5 Pages


The new iPad makes a formidable promise. Its screen is “as good as printed paper”. It can out-resolution the glossiest magazine. At this point, its apps can help it replace almost every dead tree in your briefcase or manbag, but until now for this iPad-owner at least, it has remained subservient to a traditional pen and paper. That’s all about to change.

For the next two weeks I’ll swap my notepad for an iPad. All magazines will be consumed on-screen, and every written piece of correspondence will be replaced by the iPad. Even the ones that are pushed through my letterbox must be dutifully transferred to Apple’s tablet.

Is it possible? Is it pleasurable and, ultimately is it preferable to pack an iPad in place of modern-day papyrus?

The rules

To keep things fair, I’ve got a few simple rules to live by for the next fortnight:

1) All notes, drawings and non-typed messages must be made on a new iPad.
2) All magazines and newspapers must be consumed on the iPad. No sneaking a look at the paper versions, even the free ones littering the bus or train.
3) All printed correspondence, receipts and invoices should be kept on Apple’s tablet. I must live the paper-free lifestyle wherever and whenever possible.

The tools

I’m starting with a clean slate. Literally. Apple’s new third generation iPad is here in my hands, waiting for a slew of apps, styli and clever workflows to be thrown at it. Aside from that, I won’t be bagging any special equipment or add-ons. This is a test of the new iPad, my wits, and nothing more.

Reporting in

Expect to hear from me every few days. I’ll be updating you on the things I’ve discovered, my coping strategies, and letting you know what’s possible and what’s not. And I want you to get involved too.

Comment on my updates and let me know if there’s something new I should try, or if I’m heading in completely the wrong direction. Follow me on Twitter @jamesholland for more granular tidbits about my quest to ditch the printed word, and think of me each time you kill another tree.

  • Cosmo

    Looking forward to reading how this pans out.

    • http://gizmodot.com/ Bex

      Likewise, I think I might try to use the iPad to replace my written notes as well. I don’t write much with pen and paper but, I have found some things easier with a good ol’ pen & paper but, haven’t done so for a while and need to do some stuff this week so I think I’ll try out the iPad for my tasks :) .

      • James Holland

        Looking forward to reporting in! It’s just been pointed out to me that I’m flying to Texas this week, and I’ll need to dodge paper boarding passes… but BA don’t have an iPad version of their app. Currently trying to download my e-ticket on a 2x iPhone app running on the iPad.

        What’s the betting my blown-up QR code will impress the ladies on the check-in desk?

        • Tycoon12345

          Given that you said you would be reporting ‘every few days’ and its now early May you are not really staying true to your promise. Disappointing and not super..

  • Steffen

    Don’t fortgebt zoomnotes, the best notes App. Ever!

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