Taking the plunge: using the iPad as a digital notepad

People keep asking me if I have ever used an iPad as a digital notepad for consecutive. My response so far has always been that no, I didn't have the courage to do that. Just imagine what could go wrong: empty battery, software issues (with the app in question or the entire operating system), hardware issues (water and coffee are dangerous goods, after all), distracting notifications... You get the idea.

Turns out, I should have thought about what could go wrong with traditional pen and paper, too. Because go wrong it did. First of all, I forgot my paper notepads at home and had to steal paper from a copying machine. (Note to self: Keep a paper notepad in the backpack at all times.) Second, I had brought only one pen, and not several, as I would usually do. Guess what happened next: After just a few minutes, the ballpoint pen was definitely out of ink. Ouch.

Luckily, I had my iPad in front of me for referencing documents. So I grabbed my stylus, fired up the Penultimate app and got going. And I survived. It was actually not as difficult/unpleasant/scary as I had imagined.

 An idea of what it  looked like

An idea of what it looked like

Lessons learned

  • Use a good stylus. My choice is the Adonit Jot Script which can connect to the iPad via Bluetooth.
  • Use a good app. My choice is Penultimate because it knows when the stylus is connected and then rejects accidental input from the wrist.
  • Disable multitasking gestures (open Settings app, go to "General" and flip the switch).
  • Disable notifications (e.g. using the Do Not Disturb feature).
  • Keep the iPad (and the stylus) charged.
  • Don't be afraid.

Looking back at #FITcongress

Podcast about interpreters and technology

Podcast about interpreters and technology