PHS editor, Kristina Knight, talks about the tech she couldn't live without: her Nebo App and her Apple Pencil...
I am a gadget girl. MP3 players, video games, tablets, phones, watches, and step-counters. I’ve never met a piece of tech I didn’t like. But, my Apple products are my favorites, from my iPhone to my iPad Pro.
I use them daily for everything from making grocery lists to writing books to setting reminders to check the laundry. I’m not sure what it is, but I can hear a dryer shut off and it doesn’t bug me, but when my phone reminds me that the laundry is waiting, I must finish the task. Go figure.
I’ve been writing almost exclusively on my iPad for a little over 4 years now, since my daughter was in pre-school. I had an older (heavy!) laptop, without a great battery, and I needed something that was easy to haul on school runs. Her pre-school was about a 20 minute drive from our home, and was only 2 ½ hours long – I quickly realized I would accomplish more if I went to the coffee shop nearby to write than if I drove home, turned around, and drove back.
My current model is the iPad Pro 9” – and I adore it. It’s every intuitive to use, I use both Pages and Word, and going back and forth is seamless (for me). But this isn’t just an advertisement for iPad – there are two recent additions to my tablet that I’ve quickly realized I can’t live without. In truth, I’m wondering how I survived this long without them, so I’m taking a little liberty with TechTalk this month – yes, the one piece of tech I can’t live without is my iPad, but there are two accessories that I can’t believe I only just discovered.
1. The NEBO App
NEBO is a really cool note-taking app, and it works with any Windows-based or Apple pencil to simulate actual writing. Yes! No more typing notes – I can doodle while I’m figuring out what my heroine likes to eat for lunch or why my hero is so set in his ways!
Even better – by clicking a simple button in the app, my handwriting is instantly converted to type so that I can copy/paste right into my character sketch documents. I’ve used this app for character sketches, to create outlines (I use a modified 3 Act Structure when I write, and outlines keep things on-track), and even a grocery list once.
I can tap the note I make to turn my handwriting (which is rather sloppy) into type, I can send it into another document, or, (in the case of that grocery list) to my husband’s phone since he was the one doing the shopping that night.
2. My Apple Pencil
I mentioned NEBO can use a tablet pencil – I never thought this particular feature would be as cool as it actually is because the first ‘pencil’ I had was more of a stylus – you know, the things that look like a pencil/pen but have rubber balls at the ends? – a stylus works for simple tapping, but I’ve never been able to use one successfully for actual writing or brainstorming. Believe me, I did try.
At first I thought the Pencil would be a dud like the different versions of the stylus that I’d used in the past. Imagine my surprise! The Pencil actually mimicks (and quite well) handwriting. I’ve found that, while I can type as fast as I write, my creativity flows a bit smoother when I’m writing longhand rather than typing. I’m not sure why that is, and it doesn’t work the same when I’m actually drafting books. But, for note taking and brainstorming, I adore my Apple Pencil. Yes, I miss the sound of pencil on an actual page, but I’ve found the tap of the Pencil against the screen of my iPad has (almost) the same effect.
What I’ve learned since I opened that first iPhone box is that technology can be such a help, especially in my writing life.
What about you? Is there a piece of technology you just can’t live without? Share your #TechTalk with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Kristina's latest release, Famous in a Small Town, the first book in her new Slippery Rock series, is out now. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.