People That Write Everyday w/ Apple Pencil, WHY? (Serious)

HappyDude20

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Good afternoon,

So I tend to wake up every morning and by 10am usually write out a page or two of my thoughts, dreams or just a to-do list for the day.

I'm wondering if going all digital would help, say for example with the Apple Pencil. I hear the tips weigh down and cost like $10 to replace but that's not the subject of this particular thread.

I'm wondering if any people here in the MacRumors forums use their Apple Pencils daily to write (not draw). If so, why? I can only guess maybe for school or work, or even leisure but am wondering why someone would be compelled to write daily using the Apple Pencil and their iPad?

I'm really not knocking this, considering I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have been wanting to write a page of my thoughts but don't have a sheet of paper near by; but I always seem to have my iPad nearby. I have an iPad Air 2 at the moment so would need to upgrade to something newer and I've been playing with the iPad Pro at the Apple Store and enjoy the way it charges better than the original 1st gen Apple Pencil charging style.

If I did get an iPad Pro to write in it daily with Apple Pencil I think I would need an app that has lined paper so I can write out a few paragraphs, as I normally do every morning. I don't remember that app that I used on the iPad Pro at the apple store but I noticed I wrote better if I zoomed by the lined paper to write each paragraph. not the end of the world but then again am wondering about those that do write everyday in this manner and what tidbits and reflections you can provide.

The main reason im considering this is because I have my iOS devices with me EVERYWHERE, but so many times Ive been in situations where I may have an ink pen but no sheet or paper.
 

Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
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Funny. I have always a piece of paper of some kind near by and a plain old pencil or two :oops:(graphite type, always reliable as long as the tip isn’t broken) but NOT ALWAYS an iPad by me.
I like iPads but do not glue one to my hand to have it always with me. :)
Some people wake up and go to bed with an iOS (or Android) device.
I do not truly understand why to be dependant on such a thing but if that makes them happy then good for them...
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
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I have been doing this for years, since before the release of the Pencil. I have thousands of pages of journal entries in GoodNotes. I started doing it because I travel a lot and my previous paper journals were the size of my iPad but only served one function.

I also keep my iPad open next to me while I work all day, and take notes throughout the day in a different Goodnotes or sometimes OneNote notebook.

I have never worn out a tip, fwiw.
 
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MozMan68

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Jun 29, 2010
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Right here...
This may not be the answer you are looking for, but for work, I used this option all of the time when I had a Surface. I'm getting an iPad Pro just so I can keep doing this. I have to sketch out examples of product designs, layouts, etc. all the time...and then, in most cases, email them to a designer, engineer, customer or sales rep to explain what we are doing.

Just can't do that any other way it seems...or at least, I haven't found one.
 

aesc80

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Mar 24, 2015
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I've been using Apple Pencil ever since it came out. Working in IT, I used to have a bunch of handwritten notes and designs that would end up on desk and just thrown around after a while. Once I made the transition to Pencil + Notability, it helped me get way more organized. It also proved helpful when someone asked me about the meeting, and I would send them a PDF from my own notes. I still using my iPad Pro pretty much for this purpose today. Couldn't even begin to tell you how much I'd miss it if I didn't have that option anymore.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
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Florida, USA
Get a keyboard case for your iPad, then you can just type your thoughts. Typing is always going to be faster than writing, and it'll be easier to read later on when you reference it.

I used to knock the Apple keyboard cases as being too expensive, but when work issued me an iPad Pro 9.7 with the keyboard case, I fell in love and have used it heavily since. Totally worth it.
 

HappyDude20

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
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Get a keyboard case for your iPad, then you can just type your thoughts. Typing is always going to be faster than writing, and it'll be easier to read later on when you reference it.

I used to knock the Apple keyboard cases as being too expensive, but when work issued me an iPad Pro 9.7 with the keyboard case, I fell in love and have used it heavily since. Totally worth it.
the only reason why I’d forego the keyboard on the iPad is cause I already have a MacBook Pro.

and for me personally there’s something about writing with a pen or pencil that helps me gets me thoughts out better. But yeah I totally agree typing is faster, but something about it I don’t prefer over actual writing.
But I may look into the keyboard too. Thanks!
 
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okieoutwest

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2019
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california
The Notes app can be launched with an Apple Pencil and some third party pencils from being asleep.

A default paper can also be selected in settings, and there are different sized lined and graph backgrounds.

I have an iPad mini and this makes the process to go from "random thought pops in brain" to "sketching out in electronic form" pretty painless. The biggest wait is turning on the pencil from asleep. (Using Adonit Note Plus.)
 
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bmac89

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Aug 3, 2014
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The Notes app can be launched with an Apple Pencil and some third party pencils from being asleep.

A default paper can also be selected in settings, and there are different sized lined and graph backgrounds.

I have an iPad mini and this makes the process to go from "random thought pops in brain" to "sketching out in electronic form" pretty painless. The biggest wait is turning on the pencil from asleep. (Using Adonit Note Plus.)
As well as default settings for lined paper you can add or change the lines and grids (on a per use basis) in Notes app from the share sheet.

Screenshot is from iOS 11 so perhaps there is even more options in 13.

D39F5A5E-C5CF-468B-B882-94ED865A09EF.png

Personally I got the Apple Pencil for drawing but I would love if the handwriting recognition was improved. This way I would definitely use it to write stuff down with the ability to search the text. Maybe it has been improved in iOS 12 & 13?
 
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HappyDude20

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As well as default settings for lined paper you can add or change the lines and grids (on a per use basis) in Notes app from the share sheet.

Screenshot is from iOS 11 so perhaps there is even more options in 13.

View attachment 875924

Personally I got the Apple Pencil for drawing but I would love if the handwriting recognition was improved. This way I would definitely use it to write stuff down with the ability to search the text. Maybe it has been improved in iOS 12 & 13?
I would wanna know this as well
 

zhenya

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Jan 6, 2005
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As well as default settings for lined paper you can add or change the lines and grids (on a per use basis) in Notes app from the share sheet.

Screenshot is from iOS 11 so perhaps there is even more options in 13.

View attachment 875924

Personally I got the Apple Pencil for drawing but I would love if the handwriting recognition was improved. This way I would definitely use it to write stuff down with the ability to search the text. Maybe it has been improved in iOS 12 & 13?
I don’t know about the native Notes app, but in GoodNotes handwriting recognition has been around for a while and works very well.
 

okieoutwest

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2019
43
35
california
The differences in handwriting recognition are fairly well documented, so I would encourage OP to quickly look at other threads on the differences.

While I wish Apple Notes would let me copy handwriting and paste to text I do find the Search feature pretty good at recognizing my bad and strange letter forms! That's been impressive.
 

HappyDude20

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I don’t know about the native Notes app, but in GoodNotes handwriting recognition has been around for a while and works very well.
I checked out good notes and I guess $7 isn’t that expensive but I have had Notability for years so don’t feel compelled to switch to something new. But hey if handwriting recognition is awesome I may splurge.
 

BigMcGuire

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Jan 10, 2012
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I grew up putting my thoughts on paper on nearly a daily basis. To this day I find I think best with a blank piece of paper (not lined) and a pen.

Upon getting an iPad Pro 10.5 and an Apple Pencil, that has changed a little. I find Notability to be the best "feeling" while writing and has actually prompted that creativity feeling.

Some of the other posters here are right - I can type a LOT faster than I can write, so I use paper+pen or Notability for thought dumping / de-stressing. I use Day One for my journal and have many thousands of days of journaling in there (most of which I imported from Word 2007-2015 or so when I got day One).

Love Day One for journaling. Seeing entries that I made on this day in prior years is something I do every day, even after years and years of usage.

To answer your question - I've used the Apple Pencil to write almost every day for many many months. My wife is using her iPad 10.5 Pro for a PhD program. We're going on ~1.6 years of ownership and haven't had to replace a tip.
 
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HappyDude20

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I grew up putting my thoughts on paper on nearly a daily basis. To this day I find I think best with a blank piece of paper (not lined) and a pen.

Upon getting an iPad Pro 10.5 and an Apple Pencil, that has changed a little. I find Notability to be the best "feeling" while writing and has actually prompted that creativity feeling.

Some of the other posters here are right - I can type a LOT faster than I can write, so I use paper+pen or Notability for thought dumping / de-stressing. I use Day One for my journal and have many thousands of days of journaling in there (most of which I imported from Word 2007-2015 or so when I got day One).

Love Day One for journaling. Seeing entries that I made on this day in prior years is something I do every day, even after years and years of usage.

To answer your question - I've used the Apple Pencil to write almost every day for many many months. My wife is using her iPad 10.5 Pro for a PhD program. We're going on ~1.6 years of ownership and haven't had to replace a tip.
thank you for the awesome response. I too consider a blank white sheet of paper and a pen/pencil to be the absolute best.Crazy that we live in a time where there’s a 90% chance I have an iPad on me but not paper and a writing utensil.

I also used Day One exclusively for year from 2009ish to 2015 but notice I now just hand write my journal entries and then scan them using ScannerPro. I know that’s a bit more cumbersome than just using DayOne but I like to hand write my journal entries. That and I remember I staved off DayOne for a while cause they introduced some subscription model. Either way DayOne is still great and have the iOS and MacOS versions but seldom use them now since I try to do everything with a pen. In the coming future I’m beginning to think that I’ll be using an Apple Pencil.

As for Notability app vs. GoodNotes, I’m YouTubing some videos to compare and contrast the apps but the Notability site says it’s has good handwriting recognition so I'm inclined to believe them. I’ve had Notability for like 8 years and it’s a great and easy app to use so it’s giving me hope on perhaps it being my go-to app for writing a few paragraphs each morning.

ps: I could talk about DayOne for days and I remember exporting like 900 days worth of journal entries into one long password protected PDF file, which I still have and am thankful DayOne offered that, but now I literally have a folder on my external hard drive that’s titled “HappyDude’s Journal” and I just add one new scanned files every day and that’s how I now write and save each file entry.
 
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tlnargi

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2019
12
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Historic Triangle
For those who do take notes on the iPad, how do you get them out of the app and organize them? An app can become defunct without warning and you lose or it becomes pointless to keep using that app for notes. This is why I haven’t switched to digital note taking/journaling.

Any ideas?
 

BigMcGuire

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Jan 10, 2012
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thank you for the awesome response. I too consider a blank white sheet of paper and a pen/pencil to be the absolute best.Crazy that we live in a time where there’s a 90% chance I have an iPad on me but not paper and a writing utensil.

I also used Day One exclusively for year from 2009ish to 2015 but notice I now just hand write my journal entries and then scan them using ScannerPro. I know that’s a bit more cumbersome than just using DayOne but I like to hand write my journal entries. That and I remember I staved off DayOne for a while cause they introduced some subscription model. Either way DayOne is still great and have the iOS and MacOS versions but seldom use them now since I try to do everything with a pen. In the coming future I’m beginning to think that I’ll be using an Apple Pencil.

As for Notability app vs. GoodNotes, I’m YouTubing some videos to compare and contrast the apps but the Notability site says it’s has good handwriting recognition so I'm inclined to believe them. I’ve had Notability for like 8 years and it’s a great and easy app to use so it’s giving me hope on perhaps it being my go-to app for writing a few paragraphs each morning.

ps: I could talk about DayOne for days and I remember exporting like 900 days worth of journal entries into one long password protected PDF file, which I still have and am thankful DayOne offered that, but now I literally have a folder on my external hard drive that’s titled “HappyDude’s Journal” and I just add one new scanned files every day and that’s how I now write and save each file entry.
Hah Cool! I too use ScannerPro to scan in my "thoughts" into my daily log folder (organized by month) - I export DayOne entries into a PDF into these months.

My wife prefers goodnotes (class notes) while I prefer Notability (thoughts, note taking, etc.).

I've been struggling last year and this year with how to combine paper + digital and have not yet found a good combination. Going one or the other has not worked for me.

Thanks for the info!

For those who do take notes on the iPad, how do you get them out of the app and organize them? An app can become defunct without warning and you lose or it becomes pointless to keep using that app for notes. This is why I haven’t switched to digital note taking/journaling.

Any ideas?
I have many ... many... many ... many folders. I find this works the best for me. Apple Notes now lets you have subfolders so I have Personal, Work, Important as top level with 20+ folders under. Personal: Daily Logs, Important, Planning, (Wife's Name), Storage, To Do Lists, Story Writing --- for example.
 

tlnargi

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2019
12
13
Historic Triangle
Hah Cool! I too use ScannerPro to scan in my "thoughts" into my daily log folder (organized by month) - I export DayOne entries into a PDF into these months.

My wife prefers goodnotes (class notes) while I prefer Notability (thoughts, note taking, etc.).

I've been struggling last year and this year with how to combine paper + digital and have not yet found a good combination. Going one or the other has not worked for me.

Thanks for the info!



I have many ... many... many ... many folders. I find this works the best for me. Apple Notes now lets you have subfolders so I have Personal, Work, Important as top level with 20+ folders under. Personal: Daily Logs, Important, Planning, (Wife's Name), Storage, To Do Lists, Story Writing --- for example.
Ya but how do you get them out of the app? Make PDFs and organize them by folder with Files or Finder?
 

HappyDude20

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Original poster
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For those who do take notes on the iPad, how do you get them out of the app and organize them? An app can become defunct without warning and you lose or it becomes pointless to keep using that app for notes. This is why I haven’t switched to digital note taking/journaling.

Any ideas?
well this is where my reasoning for halting my use of DayOne journal app came into play. Every morning when I write a page or two on blank paper and a pen, I’ll use ScannerPro to import a PDF file into my external hard drive.

PDF files aren’t going away any time soon and I’m sure they’ll survive the test of time so that’s what I do. Fortunately DayOne allows exporting their journal entries as PDFs and I would imagine they can import the same.

if and when I do get the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and use a note taking app (whichever one) I’m sure I’ll be using the export to PDF option quite a bit.
 
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BigMcGuire

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Ya but how do you get them out of the app? Make PDFs and organize them by folder with Files or Finder?
I leave them in the App (Apple Notes/Notability) because I can access them via my iPhone or my iPad or my Mac. I kinda see Apple Notes / Notability as not super important information that can stay where it is. Day One - I'll export to folders as PDF for backup. Anything else gets scanned in via ScannerPro and put directly into cloud storage (iCloud (Personal) / OneDrive (Work)).

I have almost 300+ Apple Notes and 300+ Notability notes. 2000+ Day One entries. Countless scanned ScannerPro images - so much so that I've had to offload to folders on iCloud (not really well organized).
- - Post merged: - -

well this is where my reasoning for halting my use of DayOne journal app came into play. Every morning when I write a page or two on blank paper and a pen, I’ll use ScannerPro to import a PDF file into my external hard drive.

PDF files aren’t going away any time soon and I’m sure they’ll survive the test of time so that’s what I do. Fortunately DayOne allows exporting their journal entries as PDFs and I would imagine they can import the same.

if and when I do get the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and use a note taking app (whichever one) I’m sure I’ll be using the export to PDF option quite a bit.
Very smart. I too worry about Day One going bottom's up - especially with the proprietary cloud storage.

I like the way you're doing things. I've spent several days thinking about what I'd like to do for 2020. I bought 2 stacks of 500 Inkjet paper and bought 3 packs of my favorite pens (Pilot VBall extra fine and Uniball Vision Fine/Extra Fine) - I also got a Leuchtturm1917 notebook and a Lechtturm1917 2020 planner. My wife and I also put in an order for a handful of WritePads (https://www.writepads.com) that we just got today.

Thank you for your post. :D
 
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zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
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For those who do take notes on the iPad, how do you get them out of the app and organize them? An app can become defunct without warning and you lose or it becomes pointless to keep using that app for notes. This is why I haven’t switched to digital note taking/journaling.

Any ideas?
GoodNotes has an option to back up your notes to pdf. Goodnotes 4 did this automatically if you set it up, that feature has not come to version 5 yet, but it is expected to return. Right now it’s a simple manual process.
 

HappyDude20

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I leave them in the App (Apple Notes/Notability) because I can access them via my iPhone or my iPad or my Mac. I kinda see Apple Notes / Notability as not super important information that can stay where it is. Day One - I'll export to folders as PDF for backup. Anything else gets scanned in via ScannerPro and put directly into cloud storage (iCloud (Personal) / OneDrive (Work)).

I have almost 300+ Apple Notes and 300+ Notability notes. 2000+ Day One entries. Countless scanned ScannerPro images - so much so that I've had to offload to folders on iCloud (not really well organized).
- - Post merged: - -



Very smart. I too worry about Day One going bottom's up - especially with the proprietary cloud storage.

I like the way you're doing things. I've spent several days thinking about what I'd like to do for 2020. I bought 2 stacks of 500 Inkjet paper and bought 3 packs of my favorite pens (Pilot VBall extra fine and Uniball Vision Fine/Extra Fine) - I also got a Leuchtturm1917 notebook and a Lechtturm1917 2020 planner. My wife and I also put in an order for a handful of WritePads (https://www.writepads.com) that we just got today.

Thank you for your post. :D
damn those links are nice. I’m wanting to go hit up Staples tomorrow.

as for my set up, I used to have like 20,000 photos and stored them all in iPhoto back in 2008 but there was some update to iPhoto in like 2013 where it had to resize or reformateach individual photo and it really upset me. Then when Apple introduced the Mac Photos app nothing was organized and it upset me further so I decided to simply create monthly folders for all my photos ranging as far back as 2006 to now in 2019, so that’s 156 folders, one for each month in the past 13 years and these 156 folders house my photos I’ve taken in order of date. A simple and effective solution in knowing where all my photos are. I don’t use the Mac Photos app anymore.

I did the same thing with journal entries. PDF journal entries into folders all on my external with no chance of getting lost or unorganized if Apple ever forces on us some revolutionary new update. With the journal entries it’s not exactly based on month like with my photos, but more akin to yours, such as: Journal, Recipes, Inspirational Quotes (saved over 10 years worth), family info, doctor notes/prescriptions, health goals, nutritional tracking, finances, investments, etc.

The system is thoroughly organized but with all the Edward Snowden stuff none of it is saved to any cloud and that scares me since I have like 3 back ups, one with me, another at my folks in storage and one more at my bank which I update once a year. It’s just photos, journal entries and some other odds and ends but it means the world to me so I’m super organized with it all.
- - Post merged: - -

Edit: btw now I’m at like 80,000 photos and videos. It’s better to go through themin folders on my external then the Mac Photos app which will eventually get slow and even crash depending on how old the Mac is. Plus on the external it saves it’s file the exact same size as it always was. Mac Photos creates an extra thumbnail and all this other stuff just for looks.
- - Post merged: - -

This thread is giving me hope that pen and paper may still be and always will be best. I’ll just be needing a flat surface.
 
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BigMcGuire

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damn those links are nice. I’m wanting to go hit up Staples tomorrow.

This thread is giving me hope that pen and paper may still be and always will be best. I’ll just be needing a flat surface.
Wow thanks for taking the time to write your setup. I'm seriously considering doing your setup for 2020. While the Apple Pencil is very nice, I still find pen and paper to be superior. That's why I'm going back to it in 2020. I do plan on using my iPad with Apple Notes / Notability for some brainstorming / notes work where I don't have my notebook (I have a Sena case for my iPad that has an Apple Pencil holder).

Everything I have is in the cloud - but I am looking to move off of that, especially for personal things like my journals.

2020 will be back to paper for me. While my wife and I love hitting Staples every few months, we've found their notebooks to be lacking. I did get their Made in USA inkjet paper and bought some pens / clipboards. We used to use Moleskin notebooks but moved onto Leuchtturm1917 notebooks and WritePads for basic lined notebooks.

My wife still does 99% of her note taking in class on her iPad with GoodNotes.

I'm trying to settle down on something for 2020. :p Agreed with your last sentence there.
 

jmgregory1

macrumors 68000
I’ve got drawers full of my hand written journals that I’ve used for the past 25 years for work. As the need for more detailed historical data only increases, I’m having a more difficult time remembering where to find notes, as in which journal, what page, etc.

Sure, I could start photographing or scanning each page I write, but that is an extra step that seems like a waste of time. Or rather it’s an added step that will take more time than I’m willing to devote.

So I’m now going to get an Apple Pencil and see how writing out my notes in Notes works for me.
 
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