The best handwriting apps for iPad to jot down handwritten notes, sketch out ideas, and get things done that a keyboard just can't!
The iPad paired with a stylus can make a great not-taking alternative to traditional pen and paper. From writing out math problems to scribbling down ideas to taking notes, sometimes handwriting is just so much more natural and efficient than typing with a keyboard. If text editing apps don't get the job done, hand-writing note taking apps might. And here are my favorites!
Notability for iPad not only lets you take handwritten notes but lets you record audio, import documents for editing and annotating, and so much more. With many different pen styles, thicknesses, and editing tools, there's something for every situation. The palm rest feature of Notability also lets you rest your palms on the edges of the screen without getting unwanted marks on the document you're working on. Zoom mode in Notability is unmatched by others and moves on its own as you write for much more accurate results. Notability is also a universal download for iPhone and iPad and contains several syncing options including Dropbox and Google Drive so your notes are always in sync across devices.
If you need the ability to annotate and mark up external documents, record audio, and have cross-platform support for iPhone all in one, get Notability.
Penultimate integrates into your existing Evernote account seamlessly. Penultimate comes standard with graph, lined, and plain paper choices with options to pick up additional types as in-app purchases. There's no audio option, but you can also open your sketches or notes in third party apps including Evernote, Notability, Dropbox, Box, iBooks, and more.
If you're an Evernote user and you don't need the ability to record audio notes, get Penultimate.
Noteshelf has the best interface and most extensive toolkit, from the way notebooks are organized to how you access pencils and brushes, and more. Noteshelf also has several export options including Dropbox, email, iTunes, Camera Roll, Evernote, and more. While many other note apps making you purchase additional styles of pens and papers, Noteshelf gives you a ton right off the bat, and most likely be more than enough for the majority of users.
If you're more worried about interface and having options when it comes to paper choices and pen tips, get Noteshelf.
Paper by FiftyThree isn't technically a handwriting app made for note taking but it can double as one. For users looking specifically for tools that handle detailed sketches or drawings, Paper is great. With options for different pen types and notebooks as well as advanced features such as color mixers and other markers, you can draw fine tuned drawings without ever picking up a pen. It's also available for free if you're okay with just the basic tools. For more advanced ones, you can choose what you'd like or buy kits as in-app purchases.
If you plan on doing a lot of sketching rather than note taking, get Paper by FiftyThree.
These are our favorite apps when it comes to sketching, doodling, and jotting down handwritten notes on the iPad. If you use any of the above, let us know in the comments what made you pick it. If you use something else, make sure to let us know that too!