Support for handwritten notes

Hello! I was just thinking about mentioning nebo, but I found your comment in a happy coincidence while scrolling. :slight_smile:

I would love to be able to add a block and draw out concepts. I need them as I make whiteboard explainer videos for my students regularly. Currently I use the concepts app, and/nebo, and/or whiteboard softwares to do this. It would be great if I could just add a block (like I can in nebo) and do the planning for the sketches in anytype, along with the lesson plans. I am also open to integration with concepts app.

I also think that nebo’s ability to add the freeform page, where I can draw or mind map, as a block within a document is awesome. Though this freeform block can not be exported alone without the document, but we can export it as SVG, PNG, JPEG if I make a freeform note and not an embed. Maybe we can give anytype the ability to add blocks that can add and edit SVGs. But, I under stand If that would be strange as SVGs and PNGs having multiple layers. In that case, integration with apps like concepts would be appreciated.

I also think this might not be a priority while anytype is still in alpha. But I hope this "making SVGs , PNGs, and handwriting support’ can be implemented in the future.



A neat extra would be seeing previews for apps like penpot, figma, Miro and so on. I’m not suggesting editing them in anytype just a preview of a selected canvas as part of the draw block


yes, And it looks like this Feature request is number 3 - for the most likes!



Note that the numbers shown in your print screen are the sum of all likes in the whole topic, not on the original post in that topic. Not sure what metric is used to prioritize…


+1 for the feature request.


I am an obsidian user, I use excalidraw, but trying nebo right now. It seems so good because it transforms your handwritten words into characters you can move, delete, copy+paste, etc, without converting to typed text. I feel like it is the best idea, maybe a partnership? They already have solid syncing with iCloud (one-time paying). Maybe inserting the app natively into anytype like a plugin?


Hello Edwards -
I read what you talked about, This is some good input about your experience with the writing aspect of note-taking digitally.
I really do hope at some point we can see this built into AnyType.

I was wondering, would having all these handwriting notes and drawings take a lot of storage space? is there a way to keep it vector base so that the file size of a drawing would be small?

I know that for anything taking notes, that there would be a lot of them and could add up over time.
Just a thought


I’m new here, very impressed already! Well done…

This feature, sketching/noting with a desktop, tablet, or phone digitial pen and jotting notes by hand is one core feature I’d like to see - and would definitely kill any competition for me.

Use cases:

  • Sketching Art Ideas
  • Thumbnailing / Storyboarding
  • Handwriting ideas and notes
  • Quick sketching diagrams and other ideas
  • Drawing arrows and other notes in documentation
  • Mindmap sketching over images for analysis and referenece

An onwards. Will keep an eye out here!


Hello, just wanted to share some apps that do handwritten Notes.
It would be cool if there was a to someday integrate these into AnyType unless it’s already built in which I think would be better.

Nedo - (this was already mentioned here)


+1 One of my application is to take client notes - sometimes I can type when I’m note taking during a video call but in person, I use an iPad with Apple Pencil. To me, the best solution after trying many things is apple notes. In a single note, I can easily switch back and forth between handwriting and typing. It’s not perfect but for note taking, it is an excellent solution. I wouldn’t be able to use anytype for this case without handwriting support specifically with iPad/Apple Pencil.


I also would like to add please bring this feature to Android tablets as well. I have a Huawei Matepad 11 that I use for note taking. Its stylus has great features like pressure sensitivity, tilt sensitivity etc. but most apps don’t support Android tablets for these features. I would like to use cheaper tablets like Huawei with Anytype. Also because we don’t have landscape mode in Android it is really hard to use these tablets, please bring it back too.


also wanted to add this here…

Alex Preston is the author of This Bleeding City and The Revelations . Upon hearing that he had decided to write his latest novel In Love and War by hand we decided to get in touch and ask what made him decide to stick to his pen and how it went. Here’s what Alex had to say:

  • “It absolutely changed the way that I thought about my writing and I was astonished by how different it was from writing in other ways. I think there are several things that differentiate it from a computer. The first is that you can see the evolution of a text and see what went before. There’s a wonderful quote from Philip Hensher that says handwriting ‘involves us in a relationship with the written word which is sensuous, immediate and individual’. There is the sense that it is a much more physical act to write by hand as opposed to a computer and it gets you thinking about your writing more as art. There also just felt something fraudulent about writing on a computer, my first historical novel on a Macbook Air. So I bought a really nice pen. I went to the street in Florence where the book is set and I bought a pen. I think that handwriting gives you a much more direct link to the world of your characters.”


Some examples of handwriting apps with Apples new app - Freeform
Just for some ideas.

This is some good points in this video.


Coming back for this post, since I completely gave up on obsidian and traditional note-taking and drawing features have been confirmed, I feel like whiteboards are the way to go. Many apps have been adding them as canvas, whiteboards, etc and they are a different type of note. Kosmik is one of the most powerful in my opinion, it has an amazing web embedding feature, pdfs, public post, collaboration is coming soon and many good features for back linking, tagging, are coming. Maybe Anytype could go to a similar way, because as a note-taking tool it already is very powerful.


Thanks for the tip@arthurfr!

Support for hand-written notes happens to be the most highly requested feature at the moment. It’s currently planned for Q4 of 2023: Feature Roadmap


I wanted to talk about having an canvas to take notes - not only for handwriting, but also with classic text elements.

For taking notes, I prefer instead of Anytype if I am not writing long texts. I am actually not using a lot of collaboration or integration features, but the main canvas itself. I am going to provide what is important with examples.

Text Elements + Arrows/Connectors for Documenting Steps, Workflows and Relations

The canvas itself

  • allows with combination of zooming to make collections with an high amount of complexity - you couldn’t fit all of this on a screen before?

  • yet it keeps things simple, comprehensive and easy to understand

  • it encourages non-linear note taking, instead of having an text read from top to bottom in linear order, notes could be less cluttered and yet cover more relations. If text is separated into elements, you can also understand it better without needing to read it from the beginning

  • time spend searching where exactly something is gets reduced

  • are you writing to much or go to much into detail? Elements help to focus on the most important things. If things need to be more complex, you could just add another element in another colour to make it clear that the main elements aren’t depending on those

I am curious to see what the implementation will look like, there are really interesting problems needed to be solved. I could go a lot more into details, but I think that adding handwriting to classic objects without having elements with X/Y positions wouldn’t work well
Screenshot 2023-03-25 072816 (oh yeah, comments are an good idea even without collaboration)


this looks like the Graph View!! ---- Idea – I wounder if you could connect this with the canvas view for hand written notes?? Very interesting to think about!


Exactly, I also see this as graph view. Perhaps if we can amend relation on directly on graph view, it would be more like whiteboard or canvas; and say this relation is not enough or doesn’t make sense - let’s add another one or change this to a new object.

Obsidian canvas plugin is a good example for integrating graph and text for brainstorm. The ability to see different blocks, sections or whole note (or object in Anytype term) is handy. But relation input is not as robust as Anytype. And there is one question that happens to Obsidian canvas (should also apply to the possible whiteboard / canvas on Anytype):

  • Some people want temporary linking. For brainstorm only - not influencing other objects.
  • Some others want permanent linking. Relations are relations thus should influence overall notes. This would enable quick amend for all notes and observing the influence on all objects.

:question:What do you all prefer in Anytype? Or maybe both?

What makes handwritten notes special is the ability to do everything instinctually. Not sure how Anytype envision handwriting feature, as separate object or what not, but what I would like with handwriting is the frictionless actions, like drawing a line and thus immediate input of relations… Well, conversion of handwriting to text is another layer when it comes to integrating handwriting and text. (I personally don’t like how Excalidraw approach joining)

Flexibility of workflow is something I struggle a lot with note taking app. Sometimes I would like think about relation first then the object; this is when handwriting and graph shine. Some other times I prefer object first then relation; this is when typing really does the work. Sometimes both.

:question:I wonder what everyone thinks: conceptual design or approach wise, should handwriting be more permanent or should typing be more flexible?

Hope sooner or later, note taking will be good for both handwriting and typing, emerging both thinking styles.


I am seeing a lot of ideas that I like. I usually take my study notes with a sketching app called Concepts, sometimes with Nebo’s note pages. Specially subjects like anatomy and histology. Also I like to make picmonics and little doodles to make up context so that I can remember things easier. The feature of these apps is that they have an infinite canvas. I can write as much as I want, connect ideas etc, etc. So I would like any kind of capacity to view or make sketches, specially to have the zoom in or out feature in anytype. In my understanding Anytype has to be able to interact with .svgs for that. I would be happy with viewing my current drawing and seeing even bigger connections form in anytype. Being able to make modifications to these files would be even more awesome. In my opinion and with how the learning and cognitive sciences research is going, visualizing seems to be among the best way of learning and long tern remembering or encoding. I would be glad to have any way , with .svgs and infinite scrolling or with newer ways with anytype’s graph view and image features, to visually and visuo-spatially see my knowledge.

That’s it. I hope this can be implemented.

Hope everyone is having a good day. and taking breaks and resting as necessary.



Excited to See Handwriting on the Road Map! Some input for possible implmentations:
One of my common uses for handwriting on the iPad (currently I use OneNote to accomplish this) is to have the text of an article or chapter in a column down the left side, leaving the right side an open canvas for me to draw arrows to the text, write notes, etc.
I would LOVE to see AnyType support something similar - so possibility of columns (blocks) with one column being text, and an adjacent column being a free form notes “block”.
Making this work would require allowing blocks to be merged into a single block, even if their is breaks between paragraphs, etc.

I’ve been trying to use AnyType on ipad with apple pencil and simply highlight text as I read; but even highlighting text is clunky (boarder line impossible) on the ipad. So, would love to see the process of highlighting with handwriting become more smooth also.

Others have mentioned it - but currently Nebo is my go-to app for most handwriting. I also do as others have noted, write in Nebo and import the PDF to Anytype.

One thing I’ve been doing (TIP for anyone interested) - I use the split screen view of the ipad. Anytype on one side showing my text, and Nebo on the other. I can then write notes in Nebo as I read the article. Downside to this is the notes don’t line up with the text, but it does let me read and take notes at the same time.

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