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It’s no secret that, over the past couple decades, typing has replaced handwriting One Simple Change Can Boost Your Typing Speed by 50% One Simple Change Can Boost Your Typing Speed by 50% Your keyboard could be slowing down your typing speed, so here's a simple change you can make to unlock your true typing speed. Read More as the go-to method of writing text. Many peck at their keyboards at work all day, and most use their thumbs to send text messages or emails from their phone.

Think about it: outside of the occasional greeting card, when is the last time you’ve written a significant piece of text strictly by hand?

Typing has its advantages, of course. It’s faster, easier, and generally more convenient. But writing by hand Quickly Improve Your Handwriting with These Fantastic Resources Quickly Improve Your Handwriting with These Fantastic Resources Beautiful handwriting. It's a pleasure to see some isn't it? Practice the lessons you learn from these resources to turn writing beautifully into a habit. Read More has plenty of benefits, too. For example, writing by hand has been linked to improved creativity, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

That makes some sense. Writing out a series of letters and words by hand How Handwriting Improves Your Creative Skills How Handwriting Improves Your Creative Skills In today's increasingly technological world, handwriting is a skill that many people are losing -- but why should we worry? Well, for one, because handwriting could be linked with creativity. Read More is a cognitive process that requires refined motor skills. Typing, on the other hand, requires the exact same action for each letter.

Further, writing by hand and reading are connected neurally, and better reading skills can lead to a boost in self-confidence.

In the US, cursive writing was excluded from Common Core curriculum standards in 2013, a move applauded by some. Yet when it comes to taking notes by hand in class, studies show it can help students understand various topics better.

While it likely will never return as the main form of written communication, handwriting is definitely making a comeback. Many have embraced its many benefits and are consciously working it into their daily routines. Electronics companies have taken note.

Before we get into some of our favorite hardware and software options for writing by hand, brush up on your penmanship with a few classic exercises in handwriting.

Get Started With These Free Tutorials

Peterson Directed Handwriting‘s Printable Worksheet (PDF)

peterson directed handwriting

If you haven’t used your cursive skills since grade school, a little refresher might help you out. Peterson Directed Handwriting offers this step-by-step tutorial to help you learn or re-learn your cursive lettering.

The PDF is quite large, so be forewarned before you print the entire thing. However, printing out chunks at a time and practicing your capital and lowercase cursive lettering is a great way to improve your handwriting in manageable time slots.

In addition to this free PDF, you can browse other free handwriting downloads in the website’s shop.

DownloadPeterson Directed Handwriting Cursive Worksheet (Free)

Printable Cursive Handwriting (PDF)

printable cursive handwriting

This website offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced cursive practice sheets.

You can practice writing individual cursive letters, sentences, or entire paragraphs based on cursive text that is modeled for you. Even better, most of the sample text you’re asked to write discusses factual information about animals and geography, so you learn a little something as you write too.

Or, if re-writing sample text isn’t your thing, you can also download blank handwriting paper from the site for free.

DownloadPrintable Cursive Handwriting Tutorials (PDF)

Now that you’ve cleaned up your handwriting a bit, let’s take it to the next level!

Best Mobile Devices for Handwritten Notes

Microsoft Surface Studio

surface studio

Among its many features, Microsoft’s Surface Studio allows you to use the screen as a canvas using the Surface Pen and Surface Dial. Its design is meant to mimic the feel of a pen or pencil, complete with the ability to erase.

With a starting price of $2,999, it certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s about as cutting-edge as anything on the market right now.

Lenovo Yoga Book

yoga book

The Yoga Book from Lenovo is a two-in-one tablet that encourages owners to use the stylus to write notes or sketch by hand. The device doesn’t have a physical keyboard, but it does have a Halo keyboard that appears when you need it. The Android-powered device actually allows you to write in ink on paper with its Real Pen, and then digitizes your notes or drawings.

The technology here is impressive. The Real Pen detects more than 2,000 levels of pressure in an effort to make it feel as realistic as possible. The Yoga Book starts at $499.

Apple iPad Pro

ipad pro

Apple’s iPad might not be the first device you think about when it comes to writing or sketching by hand, but it, along with the Apple Pencil iPad Pro, Smart Keyboard & Apple Pencil Review & Giveaway iPad Pro, Smart Keyboard & Apple Pencil Review & Giveaway The iPad Pro isn't just a larger and faster tablet — it represents an entirely new way of using iOS. The real question is: does it work, and more importantly — do you really need one? Read More , has received some strong reviews. In terms of the Apple Pencil specifically, it makes writing and drawing by hand feel natural, although some have complained about its cap.

One of the iPad Pro’s strengths, of course, is that if you tend to work in the Apple ecosystem, then this device will fit into your digital life seamlessly. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599, while the 12.9-inch version starts at $799.

Huawei MateBook

huawei matebook

If you don’t want to shell out the cash for a fully loaded Surface or iPad Pro, the MateBook from Huawei is a solid option. Like the Yoga Book, Huawei’s MatePen has a sensor that detects more than 2,000 levels of sensitivity, giving it a strong pen-to-paper feel. While its $699.99 starting price may not seem like a “budget” option, you get a lot for your money, including a 12-inch screen and 128 GB of memory.

Once you have your device, you’ll want a solid selection of apps that can help you improve your handwriting. Here are five of the best.

Apps for Writing by Hand

Paper (iOS)

paper app

The Paper app from FiftyThree has a strong enough reputation that it’s counted as an “essential” on Apple’s App Store. In fact, the original version for iPad won Apple’s App of the Year awards, and is now used by millions of iPad owners around the world.

The app is currently on version 3.6.4, which indicates FiftyThree’s attention to detail and commitment to keep it optimized for the latest devices and operating systems. And one of its best features? It’s free.

Download — Paper for iOS (Free)

Sketchable (Windows)

sketchable

From Silicon Benders, the Sketchable app for Microsoft’s Surface devices has been compared favorably to the Paper app for iPad. One of the best comparisons is the app is free. But it also has a breadth of features for both writing and drawing Cool Websites & Tools - Android OpenOffice, Be Happier At Your Desk, & Android Drawing Tools Cool Websites & Tools - Android OpenOffice, Be Happier At Your Desk, & Android Drawing Tools Read More , including support for resolutions up to 4K.

While the app is free, there are some premium features that come at a price, such as the ability to add layers, a stencil add-on and a symmetry feature.

Download — Sketchable for Windows (Free with in-app purchases)

Google Handwriting Input (Android)

google handwriting input

When it comes to apps for Android, it doesn’t get much better than Google. The Google Handwriting Input lets you handwrite text on your phone or tablet 15 Free Handwriting Fonts You Should Download Now 15 Free Handwriting Fonts You Should Download Now Whether you're creating an infographic or coming up with a logo, you may be in need of a good handwriting font. Check these out! They're some of the best for free. Read More , with or without a stylus. It supports both print and cursive writing, along with 97 languages.

Make no mistake, that’s a deep roster of languages — and it recently added Corsican, Hawaiian, Kazakh, Luxembourgish, Samoan, Scottish Gaelic, Shona, Tajik, Uzbek, and Western Frisian. And for the fun side of writing text, it allows you to hand-draw your emoji.

Download — Google Handwriting Input for Android (Free)

INKredible (iOS and Android)

inkredible

One of the coolest things about the INKredible handwriting app from WriteOn is its ability to swiftly turn your stylus into various types of writing utensils. Examples include fountain pen, ballpoint pen, wet brush, and calligraphy.

The app also has a relatively straightforward and easy-to-use interface. Furthermore, you can zoom in on your work when you need to for ultra-fine handwriting.

Download — INKredible for iOS and Android (Free with in-app purchases)

Penultimate (iOS)

penultimate

The Penultimate app is for iPad owners who like to write by hand, but would also like to include the search and sync features of Evernote. Like anything else in Evernote, whatever you write using Penultimate will be available on any other computer or mobile device you log into. It also utilizes Evernote’s powerful search capabilities.

Simply put, if you like both handwriting and Evernote, Penultimate is for you.

Download — Penultimate for iOS (Free)

Write or Type Whenever You Want

Are you looking for a way to incorporate handwriting into more of your day-to-day work? Or are you someone who prefers to type and text at every possible opportunity? No worries, even if you like to switch between the two, these apps and hardware options can make note-taking super convenient for any writing preference.

Will handwriting become part of your normal routine again? Tell us why or why not in the comments section below.

  1. likefunbutnot
    December 1, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I am 41 years old. I actually maintain correspondence via postal mail with some like-minded friends, but I never learned cursive-style handwriting. I moved between school systems when I was young and found that it was taught at an earlier age in one school versus the other. No one noticed, commented or even cared at any point in time during my education about this. Cursive handwriting is dumb. Print-style letters are fine for the small amounts of writing that it isn't appropriate to type in the first place and it is much more legible. This is not a bad thing. Let cursive die. It's the slide rule of language arts and if it hasn't been necessary in my lifetime, I'm sure it won't be any more useful to anyone born in this decade.

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