Top 9 Best Handwritten Notes Software

Check out software reviews of the best handwritten notes software to use for all your journaling needs!
Microsoft Journal handwritten notes software

Finding the best handwritten notes software can be a game-changer for students, professionals, and anyone who values the art of penmanship in the digital age. Using handwritten notes software offers several benefits, including digital accessibility, effortless organization, efficient search functions, easy editing, secure backup, collaborative capabilities, eco-friendliness, and customization options. These advantages enhance productivity and simplify note-taking and information management.

General Pricing 

Handwritten notes software comes with a diverse pricing landscape, catering to different needs and budgets. On average, you can expect to pay between $5 and $20 per month for these digital note-taking tools. However, this range varies widely based on factors like features, storage, collaboration options, and platform support.

Some software follows the freemium model, offering basic functionality for free and premium features for a subscription fee. Alternatively, others provide a one-time purchase option without recurring monthly charges, typically falling in the range of $20 to $50.

Things to Look For

Choosing the best handwritten notes software involves considering several crucial factors to ensure it aligns with your needs and preferences. Here are some key elements to keep in mind:

  • User Interface (UI): A user-friendly and intuitive interface can significantly impact your note-taking experience. Look for software with a clean, easy-to-navigate UI that suits your personal preferences.
  • Ink to Text Recognition: Check if the software offers robust ink to text recognition capabilities. This feature can be a game-changer, allowing you to convert your handwritten notes into editable digital text effortlessly.
  • Stylus and Touch Screen Support: Ensure that the software is compatible with your stylus or touch input device. This support enhances the precision and natural feel of writing digitally.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Consider whether the software is available and performs well across multiple platforms like desktop, web, and mobile. This ensures you can access your notes seamlessly from various devices.
  • Collaboration Features: If you plan to work with others, evaluate the collaboration features. Look for options to share and collaborate on notes in real-time, which can be invaluable for group projects or studying.
  • Backup and Sync: Choose software that offers reliable backup and synchronization options. This ensures your notes are securely stored and easily accessible, even if you switch devices or face technical issues.

Avoiding the wrong software involves researching and testing different options to ensure they meet your specific requirements. Read user reviews and consider trial versions when available to assess how well the software aligns with your note-taking style and needs. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can select the best handwritten notes software to enhance your digital note-taking experience.

Best handwritten notes software

Let’s dive into the world of digital note-taking and discover the software that best suits your needs and preferences.

Quick Recommendations

Go to Notion

While Notion does not support handwriting notes natively it’s possible to do so using Scribble. Check out Notion as they are the most versatile and comprehensive note-taking and organizational tool.

Best ForNote ConversionOrganizationVersatilityMarkdown Notes
Ease of UseIntuitiveUser-FriendlyUser-FriendlyLearning Curve
PriceFree, $8.99/monthFree, $6.99Free & PremiumFree, $24.99 / User / Month
Software PlatformiOS, AndroidWindows, macOSMulti-PlatformWindows, macOS
Handwriting RecognitionExcellentGoodGoodLimited
Cloud SyncYesYesYesThird-Party
Collaborative FeaturesLimitedExtensiveLimitedLimited

All Recommendations (Deeper Dive)

1. Nebo

Nebo is an advanced note-taking app known for its impressive ink-to-text conversion and intuitive interface.

nebo handwritten notes software, handwritten note examples

Key Features: 

  • Handwriting recognition 
  • Conversion to digital text 
  • Diagram drawing
  • Math recognition 
  • Cloud sync

Ratings: 4.2/5


  • Accurate ink-to-text conversion
  • Excellent for note organization
  • Supports diagrams and math

Cons: Paid subscription model 


  • Free
  • $8.99 one-time payment

Nebo stands out for its seamless handwritten note-taking experience, with automatic text conversion. Its powerful AI capabilities, such as language translation and symbol conversion, make it versatile for various tasks. Cross-platform compatibility ensures easy access from iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows devices.

Nebo excels in recognizing handwriting, swiftly converting it into text. This feature simplifies searching, editing, and sharing notes, making it a valuable tool for users.

Developed by MyScript, known for its innovative handwriting recognition technology, Nebo seamlessly bridges the gap between handwritten and digital text. It’s a go-to choice for professionals and students alike.

Verdict: Nebo is an excellent choice if you require a potent and versatile handwritten notes software. Its exceptional handwriting recognition, AI features, and cross-platform accessibility cater to the needs of note-takers across various fields.

Get Nebo here!

2. OneNote

OneNote, part of the Microsoft Office suite, is a versatile note-taking app with robust organizational features.

onenote handwritten notes software, home dashboard in onenote

Key Features: 

  • Notebook structure
  • Integration with Microsoft Office
  • Cross-platform, collaboration tools

Ratings: 4.5/5


  • Free
  • Powerful organization features
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft apps

Cons: Learning curve for beginners

Pricing: Free along with paid plans ($6.99)

OneNote garners appreciation for being both free and user-friendly, available across various platforms. Its robust feature set, encompassing handwritten notes, audio recording, and screenshots, makes it versatile.

OneNote shines in recognizing handwriting, swiftly converting it into digital text, enhancing the note-taking experience. Users can rely on it for clear and organized notes.

Take handwritten notes on OneNote by following this video tutorial!

Developed by Microsoft, OneNote benefits from seamless integration with Microsoft Office, ideal for professionals and students. It serves as a comprehensive note-taking companion within the Microsoft ecosystem.

Verdict: OneNote is a compelling choice for those seeking a free, versatile note-taking software. Its broad feature set, user-friendliness, and integration with Microsoft Office make it a valuable tool for various note-taking needs.

Get OneNote here!

3. Evernote

Evernote is a versatile note-taking and organization app designed for capturing, organizing, and retrieving information efficiently.

evernote handwritten notes software

Key Features: 

  • Notebook organization
  • Web clipping
  • Search capabilities
  • Cross-device sync

Ratings: 4.4/5


  • Versatile 
  • Excellent for research and web clipping 
  • Cross-device sync


  • Some users find it complex
  • Limited free features


  • Free 
  • $24.99 / User / Month

Evernote’s versatility shines, offering a wide range of note-taking possibilities, from handwritten notes to audio recordings and web clipping. It serves as a comprehensive digital notebook for various purposes.

Evernote’s handwritten note-taking capabilities are reliable, swiftly converting handwriting into digital text. This feature streamlines note organization and retrieval.

Evernote’s syncing functionality ensures notes are accessible across all devices, providing users with the convenience of accessing their information from anywhere.

Verdict: Evernote is an excellent choice for those seeking a versatile, user-friendly note-taking software with robust organization and syncing features. Its adaptability caters to a wide range of users, including students and professionals looking to streamline their note-taking and information management.

Get EverNote here!

4. Obsidian

Obsidian is a note-taking tool with a focus on Markdown-based text editing and interlinked notes for knowledge management.

obsidian handwritten notes software

Key Features: 

  • Markdown support
  • Bidirectional linking
  • Custom CSS theming 
  • Community plugins

Ratings: 4.5/5


  • Flexible Markdown editing
  • Powerful linking for creating a knowledge base
  • Extensive customization


  • Learning curve for Markdown
  • No mobile app (as of now)

Pricing: Free with a paid subscription option for advanced features.

Obsidian’s standout feature is its powerful linking capabilities, enabling users to seamlessly connect notes, forming an interconnected web of information.

Obsidian offers flexible note organization options, allowing users to employ tags, backlinks, and other features for a personalized and efficient organizational system.

Obsidian excels in supporting Markdown, simplifying note formatting and document creation for a visually pleasing result.

Check out this Obsidian for beginners video!

Verdict: Obsidian is an excellent choice for those in search of note-taking software with robust linking capabilities, flexible organization, and strong Markdown support. It suits a wide range of users, including students and professionals looking to elevate their note-taking and knowledge management.

Get Obsidian here!

5. Bear

Bear is a beautifully designed, Markdown-focused note-taking app for Mac and iOS users.

bear best handwritten notes software

Key Features: 

  • Markdown support
  • Tag-based organization
  • In-line image and file attachments

Ratings: 4.6/5


  • Clean and intuitive interface
  • Seamless Markdown editing
  • Excellent for writers


  • Limited to Apple devices
  • Premium features require a subscription


  • $3.49/ month
  • $29.99/yr

Bear stands out with its beautiful and intuitive interface, providing users with an enjoyable note-taking and document creation experience.

Bear excels in search and tagging capabilities, allowing users to quickly locate information, even within a large collection of notes.

Bear offers the best of both worlds with support for both Markdown and rich text, granting users the flexibility to format their notes as they prefer.

Verdict: Bear is an excellent choice for those seeking note-taking software with an elegant interface, robust search and tagging functionality, and versatile formatting options. It caters to various users, including students and professionals, looking for an efficient and visually pleasing note-taking solution.

Get Bear here!

6. Google Keep

Google Keep is a simple and collaborative note-taking app integrated with Google Workspace.

google keep handwritten notes software

Key Features: 

  • Color-coded notes
  • Voice notes
  • Collaboration
  • Integration with Google services

Ratings: 4.7/5


  • Easy to use
  • Seamless integration with Google Drive and other apps
  • Collaborative features


  • Limited formatting options
  • Basic compared to some competitors

Pricing: Free

Google Keep earns favor for being both free and user-friendly, available across various platforms. Its flexible note organization, including tags, lists, and colors, enhances user experience.

Google Keep offers versatile note organization features, allowing users to tailor their system with tags, lists, and colors for quick and easy information retrieval.

Google Keep’s collaboration features shine, facilitating real-time sharing and editing of notes, making it an excellent tool for both teams and individuals.

Verdict: Google Keep is a compelling choice for those in search of an uncomplicated, free note-taking software with robust organization, collaboration features, and seamless integration with other Google products. It caters to a wide range of users, including students and professionals, looking to streamline their note-taking and task management.

Try Google Keep here!

7. Zoho Notebook

Zoho Notebook is a feature-rich note-taking app with a focus on organization and productivity.

zoho notebook travel notes

Key Features: 

  • Notebook structure
  • Checklists
  • Multimedia notes
  • Collaboration

Ratings: 4.5/5


  • User-friendly interface
  • Versatile organization
  • Collaboration capabilities

Cons: Advanced features require a paid subscription.

Pricing: Free with a paid subscription option for advanced features.

Zoho Notebook is celebrated for its user-friendliness, making it a preferred choice for those looking to simplify note-taking, document creation, and task management.

Zoho Notebook stands out with its versatility, enabling users to capture notes in various formats, including text, images, audio, and video. It offers templates and formatting options for professional-looking documents.

Zoho Notebook caters to a range of users with its affordability. It offers a free plan with basic features and paid plans that provide extras like offline access and collaboration capabilities.

Verdict: Zoho Notebook is an excellent choice for individuals and professionals seeking an easy-to-use, flexible, and budget-friendly note-taking software. It accommodates students, professionals, and anyone looking for a straightforward and efficient solution for note-taking and task management.

Get Zoho Notebook here!

8. Microsoft Journal

Microsoft Journal is a dedicated note-taking app with a focus on digital inking and sketching.

microsoft journal pages, renewable vs sustainable handwritten notes

Key Features: 

  • Digital inking 
  • Sketching
  • Note organization 
  • Integration with Microsoft products

Ratings: 4.2/5


  • Optimized for digital inking
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft apps


  • Limited to Windows devices
  • Basic compared to some competitors

Pricing: Free with Windows devices.

Microsoft Journal stands out for its natural handwriting experience, designed for stylus users on Windows and macOS. It uses AI to seamlessly convert handwritten notes into text, simplifying the note-taking process.

This note-taking app offers flexibility in organizing notes, allowing users to sort them by date, tag, or notebook. This versatility ensures that users can quickly access their notes in a way that suits their workflow.

Microsoft Journal impresses with its robust search and tagging capabilities. Users can effortlessly locate information by searching for text, handwriting, or tags, enhancing overall productivity.

Verdict: Microsoft Journal is a compelling choice for those who prefer a stylus for note-taking. With its natural handwriting experience, versatile note organization, and powerful search functions, it caters to both students and professionals looking for an efficient way to organize and retrieve their handwritten notes and ideas.

Get MS Journal here!

9. GoodNotes

GoodNotes is a comprehensive note-taking app designed specifically for iPad and Apple Pencil users.

goodnotes documents, new note on goodnote software

Key Features: 

  • Handwriting recognition
  • PDF annotation
  • Notebook organization
  • Apple Pencil optimization

Ratings: 4.6/5


  • Precise handwriting experience
  • PDF annotation capabilities
  • Intuitive notebook structure


  • Limited to Apple devices
  • One-time purchase price


  • Free 
  • Yearly $9.99 
  • One-time purchase also (varies by version)

GoodNotes is praised for its robust annotation capabilities, allowing users to highlight, underline, strikethrough, and draw on PDFs. It also supports the addition of sticky notes and audio recordings to enhance note-taking and document markup.

GoodNotes offers flexibility in organizing notes, allowing users to categorize them by notebooks, tags, and folders. This versatile organization system ensures easy access to information, whether for study or professional use.

GoodNotes seamlessly integrates with iCloud, enabling users to access their notes from any device, be it iPad or iPhone. This feature ensures that notes are always up-to-date and accessible from anywhere, enhancing productivity and convenience.

Verdict: GoodNotes is an exceptional choice, particularly for iPad and iPhone users who prioritize powerful annotation capabilities, flexible note organization, and the convenience of seamless iCloud integration. Whether you’re a student or professional, it provides a feature-rich platform for taking notes, annotating PDFs, and creating digital notebooks with ease.

Get Good Notes here!


How can I view all the text in a long note?

To view all the text in a lengthy note, simply scroll through it using your device’s input method, such as swiping, scrolling, or using a stylus.

Can I use a different background color for notes?

Yes, you can customize the background color of your notes in many handwritten notes software. Look for this option in the settings or formatting menu to personalize your note’s appearance.


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