I recently discovered https://www.nebo.app/ which features an absolute brilliant hand writing recognition backed by AI. It has no issued detecting my rather awful handwriting correctly (something Apple scribble or GoodNotes are not capable of). The hand writing recognition is also available to developers via API integration https://developer.myscript.com/ which IMO would allow for a quick implementation/integration with anytype.
It is also interesting to check out how Nebo combines text blocks, hand written notes, free form areas, etc.
As a student, this could not be a more useful feature. However, not in the sense of “recognize what I write with my stylus” but actual handwritten notes.
It is tough to implement, I don’t see a good solution. You could have a /draw block, or a template type but then you know people will ask for the ability to import some PDF or image to annotate on. That’ll get quite tricky, and it might very well be outside of the scope of Anytype. But one can dream
There are quite a few good options in terms of software, but for the infinitely superior (my opinion, please don’t shoot!) active stylus I think Squid Notes takes the cake. Second best for me would OneNote.
Now that I have an iPad, I seriously feel the need of this feature too, although still as a plugin. Everyone does not own a tablet to make use of this, but a plugin would make a huge difference. This feature implementation would occupy a lot of time and devs have many important features to implement yet to make it a powerful software. So looking forward to support for plugins!
I’m a big sketchnoter with Concept and Apple Notes. It was always the one thing I felt that Notion really dropped the ball on as it feels so natural to have a canvas block.
Parsing the handwriting as searchable text is a neat idea but imo, the ability to just sketch and save a vector line drawing is the main thing.
IPads can already do the handwriting to text in text fields so I think hw to text would be just a nice to have. Sketching though
love this idea, i used to use rocketbook before notion, and I would love to pull those back out and be able to upload those into a canvas block or something (maybe ill make a plugin integration for this too)
Writing, actually enhances brain power!
We as humans have been Hand writting for thousands of years and one can not simply “delete” this out of the Human life.
Acknowledging the benefits, researchers said we need to teach both handwriting and keyboard use for the best brain scenario for adults.
Typing is to Code as Writing by Hand is to Design
You wouldn’t love your favorite computers, apps, and gadgets remotely as much if they weren’t as well-designed as they are well-coded.
So what does this have to do with handwriting? Well, if typing is foundational to programming, writing by hand is foundational to design. An obvious example where this applies is with Apple computers. They were first to have beautiful typography and proportionally-spaced fonts. Steve Jobs was passionate about calligraphy, and that’s what set his computers apart.
I dare you to try to find a designer or design teacher that doesn’t emphasize the value in putting ideas down on paper before a computer. Being able to sketch ideas out by hand is valuable, if not essential, to the creative process. That’s just as true if you’re creating digital apps as it is if you’re designing a building.
Unfortunately, it’s startling how many adults are afraid to pen to paper to sketch even a stick figure because they “can’t draw”. Let me assure you: everyone can draw. Most of us just lack confidence in our fine motor skills, which help us translate the image in our minds onto paper. We make most of our greatest leaps in fine motor skills while we practice handwriting. Both typing and handwriting are valuable. Typing prepares us to program the world, and handwriting prepares us to make it beautiful.
Anytype is a “OS for Life” - then it should have handwriting as a part of it.
I think we need both Typing and Writing for the best results - Not one or the other.
Hello! I was just thinking about mentioning nebo, but I found your comment in a happy coincidence while scrolling.
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.
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
+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.
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.”