More than just a personal touch

Here’s why you should try taking notes by hand.

The written word has been crucial in passing down knowledge throughout the ages. But in today’s digital era, the keyboard has replaced the pen for many of us.

And yet writing by hand is not only more personal, it also helps us to process, learn and retain information – when you’re more focused on what you’re putting on the page, you’ll be able to digest it more easily.

Needless to say this is good for studying and working, so we’ve rounded up some useful note-taking apps to get you started.

All your notes in one place

GoodNotes 5 is a neat app that feels like a traditional notebook. Its pioneering vector ink engine gives you a fluid and completely natural writing experience, whether you’re using your finger or an Apple Pencil.

You may prefer electronic note-keeping because handwritten ones are not as convenient to organise and revise. That’s where GoodNotes excels: you can search and locate handwritten notes easily from your entire library, and find a wide range of tools for editing later on.

For example, try the Lasso Tool to cut and paste, drag and drop or rearrange texts and illustrations. The app’s optical character recognition (OCR) technology lets you convert handwriting to typed text in one tap, for further use and editing elsewhere.

    GoodNotes 5

    Note-Taking & PDF Markup


The delight is in the details

Note-taking by hand is a joy with Notability. Again, tap your finger on the screen or use an Apple Pencil, and find a spectrum of ink colours at your disposal to make your notes pop.

What we love most about this app is how it’s so much more than just notes. You can add images from the library or take your own photos, import PDFs or web screenshots, and mark them up with annotations at will. The result is handcrafted notes just how you want them.


    Easy note-taking & annotation


Note-taking by hand not only aids your study and retention of information, it also lets you get creative – a little doodling can even help take some stress away.

So swap out the keyboard for a pen or even just a finger and get scribbling.