The advantages of using a tablet as a sketchbook are numerous, including its ability to share, post, or store digital sketches; incorporate images and photos; export to other formats or devices; and, of course, undo.

Apple’s first tablet, the Newton Message Pad, debuted in 1993. It came with a stylus. With the development of the iPhone and the capacitive touchscreen, the stylus was abandoned in favor of the finger. But the physical immediacy offered by this technology is offset by its inability to record precise and nuanced marks, making drawing on an iPad a tedious experience for many. Despite these hardware limitations, there are options for those willing to overlook the tactile disadvantages in favor of the connectivity and capability offered by sketchbook apps. From simple journals to robust tool palettes, the following five apps offer a number of capabilities and drawing experiences for those ready to make the switch from pencil and paper. All can be used with a finger or a simple stylus. Adding a Bluetooth-enabled stylus can provide additional features including palm rejection, which differentiates between marks made by the stylus and errant marks of the hand.