Daily Journaling with the iPad

"Daily Journals" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/110 sec, ISO200
“Daily Journals” Cedar Park, 2019


One of my daily habits is to jot down a few things about my day into a daily logbook, and I have now switched over to a digital system using my iPad and Microsoft OneNote. Going digital with the logbook parallels my going digital with my sketching which makes sense since the Apple Pencil is such a wonderful device for both drawing and note-taking.

One reason for going digital is because of convenience. I usually have the iPad with me so I can take a note in the logbook within a few seconds. I can write with different digital pens/highlighters, erase effortlessly, doodle, and create unlimited pages. And if I want, I can switch from writing by hand to typing using the virtual keyboard.

Another reason why I am going digital for my logbook is that it meshes well with my process of decluttering. Regarding note-taking, I can now streamline my fountain pen collection and notebooks as well as my art supplies. It’s kind of a quick switch because just last year I started buying more fountain pens and decided on a good notebook system, but decluttering is so liberating that I want to extend that to my stationery as well. It’s a win-win for my present lifestyle. Convenience and less clutter! It’s funny, but I sometimes like to have cool things, like my fountain pens, but I am increasingly getting more joy out of not having those things.

So why did I decide on OneNote as the app for my logbook? Sure, there are several highly-regarded note-taking apps for the iPad such as GoodNotes and Notability, but I wanted something that wasn’t tied to the Apple eco-system. That left Microsoft OneNote as the top contender, and it ticks off a lot of the checkboxes for me. It has an organization system that makes sense, a good handwriting experience with a decent selection of virtual pens, excellent price (free!), and it’s cross-platform which means I can access my logbook on my Android phone and Windows computers as well. I wish it had a dot-grid option for the background, but that’s not a deal-breaker (and it’s possible to make my own).

I’m only a week into using it, but it looks like it will work out nicely. I have one “notebook” called Daily Journal, and within that are pages. I use one page for a whole month, which may seem like an odd way to do it, but OneNote’s pages can be huge, so I think a whole month’s worth of log entries will fit no problem. And having one tab/page for a single day would create too many tabs. Plus I like to see several days at a time with my paper logbook, so it makes sense to carry that over to the digital logbook.

It’s kind of cool that I have my sketchbook and logbook on the same device. Plus of course my calendar and all my books (Kindle app). For me, the Apple Pencil was the catalyst that brought it all together. I’m not an Apple fan, but the iPad/Apple Pencil is a really awesome combination. I love it!

Healing My Sore Wrist with a Wrist Brace

"Wrist Brace" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/50 sec, ISO3200
“Wrist Brace” Cedar Park, 2019

こんにちは。How’s it going?

For the past week I’ve been wearing a wrist brace in order to let it heal properly. For several months now, I’ve been dealing with a nagging soreness when I flex my left wrist too far in either direction. I think I originally injured it lifting a suitcase in the summertime, and I have kept injuring it with regularity since then, so it never gets a good amount of time to heal. The pain is not too bad, but there are certain times when it hurts more, such as when I stretch for some keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop (like ctrl+t), reach back for the seatbelt, or play the ukulele.

The Vive wrist brace is sized pretty small, so I think anyone with larger hands will find it uncomfortable. My wrist is 6 3/4 in diameter, which is on the skinny side, and it’s pretty snug. The brace has three adjustment straps, and I like to leave it loose, which is comfortable but gives me adequate support and warning when I bend my wrist near the limit when it would begin to hurt.

Also, the brace is great for helping me play my Kala ukulele with better form. One of the reasons why my wrist has not healed is that I used to strain it almost every day due to my bad fretting form. But playing while wearing the brace keeps my wrist straight (and forces me to bend my fingers more) which is so great! In fact, the wrist brace might be a good idea for anyone who wants to improve their bad form.

Anyway, after a week of wearing the brace off-and-on, I can definitely tell that there’s less pain. Even when I don’t use the brace, I am more aware of my wrist position and more hesitant to use my left hand in situations that could potentially put excessive strain on it. It’s nice to be on the road to recovery! I’m not sure how long I will have to wear the brace, but I’m thankful that I don’t have to give up my ukulele hobby, which is a source of joy for me. 😀

I hope you had a nice day!

Tonight’s Sketch

こんばんは。I don’t have a photo to share for this post, but I did finish a drawing on the iPad using Procreate.

I might sound like a broken record, but I really enjoy sketching on the iPad. I’m getting more comfortable, and am able to work quicker, and with greater precision. Of course, the more I learn, the more I realize I have a long ways to go! But progress is encouraging, and I have a lot of fun with minimal frustration. Very satisfied!

To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album “My Sketching Journey”, or my Instagram account barron.sketches which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.

If you’re interested in my favorite sketching gear that I use, you can find a list here.