Have you ever considered how useful it would be if you could draw a diagram, illustrate an idea by hand, or paint a picture to share a vision in one (or several) of your presentations? If so, then you should check out Paper by FiftyThree, which you can partner with Haiku Deck to create unique, custom background illustrations for your slides.

The app: Paper by FiftyThree

Paper is a free app for iPad that allows you to draw to your heart’s content. It’s fun, slick, and simple to use, and you can buy additional drawing tools within the app if you want more stylistic versatility. You can keep your drawings grouped in ‘journals,’ save your creations to your Camera Roll, share your work on social networking sites, and even order printed books from your collections.

The possibilities:

  • Incorporating original drawings
  • A cohesive, unique look for your deck
  • Customized sketches
  • Customized charts
  • Illustrations for ideas that are hard to find photos for
  • Fun!

App mashup example:

Haiku Deck Guru Alexander Charner made this awesome deck about working with his dad for Father’s Day this year, and illustrated many of the slides using Paper:

How To Work With Your Dad – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Alexander also uses a very cohesive, simple color palette across his drawings and slides in this deck about the role of vocal energy in engaging an audience: Are Audiences Getting Worse?

How to use it with Haiku Deck:

  1. Download Paper for free from the App Store or this link.
  2. Open a journal in the main menu, or start a new one.
  3. Tap a blank page to get started.
  4. Draw!
  5. Pinch on the screen to zoom back out so you’re viewing the page in your journal that you drew on.
  6. Tap the export button at the bottom (square with arrow pointing up)
  7. Choose Camera Roll (if the toggle is orange, you’re ready to go)
  8. Tap SHARE at the bottom
  9. If you’re prompted to allow Paper to access your photos, accept the request
  10. Use the image(s) you save to your Camera Roll as backgrounds for slides in Haiku Deck!


  • Make sure to leave a border around your image, since the edges of graphics get cropped in Haiku Deck to make room for the parallax transition between slides when you’re presenting.
  • Putting two fingers on the screen in Paper, and moving them in a counter-clockwise position, rewinds through your steps like a fancy ‘undo’ button.
  • You can email yourself the images from your Camera Roll if you want to use them from your computer with the Haiku Deck Web App.
  • Think outside the box: you can use Paper for more than just fun drawings. In the example above, Alexander used it to make a Venn diagram, for example:Venn Diagram
  • For inspiration, check out Made With Paper. If you’re in the app, just close whichever journal you’re in with a pinch, and swipe to see the leftmost item in the menu.
  • Need help with Paper, or want to learn the basics? Check out their support site here.