different categories for your variable tools: 

Tools you can’t turn off

Undo functionsUndo
View undo
View redo
Link undo
Link redo
View toolsPan and Zoom
Rotate and Zoom
Zoom 1:1
Split horizontal
Split vertical
Swap split sides
Image toolsDoc scan
Page network
Paper template
Doc properties
Editor help

These variable tools are the same ones you get for your sidebar. You can replace a variable tool that is currently on the toolbar with any of these tools/icons. Just make sure the tool you’re trying to replace is not locked. You can’t replace locked tools. To unlock a locked tool, tap the lock icon on the top right corner of the popup window. 

Tools you can turn off

Pen toolsDraft
Felt tip
Drawing toolsText
Straight line
Selection toolsSelect
Select freehand
Bookmark toolsManage bookmarks
Next bookmark
Previous bookmark
Bookmark add
Bookmark settings
Images toolsPhoto album
Multiple photos
Import images
Grab image
MiscellaneousImport pdf sub-doc

Side Bar

As if twenty icons on the top toolbar are not enough, ZoomNotes went on to add a sidebar that can potentially accommodate up to 17 more tools.

Fixed Tools

You can turn on Show side bar to show your sidebar in ZoomNotes. It can either be on the right or left. It’s best to put it on the left side to leave room for the third toolbar. The sidebar has two icons you can’t turn off that appear when you turn on the sidebar.

  • Toggle icon: for toggling away the sidebar.
  • Saved styles for your favourite writing tools.

To these two, you can add four more fixed tools, which go below the variable tools. These are the fixed tools you can turn off for the sidebar:

  • Pen thickness
  • Colour button
  • Opacity button
  • Layer button

Variable Tools

The variable tools for the sidebar are exactly the same as those for the top toolbar. You can add a maximum of seventeen tools on the sidebar, not counting the saved favourites for different tools that vary as you use different tools.

Pages Toolbar

The third and final toolbar in ZoomNotes is the Pages Toolbar. It is an extension of one of the fixed tools on the Top Bar (the Pages button). It can either be vertical or horizontal. Most users seem to prefer it vertical, on the right side of the screen. This toolbar is also dependent on your Document Management settings.

Tools you can’t turn off

  • Previous page
  • Next page

Tools you can turn off

  • Add pages
  • Re-order pages
  • Import pages
  • Delete pages
  • Access page properties
  • Sub-documents
  • Configure page settings
  • Page manager

ZoomNotes thus has three toolbars, which you can customise to your liking. You can completely turn off two of these.

Folder-Specific Workspaces

One cool thing about your workspace configuration is that you can turn on Restrict to folder if you want to use that workspace for a specific folder. We created a workspace for Planner reviews. When I select it, all the other folders disappear, leaving the one folder where this workspace works.

Against Other Apps

ZoomNotes is definitely the app that rules them all!

ZoomNotesNotabilityGoodNotesNoteshelfNotes Plus
5 – 4613211419
Total number of tools on all toolbars in different note-taking apps

Advantages of Workspaces

The idea of a workspace is to turn on only the features you need when you need them. This has several advantages:

  • Your app is less cluttered, so it’s less overwhelming.
  • Different people can use the same device without encroaching on each other’s workflows.
  • Create different workspaces for different workflows to focus on what matters – your work.

What is your favourite tool in ZoomNotes?

2 thoughts on “ZoomNotes UI: A Beginner’s Guide To Workspaces”

  1. Love your run down of ZoomNotes Workspaces. It is easy to listen and follow along with. Not complicated and shows the versatility.

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