Questions & Answers

What is the best device for using the handwriting feature in Notion?

+1 vote
asked Sep 7, 2016 in Notion by mattcorey3 (130 points)
What is the best device for the handwriting feature in notion?  I'm curently using the app on an iPad mini which does not work well with the handwriting function.  I'm going to purchase a new device just to be able to take advantage of this function.  Is an iPad pro with Apple pen my best option or is there a less expensive PC/Android tablet that is just as powerful for this App.

4 Answers

0 votes
answered Sep 7, 2016 by AlexTinsley (902,780 points)

We've found that the iPad Pro works very well with Notion and may actually be less expensive than a Microsoft Surface Pro 4. 

Notion works well on both. 

We suggest posting your question in the Community Forum for Notion and/or search previous posts on the same topic to see what the community has to say about their experiences.  

Notion does not support Android.

0 votes
answered Sep 24, 2016 by cammillar (370 points)
I'm having good success using myiPad4 with an Adonit JotPro stylus handwriting into the iOS software.

It can work using "Duet" software for whe want to you use the iPad as an external tablet... But there are a few problems when used with "Duet" that don't quite solve the handwriting problem as of yet due to the 'letter boxing ' of the screen image.

If Notion can get an IPad to really be useful as an external input tablet, they'll conquer the composing world for those of us who know how to notate music quickly and intuitively !
0 votes
answered Sep 28, 2016 by paulbarrett (170 points)

I have an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil, so I had high hopes for a good experience handwriting into Notion 6, via the intermediate use of apps like Duet Display, X-Display, or Astropad.

Having written to all three app providers, to see whether they might function as required, Duet Display got back in touch the same day (bless them); Astropad the day after (fair enough), and X-Display have yet to reply (X-Dem). These are expensive apps, and a "buy to try" policy is really not a choice, with them costing between €10 and €30 each. The free trial version of X-Display is useless, as it only gives about 6 minutes use, before expecting you to buy the full product, at the "discounted" price of €10 (vs the usual €20). If anybody can get ANY of these apps to work that quickly, I take off my hat to you.

Having failed to achieve anything in 6 minutes, you are then locked out from further trial use of X-Display. My advice? Forget X-Display. Duet replied helpfully, and offered a refund, should the app not work out. Encouraging, despite the €20 cost. Astropad also replied, stating the availability of a free Astropad Mini option, as a trial version, but that is not available in the App Store; at least not in Ireland. At €30, Astropad will have to wait until I have trialled Duet fully.

Duet installed ok on iMac and iPad Pro, (needing a restart) but took a few attempts to get it going, as the Touchable (common enough music) app causes conflict, and had to be quitted. Annoyingly, Duet's first function is to inform you of an extra upgrade costing €20 a year, which offers pressure sensitivity. Is it the photographic world that makes graphic apps so ****** expensive? Spare a thought for the poor musician.

Anyway, I got into Notion 6, and can handwrite pretty well, though it is not an earth-shattering moment for me.  Because you cannot operate the handwriting window on it's own, you have to have ALL of the Notion screen showing on either the iPad Pro or, (using Mirror mode) the full Notion screen on both screens. Scrolling and zooming the main score on the iPad is sluggish and frustrating, at best. You can zoom into the main score enough to move and select notes for editing/changing, but it takes a lot of patience to zoom back out again. Notion 6 absolutely should have been designed with a seperate-able handwriting screen, that could be moved to just the iPad, for example, leaving the main screen on the Mac. That would be perfect. A huge opportunity missed there Presonus. As it stands, I can see no benefit in this quite costly run-around. Why not just score on the iPad Pro and Pencil, and port it over for refinement in Notion 6 afterwards? That may prove the quicker way to work, which is what it is all about, is it not? We should not be wasting our creative time re-designing costly apps that are not fit for our purpose.

I will keeping working at it, and update this post, but already I experienced three "auto restarts" of the iMac in the first hour of use. This sort of half-baked stuff is not very usual in the Mac world, at ANY price. I expect to be less than pleased with the outcome of my many day's research.

I will keep you posted.
0 votes
answered Sep 28, 2017 by lukesimoneau (430 points)
Just to provide a NON-iPad answer: I'm using it on a Surface Pro 4 (which, by the way, is cheaper than an iPad Pro) and couldn't be happier.

I used to use Notion on the iPad but I'm finding that having the full desktop version with handwriting is a dream come true.