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How to improve your handwriting when using a pen tablet for digital note taking on a laptop

By Pamela Park

Final-year med student Shivani disproves the myth that doctors have poor handwriting. In fact, her penmanship is practically flawless. In the following video Shiv shares her secrets on how she improves her digital handwritten notes using her One by Wacom pen tablet.

Getting used to a graphics tablet can be challenging, so don’t be disheartened if you aren’t perfect the first time around. It takes a little time and practice to get comfortable using it.

Try out a few of Shivani’s tips

  1. Be sure your nib isn’t worn out or damaged. Replace with a fresh nib if necessary.

  2. Put your mouse away for a few days until you adjust to using a pen tablet.

  3. Look at the screen, not at your hands.

  4. Use gridded lines/graph paper if available in your app. Shiv often uses Microsoft OneNote.

  5. Familiarize yourself with the active area of the tablet.

  6. Practice writing letters – upper and lower case, and even cursive letters. The more you practice, the quicker you’ll improve.

  7. Zoom in whenever you’re writing.

  8. Set a button on your pen to Pan/Scroll.

  9. Use your non-dominant hand to access Ctrl + Z on your keyboard, or set a button on your pen tablet to Ctrl + Z (Command + Z on a Mac) so you can quickly undo when necessary.

  10. Use predictive stroke if your app has it.

The One by Wacom pen tablet is a great alternative to using an iPad for handwritten notes as it’s affordable, lightweight, portable and you don’t need to buy a second device for note taking. It fits easily alongside your laptop in your bag and can be carried around and used on the go.

About Shivani

Shivani (Shiv), hails from the West Midlands area in the UK and is medical student in her final year of studies. She hopes to become a general practitioner, but is open to other career options in the medical field because family and work/life balance are things she has always valued. Shivani will be the first doctor in her family and we wish her well on her healthcare journey. Check out more of Shiv’s videos on using a Wacom tablet for notetaking: How to take handwritten notes on your laptop – basic setup – Wacom Americas Blog External links Shiv has put together a collection of videos on how she studies and takes notes on her YouTube channel. YouTube

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