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ios Dreaming about the perfect handwriting note taking application

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Current solutions
Depending on the platform (operatings system), the native Evernote application has a different set of features which currently doesn't include handwriting on iOS devices.
At the moment the Adonit Jot Script Pen seems to be the most useable pen for handwriting input on an iOS device and is actively supported by
  • Evernotes own Penultimate
  • GoodNotes
  • Noteshelf
  • and a few others...
The biggest challenges are
  • Accurate capture of the pentip location
  • Excellent palm recognition (palm rejection) and the prevention of it interfering with the stylus input
  • Clean and easy interface, but feature rich and customizeable
  • Writing experience
  • What you can do with and how and where you further can use your handwritten notes
Features and functions wish list for the perfect app
From crawling through forums, websites and video posts users are craving for and want an application and hardware with the following features
  • Full two way synchronization with Evernote
  • Clean and beautful desgin (currently e.g. Penultimate looks better, but GoodNotes has the better functionality and experience; except it doesn't sync with Evernote)
  • Paper templates like in Penultimate. E.g. Meeting notes, music sheets (needs to support interactive features... see next point)
  • Handwritten notes that support the Evernote feature of checklists, create reminders and additionally calendar events in 3rd party services
    • E.g. you take notes in a meeting and have noted down a few points that need further attention later. It has to be possible to mark those (circle/highlight certain areas on your note) and turn them into checklist items, create a reminder and/or add calendar events (in whatever service the user uses... iOS/iCloud, Google, ...)
  • Presentation mode
  • Share editable notes with other users
  • An advanced and precise stylus with long battery life and an easily replaceable battery (like the Jot Script) that ideally will work on devices across multiple platforms
  • Similarly to adding checklist items, reminders and events, it should be possible to tag whole notes or certain parts of notes for better searchability in Evernote. Those tags should be invisible by default and only visible with a switch turned on
  • Easy export and sharing of notes as PDF (and e.g. JPG) via standard device ways (message, mail, ...)
  • Alternatively/additionally storing the notes in Dropbox, Onedrive and the like
  • Customizeable handwriting capture and auto advance when in Zoom mode
    • I personally prefer the implementation in GoodNotes, but others might prefer the Penultimate way of automatic sideway scrolling of the paper
  • Fast access to basic writing tools (colour, thickness, erase)
  • Geometric drawing assistant like in GoodNotes that helps to easily draw shapes and lines
  • Good embedding of additional content (capture from camera, voice notes, photos from library, PDFs or other files from other apps on the device or in cloud storage, eventually Microsoft Visio Stencils)
  • Automatic backup of settings
  • When writing music sheets, sound preview of drawn musical notes
  • ...


Why I wrote this?

A couple of days I got my Jot Script and started to try out first Penultimate and was disappointed, then spent some money on the Appstore for the other apps and was disappointed by the overall functionality of the combined solution. Was hoping to make my life easier, especially at work, but what's out there just doesn't do that yet...

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Wow, that's a long list of features. I have received my Bamboo Stylus a few days ago and started to use it with the latest Penultimate on my Ipad.

I must say I was surprised by quality of the software. The zoom and drift features are excellent - hand stays in one position and the paper mooves below. I am satisfied with writing with my left hand, no problem with wrist.


My feature requests are:

  • possibility to add Evernote tags, reminders from Penultimate - it would be perfect to be able to choose pages from within a notebook and make a separate note of them so I could use as few notebooks as possible
  • direct link from Evernote app to Penultimate app on iPad
  • possibility to change handwriting to text - all handwriting is OCRed for search purposes anyway. In Evernote, I want to be able to highlight block of handwriting and choose "Change to text" option.


That would be close to perfect.

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We need the ability to do fully integrated handwritten notes in EN, just like Android!

Couldn't agree more! Evernote desperately needs the ability to insert handwritten sketches in the main app. Penultimate is ok for standalone sketches but little use for inline images and diagrams.

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For handwriting on iOS - I have went thru very disappointed journey. Nothing can beat paper and pen and just make snapshot of it and save to Evernote.


On recent Evernote conference Phil announced that there is revamped Penultimate app on the way - but do not get overexcited - it will never beat paper and pen in convenience of making handwriting notes.





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I am looking for the ability to add links to other notes within Evernote to a handwritten note from Penultimate, like a table of contents.

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