Two things every digital note-taker should know before choosing the Apple Pencil


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While I'm an Android Gal at heart, even I can admit that the feeling of writing with an Apple Pencil is so much better than any Android based option I've tried.

I enjoy taking notes by hand in many circumstances - most often in meetings or classes where I'm going to be switching between drawings and written text frequently. Because these are frequent occurrences in my life, I use my iPad and pencil almost daily.

Now that I'm a year in with my iPad Air and 2nd Gen Apple Pencil there are two things I've learned that I think you should know.

  • The screen protector matters - a lot. I'm clumsy. Screen protectors have saved my butt more often than I like to admit when I drop my device. If you're writing with an Apple Pencil, the screen protector not only provides protection - it also alters the feeling of writing on the screen. I've tried three protectors and my favorite is the one from Paperlike (https://paperlike.com/). Like everything Apple, it costs more than it really should, but in this case I do think it's worth it. The feeling is a bit "rough" like actual paper.
  • Apple pencil nibs must be replaced. My biggest issue with the Apple Pencil is how quickly the nibs have to be replaced. I write for three to five hours a day most days and with the Paperlike protector being a little rougher, nibs wear down in about two months for me. They aren't terribly expensive, but I don't feel I get a lot of warning when a nib is about to just stop working so I now always carry an extra in my gear bag - yet another way technology doesn't actually make my life easier on a day to day basis.