Whether you’re sitting in a long meeting or dealing with massive writer’s block, a good doodling session is a must for passing the time and tapping into your creativity. And while we totally support going the analog route here, we can’t leave our tablets and smartphones completely out of the doodling game. So we’ve rounded up 10 apps to get you scribbling away.
1. Paper (Free on iOS): We’ll start with one of our go-tos. We’ve written about it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. This iPad app lets you capture your thoughts and plans as notes, diagrams, infographics, drawings, and sketches, and instantly share them with friends, family, and coworkers. You can also use it to keep a personal journal or scrapbook: go ahead share your pages with those featured, or not ;)
2. Doodle.ly (Free on iOS): Doodle.ly is basically like a more awesome version of a paper notebook. You can sketch, draw, and jot notes with a pen, marker, crayon, pencil, or highlighter. If you make a mistake, you can even use the undo button! Our favorite part of this app is the social function: just go to the homepage to see all the cool doodles other users are creating and feel free to share your own and follow your favorite doodlers.
3. Bamboo Paper (Free on iOS, Free on Android): While the app itself is free, the coolest features come into play with additional purchases. You can purchase more notebooks in-app, allowing you to create a library of notebooks and move pages in between them, allowing your doodles to be organized and easy to retrieve. The Bamboo stylus is another purchase that ups the ante of the app, making the drawing experience more natural.
4. Sketchbook Express (Free on iOS, Free on Android, Free on Windows): This is the ultimate free app for drawing on virtually any smartphone. It offers a wide range of brushes and techniques as well as the ability to import your own images to sketch on. You can create professional looking drawings and save for later use. We’re putting this down as a must for any creative smartphone user.
5. ASKetch ($1.99 on iOS): This is for all you iPad/iPhone artistes out there. ASKetch offers realistic charcoal drawing functionality: it really feels like you’re sketching on paper! Shade away to your heart’s content and create your masterpiece while waiting at the bus stop.
6. Draw (Free on iOS): If you’re looking for something to replace those kids’ menus you’re finally too old to doodle on at restaurants, this one is for you. Not only does it have simple drawing functionality, but you can also play games like tic-tac-toe, Hangman, and word searches with friends.
7. Picasso (Free on Android): This one is especially for you Android users. It’s a pretty standard, easy-to-use drawing app with the added functionality of importing images, which can then be annotated, and the ability to share your creations with friends and family. Add it to your repertoire of simple but necessary Android apps.
8. Graffiti Spray Can (Free on iOS): Want to act out your graffiti impulses, sans the whole it-being-illegal part? Just download this little app and spray your heart away. Go ahead and share your “street art” with friends and other app users, without the law on your tail ;)
9. Penultimate (Free on iOS): Our love affair with Evernote continues with Penultimate, their handwriting app for the iPad (which just happens to be the penultimate item on this here list). This basically looks and feels like drawing and writing with really good ink on paper. On top of that, it seamlessly syncs with your Evernote account, keeping you super organized. Did we mention it lets you search through your previously written notes? Awesome.
10. Jot! Whiteboard ($4.99 on iOS): More of a whiteboard doodler? It’s cool, we get it: whiteboards are awesome for creative collaboration in the workplace. This app mimics that experience on your iPad. Its “Live Sharing” function lets you collaborate in real-time remotely with colleagues, while the app itself lets you draw exactly as you would on a whiteboard, minus accidental smudges.
What apps do you use to get your doodle on? Can anything replace that pen to paper catharsis? Talk to us in the comments below.