Anyone who has successfully made extensive handwritten notes on tab/ipad ? - ForumIAS

Anyone who has successfully made extensive handwritten notes on tab/ipad ?

I am looking for someone who has completely or nearly replaced a physical notebook and made notes on tablet either pencil.

Anyone here who has done that?

What software did you use? What are the pros and cons?

AzadHindFauz,HDand6 otherslike this


Doing it this time on Samsung Notes.


1. "Find" feature enables me to search content even written in my own handwriting. The AI is super on this. 

2. Typing content on Evernote/OneNote had limitations. You could not draw flow charts, diagrams, put images from the internet to your notes with ease etc. Basically, making notes now on tablet is akin to physical note-making which involves me actively with the topic I'm taking notes of + the added features of digital notes (searchability to add content in relevant topics as and when issues appear)

3. Easy to revise- Revising with a pen and using the highlight feature gives the feel of 'pen-paper' format which is the still the best way to do things for better retention. Revision on Evernote/OneNote was a tough job because it involved passive reading of things on a screen!

4. Multi-window functionality: Makes it easy to switch between windows on the go. If I'm stuck, I can take pictures from YouTube videos, write on them, refer Wikipedia seamlessly. I used to do this with Evernote too but it it took a lot of time. The main reason why I chose to go for Tablet because I had exhausted all the features of Evernote and wanted to do more with my notes.


1. You totally give up pen and paper for good which is not a good thing as we need to be in writing practice for Mains.

No other cons.

Tablet note-taking is the next succession step in the digital evolution!

Neyawn,GaryVeeand10 otherslike this

Me, who uses JK Easy paper n Cello Butterflow:

dalpha,GaryVeeand10 otherslike this

I have been usingGoodnotes on my11 inchiPad 8th Gen with Apple Pencil1st Generation(yeah the older one :p) with silicon grip, since 2 years now. Initially when I began my preparation, post joiningCGP Batch, I was very excited with the entire idea of Digital Notemaking. I made running notes of Economy (offline class), World History, Post India Independence (online recorded classes) entirely on Goodnotes. This was somehow my way of spicing up my otherwise monotonous preparation. 

Everything was favourable untilI was reminded in class by my then Faculty “how I wasn’t a special case and won’t be getting an iPad in Actual Mains to write my exams; Hence, I shouldn’t give up on the pen and paper mode of note taking.” It didn’t make sense to me instantly, but later FOMO creeped in and the speed issue actually hit me in my first CBT test. 

Later I gave up entirely and resorted to the same old scribbling method of notemaking to work on my “on paper writing skills”. Currently I use goodnotes for reading PDFs and some basic short notemaking. 

However, based on my experience of extensive digital notemaking,here are my two cents which might come handy while taking running notes on Goodnotes -

# Use silicon grip on Apple pencil to avoid pain.

# Select square boxed or ruled paper instead of Blank sheet (for better alignment) 

# Zoom in the portion where you wish to write and then write instead of directly writing on the given space (for better font size) 

# If possible don’t use Glass Template on iPad (it goes alltak- tak -tak -tak when you write, might annoy at times) 

# Select 3 different tip sizes for Headlines or Body and fix them once (So that you do not keep adjusting pencil grip) 

# Select 3 differently pen colours once (for the same reason mentioned above) 

#Use ruler whenever there is alignment issue. Put a straight line, write as per the need. Erase it later. 

#Use “Shape” icon for drawing various shapes 

I am attaching few excerpts from my “Good-notes”@Neyawn for reference-


PS : One night when I was writing something, my father while passing by my side noticed me and curiously asked-Do you get assignments to submit in your coaching? Why are you making such Dhinchak Rangeen notes? Are you planning to sell it?”  It was then I realised I should probably stop romanticising the art of making notes and rather focus on just getting the job done to the earliest. After all it’d be just me reading my notes. 

PPS: At the end, it’s all about the internal enthusiasm and inherent interest which pushes one to make notes diligently, either on paper or digitally. 

GaryVee,brownianMotionand9 otherslike this

2021 se Sir paper-pen ko iPad se substitute kar diya hai to a major extent. 

I use Goodnotes application.

Pros ki  baat karu toh kaafi saare hai, for example;

  1. I can write and draw anything I want on pdfs with the help of stylus. (NCERTs pdf se padhne mei feel aa jaati hai, which I can’t describe aise xD)
  2. I can add photos of my already prepared notes(register vaale) to my digital notes.
  3. I can also click pictures or scan content from standard books and directly add to my digital notes.
  4. I can scan my copy/register handwritten notes, scan them and create pdf and then turn them into digital notes. Pdf create kar ke highlighter sab se marking ho jaati bade araaam se.
  5. Stationery ka paisa Bach raha in terms of registers, pen, highlighter pens etc etc.
  6. The device itself is very handy to hold. I need not have any table chair to study, tablet hath mei rakh ke I can study anywhere I want to. 
  7. I have done answer writing practice on the tablet itself rather than writing on physical answer booklet and then scanning it, creating pdf and sharing it to the evaluator. Goodnotes par answers likhe and then direct vahi se pdf bana ke share kar diya evaluator ko. This saves time.

Cons zyada  hai nahi but ek doe I would like to tell;

Firstly, the documents I have created are colourful because of different types of coloured pens and highlighters I have used. Agar inka printout Nikalna hoga toh agar B&W nikaaala toh it might kill the visual appeal. Coloured printout Nikalna can get costlier as koi functioning printer nahi hai mere paas at the moment.

Secondly, stationery  ka paisa toh Bach raha but stylus ka tip badi jaldii ghistaaa hai agar excessive use ho toh. And Apple Pencil ke tips bhi relatively mehengay aate (₹1900 ke 4 tips).

Thirdly, agar inbuilt storage kam ho device ka toh additional cloud storage Kareedna padd sakta hai to sync and back up your data. 

P.S. I would like to share apne polity PT365 ka pdf Jis ko dekh kar idea lag sakta about the pros I have tried to mention above. Iss shared pdf ke sath sath original pdf bhi dekhiyega to ascertain out the differences, tab better picture milegi.

Neyawn,GaryVeeand4 otherslike this

I have been working on Obsidian for other purposes. I have started my UPSC prep with this app since 2023.

It has all the features required to make a comprehensive notes- 

for eg,

1. Division in folders, files.

2. Calender to map progress.

3. We can embed YouTube videos, which is my favourite feature. You can embed playlists!

4. Embed pdfs, mp4 files, images.

5. You can make tags to find content easily. Like I have created tags from Syllabus itself.

6. Templates.

7. Excalidraw extension for graphs.

8. You can spilt the screen for long files.

9. Has tabs like google.

10. Ofcourse, allows to add links, and you can even link internal files.

Attaching a screenshot