Award-Winning Digital Note-taking Apps



Fluid Touch


Product Design
User Experience
Visual Design
Website & Webflow

Orginally an independent project for digital note-taking, Noteshelf has grown to 6 million paid users 🎉 and counting.

Psst. Noteshelf 3 is out now. This talks about Noteshelf 2. Now, it's even better. Case study soon. 😉

The Challenge

We've inherited so much legacy as one of the first few applications available for the iPad's initial release in 2010. Features were prioritized over focus, scalability and clarity.

The userbase has evolved from business people into creative young professionals, students, diarists and planners -- all who wanted the authentic feeling of ink to paper in digital handwriting.


Looked into the most recurring complaints from various channels like App Store reviews, support tickets, beta testers and avid users.

Being one of the most expressive note-taking apps became a double-edged sword. It made Noteshelf a nightmare to scale to the increasing number of mobile devices.

Linking these with technical feasibility and business goals, I curated the data.

Goals & Insights

1. Lower app footprint for better performance with simpler design assets and requirements.

2. Make paper templates scaleable across resolutions.

3. Which then allows cross-device syncing, one of the most highly requested features.

4. Retain Noteshelf’s personality that has become well-loved by the evolved userbase.

Through the next months...

I worked closely with the development team, support team and beta testers.

Heavily using the insights we gathered during discovery, we prepared flowcharts, priority maps and mockups that directly complement the goals we set out to have.

With the support of our avid testers, we were testing out early assumptions and concepts, and were able to carefully craft the improved experience we wanted Noteshelfers to have.

It was a circular iterative process (even to this day!) that at times felt frustrating with the technical roadblocks, remote-based challenges, design constraints and startup resource management.

Then finally, Noteshelf 2 was officially released. 🥳

🏆 / Results

  • Apple-featured in various App Store regions.
  • Became the #1 overall app in the US 2011, right above Angry Birds.
  • Installed in the devices in the official Apple retail stores worldwide as part of iPad’s showcase apps.
  • Scaled well and was made available for MacOS and natively to Android in 2019.
  • Reached the top #3 in the App Store Productivity category in 2020.
  • Reached the top #3 in the Android Play Store Productivity category shortly after release.
  • Became top #1 overall app in Korea in January 2020.

🎖 Press & App Store Reviews

"One fabulous option for both students and professionals is Noteshelf"
"Supernatural digital ink, a stunning UI and a comprehensive toolset that will increase the benefits of owning an iPad by leaps and bounds."
"So intuitive that it has to be considered one of the quintessential iPad apps. It's a must-have tool."
"I used the Noteshelf app for years... a delight and has kept the simplicity and effectiveness of the original. It is the closest to writing on paper of any other apps out there."
"The interface is great and uncluttered while still providing access to any features you need instantly... If you are trying to decide between the big note taking apps, look no further."
"It delivers all this without feeling cluttered or difficult to learn/use. In fact, the intuitive interface and helpful tips make picking it up a breeze."

What Noteshelfers are making

Disneyland Paris
W London

We are purposely small and agile, and we take a different approach, assembling world-class designers and specialists depending on expertise need.

We ❤ product design & strategy. Let's create something unique together.

about the studio