What I'm after is essentially a digital shorthand notebook - allowing me to easily add both notes and freehand drawing in an ad-hoc, unstructured fashion. Ideally want to be able to do something like this:

Text text text text
|                            |
|                            |
|     <freehand drawing>     |
|                            |
|                            |
text text text text text text text text
text text text text

Allowing me to switch easily and seamlessly between the two (ie, not having to go into an external program to draw, save and then import into the notepad application)

Bonus points if it's touchscreen compatible and/or super-extensible (the perfect software would allow me to add formatting to text, and even things like syntax highlighting when I've identified a block of code). These are 'would-like-to-have', but by no means essential.

It needs to be Windows compatible - either as a Windows application (Winodws 8 App is acceptable), or a web application that can be used offline.

Any suggestions?

1 Answer 1


I have good experience with Microsoft OneNote. It fits all your described needs and has some more usefull features. (Handwriting recognition, adding Videos, Voice records, Pictures, search Functions for those, Syncing to live.com, etc..)

As a student I've got it free; as far as I know it is also free as a Windows 8 app. The somewhat feature reduce Web-app is also free.

  • 1
    Including a link makes answers much better Jul 21, 2014 at 16:42
  • Hey, just wanted to say I haven't forgotten about this answer - I like the look of OneNote (+1'd), but my laptop's recently died so I haven't had chance to test it out yet. Should have a new one shortly, I'll have a look then and accept the answer.
    – Kai
    Jul 29, 2014 at 8:08
  • @Kai, did you have time to test it between july 2014 and aug 2018?
    – user56834
    Aug 18, 2018 at 10:57

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