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Holiday reflections

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Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Dec 29, 2014 at 11:38 AM



I enjoyed reading your reflections on 2014. One possible solution for your digital, mobile, instant-on writing quest:

I recently bought a ClamCase bluetooth keyboard for my iPad Air, and so far I’ve liked it a lot. It basically turns your iPad into a mini laptop.

- Reasonable typing
- Can be bent behind so that it gets out of the way for more typical tablet use
- Good battery life (I’ve charged it once and haven’t charged it again in almost a month)

- Makes the iPad more bulky and a little heavier
- Even though it does have a long battery life, it does need to be charged
- Sometimes there seems to be a missing keystroke… not sure if it is my typing or a “hole” in the bluetooth


Good luck with your 2015 goals.

Steve Z.

Franz Grieser wrote:
> >Best wishes to everyone here for 2015.
> >In 2014 ...
> >1) I was on a quest for for a digital, mobile, instant-on writing
>machine for writing down ideas and short snippets when not in my office.
>I.e. when traveling to the nearby city in a suburban train or the
>underground, when at home in bed or in the living room (I do not want to
>set up a computer in the living room).
>I have tried a lot. But nothing really works for me: 
>- Pen and paper: Instant on but requires retyping the notes/snippets,
>which I often postpone, some notes even got lost.
>- iPad: always with me when commuting because I read Kindle books on it,
>but the on-screen keyboard is a PITA.
>- The Windows RT tablet/keyboard is a good notebook with the tablet
>safely fixed to the keyboard, but no real instant-on (unless I don’t
>shut it down but then the batteries don’t last for several days as in my
>iPad, Dropbox was unusable.
>- Windows 8.1 tablet/keyboard: instant-on vs. quick battery drain, no
>way to safely combine tablet and keyboard.
>- Windows/Mac notebooks: to large and heavy to always carry around,
>instant-on vs. quick battery drain.
> >Haven’t found a viable solution so far (I am now even considering an
>“antique” Psion Netbook Pro as writing machine, but am afraid that I
>will end up with another piece of hardware that is not THE solution).
> >2) I switched part of my work to a Mac Mini (up to now mainly for
>running Windows in VirtualBox) and bought a used Macbook Pro for blog
>writing. And - guess what - I got a lot of apps for it (Scrivener and
>Scapple, Ulysses III, Devonthink Pro, Curio, Tree 2, Papyrus Autor),
>which I am slowly exploring now.
> >3) I lost my trust in Evernote. Which is bad because right now I use it
>as one of my 2 repositories for notes and saved web pages and because I
>have access to the repository from my Windows and Mac machines and my
>iPad. But twice I was not able to access notes I had downloaded to my
>iPad without internet connection (usually that works fine but there were
>2 times that did not work when I was travelling “lite” and the iPad was
>the only machine I had with me). What is more: I find handling data in
>Evernote cumbersome. E.g. setting up “folders” within notebooks is a
> >So, on my Macs I moved to Devonthink Pro where I imported the Evernote
>notebooks I need on the Mac; once a week I import new Evernote notes I
>entered on my Windows machines or saved from the web while on the
>Windows machines. On Windows I keep Evernote and OneNote (my second
>repository). Processing Evernote notes is mainly done on the Macs.
> >4) I do most of my writing and formatting in LibreOffice Writer on
>Windows, which I found the most convenient tool. Some writing (for my
>magazine) is done in Word because I have to preformat the articles in
>Word stylesheets. For spelling, grammar and style checking I use Papyrus
>Autor, which is unique in that field. So far Papyrus has not replaced
>Writer as the writing tool.
>I do hardly any writing in Scrivener any more, I mainly use it to
>structure long manuscripts and to collect notes and snippets. For some
>weeks I used Scrivener to plan and structure my 2 blogs and kept the
>Scrivener project in my Dropbox. However, something got wrong (I guess
>the Scriv project was not completely closed on the Windows PC when I
>opened it on the Mac) - so I am no longer able to open the Scriv project
>on the Windows machine, only on the Macs.
> >5) There are so many interesting cloud apps (Workflowy and Gingko in
>particular) but I have been reluctant to make the move to a net-only
>solution without a viable business model. As soon as there will be a
>Windows or Mac app for Workflowy or Gingko I will immediately give it a
>try. I want to be able to access my data whether there is an internet
>connection or not (on German trains you often have no internet
>connection, the same with a place where I go every few weeks for a few
> >
>In 2015 ...
> >6) I plan to reduce cloud storage usage (Dropbox, OneDrive) and install
>a private cloud on a new NAS system.
> >7) I will give a few cloud apps a try: A colleague I plan to collaborate
>more with uses Nimble as her CRM system, so I will probably switch to
> >8) I will do more work on my Macs (writing and planning for my 2 blogs,
>ebooks) and use my Macbook as a DJing machine for seminars. I just
>started exploring Curio and like what I have seen so far. The 13”
>display of the Macbook is a bit small for it, the 24” monitor on the Mac
>Mini is just right.
> >9) I will give Notebooks by Alfons Schmid another try as a
>cross-plattform notetaking/web clipping tool (thanks to Bill’s
>continuous recommendations).
> >Regards, Franz