All iPads iPads replacing Pen & Paper

Discussion in 'iPad' started by GRMM, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. GRMM macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #1
    Hi everybody,

    I'm starting an experiment. I want to try to replace pen and paper by an iPad in all my classes. I'm an industrial engineering student so I have lots of math and science classes. I will be writing my experience on this blog (ipadvspp.wordpress.com).

    I hope that you tell me about your experience about trying to replace pen and paper by an iPad, was it successful? Why it failed? Which apps to do you use? Which stylus?

    I just hope I won't spend more then 500 dollars to discover I don't get use to the iPad lol.

    Cheers
     
  2. Accord3 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    #2
    I use Notability app and find it works very well.
    I purchased a new stylus, the one with the cloth type nib, and find this works far better than the rubber type stylus's.

    The only downside i find is that i cant write as fast on the ipad than i can on goog old pen and paper :rolleyes:
     
  3. GRMM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #3
    Hi Accord3, thanks for your reply. How long have you been using your iPad with notability?

    I don't have my iPad yet, but I plan on using Note Taker HD.
     
  4. lucasfer899 macrumors 6502

    lucasfer899

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #4
    I find that I can type way faster on an iPad than I can write with pen and paper! Hope that's a point of help for you anyway, along with the fact that NEVER forget to charge it overnight. ;)
     
  5. superduperdom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #5
    Also just started using notability and a maglus stylus for occasional notetaking. Not as flowing or fast as pen and paper yet, but a useful option.
     
  6. GRMM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #6
    Hey, excellent tip on don't forget to charging it overnight. I don't want to imagine arriving to class early and find out I'm running out of battery.

    Last year I tried typing my statistics class and it all went awesome until we got to a part that involved graphics and formulas. I had to use pen and paper.

    With that experience I want to only use apps that allows me to use my own handwriting. Almost in the all courses I've taken I have had to write formulas and stuff I find hard to type, like formulas, drawings, diagrams. And now that the hardest courses of my career are coming it's almost impossible to think that I could type lol.

    What app do you use for typing?

    ----------

    Hey! I'm sure that with time you'll get more fluent. Like I said on my blog, we have years of experience writing on paper but just some days on a tablet. We can't expect to write at the same speed.

    Who knows, maybe in some years kids will learn to write on tablets!
     
  7. lucasfer899 macrumors 6502

    lucasfer899

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #7

    Well, I don't personally do anything but text writing on iPad, however this app seems to be very good, have a read through it's features, it seems to do anything! you can draw / type, whatever you like! :eek:
     
  8. GRMM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #8
    Note plus is one of my options to use. However I think I'll go with Note Taker HD that from what I've read, is for the hardcore note taker.
     
  9. shortcrust macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #9
    I went without pen and paper for six months at uni but realised that I was missing some of the spatial and tactile associations that help me to remember information. I can picture that I wrote something in the bottom left hand corner of the second to last page in my blue book much more easily than anything I write on my iPad. I've now developed a taste for vintage fountain pens and Italian leather notebooks!:)

    PS I used various note taker apps and a stylus.
     
  10. miguelfp1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #10
    Mechanical Engineering student over here, I'll also be completely replacing pen and paper this trimester, and I look forward to reading your experiences after the switch.

    Good luck!
     
  11. GRMM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #11
    Nice choice also!

    ----------

    Hey! it's nice to read that people is trying to migrate from pen and paper to ipads. I look forward to read your experience, please keep us up to date.
     
  12. dextr3k macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    #12
    I tried replacing it, but it seems I cant write as fast and as neat on an ipad because i find its hard to place my hands on the screen when you write.

    Also, rubber stylus makes big letters, maybe I am not using the correct tools. I was using a rubber stylus and Penultimate
     
  13. Accord3 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    #13
    Hi, i have been using my ipad/notability combo for about a year now, i also find that recording conference calls helps me out whilst taking notes. I also like the fact that you can change the pen colour for important text.

    The more you use it the more proficiant you get with writing this way, after all we were taught as kids to use pen and paper, this is the same but digitally.

    Hope this helps
     
  14. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #14
    I've been using Notability with a rubber-tipped stylus. What people may not realize about Notability (and I believe Penultimate) is that there's a special writing magnifier to assist with handwriting. This causes the bottom sixth or so of the screen to become its own window, while a draggable and resizable magnifying box appears on the main document. You write large in the magnified window and it appears on the main document, scaled to the size of the magnifying box. When you reach the edge of your writing zone (marked in green, adjustable in size, and activated by any pen stroke and about a half-second delay in activity) the box automatically shifts to the right so that you can continue writing. It then shifts down and all the way to the left when it reaches the right edge of the page.

    Thanks to the magnifying feature it is very easy to write comfortably with large strokes and still have your text showing up at the size you would normally write at (or smaller).

    I once found myself in a situation where I needed paper to take notes but only had my iPad. I was still fairly new to Notability at that point and wasn't completely confident that it could be a total paper replacement. I was very surprised with how it performed. I noted that I was slightly slower compared with writing on paper, but was able to keep up with this fast-paced note taking with ease. While the program and these fat-tipped capacitative styli take some getting used to, I'm sold on the idea that they can replace pen and paper.

    A bit off-topic, but to those who like the idea of adding hand-written elements to things like class notes but don't have an iPad, note that you don't need an iPad. It's a bit more cumbersome, but the $60 (or less) solution is a Wacom Bamboo. I used one with my Mac during class. It allowed me to write equations and draw graphs. Plugging in a tablet will cause OS X to give you options for Ink, the built-in software for freestyle drawing and handwriting recognition. I never used the handwriting aspect. With Ink, you have a resizable window of "graph paper" that has a button to "send" it to the application you're working in (Microsoft Word for me). Once you were finished, there was a button to clear the window so that you could be ready for the next figure/equation. You couldn't change the color of your writing, but very few people used pencil or pen colors other than black anyway! Benefits of the Bamboo are that it does not require batteries for either the tablet or the pen, and the pen's other side is recognized as an eraser (both contrast with the very first, cheap tablet that I experimented with for class notes). In theory you could get fancy and use an application like Photoshop instead of Ink if you needed colors and the ability to go back to a figure quickly.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    I still use pen and paper, but yeah my iPad has taken over a fair amount of what I would have done with pen and paper.
     
  16. iPhysicist macrumors 6502a

    iPhysicist

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Location:
    Dresden
    #16
    It works just fine. Doing so since iPad 3. No need for a Blog, but if you feel like revolutionizing the classroom go on.
     
  17. GRMM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #17
    Thanks everybody for the replies! I wasn't hoping to get so many!

    About the blog, I'm making it so people can read how the transition is. While I found some information and comments about people using iPads or tablets instead of pen and paper there was not a huge amount of it. There is people that don't like changing to uncertain things if I can help them, it would be great!

    iPhysicist, I look forward to reading your experience with the iPad 3 and note taking. If you have any notes you can share it would be great.
     
  18. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #18
    With my iPad mini, I have all my college textbooks on it (purchased via Amazon or scanned), and take all my notes on it. I use PDF Expert to take all my notes, and to keep all my books and school material (syllabi, ppts which I've converted to PDF, etc.) on my mini with PDF Expert's excellent Dropbox syncing. For a stylus, I use the new Jot Pro by Adonit (with sound dampening tip- purchased from Amazon) to take ALL my class notes.

    I don't use paper at all anymore, and by following Lifehacker's posts on keeping your computer linked to Dropbox, whenever I'm on my Retina Macbook Pro, all my files are synced in the background.

    The only problem with this set up is some wrist discomfort I started having after prolonged use. I searched around and found a product called "SmudgeGuard." Wacom users and sketch artists have used it for years. Basically, it's a neoprene glove with the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger cut off, which blocks any input on the screen from your palm, pinky, and ring finger. By allowing me to write on the screen at a normal angle, it removes any discomfort I previously had.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. charlituna macrumors G3

    charlituna

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    I second the recommendation about using some kind of glove so if your hand brushes the 'paper' you don't get random stuff. Especially in apps that let you type, write, draw etc.

    Also you might want to turn off auto correct if you are typing. Particularly if you have to use a lot of terminology, tech language. And even perhaps learn or develop shorthand and use auto fill for common/repeated stuff
     
  20. GRMM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #20
    I read that the previous Jot Pro could scratch your iPad's screen. Have you noticed if the new Jot Pro leaves any mark?

    I'm impressed with the level of detail you get while taking notes with your iPad mini.

    Nice to know about the SmudgeGuard, it looks really helpful.
     
  21. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #21
    I have noticed some tiny scratches that develop over time from using the Jot Pro, but since I use a screen protector, it doesn't matter. And when the screen is on, the micro-scratches aren't visible. I bought one of the 3-packs on amazon for around $5 I think.

    Using the iPad/mini for notes is great! I love having all my notes on all my devices through dropbox, and the ability to quickly change from highlighting, to colored ink, lines, arrows, circles, typing- is very powerful. I've turned a bunch of my friends on to paperless note taking. A caveat however, is that there seems to be a certain amount of time necessary to get comfortable with this new style of input. I'd say on average, a week or so is necessary.

    I'd recommend choosing PDF Expert- personally, I think it's the easiest and most powerful out of the numerous apps I've purchased, but if you want to take notes, you'll need your files to be in PDF form. Before my classes, I download my lectures, which are almost always in powerpoint, and convert them in powerpoint to PDF.

    I've uploaded my "notebook paper" that I use when taking notes. I just make a copy of the notebook paper file, and rename it whatever I feel is appropriate. I use the original as a template only- I never write on it- and just keep copying it over and over for different classes.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
     

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  22. Fireball Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Fireball Dragon

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Location:
    Chigwell, England
    #22
    I have experimented with this using a few Apps, but it is not quite there yet.

    1) I find that placing my hand on the iPad when writing interferes with my writing experience.

    2) The stylus nibs are too thick.

    3) There is a slight delay between writing and the response on the iPad.

    I currently use a Moleskine notebook, and transfer any vital notes to the Evernote App.
     
  23. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California
    #23
    Excellent perspective. I too have a nice high end pen & notebook selection.

    If one resorts to keyboard based input for everything, your handwriting degrades rapidly. And as you mentioned, there's a distinct tactile & neurological learning / memory connection that is enjoyed via pen & paper.
     
  24. lucasfer899 macrumors 6502

    lucasfer899

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #24
    Happy to see you've made a great choice!
    Just trying to force myself to wait for iPad mini retina. ugh.
     
  25. TJ61 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    #25
    Try an app that has a defined palm rejection area, like GoodNotes (there's a free version). You pull up a "screen" from the bottom where you can rest your palm. Or try a glove like someone mentioned. I made my own (it's not rocket science), but I guess I won't be using it in public. :eek:

    You mean too fat, such that you can't see what you're doing? Yeah, that's a common complaint, and the reason some people use the Jot mentioned here, or the GoSmart.

    Again, try GoodNotes. Some apps truly are more responsive than others.

    Regards,
    Tom
     

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