Cardflow gives you index cards on your iPad. Tap twice to add a new card, then write or draw whatever you like; tap the flip card icon to write on the back, or arrange the cards on a board in whatever layout you need.
Upgrade to Cardflow+ for $9.99 to add access to colors, a shape recognizer (which can turn an awkward oval into a perfect circle, for example), and advanced card grouping options, among other features.
Cardflow works well for brainstorming ideas, mind-mapping, storyboarding, and study notes.
If you’ve ever wanted to create a font with your own handwriting, take a look at iFontMaker for $7.99. Draw the shape of each letter with your Apple Pencil, then adjust each corner, line, or curve. Repeat the process for every letter of the alphabet, every number, and punctuation symbols to create your own font on your iPad. When done, export your font to use it on your iPad, computer, or even on a website.
Choose from hundreds of greeting cards, then customize your card with a handwritten message or drawing. All cards are 4-inches wide by 4.5-inches tall. If you like, you can add additional pages, on which you can write and/or add photos.
Add an address and pay to have the card sent; cards start at $3, with upgrades available to add more pages or gifts, such as flowers, framed prints, or funds. Or, subscribe to send 3 cards each month for $5.
Write notes while you record audio. Separately, each of those things makes perfect sense, and with AudioNote 2 you can use the Apple Pencil to write or draw to document a meeting or lecture. The audio recorder also lets you play a recording later to hear what was said.
In AudioNote 2, your notes and the recording are linked. Tap on a word or drawing, and the app will play the sounds recorded at the time you made your notes. Use the free version with ads, or pay $9.99 per year for an AudioNote 2 Pro subscription, which removes ads, improves audio recording quality, and lets you add time-of-day timestamps to your notes.
As an iPad owner, you can use Apple’s word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, respectively) for free. In March 2018, Apple added support for the Apple Pencil to these apps, enabling you to grab your Apple Pencil and add drawings in each of these apps. In Pages, you can insert annotations, too, meaning you can write comments or add a note next to the text. Your handwritten notes remain with the text as you edit your document.
Inko lets several people draw together at once. Connected to Wi-Fi, up to 12 people can collaboratively draw; without Wi-Fi, up to 8 can work together. With 12 colors and 3 different line types, Inko makes it easy to create images that look like conference room whiteboard scribbling.
You can draw as much as you like by yourself, but to collaborate with others, Inko requires payment. A one-time payment of $19.99 allows you unlimited access to drawing with other people who have similarly paid. Or, a “hero plan” subscription ($14.99 per month; $99.99 per year) lets you host a board and draw together with people who haven’t purchased or subscribed. A free Apple TV app displays your board as you draw.
For people who are serious about using an iPad for illustration, Affinity Designer ($19.99) delivers an app with both vector and raster tools.
Raster tools offer familiar pens, pencils, chalks, markers, inks, oils, acrylics, and more; vector tools let you create images with lines, shapes, and colors that you can scale to any size.
With both sets of tools, you have access to every professional-level editing tool you might expect.