As a longtime Apple fan-boy, it’s hard to think of an Apple product I wouldn’t instantly profess my love for. But this doesn’t mean I can’t also be critical as well. For instance, I hopped on the iPad bandwagon right away, fully expecting the device to change my life and become my primary note-taking device, replacing paper tablets. Sadly, this dream was just a fantasy. The iPad didn’t even come close!
I’m dating myself a little, but I used to use an HP Pocket PC with a folding Bluetooth keyboard to take notes during meetings. For me, the device was a game changer. The first time I walked into a meeting, took a seat and quickly transformed two tiny rectangles into a full-size keyboard and docked Pocket PC, the meeting came to an abrupt halt. My colleagues stared in amazement. They could not believe the capabilities packed into such a small footprint. They were also amazed to find my meeting minutes in their email inbox by the time they got back to their desk.
This was the bar I expected iPad to exceed. But frankly, it never even came close. I downloaded note-taking app after note-taking app but nothing met my expectations. I tried several different stylists, which did not help either. Most felt like I was writing with a large crayon. I finally purchased a Jot stylist, which was a significant improvement thanks to its extremely fine point, but it still didn’t allow me to take notes the way I desired. As a last resort, I tried one of those combination keyboard and cover, since the handwriting path wasn’t working out either. But this only doubled the size and almost tripled the weight of the iPad.
Since I started with the original iPad, in 2011 I upgraded to iPad 2, assuming this newer, thinner, faster device would meet my needs. Nope, another major fail. So, what did I do? I just gave up for a while. Finally, in 2013, the iPad Air was introduced! Thank you, Apple! With all of that awesome power, surely this will allow me to conquer my note taking needs. Nope, it too fell short too. What next? Well, of course, I in 2014 I had to upgrade to the iPad Air 2. Once again, the result was a really fast and powerful book reader. So, that is the story of my iPad history. Each new generation resulted in me simply having a ridiculously powerful book reader. After four upgrades, I hit my limit, it was enough! I gave up and promised myself that I would NOT purchase another iPad since I don’t need a more yet another expensive book reader.
In late 2015, Apple introduced the iPad Pro. I was intrigued, but still completely unwilling to spend that much money to upgrade my book reader again. Plus, at that size, it was just as easy to use my MacBook Air, as it is smaller. Then the in 2016, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro was introduced. Tiny beads of sweat collected on my forehead. I can’t tell you how many times I put that in my cart, only to later remove it. In mid-2017, the 10.5-inch model was introduced… I faltered; my hand trembled as I completed the purchase. Plus, I included an Apple pencil. Walking out of the store, I promised myself that if this upgrade was an epic fail, just like all the others, that I would NEVER upgrade my reader again!
For the first time in 7 years, I was not disappointed! The iPad Pro along with the Apple Pencil turned out to be an amazing combination that truly works well together. For the first time, I was able to take useable notes on an iPad. Additionally, for the first time since I stopped using my Apple Newton, I also had a device that could translate my handwritten notes into typed text. This delighted me to no end!
Again, I tried several note-taking Apps, some of which I had previously purchased until I finally settled in with MyScript by Nebo. A couple of my other note-taking Apps have features that I wish that MyScript had, but MyScript’s handwriting and text recognition in this software is amazing! Because of this fact, it best meets my needs and requirements. It allows me to quickly take notes and draw diagrams as well. It also does a really good job translating my handwritten text into typed text. This makes it easier for folks to read my notes without having to try and understand my handwriting. Sometimes, I am actually amazed that it recognized my writing as I wasn’t even sure what I wrote.
Keep in mind that everyone’s note-taking requirements are different, so there may be a tool that is better suited to your specific needs, but for me, the above-noted combination has worked the best. I hope this article helps you to determine if the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil will be a good fit for you as well.
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