ZoomNotes: 10 Advanced features you need to know for your handwritten notes

Some of you might think I already dream of ZoomNotes :-) But it is really the only one which is that mighty and supportive with WebDav to create, manage and sort your handwritten notes, essays or any other type of notes, homework or presentation.

The options available to you are almost endless and you can do it the way you like!

There are many settings in ZoomNotes, which makes your workflow much easier - and as Germans do : more efficient :-). Did you know that you can sort the left and top menu to your likings?

Well, for some of the settings available you might think - „Stop, I have seen it before“ but lets assure you You have not!

Sometimes it seems to be the same on the first glance but if you think about it, they got different usages.

One example is the eraser icon which deletes handwritten text etcetera but there is also the cross-out gesture available which, on the first glance, does the same.

Generally, I use the eraser icon for bigger areas to be deleted and the cross-out gesture while writing. The advantage is that you do not have to cross-out all lines to get rid of them then taking the eraser icon. The next huge difference is that the eraser icon will match your zoom for deletion. That means that you the size of the eraser will adjust to your current zoom.


Both features are important to know and as they seem the same there are not.

Similar to this there is the selection features available with which you can select any object - meaning actually everything, cos everything is an object. There are three of them:

  • squared selection
  • custom selection
  • drawing a loop around the object.

All three do select objects but in a different way and as we are all different in our workflow, you can choose which you like most.

Personally, I use the squared and custom selection because I like to circle the numbers for lists or conclusive enumeration.

In that case, drawing a loop around an object to select it does not actually work for me because I would not never get done. :-)

Best is to test and try and decided after a couple of hours or days which works best for you and fits in your workflow.


The new updated of ZoomNotes contains advanced features for WebDav now. It is possible to choose your location and sub location for Auto-Backup.


The big advantage is that you can now start your WebDav using your root directory.

Before, I had a sub directory too but the thing was I had to point WebDav to the parent folder first. This is gone now and improves your workflow with ZoomNotes as you can now view all your documents without to login-and-logout of WebDav just because a document is on a different location.

Adjust top and side menu

Adjust the menu items to your needs and how you can work best.

BTW: It took me a couple of months to figure out which setting would fit me best because of the different natures of writing. So, take you time and play a bit with the items until it feels right to you.

Additionally I like to draw your attention to the working spaces too which can be adjusted. If you have to switch a lot between essays, handwritten notes, tables etc, I would recommend to create workspaces for all of the different types. Then you can use it with just one click away.

My top list contains:

  • Favourite pen
  • Pan and

my side bar has:

  • Pan
  • Favourite pen with different colour (preferably red, green and blue as accountants and auditors always need)
  • Text Tool
  • Selection (squared) tool
  • Highlighter
  • Eraser
  • Bookmarks (very important to me)
  • Selection of view (1.0)
  • Layer tool
  • and all other favourite pens


To change the icons and function just press gently on the icon and all tools will be shown and you can choose one.

That’s it - the settings will be saved automatically.


As mentioned before, you do not have to wait until the developer will provide you with a template - just use your own.

It does not matter how or what for you want to use your template - just create one or take a photo or download it from the Internet - make sure there is not a copyright on it :-)

Then import them into ZoomNotes using one of the advanced import functions as „Template“

Like some inspiration?

Then download my templates (zip-format) for different usage and a to-do list. If you need more, like Cornell notes with or without date, plain, ruled or squared in English just let me know I have got them for my studies of ACCA and will send them to you.

The easiest way to create a template is using Pages, Word or Ulysses or Byword etcetera and export the finished template as PDF. Import this into ZoomNotes and you are set!.

Organise your notes

Yes, before I start I know that some of my readers would like to see a search function which supports digital ink. But maybe in the future there will be such a feature available - Who knows?

Until then, there are plenty of options to organise your notes, documents, folders and much more.

I like to use the following (actually almost all options) available depending on my needs:

  • Title of document, pages and sub pages
  • Tags for document, pages and sub pages

to get an overview of my folders and documents. Sort of „first“ glance before I go into details.

Coloured Background for each page / note

Actually, the proper term is „coloured surrounding“ as it is not the background of the page which is coloured but it’s surroundings - the edges :-)

Anyhow, for projects like my blog or for audit reviews, reports and so on I use this coloured surrounding feature because I can see just on the colour the state and progress of this particular page(s).

Imagine to have a document which serves you for your tax return. You do not want that the tax men gets too much and need to ask an accounting firm. Now, you can colour all pages and documents in different colours - like:

  • blue: sent to accounting firm
  • red: need more details
  • yellow: Information requested
  • green: Tax men got it and hopefully they do not to claim anything :-)

You get the gist.

If you go the page manager (left gear symbol) and got really to the bottom you will see „Surrounds colour“. Here you can change it.

If you like to use one colour as a template or standard page -edge colour then tap on the settings for „Set page and/or set sub page default).


Just create your own portfolio of coloured pages and in combination with the title, tags it will be more than enough information available for searching and grouping specific pages or documents.

Depending on your needs you can can use also the colouring for appointments or due tasks. Additionally, just share your notes to DTTG or 2DO or BusyCal to set an appointment.

Within the document (pages and sub pages) I use bookmarks a lot to structure the long documents easily and find them in on go.

Sub pages

This function is just fantastic!

Having said that, you need some time to get used to it that is clear. I need some months to „remember“ to have them available. Usually, I just swiped from right to left (as you do on paper too) to got a new page but now I use sub pages.

Once you know how you like to work and structure your work it comes with ease to use this feature.

My first page is the cover page and depending on what I do, I write:

  • Questions
  • Needs
  • ToDos.

The sub pages will contain later the details of the list.

For auditing for instance you can use as a cover page:

  • Accounts Receivable
  • Accounts Payable
  • Banks

and assign the sub pages to them:

  • customer A,B,C,D etc.
  • Vendor / supplier X,Y,Z
  • HSBC, Lloyds etc.

Depending on the circumstances, I assign sub pages to sub pages to make the first sub page as more detailed cover page for a specific question/issue.

With this structure I got a hierarchy assigned and got all details on hand.

Structure your document even more by importing documents as sub pages by WebDav. This is useful if you received client documents to review and work on. In the case I have written some notes before, I can use them to get imported as page or sub page into my document.

Overview is important! That’s why ZoomNotes got the Outline-Mode available. Here you will have an overview of your entire document in a tree structure including all sub- and sub pages. Shuffle them around by using editing or delete one or more if you do not want them any more in your document.

Sub pages are well suitable for presentations too and you can let your presentation run automatically.

Saving locations

Since the new update of DevonThinkToGo (DTTG) your database will be recognised as saving location - like any other cloud.

In ZoomNotes just go on export - iCloud and when choose DevonThinkToGo. After this your databases will be shown and you can select the appropriate folder to export your notes.




Now, you can save your pressures data directly with DTTG and let it sync through your own cloud.



Similar to this you can import any document from DTTG to ZoomNotes too!

Use title of pages

Well, sometimes I just forget to enter some information here to be honest.

However, it will make it easy for your to search and structure your pages and documents. You can refer or cite in this way very easily.

All your pages and sub pages can be displayed using Outline-Mode and you can easily get this pages without a title or go directly to the page you want. There is also a zoom feature in Outline-Mode to let you zoom in and out your documents and pages.


Surely, you have wondered why I have a document called „00_Schmierzettel“.

Schmierzettel is scribbling paper or better a document in my case :-)

It functions as GTD-Note-Inbox sort of speak, for everything I just think about and do not want to forget. Later, I can return to it and sort or use it in other documents within ZoomNotes. The „00_“ in front is just for sorting purposes.


iCloud? !!!- Place there DevonThink hides :-) …. this is the blog of the own cloud not the iCloud :-)

Use the new menu bar in ZoomNotes (tabs) to switch easily from one document to another without returning to the main screen. Just open all your documents which you need for a project and everything is available immediately.

Write but without distraction

On the left there is a "<"Symbol to hide the tool bar and on the top you can adjust your screen to full screen mode.

I really wonder how it will look like on an iPad Pro 12’’ because I have „only“ the 9’’.

If you own one and ZoomNotes let me know - really curious about your experiences!


Do you underline very often or drawing shapes, then just assign the helper tools to your favourite pen and save it. It will then always be available then you need it.

Go to the gear icon and select your favourite pen and turn on the helpers you need.




I really like it as I underline very often using my highlighter in several colours.

Rotation of objects - and pages too

Getting information and documents from third parties can be challenging. Especially if they do not really care if a scan for instant is the correct way around. I am sure you know that I mean.

Here comes the rotation tool very handy. Just import the document, file or whatever and select the rotation tool (looks alike the recycling sign from the green point :-) ). After this use two fingers and rotate the object in question.

As you know an object is everything - does not matter if digital ink, stamps, images or documents etcetera. After this you are ready to work and do not have to worry any more about third party documents!

Tables, images, smileys and stamps are available of course which can be insert, adjusted and edited within your pages.

This was a small overview about the additional and advanced functions of ZoomNotes. There will be much more posts and tutorials for the future as there is much much more to discover!

How do you use ZoomNotes? Have you discovered some additional functions do you like to share?



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