Notion lets you express yourself in many creative ways.
You can change the look and feel of the pages by customizing the icons, covers, headers, titles, and layouts. You can also include images, videos, songs, and more.
You get the point.
Essentially, you can set it up in any way you want.
But there is one question that’s bugging people!
How can I draw in Notion?
It is one of the most asked questions by Notion users and the most requested feature in the community.
So, let’s get straight to it.
To make it clear, at the time of writing this post, Notion doesn’t natively support the ability to draw directly from within the app itself.
But there are a few workarounds.
Let’s go through them one by one.
It is a popular website for making quick diagrams and flow charts 🔁. It has many prebuilt shapes and figures that you can use in your drawings. You can also use a stylus / an apple pencil ✏️ to draw something of your own or even with your finger if you feel a little artsy 👩🏽🎨.
It is a free and open-source app. So you don’t have to worry about your data. You don’t even need to create an account or get a subscription to start with it. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, there are also desktop apps available for macOS 🍎, Windows 🪟 and Linux 👩🏽💻. Download here.
How to Get Started:
- Just head over to diagrams.net and click on start
- You’ll be taken to a board with a blank canvas and infinite possibilities.
- Start making your thing, and once you are done.
- You can save to google drive, onedrive, github, gitlab, device storage, or browser cache.
- You are also select the format from any of
htmland many more.
- In our case, we need to export as embed in Notion. So, click File→Embed→Notion.
- You’ll have a popup asking you to customize. You can leave it to defaults. So, click create→copy.
- Head over to Notion page, paste the link you just copied, and select create embed.
You can also use their Chrome extension.
If you prefer to have everything right inside of Notion itself, then it also comes with a browser extension available on the Chrome web store. Once the extension is added to Chrome, all you have to do is click the icon to insert a new embedded board inside the page, and you can start drawing on the go.
The embed uses a simple editor theme and automatically resizes to display your entire diagram in Notion.
You can read more about using the extension on diagrams.net blog post.
👉 Note: Diagrams embedded and stored in Notion can only contain one diagram page, which should suffice for most things. If you need multiple-page diagrams, you can draw them using the app/website and embed them in Notion.
Notion Draw is a fun and easy way to doodle away and add some extra flair to your pages. To get started, simply go to notion-draw.art/
slug and begin drawing. Your doodles will be automatically saved as you go!
slug with a unique name or ID for your drawing
You can use Notion Draw anywhere on your pages – just embed the URL and add a unique name at the end to save your drawing.
Not that the drawings you do are local to your computer. If you want to share them, you’ll have to take a screenshot or download the image and then share it that way. You may ask what’s the point? Well, this app is more for fun and experimentation than anything else. But if you think of it as a way to quickly sketch something down without having to worry about losing it, then it might be useful to you.
🤔 I truely hope that this service stays online for a longer time.
Best Solution for iPad Users – Use GoodNotes and Notion in Split View
GoodNotes comes with a dedicated cropping tool called Lasso, which is one of the most flexible and powerful tools of Good Notes. Lasso can also be used to move, copy-paste, change shape and size, and much more.
We’ll be using lasso to easily export the drawings to Notion. Start selecting the region you want to be included, and copy that. Now, head to the Notion page where you want that drawing and paste it. Voila! There you have it.
As you can see, just use the Lasso tool to select the region, copy and paste. With this approach it’ll preserve alpha channel – which may make it not compatible with either dark or light modes in Notion.
More preferred way is to take screenshot after selecting the region, and drag and drop.
With the free version of GoodNotes, you can have up to 3 notebooks. To unlock all the app features, you need to upgrade with a one-time payment of around $10. Download for iOS 🍎
You can do the same with any other note-taking or drawing apps as well, but every few support copying or taking screenshot of the lasso selection.
Use Dedicated Drawing Tools
If you already use a dedicated drawing tool, this is the most optimal way. You just have to draw as you usually would using your favorite drawing tool. When you are satisfied with your creation, just export that as an image import into Notion.
How to add to Notion:
- Draw using the tool of your choice.
- Export as an image file.
- Import and embed that image in Notion.
Pros of this method:
- You don’t have to learn a new tool.
- Fast and straightforward for one-time drawings.
- More extensible drawings can be made using a dedicated tool.
Cons of this method:
- Not all tools export to images.
- In that case, you take a screenshot or export it to some intermediary format and convert it back to an image.
- You can’t change the drawings on the fly.
It is a tool created by Google to help people draw things quickly on the fly ⌛. It also uses advanced machine learning 🤖 models. AutoDraw is made to help make drawing and creating more accessible and fun for everyone.
There is no need to pay, install or sign up for anything. It works great on all devices 💻, even on mobiles 📱.
If you need something simple, that just works. Then this app is for you. It has a very intuitive UI and can be used for making things on the fly.
They work with Trees for the future 🌴🌳 to help plant more trees and make the world greener. So far, the app has helped plant 80K+ trees. On average, it takes ~1800 strokes to plant one tree. One can also estimate how many trees they’ve helped contribute with all the drawings.
Sketchbook is another popular dedicated drawing tool that is used by beginners and creative professionals alike. It has an elegant interface that makes the drawing experience very natural.
You can use this to make anything from quick mock-up sketches to detail-rich digital art.
This has one of the cleanest and most modern UI / UX. You can even collaborate with others in real time using this one. To switch tools, you can simply press the associated key on your keyboard.
There is an option to set the background. I prefer to have a grid that helps gives a sense of direction. It works very smoothly.
- Aggie.io is a collaborative painting application, which is can be used to create really detailed digital artworks.
- Sketchpad is yet another simple browser based drawing tool.
All the ways above work only you are only the person responsible for using and maintaining those drawings aka you’re the lone wolf here. But what if you want to work with your team or a client on board where you share ideas together on a collaborative board.
- Meetings 👥
- Brainstorming 🧠
- Diagramming & Mapping 🔗
- Researching 📚
- Planning 🗓️
How to add to Notion:
- Draw using a collaborative tool of your choice.
- Export as an embed, If there’s not option for then export as image.
- Import that embed/image into Notion.
Pros of this method:
- Collaborate and communicate with others effectively.
- Have an archive of all the brainstorming and idea boards.
Cons of this method:
- Takes a little work to setup things up and get with the flow.
- Can cost a premium depending on the team size and use case.
Miro is a powerful tool for collaborative drawing 🎨 and mapping 📍. It has over 35M users, and is used by many popular brands. Notion supports Miro embeds right of the box so you don’t have to worry about the data getting lost or any bugs 🐞 with the integration.
It is as simple as typing
/miro and pasting in the url of the miro board. Alternatively you can also paste the url and select create embed and miro will automatically turn that into a miro board.
The free version comes with 3 editable boards and you need to upgrade to $8/user/month to get access to the teams plan.
It is popular drag and drop tool used for visually planning 🗓️ and organizing. It also lets you record screen into short video formats 📽️which are called clips. The additional features include mind map, tasks mode and blank mode. It is a very extensive and powerful tool 🛠️ which can be a little intimidating for new users. But there are a lot of resources in the community.
The free version is limited to 50 integrations which can be upgraded to $5/user/month.
This one is for you if you are collaborating with someone and want a simple board to write, draw, highlight, stick notes, and map things. You don’t have to create an account to start making boards and collaborating with people. The best part is it doesn’t even show ads and is free.
Other features include Real time collaboration with 👨👩👧👦 Unlimited free collaborators with ✈️ Instant sharing. It supports Rich text 📄 and you can even upload images and PDFs 📑. You can export to 🏞 High-resolution PNG image.
Draw.chat gives you an infinite ♾️ whiteboard and a set of drawing tools 🖌️. It has more dedicated collaboration features such as voice 🗣️ and video chat and messages integrated right alongside the drawing canvas, so you don’t have to switch apps. You can even not just draw on pictures or annotate PDFs but also draw on maps as well.
This works as a web app that works right inside the browser. So, you don’t have to install anything, also making it available everywhere bet it a Mac🍎, Windows 💻, Linux 👨🏽💻 except for Temple OS ⚔️.
- Weje.io is another collaborative app that can be used for planning and designing.
- Web Whiteboard can be used for personal projects to visualize notes, projects, and ideas.
- Mural.co another popular tool whose free version offers 3 murals with unlimited members which can be upgraded to $9 for unlimited ones.
- Google Jamboard is part of Google workspace or G Suite, which is google’s tool for collaborative drawing.
- Microsoft Whitboard is similar offering that is a part of the Microsoft ecosystem of office apps.