App Review: Paper by FiftyThree (video)

I don’t like computers… I like what computers allow me to do. So when I find a tool that doesn’t just let me be creative but that asks me to be creative I have to share it. Paper by FiftyThree is a note taking and sketching app that is a joy to use. The elegant interface, perfectly executed tools, and wonderfully analog feel (both water colors and smudging are really well executed) contribute to making this app one of my favorites. I use it not only for note taking but also for mocking up web pages, creating info-graphics, and for doodling… oh my goodness for doodling. The app is free with the fountain pen and eraser or $6.99 for all the tools and color mixer.


Recently FiftyThree released two remarkable extensions for their app. Pencil is a (pricey) but fantastic stylus that The Verge recently named ‘the best iPad stylus yet.’ It works by Bluetooth and once you’ve connected it to Paper the app will ignore the heel of your palm, listen to the eraser on the stylus and allow you to smudge your work with your fingers. Very cool!


Book takes your digital creations into the real world through a partnership with Moleskine. It allows you to print a real-world version of your Paper notebooks. I tried this recently and I was really pleased with the result.


Have you used Paper by FiftyThree? What are your favorite tools for being creative? Let us know in the comments!

Hans Mundahl

Director of Technology Integration at New Hampton School

I've been an educator since 1995 when I first stepped into the classroom as a Fulbright exchange teacher in the former East Germany. Since then I've been an Outward Bound instructor, a teacher, tutor, admission officer, house head, evening administrator on duty and I ran the experiential learning program at New Hampton School for almost ten years. Today I focus on technology integration centered on values-driven technology integration and 1:1 iPad initiatives. Recently I had the chance to help New Hampton School become an Apple Distinguished School and I co-authored the iBook Teaching with the iPad (available on the iBookstore). Now I'm the founder of a scrappy little company (one employee!) called Hans Mundahl and Associates, inc a digital strategy consultancy for schools and non-profits. My free time is usually spent with my family but I'm also passionate about the outdoors and protecting the environment. I'm on the Board of Trustees at the Newfound Lake Region Association and when I have the chance I'm an active hiker, climber, and paddler. My writing appears on and I speak frequently at technology and education conferences.