This guide will teach you everything you need to get started with Community. It includes basic information, step-by-step instructions, as well as some advanced tips and tricks. After finishing this guide, you should be able to confidently use Community, and will be able to answer the following questions:
- What is Community, and what can you do with it?
- How do I make an account in Community?
- How do I navigate through Community?
- What features does Community offer?
Let's get started!
What is Community?
GoodNotes Community is a place where students can share and discover relevant and inspiring study materials, notes, and knowledge. Whether you're a student looking for a summary of a topic you just can't grasp, or you're just curious about a new subject area and want to read more about it - Community is the place to find it.
Using Community's built-in features (such as "Commenting" and "Following"), you can connect with other students and users from around the world who study the same subjects - to share notes and find help in case you're stuck. Alternatively, if you're just looking to browse, Community's Discover and Search functions can help you find tons of interesting study material for you to explore solo.
Currently, Community is built directly into GoodNotes 5, and the functionality of it is tightly integrated within the tool you're already familiar with. It can be found within the tabs found in the Documents menu in-app, next to Favourites!
Creating an Account
Making an account for Community is easy - all you need is an Apple ID and a minute or so! To make a Community account, simply navigate to the main Community menu (listed on the far-right along the bottom tabs in the Document view), and press "Sign In". From here, simply follow the steps as shown within the pop-up menu in-app, and the system will register your account and tie it to your Apple ID.
Alternatively, if you don't see the Community tab in-app, then the way to get access to Community is simply by uploading some study materials to the platform! You can access this through the "Share and Export" dropdown within the notebook view in-app. For more information on this, see: How do I get access to the Community Beta?
Community uses 'Sign in with Apple' for account creation and log-in, meaning that future log in's are all done quickly and seamlessly using your Apple ID and details. This option for account creation is far faster and more private than the standard way of account creation, which is why we've decided to use this. Please note that in order to use this (and in order to register an account / log into Community), you would need to be logged into your Apple ID on your device, and have two-factor authentication enabled for your account.
Adding / Changing your Account Details
To make changes or additions to your account - such as adding a Profile Picture, your Name, changing your Username, or even adding information to your Bio - simply press your Profile Picture found in the top-right corner of the main Community page. This will take you to your profile: from there, select the More menu (...), and 'Edit Profile'.
From here, you can easily make changes to the details of your account. Please note, this information is all public, and as such you should consider our Community Guidelines when making any additions or changes.
Navigating Around in Community
The bulk of your time when using Community will be spent on the main Community Homepage. It is from this main page that you can access thousands of amazing notes, that have been uploaded by Community members across the globe.
Most of the tools and features found in the Community Homepage help you with sorting and filtering through the thousands of study materials uploaded by our members. Using these tools, you can filter out all the materials that aren't relevant to you, to ensure that the suggestions you see are personalised to your subject and interests.
Below is a breakdown of the main features / tools that you can access from the main Community Homepage:
- Search Bar: You can use this search bar to search for study materials or other members of the app. Searches in the Search Bar will pull results for study materials based on both the title and description - offering you a wide range of notes to look through!
- Contribute (+): Want to add your own notes to the platform for people to read and use? Using the Contribute function, you can. More information on this is found below in 'Uploading your own Study Materials'.
- Profile Picture: Pressing on your Profile Picture will take you to your profile, where you can look at your published study materials, look through your saved materials from other users, and edit your profile.
- 'Study More Efficiently': This will take you to the 'Contribute to Community' page, in a similar way to the 'Contribute' option at the top of Community.
- 'Top Contributors': Pressing the 'Top Contributors' option will take you to a page which highlights some of our highest contributors to Community within a given time period (weekly / monthly). This is a great way to find new contributors to follow within Community - as you can be sure that these individuals are regular uploaders!
- Subject Filter: Indicated by the dropdown menu showing 'All Subjects', this tool can be used to filter down the notes you can see according to the subject you are interested in. For example, if you're a Medical Student, you can filter out all non-Medical notes by selecting 'Medicine' in this dropdown menu.
- Following / Discover Filter: This filter allows you to sort the study materials shown on the Community Homepage. The 'Discover' filter will show you some of the more popular content that Community has to offer, whereas the 'Following' filter will only show materials by your followed contributors.
- Popular / Recent Filter: The 'Popular / Recent' filter allows you to further refine the materials you see in Community. The 'Popular' section will show materials that other users find useful; by contrast, the 'Recent' section will display the notes based on when they were uploaded.
Using any number of these filtering and refining features, you can easily begin to find notes that are perfect for your studying needs - and maybe even find a few people that you want to follow to see more of their content.
Uploading your own Study Materials
Whilst uploading your study materials was briefly explained in the above section (under 'Contribute'), it's definitely worth covering this in a bit more detail - after all, it's an essential part of Community!
After deciding that you're ready to upload your study materials onto Community, and pressing the 'Contribute (+)' button from the Community Homepage, you will be shown the following menu:
Once in this menu, begin by first uploading your document to this screen. There are two options for this: uploading from the Files App, or uploading directly from your GoodNotes 5 Library.
We would recommend uploading files directly from the Files App when you are wanting to upload study materials to Community that you don't have within GoodNotes 5 already (such as PDFs that were worked on outside of the app).
On the other side, if you already have the files in your GoodNotes 5 Library, you can simply share these through opening them in the Documents tab > Pressing 'Share and Export' > Contribute to Community. From here, you can decide if you want to upload the full notebook to Community, or individual pages. Alternatively, if you are looking to upload the full notebook / document (and don't need to split the file) you can upload this straight from within the Contribute page, by selecting 'Upload from Library'.
Once the file is added to the Contribute page, it's important that you give your notes a good title. Giving your study materials a good title ensures that the other members of Community can easily find and use these shared notes - so try to ensure it's accurate and spelt correctly. Additionally, giving the materials a description can also help with other users finding your materials - so we would recommend using this too.
Finally (and optionally), mark the file as academic notes if they are, and add any tags you think might be relevant for the materials, as this can help other users find your notes. From there, it's simply a case of pressing 'Agree and Publish', and your notes are now added to Community for all to see!
Hopefully, this guide has helped you get started with Community. For more information, answers to frequently asked questions, and troubleshooting help, feel free to check out the other articles in our Help Centre.