What Is It?

Sketching is the ability to add sketches, drawn using either a tablet and stylus or your mouse, to your notes within the Mac note taking app. A typical sketching tool set includes a “pen,” the ability to change the pen’s color, opacity, and thickness, and an “eraser” to erase markings. Sketching capabilities are important when capturing notes that are less textual in nature, such as an illustration drawn on a board. Sketching tools can also come in handy when annotating PDFs in apps that support that feature, because you can use them to circle important points or jot down a quick note.

Sketching is also an integral part of the design process. If you’re a graphic or other designer, and you’re using a note taking app to manage a project, it’s convenient to be able to capture ideas and brainstorms with sketches you make right in the app itself.

Because sketching involves a different part of the brain than typing and listening, you can use it to help reinforce and retain the information coming at you during a note taking session.

Mac Notes Apps with This Feature

What Else Should I Know?

Sketching using a mouse can be awkward at times. Not only does sketching with a stylus on a tablet feel more natural, many tablets provide pressure feedback so that the note taking app can vary line thickness or opacity based on how you press into the tablet.

While sketching can be useful while taking notes, not all Mac sketch apps make good note taking apps.