Koa’s band traveled to Midland, Texas, to participate in a competition today and Mariko and I decided to purchase the live-streaming service so we could watch the performances and the awards ceremony.
It was pretty cool to have the all-day event on our TV (using Chromecast) so we could “keep in touch” with Koa. Midland is over five hours away by car which made going to watch in person a little out-of-reach for us so the live-stream service was nice, even though the quality wasn’t great.
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!
Back in January, I bought an iPad (6th gen) to use as a sketching device, and I since then, I’ve been very happy with it. However, between that time and now, a couple of new iPad models have been released, and the model that I purchased has dropped in price by $70. I purchased my iPad at Costco which has a generous 90-day return policy, and that gave me the option of returning it and buying the same model at the lower price or getting a different model. I decided on the latter option, with the new model being the iPad Air 3, which was $99 more than my original Costco purchase.
The iPad Air 3 has a few advantages over the regular iPad, which made the $99 price difference easy to swallow. First, the screen is a bit larger which makes drawing easier and more fun. Next, the display can show more colors, and its laminated screen means there’s less gap between the tip of the Apple Pencil and the pixels. The new iPad has a larger display, but it’s over a millimeter thinner than the old iPad. Lastly, the iPad Air 3 has a faster processor which will make it a bit more future-proof.
On the downside, the iPad Air 3 that I chose has 64 GB of memory vs. 128 GB on my old iPad, but after using it for two months, I only utilized about 31 GB of space so the 64 GB capacity should be more than adequate.
All-in-all, I’m happy with the upgrade choice. And as a bonus, I could choose the silver model with white bezel, which I prefer over the space-gray/black bezel model which Costco offers. 😀
I couple days ago I bought an Apple iPad 9.7″. The reason I bought it is because I wanted a good drawing tablet with a screen, and to me, the 9.7″ iPad was the best combination of quality and price. I’m not a fan of Apple products (mainly their ecosystem and the awful iTunes application) but the lure of Apple pencil and Procreate was too much to resist.
I’ve had the iPad for a couple days, and I love drawing with it! Procreate is such a fun program to use. I ended up drawing late into the wee hours of the morning the first day I had it.
Compared to a traditional drawing tablet like my Wacom Art tablet, it’s so much more intuitive and fun. The pinch to zoom and rotate on the iPad is awesome! It makes sketching so easy and convenient. I’d say it’s a game-changer.
I’m still a newbie, but I wanted to share one of the “watercolors” I created. I imported a photo from my China vacation, then traced it by hand and colored it in. I’m pleased with how it turned out, especially for a first attempt.
One really cool feature of Procreate is the timelapse feature. It’s pretty neat how it’s always recording your brushstrokes. So fun to go back and watch! Check out the video below to see how I drew this little watercolor:
I’m so happy with Procreate and the Apple pencil. I find iOS to be decent, but the file system baffles me, and iTunes is still maddening. But if I use iPad for the intention I bought it for (sketching), I am more than satisfied. 😀
Today I replaced my old phone, a Motorola Moto G4, with a new one. I went with the latest in the Moto G line, the Motorola Moto G6, which was on sale at Costco for a nice price of just $189, unlocked. Three and a half years ago, I bought the Moto G4 for $179, so it’s keeping with the tradition of a nicely-priced mid-range (some would say “budget”) phone. I just can’t see myself spending a ton of money on a phone, even though I know they are huge parts of our lives.
As you can see from the photo above, the size is about the same, but the screen is slightly taller, and better quality. I ordered another wallet-style case since that is what I prefer – having my drivers license, main credit cards, and a bit of cash with my phone simplifies things for me. I just grab that, my keys, and my camera and I am ready to go! Plus the wallet-case is nice protection for my phone. I don’t need a screen protector for the phone… my G4 doesn’t have any scratches on it. It looks brand new! So hopefully I can sell it for a decent price.
Moving my data from the old phone to the new one was really easy, and only took about 20 minutes. Almost all my old apps were downloaded and installed automatically and settings came across as well. Plus using Lastpass made logging into everything painless. I highly recommend using a password manager!
Once everything was installed, I decided to use a different launcher instead of the Motorola Launcher. I mainly don’t like how the folders look with the Motorola version, with the tiny app icons stuffed inside. I went with Nova Launcher, which I used to use with my old Samsung Galaxy S3 several years ago, and since I actually bought the “Prime” version for the S3, it was still available for installation even for the new phone! With Nova Launcher, I now have the extra customization options to change the icons. So far here is what my phone screen looks like. Nice and tidy:
The folders on the bottom row are (from left to right) chat/messaging/phone, maps/location, music, Instagram/photo-related, and fun stuff like games/Kindle/Netflix. I like the simple look with beautiful illustration as background.
I’m enjoying the speed boost that comes with the upgrade to the Motorola Moto G6. And I am very happy that I was able to get a good deal on a solid phone. 😊