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Noteful – notes app with focus on handwriting

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Leverage the power of the Apple Pencil with this impressive app

Price: Free
Version: 1.0.14
Size: 52 MB
Developer: Noteful Technologies Ltd
Platform: 1.0.14


There’s no shortage of note-taking apps for iPad – with many of them leveraging the power of the Apple Pencil to make hand-drawn notation easy and convenient. But Noteful is a recent addition to this crowd, and one not to be overlooked. In fact, it boasts some of the most impressive Pencil-powered note-taking on iPad. (Of course, the app works well on iPhone too – but the Pencil support is a big selling point).

So let’s dive in with Noteful’s best feature, the handwriting experience it offers for iPad and Apple Pencil owners. Noteful works brilliantly alongside the Apple Pencil, allowing users to create notes in an environment that effectively mimics physical pen and paper. Alongside excellent latency and palm rejection, you’ll find a number of annotation tools that push note-taking to the next level.

Organize your notes into notebooks.

Noteful’s pen, highlighter, and eraser tools work a treat, allowing users to annotate and draw on the app’s three different paper types. There’s a good range of colors and pen sizes to choose from, and it’s nice that three shortcut icons for quickly switching between different colors sit alongside the app’s undo and redo buttons.

Tweak the pen size.

Our favorite tool, though, is the lasso. This powerful weapon in your note-taking arsenal allows users to do a number of things. You can select items, like objects or shapes, by drawing around them. You can then move your selection around, change the color of an item, increase or decrease its size, or to copy and delete. Nice. When it comes to interacting with annotated content using your Apple Pencil, lasso really speeds things up.

Add, resize, and remove shapes.

Pages can be bookmarked and you can manage a number of different notebooks in Noteful. It’s also possible to tag notes or import existing documents, either as Microsoft Word documents or PDFs. And more comprehensive note-taking is made possible by the app’s support for layers.

Customize your notes.

That being said, there are some missing features. It’s not possible to search through handwritten notes in Noteful, nor can users organize their notes into folders.

Speaking more generally, Noteful’s user interface is clean and appealing – it provides users with a nice environment to create and collect notes. The focus here is on your note-taking, which is exactly how things should be.

Noteful is a free download on the App Store, while a $3/£3 IAP adds pro-level support for unlimited notebooks, tags, and color pickers, iCloud sync, and a handful of power features. Although for most of us, the free app will be comprehensive enough.