Can You Write in Notion with an Apple Pencil?

As a Notion user and iPad owner with an Apple Pencil, have you ever wondered if you can write in Notion with your Apple Pencil?

The simple answer is yes, you can, but there are some limitations and workarounds that you need to be aware of.

In this article, I’ll provide you with Apple Pencil tips and tricks to get the most out of your Notion experience!

Let’s get started!

How to Use Apple Pencil for Writing in Notion

With iPadOS 14 or higher and an Apple Pencil, you can take advantage of the Scribble feature in Notion. Here’s a step-by-step guide on enabling and using this feature.

  1. Go to your iPad’s Settings > Apple Pencil and turn on Scribble.
  2. Fire up a page in Notion, start writing, and watch as your handwritten notes are converted into text on the screen.

HOWEVER, no spaces are added to the sentence when you use Scribble to convert to text. This has been a long-standing bug which hasn’t been resolved yet. So, this is useless unless you plan on writing only one word at a time!

Notion’s Handwritten Notes Limitation and Workaround

Notion developers have acknowledged the handwritten notes limitation and promised to address it in future updates. In the meantime, we must find workarounds to include handwritten notes in your Notion documents!

One suggested workaround is to use Goodnotes 5 (well, 6 now, which I’m not a huge fan of, but another post for another time…)!

Goodnotes will allow you to copy and paste your handwritten notes directly into Notion. All you need to do is write your notes on a Goodnotes page, select your notes with the lasso tool, and then paste them into your Notion document.

The pasted notes will be uploaded with transparent backgrounds, allowing them to blend seamlessly into the document and even work with Notion’s dark mode.

While not the most straightforward and cleanest solution, Goodnotes does allow you to effectively overcome Notion’s limitation for handwritten notes and create visually appealing documents.

Exporting Handwritten Goodnotes Notes to Notion

Let’s say you’ve drawn a timeline, diagram, or any other handwritten element in Goodnotes 6. 

Here’s what you do:

  1. Use the lasso tool to select your drawing (or draw a circle around your text and long press to activate lasso – this is a Goodnotes 6 feature only).
  2. Tap on the selected area and choose “Copy.”
  3. Switch to your Notion app.
  4. Paste your drawing directly into your document.

The image may take a moment to upload, but you’ll see your handwritten creation within your Notion doc once it does.

Pro tip – (well as pro as you can get with this): use the split-screen functionality on your iPad. With this, you can have Goodnotes open alongside Notion. Write or sketch using Apple Pencil in the Goodnotes, then copy or export the content to Notion. Remember, this is a two-step process and not a seamless integration!

Alternative Solutions to Write with Apple Pencil in Notion

Along with Goodnotes, you can also try Apple Notes, Notability, or OneNote. To use these apps, draw or write on your iPad, save your work as an image or PDF, and then embed the file in Notion.

Another option is to use a web-based tool called Witeboard. It’s a free online whiteboard that’s simple and easy to use. Still, it has limited drawing tools, and you can’t undo/redo drawings.

To try out Witeboard, type /embed on your Notion page and embed this link

Embed Witeboard in Notion

I’ll update this page again once Notion releases an Apple Pencil-friendly version!

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