How to Convert Handwritten Notes to Text

Last week I shared some cool tools for digital drawing or sketchnoting. This week I’m continuing on that theme with a couple of handy tools for converting handwritten notes into text notes.


Many students and adults recall information better when they’ve handwritten notes compared to taking those same notes by typing. Here’s an interesting study on this topic and here’s another (both links open PDFs).

A problem arises when you have a notebook full of handwritten notes that aren’t easy to search through. The solution is to convert handwritten notes into text that can be searched for keywords.

Google Keep

The Google Keep mobile apps for Android and iOS can be used to take pictures of notes that have been written on paper and convert the handwriting into text. The neat thing about this is that the note will display the photograph with the transcribed text below it. That’s especially nice if your handwritten note also included a little diagram that you don’t want to lose. The text can also be exported to Google Docs.

Watch this demo to see how you can use Google Keep to convert handwritten notes into digital text.


As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, OneNote provides tools for digital sketching and handwriting. What I didn’t mention is that OneNote will convert your handwritten notes into text notes for you. Here’s a short demonstration of how to do that.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.