• Prem Sundaram

6 Apps to Take Handwritten Notes with a Microsoft Surface Pen

microsoft surface with pen
Microsoft Surface - Image courtesy Microsoft

Congratulations on owning a Microsoft Surface with the Pen! It's truly an amazing range of devices as you know - we've gone from owning the original Surface Pro to now making daily use out of a Surface Laptop Studio with the new surface slim pen (which we love BTW).

As you can imagine we test our app on all the Surface devices and love ink type apps. We wanted to create this article to give you some tips on some of the apps - ours and others - that you can be using to get the most out of your Surface device - which apps allow you to take handwritten notes and which are good for quick annotations


With the Surface, you can create handwriting notes directly on the screen with the surface pen. This means that as power note-takers you don't have to take notes on paper, which is important for many reasons. Today we'll go over how to take handwritten notes with a Microsoft Surface Pen, highlighting 5 great apps to make the most of your Surface Pro, and show you some useful tricks for taking better notes using a tablet computer. We''l review the following apps:

  • NoteDex

  • OneNote

  • Snip & Sketch

  • Sticky Notes

  • Edge

  • Whiteboard

Best Handwriting Notetaking App to Capture Meeting Thoughts and Ideas: NoteDex

Sometimes you want to capture those great ideas your clients are telling you - but you don't want to be looking down at your keyboard but keeping eye contact with clients instead. This is where the power of NoteDex comes in - create unique notecards for each idea with a client, nicely organized like a row of index cards - and use your ink pen to take down with handwriting the note, and not be distracted by the keyboard.

Fun fact: this was the #1 reason why NoteDex was developed - to be a notetaking app where you can take notes during a meeting with a surface pen to allow the user to focus fully on the meeting, lecture, person and not be thinking about the app.

Take Short Form Handwritten Notes using NoteDex

Your NoteDex notecards are synced to all your devices - even to Mac. It's cross platform capabilities mean you can create ink notes on your Surface and further edit the ink on your Mac - not something many ink note apps can do.

You can use a stylus - but if you forget it (or lose it heaven forbid!) you can also ink using your finger! And NoteDex has a nice feature that when you click the pen icon to switch into ink mode, the ink pallet shows 3 customizable pens and 1 highlighter - so it's like you have a packet of pens in your pocket ready to switch between.

NoteDex is not free but you can use it for 7 days (Hey' - we're not Microsoft - yet!)

Best Handwriting Notetaking App to Capture Long Meeting and Lecture Notes: OneNote

OneNote is a great notetaking app for taking long meeting notes with your Surface pen - they even have a range of lovely pen styles! OneNote, Like NoteDex, is avaible on every device so you can use it anywhere to make your meeting or class notes with bullet points, ink, images and even add audio. OneNote is a free notetaking app.

It's also a great tool to import and edit pdf files.

Take Long Form Handwritten Notes using OneNote

Best App to Annotate an Image: Snip & Sketch

Snip & Sketch continues to improve and it's a great app for taking a screenshot of your Windows 11 screen and then adding a note using your Surface pen. We use it a lot to take a capture a screenshot of our App on a surface pro and send to to our developers, and annotate something that needs fixing.

Best App for Making a Sticky Note: Sticky Notes

Who doesn't like Sticky Notes?! And Microsoft have a lovely interpretation of the Sticky Notes app. Use it to take a very quick note and pin it on your computer screen! Create Sticky Notes in lots of colors and even sync them to your mobile phone.

Best App for Annotating Web Pages: Microsoft Edge

Did you know you can capture a web page in Edge and annotate it? Just like you can also edit a PDF, Edge is great for its built-in ink annotation features.

Best App for Team Brainstorming: Microsoft Whiteboard

Microsoft Whiteboard is an excellent interpretation of the classic Whiteboard. It allows you to use pen in a virtual canvas that fills the whole screen - great for conducting a virtual brainstorming session with clients. You can also insert text and image and they have some templates also for helping to kick start your creative sessions.

Final Word

Notetaking apps like we show above are great for the professional, consultant, freelancer, student... you name it really. They are complimentary to the other apps that you might be using, like a project management software, content management software, CRM database, creative tool, writing database and so on.

We hope you take advantage of the power of the pen with all these amazing pen enabled apps for the Microsoft Surface!

217 views0 comments