The Best Digital Handwriting Tools for Businesses If you're looking for an app or stylus to digitally capture handwritten notes and drawings, we've found several options.

By Jonathan Blum

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Writing notes out by hand hasn't become extinct -- it's just gone digital. A new generation of apps and devices that capture your handwriting are altering how businesses manage what they write.

The Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy tablet and touch-based Microsoft Windows 8 PCs all offer handwriting-based tools that enable a full range of functions from simple note taking to email management to sophisticated sketching and photo manipulation.

If your business could benefit from digitally capturing handwritten notes, consider these suggestions for finding the right app and for using a stylus:

The apps: Regardless of platform -- iOS, Android or Windows -- handwriting apps abound. For example, Evernote users can use Penultimate (free, iOS), which was upgraded recently to sync with the popular note taking and data storage app. Users can sort and search their handwritten copy alongside other data captured in Evernote.

For others who don't already use Evernote, the Note Taker HD ($4.99, iOS), Notability ($1.99, iOS) and Note Anytime (free, Windows 8, Android and iOS) all offer tagging and sorting options, as well as the ability to annotate PDF files and sync with third party services such as DropBox.

Another app, called PhatPad ($4.99, iOS, Android and Windows Phone), has an emphasis on brainstorming and presentations. It can also be used to create handwritten slideshows of sketches and notes that standout from traditional typeset presentation slides.

Related: Should Your Business Go PC-Free?

The stylus: Not everyone likes using a stylus -- a digital writing tool that usually resembles a small pen. In 2010, when talking about iPad rivals, Steve Jobs had this to say: "If you see a stylus, they blew it."

But the stylus is making a comeback, and a number of new devices come equipped with them. Not everyone wants to use their fingers to access digital handwriting tools. A stylus can let you control text more accurately, draw with variable darkness or thickness and retouch images.

Low-cost, touch control styluses can be found at many office supply stores, but higher-end units can be easier to use with extra features. Take for instance The HAND Stylus ($29.95), which comes with a small rubber tip that is well suited for accurate note taking.

Other options include the AmazonBasics Stylus ($9.89) and the RocketFish Stylus ($17). For a retro look, the SUCK UK TouchScreen Style ($11.80) resembles an old-fashioned pencil.

Keep in mind that some apps may have quirks -- when using a stylus or a finger. Some might have variable lag time between touching the screen and the rendering of the line, or less than perfect character recognition for search. That means some might require some practice. But once you get the hang using it, a digital handwriting app can be a significant upgrade over a keyboard that acts like a mouse that fits in your pocket.

Related: 3 Decades of Dell: From Dorm Room Inspiration to Multi-Billion Dollar Acquisition

Jonathan Blum is a freelance writer and the principal of Blumsday LLC, a Web-based content company specializing in technology news.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Starting a Business

This Retiree's Leisurely Side Hustle Makes $66,000 a Year and, 'You Don't Even Need to Go to High School to Do It'

Barbara Hill wanted a flexible, part-time job that would transition well into retirement. Now she mentors younger people who are making over $200,000 a year. Here's her insider's guide to getting started.

Business News

Who Owns The Rights to Your AI-Generated Content? Not, It's Not You. Uncover The Scary Truth That Puts AI Users At Risk.

The realization that copyright laws do not protect AI-generated material might come as a shock to many.

Marketing

The Miley Cyrus Approach To Marketing — Why It's a Radically Different Method For Achieving Brand Impact

In case you missed it, Miley Cyrus recently won her first Grammy. In her acceptance speech, she told a story that is a great learning lesson for business owners and marketers alike, especially those who find themselves burned out and exhausted in this current environment.

Business News

HP Wants You to 'Never Own A Printer Again,' Launches Rental Subscription

In February, HP's CEO Enrique Lores stated that making printing a subscription service was the company's "long-term objective."

Business News

IKEA Price Increases Are Going Viral — Here's How Much Your Favorite Couch Costs Now: 'Inflation Is Crazy'

A video with a customer complaining about "inflation" and "corporate greed" has racked up over 1.3 million views on TikTok.