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7 Easy Ways to Improve your Handwriting on the iPad

When I got my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, I was excited to create great-looking notes and journal spreads. However, once I started to write, I was immediately frustrated by how ugly my handwriting was.

Normally on paper, my handwriting is pretty neat.

Although writing on your iPad may seem similar to writing on paper, there are aspects that are different. Especially if you just started.

Guys, it will take some time and practice to get used to writing on your iPad.

To save you some time and frustration, I will share my top tips to improve your handwriting on the iPad so you don’t have to go through the hassle that I did when I started.

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1. Get a pencil sleeve to help with your grip

A grip can help with your handwriting by providing you optimal comfort. Furthermore, using one protects your hand from fatigue and muscle cramps. 

From experience, when I used the Apple pencil 1 in the past, I found it hard to get a good grip. The lack of a grip affected my handwriting. After investing in a pencil grip, writing has gotten easier and my handwriting was noticeably better. 

iPad pro apple pencil 1 sleeve improve your handwriting on the ipad

Apple Pencil 1 Grip

This Apple Pencil Holder Case is specifically for the Apple Pencil 1. If you used this pencil without a grip, you will notice that it is difficult to get a good grip. This is because of the pencil’s glossy and slippery texture.

This holder case will protect your Apple pencil and provide you a good grip so it doesn’t slide out of your hand. 

I love the pink color, as it adds a cute and feminine touch to your Apple pencil. However, if you’re not crazy about the color, there are other colors you can choose from.

iPad Apple Pencil 2 Grip improve your handwriting on the ipad

Apple Pencil 2 Ergonomic Grip

If you have the Apple pencil 2, this ergonomic silicone grip will enhance your writing. The newer pencil isn’t as slippery as its precedent, but a grip can always benefit you.

This grip is ergonomic, protecting your hands from fatigue and aches. The grip won’t slip and you can still use the double-tap feature with it on. It will also stop your pencil from rolling.

If pink isn’t your color, there are many other colors you can choose from, such as red, orange, black, white, navy, green, and more.

2. Write slower

Writing faster won’t make your handwriting better. 

If you’re inexperienced and a new iPad pencil user, writing faster will sacrifice details, legibility, and precision. If you want to see better handwriting, be mindful of what you’re writing, and pay attention to what you’re doing. Only through observation can you improve and fix your mistakes. 

People who are able to write neatly while writing at a fast pace have practiced their handwriting for years. If you’re new and find that your handwriting isn’t what you want it to be, don’t be discouraged.

Take the time to get familiar with writing on the iPad. Only through practice and experimentation can you find a style that works best for you.

On the bright side, like all aspects of life, you can do things faster and more efficiently once you have the foundations down. This includes writing faster and neater! 

Once you establish the necessary muscle memory, you can then start to write faster while maintaining neat handwriting.

3. Use a matte screen protector

After applying my screen protector, I wondered how I ever used my iPad before without one. Prior to using it, my pencil would slip on the screen, creating countless annoying mistakes. With the extra friction, I have a lot more control over my brush strokes. 

Using the matte screen protector feels like you’re writing on actual physical paper. Another added bonus is the soothing ASMR sounds you get from writing on your iPad.

This is the matte paper protector that I use and love. This matte screen protector feels like writing on real paper, but of course, with all the digital benefits. The matte surface provides a better writing, drawing, journaling experience. 

Another feature of the matte paper protector is the anti-glare finish. Before, it was hard to see what I was writing in areas with bright light or sunlight. With the paper protector, I can use my iPad in any lighting situation.

Here are different options for different sizes for the iPad devices I recommended above:

iPad Pro 12.9-inch

iPad Pro 11-inch

iPad Pro 10.2-inch

4. Use the Zoom/ Magnifying feature 

It is impossible for me to write neatly when I’m writing from a distance. Instead of making things more difficult for yourself, zoom into the spot you’re writing in so you can clearly see your letter strokes. 

To zoom on the iPad, use two fingers to pinch in. To zoom out, pinch outwards.

As you can see from above, I can write with more detail and precision when I zoom in.

Alternatively, you can use the magnifying tool/zoom window. The zoom window magnifies an area of your page, which you can see at the bottom of the screen. This allows you to write neatly while still seeing the overall page.

To use the zoom window, select the first icon on the left (the a that is overlapped with a blue rectangle). Select the area you want to be magnified and write in the bottom window.

Using the zoom window.

5. Use lined paper or grid paper

Without a straight line guiding me, my handwriting goes all over the place.

Even after all the practice, I am not sure if I can say I can confidently write in a straight line on blank paper. 

A lot of study Instagrammers use grid paper for journaling or note-taking. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it is also functional. Grid paper will keep your writing straight and it will help you decide where you place certain elements, such as diagrams, charts, photos, and more. 

improve your handwriting on the ipad writing without grid lines

My writing without a lined paper. It is wonky, but since I’ve been writing on my iPad for a while, it isn’t as bad as it was a year ago.

digital notebook

Our 12-tabbed digital notebooks have dot-grid, grid, lined, and many more page options to help keep your notes organized and cute.

Cornell Notes - Six Ways to Study with your iPad

They are available in pink and grey! Each notebook comes with 36 note-page templates, 12 hyperlinked tabs, digital stickers, various cover options, and more!

6. Try a different pen type, size, or setting

Maybe the pen size is too big for you? Or too small?

Be sure to experiment with different pen sizes. I find that if the pen millimeter is too small, then my letters look bare and empty, but when it’s too thick, it lacks definition.

goodnotes handwriting different pen sizes

In the image above, I experimented with different stroke sizes. I personally enjoy the middle stroke variation the best, but the best brush or stroke size will vary for everyone.

Experiment and find what works best for you.

Pro-tip: I find that when writing in cursive or just writing in general, the fountain pen in GoodNotes is amazing for control and precision, as it supports pressure sensitivity. You can vary your strokes, which is something that cursive greatly benefits from.

handwriting different pens goodnotes fountain vs ball pen

7. Practice your handwriting on the iPad by tracing letters 

improve your handwriting on the ipad goodnotes worksheet

Honestly, finding your handwriting takes practice, time, and a lot of experimentation. Over time and practice, you’ll find your individual, unique handwriting that will serve you in your note-taking, journaling, planning, and more. You won’t develop your handwriting overnight, that’s for sure.

To help you with your handwriting journey, I created a lettering sheet for you to practice on. You can either print it out or import it onto GoodNotes (or any other PDF editing application) and practice it on your iPad.

If you’re interested, you can find this lettering practice sheet in the VIP Resource Library. (To access the library, you can sign up by clicking the link below!)

Join the VIP Community

(If you’re already a member, go straight to the Resource Library)


Although it’ll take time and practice, transitioning to digital notes and planning is worth it. There are features on the iPad that will save you time and make your note-taking a lot easier.

I promise you, your handwriting on the iPad will get better. The more you take notes, plan, and practice, the better you will get. Be sure to download the free handwriting freebie by joining the VIP Library and downloading it for free there!

Until next time!

Additional Resources that will help you along with your Digital Planning and Note-taking journey:

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Roki

    To be honest your article is informative and very helpful. After i saw your site and i read it and it help me a lot. Thanks for share your kind information.

    1. Lynn

      I’m so glad it helped! 🙂

      1. Charlene mpofu

        Do you lean on the actual iPad when handwriting?

        1. Lynn

          A part of my hand touches the screen when I write! It doesn’t get in the way, as there is stylus and palm rejection in GoodNotes 🙂

  2. Kathryn

    Great article.

    I do a lot of electronic note taking . When I use the pencil I often can’t read what I’ve written.

    Will try all of these points.

    1. Lynn

      Thank you Kathryn! Hopefully they help you! 🙂

  3. Ellie

    I am starting to take notes on my I pad pro after years of having it -Found your article to simple and easy to understand and follow. Thank you

    1. Lynn

      I’m glad this helped! 🙂

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