If you’re used to a touchscreen laptop, using a regular non-touchscreen one can take a minute to get used to, even more so for digital artists who can possibly do without the touchscreen feature. Luckily, it’s not a problem to turn a non-touchscreen laptop into a touchscreen one. All you need is a tablet or a notepad, a stylus, and a couple of helpful apps.
Using a Digital Notepad
The easiest way to use a non-touchscreen laptop for writing is to get a digital notepad. They’re not very convenient for drawing, especially if you’re a professional artist and draw for hours every day. But writing using a digital notepad is a fantastic alternative for someone used to a touchscreen computer.
Students will appreciate how easy-to-use and helpful a digital notepad is. With tons of homework, they often wonder, “how do I write my paper fast” because most of them write college papers for at least a couple of hours a day, and there’s always more homework coming.
Sure, most students are comfortable without the touchscreen option, but those who aren’t can get the desired effect from any decent digital notepad. It’s exactly what the name suggests—a notebook you can connect to the laptop so that everything you write in it appears on the screen of your laptop. Digital notepads are not hard to install or navigate. And some of them are perfectly affordable, even on a student budget.
With a Stylus Pen
You can’t really get the desired touchscreen-like feel from your laptop without a stylus pen. You can then use it with a digital notepad or a drawing tablet. Luckily, even a higher-end stylus pen isn’t expensive. So it’s not a big deal even for a student’s wallet. These are some of the stylus pens to look into:
- Apple Pencil 2. Perfect for macOS laptop owners.
- Microsoft Surface Pen. The best choice for Windows users.
- Adonit Note+ Digital Pencil. Has unparalleled pressure sensitivity, so it is great for digital artists.
- Wacom Pro Pen Slim. A decent and more than affordable (less than $40) alternative to bigger names.
Thanks to Microsoft OneNote
If you already have a stylus or at least a decent mouse, you can enjoy the seamless note-taking that Microsoft OneNote allows. No student can do without note-taking if they want to be a high achiever. Students juggle a lot of things at once, from classes and homework to jobs, social life, and whatnot. Even people who didn’t use to-do lists and journals previously have no choice but to give them a chance.
If you are wondering, “Why would I write anything extra when I have to write my paper first,” the answer is simple. Research shows that note-taking apps, to-do lists, and journaling all have a positive effect on students’ achievements. They decrease procrastination, help time management, and improve students’ academic performance.
OneNote is one of the best note-taking solutions out there. You can write, draw, and even create diagrams (as long as you’re good with your stylus or mouse). It also places all of your notes at your fingertips. You can access them from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. And it’s free, so don’t be afraid to break the bank.
Using a Drawing Tablet
Now, a drawing tablet makes sense for people who draw a lot. Otherwise, a digital notepad and a stylus make way more sense. The difference between the two is that with a drawing tablet, you can draw directly on the screen of your tablet. You don’t need anything akin to a pad that would distance what you’re drawing from the image you see on the screen.
While it’s possible to doodle even with a digital notepad, anyone who draws professionally or even just regularly should totally get a drawing table. Here are a few great options on the market:
- Xencelabs. Xencelabs Graphic Table is amazing. Just look at user reviews—and you’ll see that there’s no need to look for a more sensitive, intuitive, or beautifully designed alternative. The only real downside is the price; over $400 isn’t something every student can afford.
- Huion H610 Pro V2. This one’s much cheaper (roughly $130) yet still great. Huion H610 offers precision drawing despite the affordable price. And it’s compatible with both Windows and macOS computers.
- Apple iPad Air. Similar to Xencelabs, Apple iPad Air isn’t cheap. But as is the case with all Apple devices, if you decide to invest in it, it’ll serve you for ages. You’ll get to draw tons of artwork, and never worry that your drawing tablet lets you down in the middle of the painting.
With an Online Whiteboard
Finally, an online whiteboard is more important for teachers than students. If you’re thinking, “why would I write my paper using an online whiteboard” now, just skip this section. If you can’t think of the reasons why you could need an online whiteboard, that’s probably so because you don’t really need it.
But students can actually benefit from one. If you have a group of study partners, using a whiteboard for your group study sessions is an amazing idea. It’ll be much easier for you to explain complicated concepts to one another. And it doesn’t cost much to get a great whiteboard app. For example, Limnu (the most popular option in the market) only costs $5 a month. And it offers a free 14-day trial for you to get an idea of what you’re paying for.
If you are worried, “How can I write my paper on a non-touchscreen laptop?” and are used to touchscreens, don’t worry. All you’ll need to get is a digital notepad and a stylus compatible with your laptop. If you’re on a budget, you can still find high-quality and affordable options. But if you’re a digital artist and would like to draw, expect to cash out on a drawing tablet as well.