Paper or Not?

Paper or Not?

We occupy the most rapidly evolving age of human kind to date, technology has started to become obsolete or outdated faster than my wardrobe. Big-shots in the technological field predict a fast approaching singularity  of technological advancement; expect that to happen when computers start to design computers for designing better computers. During the interim though, we’ve got what we’ve got in the present, and it’s expensive, so what’s worth your hard earned money?

Alright, we’re done the intro, may I fan-boy over apple products now? I joke, but really that’s pretty much all this is.

About 6 months ago I purchased an iPad Pro 9.7”, complete with apple pencil, for myself. The main motivation for this purchase was my suffering from tendonitis and a dire need to study long hours for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Tests). I need to write and annotate when I study, but tendonitis caused by writing kind of gets in the way of more writing. So, I needed a way to write that put much less stress on my hand, and if it happened to be able to act as 11 textbooks flattened into a powerful computer all at the same time then so be it.

Really though, this thing has pretty well replaced paper for me. Any time I would have used paper for something that I did not plan to be physically handing to someone else, I now use my iPad. Also, I don’t know about you, but I have to read a lot of journal articles and I like to annotate while I do so. Instead of wasting endless piles of paper that are impossible to find information from afterwords, I can do it all on an iPad and my annotations are searchable. On several occasions I’ve been sitting in on a seminar when the lecturer says something I would love to ask a question about, but to make sure I won’t sound ill-informed like to quickly look up an article I read a few weeks ago. A laptop can be somewhat rude to pull out and start typing on during a seminar, but with my iPad already on my lap to take notes with there’s no problem barriers for looking things up. I could not possibly think of a better tool for doing any of these things (I’m sure there are other tablets that work, but I have no experience with those ones), and recommend this one wholly for anyone interested breaking free from the shackles of paper without moving away from writing. As a fun little exercise, if you’ve read this far, can you tell which words from the picture at the beginning of this post were written on real paper and which were written on an iPad?

All-in-all, iPads are damned pricey, but if you have use for it then you will use it very single day. Which is very doable since I know that I have been able to steadily get 14 hours of activity and more than 200 hours of offline use between charges. 5 out of 5 stars, would recommend to a friend. In case you were curious, every second letter was written on an iPad. So liking the look of archaic graphite etchings won’t be reason enough to stick writing with pencils.

Banner image by GradLife McGill Blogger N. H. Zelt

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