Best handwriting apps for Chromebooks 2024

HP Chromebook x360 13b with Penoval USI 2.0 Stylus and Google Cursive
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Chromebooks are so much more than just cheap laptops for students. There are so many options out there with convertible designs and touchscreen displays, making certain Chromebooks perfect for note-taking. Paired with the best handwriting apps, you'll be able to handwrite your notes, flip the keyboard around, and then have access to those notes from wherever. 

These are the best handwriting apps for Chromebooks

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Squid: Take Notes, Markup PDFs

Squid: Take Notes, Markup PDFs

Squid has been around on the Play Store for more than ten years now and continues to be one of the best handwriting apps for Chromebooks and Android. It has all of the features you could want, including the ability to markup PDF files, paste images in notes, and much more. The developers are also working on a new update that adds a list view, nested folders, and a dark theme.

Download from: <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.steadfastinnovation.android.projectpapyrus" data-link-merchant="play.google.com"">Google Play Store

Nebo: Notes &amp; PDF Annotations

Nebo: Notes & PDF Annotations

Nebo hasn't been around for quite as long as Squid, but it got its start all the way back in 2017. The app works with pretty much any phone or tablet, and there's even an iPad app if you work cross-platform. Nebo even offers write-to-text conversion, and does a pretty good job at converting even the messiest of hand-written notes. 

Download from: <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.myscript.nebo" data-link-merchant="play.google.com"">Google Play Store

Google Cursive

Google Cursive

Unlike many of the other apps on this list, Google Cursive is a Progressive Web App. This makes it easily accessible from the browser on your Chromebook, but can be installed as a dedicated web app if you want. It's not as fine-tuned or polished as others on this list, but if you just want a no-frills note-taking app, then Cursive might just fit the bill. 

<a href="https://cursive.apps.chrome/" data-link-merchant="cursive.apps.chrome"">Use in Google Chrome

Google Keep

Google Keep

What more can we really say about Google Keep? This is the notes app that keeps on trucking, and has even been getting some long-requested features. Of course, it's not a handwriting-first note-taking app, but you do have that option. Doing so makes it easy to keep all of your notes in one place, instead of being spread across different apps.

Download from: <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.keep" data-link-merchant="play.google.com"">Google Play Store

Concepts: Sketch, Note, Draw

Concepts: Sketch, Note, Draw

There are a few things that help the Concepts app stand out from the pack. The first of which is that you have an infinite canvas to work with, so you won't need to create another page after you've already filled one up. And because it's advertised as more of a sketchpad than a note-taking app, there are plenty of different tools and features that you won't find elsewhere.

Download from: <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tophatch.concepts&hl=en" data-link-merchant="play.google.com"">Google Play Store

Noteshelf - Notes, Annotations

Noteshelf - Notes, Annotations

Along with letting you open a note and start writing, Noteshelf offers plenty of organization and customization options. For one, you can create different "notebooks" for different categories of notes that you might take. The app also makes it so you can search through your handwritten notes, even if you didn't convert your handwriting to text. Plus, there are digital diaries and note templates to choose from if you need a little inspiration. 

Download from: <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fluidtouch.noteshelf2" data-link-merchant="play.google.com"">Google Play Store

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote

When it comes to robust note-taking, few can offer an experience quite like Microsoft OneNote. The app works on pretty much every platform you can imagine, and syncs using your Microsoft account. Plus, Google is already working to bring Microsoft 365 integration to the ChromeOS Files app, so you'll feel right at home using OneNote on your Chromebook. 

Download from: <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.office.onenote" data-link-merchant="play.google.com"">Google Play Store

Bamboo Paper

Bamboo Paper

Bamboo Paper is more similar to Concepts in that it gives you a blank digital canvas to work with. It's really one of the best drawing apps for Android and Chromebooks, but since you have a blank slate, you can use the app to jot down notes with ease. 

Download from: <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wacom.bamboopapertab" data-link-merchant="play.google.com"">Google Play Store

Evernote

Evernote

There was a time when Evernote would be higher up on this list. However, recent changes to pricing have left us feeling a bit disappointed in the direction that the app is going. There's still a free tier available, but if you want extra functionality, including the ability to use the app offline, you'll need to pay either $14.99 per month or $129.99 per year.

Download from: <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evernote" data-link-merchant="play.google.com"">Google Play Store

There are plenty of options when it comes to great writing apps

We're big fans of the versatility that Chromebooks have to offer, regardless of whether you get the absolute best, or just need one for school. Thanks to the ability to download apps from the Play Store, you can take your ChromeOS experience to the next level. 

As long as you're equipped with a touchscreen and one of the best USI pens, you'll be able to turn your Chromebook into a tablet, and then back again. It also helps that there are a ton of different apps to choose from, including some that didn't make this list. 

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.

  • olivera16
    In 2023, some of the best handwriting apps for Chromebooks include:

    SquidNeboMicrosoft OneNoteGoogle KeepNoteshelfThese apps support stylus input and offer excellent handwriting recognition and note-taking capabilities on Chromebooks.
    Reply