GoodNotes lets you create your own templates to allow for different usages. The native template format is a single page PDF file but you can also use an image as a template.
Creating a template from an image is the easiest method. The best image sizes are as follows:
This section is for previous versions of GoodNotes. An updated documentation will be available soon.
For best quality, you should create vector templates with PDF files but it may be time-consuming and need some calculations.
The default GoodNotes unit is 132 points per inch† and the default PDF unit is 72 points per inch. So if an element in a PDF is rendered with length L pt in GoodNotes, then the length is saved as L * 72/132 pt in the PDF file.
We will create a ruled paper template from scratch step by step using Adobe Illustrator. First we create a document with size 768×960pt and use RGB color mode instead of CMYK.
Then we create the first line using the line segment tool: Select the line segment tool from the tools panel, single click on the canvas, and enter 768pt for the length and 0° for the angle.
Set the stroke weight to 1pt and move it to (0pt, 70.5pt) to make it a solid line. Click Effect -> Distort & Transform -> Transform, and then enter 50pt for vertical move and 17 for Copies.
Adjust the background color (add a rectangle filling the whole page) and the line color you like. The template should look like this now:
Now is the most important step: we need to scale everything for GoodNotes: select all objects, and click Object -> Transform -> Scale and enter 54.5454% (≈72/132). Make sure Scale Strokes & Effects is checked.
We will also need to scale down the artboard in Document Setup -> Edit Artboards. The scaled size should appear to be 418.91pt and 523.64pt. Then, we save it as a PDF file and we are done! To make the file size smaller, Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities and Embed Page Thumbnails should be unchecked.
You can download the final Illustrator file here.
When you import the template into GoodNotes, set the line height of the template to 50pt for the zoom window to work with the template.
†1 point corresponds to 1 pixel in first and second generation iPads and 4 pixels in retina iPads.