I’m studying at the university, at a distance. Having the perks of not being in school every day gives me the freedom to work and put in my hours whenever I want to. The downside is that I have to travel to school and put up that expense about six to eight times a year. The first time I traveled to school, it was 13 hours away by train. The introduction would last for eleven nights and required bringing books and, since I would be gone for so long, my laptop to do further school work. And then of course, a thousand other things since I was about to be gone for so long.
When I arrived in town at 7.30 AM after having taken the overnight train, I lugged that big red suitcase around all day because my inn didn’t do check-ins before 2 PM, and man, dragging that thing around town and then to the university and back, I was finished. A few days later, I changed rooms from a 6-bed to a single room. And of course, because I had to check out at 8 AM I had to choose between dragging my suitcase around with me another day or leaving it unsupervised in the luggage room until the afternoon.
Uhm. Dragging it is.
Since then, the scheduled visits have been shortened to around four-five nights and I’ve moved closer, so I don’t need to pack as much stuff or travel as far. But I was still carrying too much around with me day-to-day while away. Books, laptop, chargers, notebooks, pens, papers, cellphone, wallet and add to that the days when I traveled and brought everything with me everywhere. It adds up quickly.
Enter; the iPad
One day I was at work when my colleague pulled out a huge, A4 size shiny golden iPad out of her bag. I had seen it before, she usually draws her designs on it being a tattoo artist and all, but it wasn’t until now it had caught my eye. I looked on a little while she sweepingly created things on the screen with the pen, in total control of the line thickness and moving her drawing around with the pinch-motion. An iPad huh. My materialistic side had awoken. I wanted one. But for what?
When I got home, I exhausted Google on all its relevant information about the tech-thingie and its pen which was the selling argument for me. So you can draw it, I knew that. Oh, you can write on it too (well, it’s obvious ya know but I was informed about good apps for it)? Oh, scan papers? Mhmm, read on it. Listen to podcasts? Also, play music of and surf the internet of course.
So that means that I… can surf on it, scan all the school handouts and parts of literature and put them in there to read and annotate on, take notes in class by hand, have my complete DIY calendar with me AND entertain myself at the long boring evenings at an inn with just this little flat piece of technology? OH OKAY.
Oh, so almost no difference in how much I'll carry around then....
After that realization, having made a few of those trips to school and moved house three times within the last 18 months, in a fit of internal rage I flipped a mental table and mind-threw everything weighing over half a pound in the trash can, yelling “I WILL CARRY MYSELF TO DEATH NO MORE! I’M GETTING MYSELF AN IPAD DANGIT”.
And so it was! Even though I’m not the greatest Apple fan, I think IOS works on a tablet and the UI don’t annoy me like it does on my laptop where I want a more “computery” style of handling things.
I’ve had it now for almost a year, and what do I do with it? Let’s make a list!
Scan all the things!
The apps I use the most: GoodNotes (annotating, reading, keeping calendars and lists), the podcast app, Procreate (drawing), Genius Scan (scanning papers), and then the usual media; Pinterest, Bloglovin, Feedly, Youtube, Hemnet (SE, for looking at houses), Safari.
I read, write (by hand and by a little bluetooth keyboard), keep a regular calendar and a bullet journal, draw in Procreate, scan pages and papers in order to keep them all in one place, and import existing documents from my computer. I make my own “printables” and import them into GoodNotes so I can track things just the way I want to do it instead of following someone else’s templates. I have made my own calendar and a couple of different templates adapted to what I’m keeping track of, like school, or just things I want to get done. The star of the show is GoodNotes though.
GoodNotes is “a new take on note-taking”. In this sync-between-units-app, you can create new notebooks or import existing PDF’s and images to read, annotate, draw on etc. I use it with everything that regards school and planning my life. We always get the instructions by PDF from school and there are often articles to download and read during the courses. I collect everything in GoodNotes, together with my own DIY getting-my-shit-together-documents in order to keep track of everything I have to do and when the deadlines are.
The times when I have to travel and the instruction calls for a specific chapter of a book being handled in upcoming lectures, I scan that chapter and import it into GoodNotes so I can read it/use it in school without having to bring the entire book with me.
Take notes and then highlight the actual important stuff
During the lectures I take notes in GoodNotes, on dotted paper that I’ve made, being able to move the text around if I want to add something or create a new page in the middle of pages. When the course has ended, I export everything into PDF’s so I can save all that collected information for later if I need to go over it again.
I've made my own calendar in Photoshop (not ideal, I know but it's what I've got) with dates and holidays and everything, and I love trying out different layouts and systems. No paper waste if I suddenly get the itch to switch things up! I just saved the thirteen pages with a front page and now that I'm running out of months, I just add one at a time and fill in what plans I have. It's a lovely adaptable way of keeping my shit together. The layout you're looking at now is my third and I find that it's quite suitable for my needs. Further instructions on school assignments and stuff dwell within another document, with check boxes to see that I've gotten through everything I need to do.
Sort-of easy to find overview, all the notes and highlights show here so I don't need to search page by page after what I've noted as most interesting.
My book tracker, it hasn't gone very far yet. This is the front page I made, where I write on the books which one's I've read. On the next page, there's a list of books I want to read.
You can drag-and-drop pictures into your notebooks and resize after taste. And if your handwriting is fancy enough, you will be able to search your own notes and convert your handwritings into text. I on the other hand, cannot. From the pictures it may appear why. Hehe.
Yeah I'm pretending I'm one of those people that can manage having big goals in life, when really, it's all little tiny steps forward in all categories. Hee hee.
The app costs around 6.50 euros and its worth so much more than that! So, if you’ve ever thought about what the fuck people use a tablet for (I was one of them one year ago), this is my favorite aspect of having one. Just scan it all and use it for the paperless home office! Thank you for reading this ESSAY on this little subject, I tried cutting it down but I couldn't. It's so good, I wish I WAS sponsored. Instead, I'm just a fan.
Until next time, toodiloo!