Services & Software

Get the handwriting feature in Evernote for Android

Join the Evernote beta test group and gain access to their newest feature on your Android device.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Update, March 5, 2014: Evernote rolled out the handwriting feature to the public today. To try it out, just make sure you have the latest version of the app from the Google Play Store. For more details on the update, check out Sarah Mitroff's Let your handwriting shine in Evernote's Android app.

If you've finally pinned down the best way to use Evernote (as in tagging, categorizing, etc.) to meet your needs, forget it. Evernote just added another tool for note-taking to their beta version: handwriting input.

To get access to the new feature, you'll need to join their beta tester group. This is relatively easy, but requires asking to join the Evernote beta Google+ community, and then agreeing to become a beta tester.

Head to the Evernote for Android App Beta Test Google+ page (yeah, that's a mouthful), and click the Ask to join button. Once you're approved by someone with community manager permissions, you'll also need to visit this link to get download access for the beta.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

If Evernote is already installed on your Android device, you should see that it has an update available. Otherwise, just go ahead and download it from the Play Store.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

To access the handwriting feature, open a new or existing note and tap on the pen icon at the top. The writing screen looks like a piece of graphing paper -- which is good, since it's hard to tell if you're writing straight across on a small screen.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Now you can pick the color you want to write in (black, gray, red, or blue), and then add your handwritten notes. When you're done, just tap the pen icon in the top left-hand corner and you will return to the main note screen.

What do you think of the new feature? Long overdo, or just another thing you need to work into your organizational strategy?