1. Serenity Caldwell's Avatar
    Hey folks! I'm putting together a roundup of best handwriting (and handwriting recognition) apps for iMore and want to make sure I'm not missing any awesome ones. Which are your favorites?

    Currently I'm a little obsessed with GoodNotes, which Capo developer Chris Liscio turned me on to. It offers handwriting search, and *many* different types of paper (including music notation! eeee!).
    G.4 likes this.
    03-18-2016 05:17 PM
  2. Beards's Avatar
    Thanks for the heads up on GoodNotes, I'll have to look into this more closer.
    After a lot of positive views from my brother I have recently purchased Notability thinking it would work great for me but your mention of GoodNotes sparked my interest.
    I would dearly love to see A comparison between the two.
    03-19-2016 04:29 AM
  3. clickitykeys's Avatar
    I've tried Noteshelf and Notability, and have persisted with Notability for about a year now. I made a decision last year to quit taking research notes in a paper notebook or in loose-leaf binders, figuring that it was easier to just make electronic notes, and archive them on Google Drive or Dropbox.

    Having tried Noteshelf and Notability on an iPad, I went with the later for its simplicity. One other reason I like Notability is that I can import PDFs and annotate them in freeform handwriting. I use this method now for reviewing papers. I don't think Notability even has a search function, and GoodNotes would definitely be preferable if you need the capability to search.

    I'm guessing the Apple Pencil will work famously well in these apps, if you have the iPad Pro. But, I have the old iPad 3rd generation, on which I have found that the Adonit Jot Pro stylus works very well.
    picnicmetoo likes this.
    03-20-2016 03:54 AM
  4. ccrgt's Avatar
    I have tried quite a few of the recommended notes apps like notability, good notes etc but have settled with NotesPlus. I am a school teacher and have created a diary/day planner book using one of the templates, and am loving its functionality. I have made several folders/notebooks in the Notes Plus app that contain all my admin stuff like student info, records, weekly programs. I can export and access my diary on my iMac, I can email any of my diary pages to my teaching colleagues if needed. It has ability to add photos, PDFs, a record function, a lasso tool, automatic saving etc. And NotesPlus works perfectly with my Apple pencil. I am still struggling getting used to having a paperless daybook but I am trying to give it a real go in order to simplify my planning. I use my iPP and pencil many times a day in my classroom and having my dairy also on my iPad tops it all off. Well worth a look.
    03-20-2016 04:29 AM
  5. anon(66956)'s Avatar
    This is not an easy question to answer. Like everything, all of the handwriting apps have trade-offs. Best inking experience is just one factor. On the iPad Pro, Notability, ZoomNotes and OneNote win there, with GoodNotes not far behind. With note templates, GoodNotes and Notes Plus are better than Notability. Notability would be great if they allowed you to set the line width of writing lines or if their templates had lines that are not too narrow or too wide. With folder organization, OneNote, Notes Plus and GoodNotes give you more granular options. As far as automatic backup to cloud services, OneNote, GoodNotes and Notability are good, but Notes Plus is not. GoodNotes allows you to search words in your handwriting on the iPad Pro, something that no other app allows you to do, although you can search ink notes on the desktop with OneNote. Now that with the last update OneNote has added a lasso select feature, that's looking more like the app that I may stay with.
    03-20-2016 08:57 PM
  6. anon(2763304)'s Avatar
    Notability works well for me. I have not tried any others in a very long time. However, I do not use it very often, just not a heavy need for note taking. When I do it provides the right options I need.
    03-21-2016 09:36 AM
  7. drsalsa's Avatar
    Personally I love the basic Apple Notes app!
    03-29-2016 04:43 PM
  8. Brokenspoke1's Avatar
    I like MS Word with its inking function. Also Notability and OneNote. Currently Word is my choice.
    04-11-2016 02:41 PM
  9. Frank Vetrano's Avatar
    Have the 12.9 pro with Noteability and Noteshelf. Use notability exclusively. Works great and with split screen you can review handwritten notes and type in pages if you need to.
    05-14-2016 10:09 AM
  10. TechnologyTwitt's Avatar
    In all honesty I'd like to see iPad have something similar to the Samsung Note 5, where the user can write on the screen (on or off) and have various options with that note.
    05-16-2016 01:50 PM
  11. annek's Avatar
    OneNote. I have used this for years on my computer and now I can use it on my tablet too. The Apple Pencil works great in it. I really don't write on paper anymore. Love Love Love OneNote and Apple Pencil!
    jayk82 likes this.
    05-19-2016 07:34 AM
  12. rdmartin1's Avatar
    Penultimate is a good choice
    06-06-2016 05:43 PM
  13. RumoredNow's Avatar
    No Bamboo Paper fans in here?

    I like the Journaling style of it. I've used it on Windows desktop tablet with active stylus and the iOS version (the original I believe) is supposed to be better. It's a Wacom product and they are a pioneer in digital inking.
    08-19-2016 10:05 AM
  14. Honey Beagle's Avatar
    Mine is iDo Notepad. One can choose from mucho fonts and sizes.
    08-19-2016 11:50 PM
  15. anon(9776449)'s Avatar
    Goodnotes is a very good app. 5 stars
    08-21-2016 08:02 AM
  16. simplylaurakb's Avatar
    I've tried lots of note taking apps, but keep going back to Notability.
    09-11-2016 06:06 AM
  17. anon(2763304)'s Avatar
    09-12-2016 04:23 PM
  18. raven247's Avatar
    Apple notes is the one for me. I often copy and paste from Safari. Other times, I use notability.
    Just_Me_D likes this.
    10-30-2016 09:05 AM
  19. IvanKaramazov's Avatar
    I use Goodnotes quite a lot, for my own note-taking in my PhD program. I also teach a class periodically at a small college, and I hook my iPad up to the projector and use it as a white board with the Apple Pencil. It works brilliantly for that, and allows me to face the class and lecture more effectively even while writing on the board. Goodnotes has a built-in "laser pointer", so if you want to indicate something you've written you can simply select the laser as your "pen" and use the Pencil for that as well!
    dazzlingirl likes this.
    10-30-2016 05:14 PM
  20. ry189's Avatar
    I'm a fan of Notability. It's simple and works well!
    04-11-2017 10:06 PM
  21. picnicmetoo's Avatar
    I have several but the workhorse is Noteability which I use daily-at least. The mention above of annotating PDFs is something I do a lot--creating my own pdfs from web clips, etc and adding handwritten notes, graphics makes it very useful.
    dazzlingirl and flica66 like this.
    06-03-2017 04:03 PM
  22. TripleOne's Avatar
    Just bought GoodNotes, and I love it!
    Now I use both Notability and GoodNotes with split screen
    08-14-2017 09:17 AM
  23. sq018's Avatar
    Notability all the way!
    10-01-2017 06:47 PM
  24. TripleOne's Avatar
    Notability all the way!
    It’s one of the best!
    10-01-2017 07:06 PM
  25. Jerry_'s Avatar
    Currently using Whink
    05-21-2018 02:52 PM
28 12

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