iPad Pro pencil



Just started using Agenda on my mac - so far so good! I see there’s been a lot of requests for iOS and I second those, but have a further question:

Will there be support for apple pencil for iPad Pro? I use my pencil to take notes a lot, as it’s often more practical than typing - and the ipad is lighter for travel etc.

Right now I use GoodNotes for note taking and it has some great features, like ability to import and mark up PDF files/images, pencil writing and so on.

However because goodnotes is somewhat clunky and really bad at syncing, while Agenda so far (with no iOS yet) seems much better at just opening up and being ready to go with everything as it should be.

A combination of the ability to pencil write & annotate docs AND the ready to go aspect of the app would be super helpful.

The features we are working on right now…
Handwritten Notes on iOS

I don’t think there will be support in our first release. Agenda is mostly about typed notes, and we don’t even support images yet.

But I can see we would probably add support at some point in time.



+1 for this. I am sticking to Apple Notes simply because of the Pencil support, cloud syncing between iPad Pro and Mac, and even the semi-useful handwriting recognition (semi because my handwriting is horrid). For this to really work for me, it has to be cross platform, support the pencil, and inline images.


This would be great! It would be a natural add on for iOS support and has been added to many iOS based note taking apps including Bear most recently.


i’m going to abandon goodnotes for a bit i think, the syncinc is horrible. and i’m going to keep on with agenda and see how it goes - but one tip for agenda people, if they are listening, is that goodnotes had a great feature (which i have only seen on one other note taking app and not done as well) which was a writing box; you start writing and the box follows you along - you never have to move your hand other than to the end of the word, you can write a lot more per line because it minimizes your handwriting and so on.

if you are considering pencil integration, that would amazing


Noteshelf 2 has this. Well worth a look. Best note taking app (with pencil) that I have found for the iPad.


Right now, one of the pencil based notetaking apps I use heavily is Notability simply because of the cross (Apple) platform nature (Mac OS and iOS) along with the ink and typing that’s integrated into each note.


I am very excited to start using Agenda on my Macbook Pro. I can not wait for the devolpers to release an IOS version. My main concern, along with many of my classmates, there is no plan for apple pencil integration… EEKKK!!! I know I am willing to pay extra if that is what it takes to incoorperate apple pencil with Agenda. I can speak for the majority of my cohort as well, we will pay. Agenda is going to be the leading note taking application as, you are encompassing all operating systems.

"I feel like a young kiddo waiting for Christmas to come! How many more days until you release IOS…(with apple pencil integration?) :smiley:


It’s unlikely we’ll have Apple pencil integration on day 1 of the iOS release (as in handwriting recognition and drawing images/sketches), that will only follow later I’m afraid.


Hi Derek,

I’d be interested to know exactly what usage of Pencil you want. Eg.

  • Handwriting recognition where written text is converted into typed text
  • Direct handwriting which is shown as is in the notes
  • Drawing

Just trying to grasp what it is you need over and above simply typing the text.


  • i’d be interested in handwriting recognition for sure (i can read my handwriting but if i have to share stuff it’s a different story!)
  • direct handwriting is good, but having the option to be able to have a writing box. which auto advances as you write, would be great. i find those make it possible to fit more onto each line, and make it a bit neater
    Drawing - not bothered either way.


So it sounds like you are after a sort of free form notepad, is that right? Ie hand written notes.


yep, hand written notes. There are a few apps about that do it to different levels of success!


Handwriting may be good for keeping track of what is said in meeting (it’s quicker and more convenient), but personally I prefer well typed note (no OCR/text recognition problems which may be a pitfall) and cleaner for automation of task management, url-scheme linking.

I may use handwriting note as attached file to a typed agenda note - like a drawing.

Sometimes I use MyScripts for handwriting conversion to text but here again text recognition is sometimes clunky.


+1 for these features (basically, for being able to draw a diagram and write on that diagram). For me, hand-written text recognition is not high on the list — although it would be nice — if I’m taking a lot of notes, I’ll type. And if I hand write, then I’m fine reading my hand writing. But #1 for me is being able to draw directly in Agenda (as well as drag files, images, etc., into Agenda).


My preference order:

  1. Be able to effortlessly drag an image (drawing) from another app (Procreate, notability, linea 2 etc.) into Agenda and have it display inline.

  2. Be able draw a simple sketch in Agenda Directly. (see notablitly for a good example of simple drawing. Drawing engines are difficult, it seems and if the engine is not great, I’d rather use a program with a good engine (see above) and drag ’n drop.

  3. Do not really need writing to text (I would try it if you built it, but I’m not keen to have it).


I use Nebo for note taking on iPad Pro. It has uncannily good handwriting recognition.

The downside is that there’s limited sharing. The copy option doesn’t handle the formatting that you can do in Nebo, so for longer docs I export to HTML and copy to Notes/whatever.

Maybe you can persuade them to add export as markdown, and then we’d be able to paste straight into Agenda.


As a student this is related to what I want to use agenda for (which might not completely belong in this thread/ might fit better elsewhere so feel free to move it if needed)

There have been a lot of studies that in general conclude that when you’re taking in information that has to be learned/ remembered/ understood and is being delivered in something like a lecture approach, handwriting is better than typing. Reasons vary but I’ve seen/ heard variations on the themes of

  • Most people type faster than they write but this lends itself to trying to type every word the speaker is saying, and the focus starts to shift to words going from the ear to the fingertips without stopping in the brain along the way. Handwriting, because it is a slower process, forces you to be choosy about what you write down, so your brain is actively engaging the material.

  • Handwriting is more flexible and faster for anything that might involve drawing any kind of image, chart, etc or anything that involves characters not found on a standard US English keyboard (multiple languages, math, music, etc etc etc)

  • Using an electronic device to type notes generally involves more opportunities for distraction: facebook, text notifications, games, etc etc etc. This is less relevant for an apple pencil on an ipad, since the usual comparison is to a paper notebook and pen, but the change in form factor might help people stay focused

For me personally, right now I use Notability because it allows me to record audio and take notes however I want to do that, and also is fairly flexible in the types of formats it can handle (eg I can write on a pdf copy of the lecture slides the professor posted before class while recording audio). I don’t tend to use handwriting in Notability because I have an older ipad that has issues with palm rejection (regardless of what Notability has to say on the subject). I’m going to be getting an ipad pro with an apple pencil this summer; I’m really hoping the ios version of agenda has arrived by next September so that I’ll be able to start the new school year with everything organized in Agenda.

Regarding what usage aspects of the pencil I would want, ideally the option for Agenda to learn my handwriting, if only to remove the step of having to transcribe my notes after class. I can also think of instances where I would prefer to keep the handwriting and not have it convert to text, but I don’t know what the technical limitations allow for. I would love to see the ability to draw straight lines by pressing and holding the tip of the stylus on the screen, I use that feature in Notability a lot when I’m highlighting readings, to make my notes neater.


Thanks for the feedback. Inline images and attachments are a high priority for us, and I could see at some point you may be able to draw images and draw on images. But I’m not sure how far we would go along this path.

I wouldn’t expect Agenda would go the full free form route of Notability. Agenda has a clear structure, and that is an important part of the app.

Handwriting recognition as another way to get typed text would be a useful feature to add too at some point.

You should certainly not expect all of this in the our first release. Notability and other apps have been adding these features over years. It will take a while to add the ones we want into the app.


I’m definitely not expecting all of this all at once! I figured I would throw all of my ideas at you, and you would be able to decide best how/ if/ when they would (or wouldn’t) get integrated into Agenda. Also I figured if I explained in a general sense how I take notes and what I use them for that might give you other ideas; I assume there are a lot of students who use (or want to, or will want to) Agenda, and I’m sure there are as many unique notetaking techniques as there are students