A screen grab from the FigJam for iPad intro video. Instead of actors, Figma featured its own designers in the video. Instead of canned music, Figma employees even created the background music! I thought that was pretty cool. (Photo Credit: Figma)

Diving Into Using FigJam for iPad With Apple Pencil

And How I Tried to Fix a Big Gap in Functionality

Nelson Taruc
9 min readMar 20, 2022


On March 15, 2022, Figma officially released FigJam for iPad.

For those not familiar with Figma (a popular collaboration design tool), FigJam is an online whiteboard that lets you sketch, explore and ideate.

If you’ve seen or used whiteboard apps for iPad such as Miro, Mural, Jamboard and Lucidchart — just to name a few — you’ll know the market FigJam jumped into.

Under the hood, FigJam shares quite a bit of technology DNA with Figma, to the extent you can copy and paste elements from one app to the other easily. Thanks to that common ground, FigJam offers real-time collaboration just like Figma does, so multiple people can work in the same FigJam file at the same time.

Given my prior experience with Figma on iPad, I saw this as the perfect time to share my thoughts on FigJam for iPad.

Even though the official app just rolled out this week, I’ve been familiar with FigJam on iPad for a while. For the most part, FigJam works well in Safari on iPad, and also in a third-party app called Figurative that allows you to edit FigJam and Figma files.

Since I haven’t used FigJam as much as I have Figma, I wrote this more to share a few thoughts vs. write a definitive review. That said, if you plan to use FigJam with Apple Pencil, I’ll share a few things I’ve learned along the way — including the plugin I created to fix FigJam’s biggest gap on iPad with Apple Pencil.

A Tablet Experience By Design

When FigJam was originally revealed in April of 2021, it was clear that the app’s look and feel was tailored for iPad and Apple Pencil usage. FigJam’s primary interface panel draws obvious parallels to the Apple tray, making it pretty intuitive for Apple Pencil users.

A comparison between the Apple Pencil tray in dark mode and the FigJam tray with the pencil tool selected, showing the secondary tray. That secondary tray hides when the pencil tool is not selected.

FigJam is a simpler, easier variant of Figma that prioritizes:

  • Stickies for brainstorming and ideation
  • Shapes and connectors for diagramming



Nelson Taruc

Design Lead at Lextech. Focus. Boost signal, kill noise. Solve the first problem. Embrace uncertainty.