Back in April, I came across a Kickstarter for a product from Jan Sapper called the PaperLike that was aiming to fill an unaddressed niche for the iPad Pro- the lack of a textured surface for writing and drawing on the iPad Pro’s screen. I ended up backing it, and when I received the product in July, I promptly installed it and wrote a brief review. Other than a little difficulty in putting it on (no more than any other flexible film screen protector), I came away happy with my brief experience to that point.
That was almost four months ago, and my impression of the PaperLike has only improved. It has held up without any knicks, scratches, or abrasions over that time, even though I use my iPad Pro every day. I have also really grown to like the way that it disperses light and reduces screen glare, even if it does mute the screen’s vibrancy a little bit. However, it is the added texture that the PaperLike brings to the party that makes it stand out, and that is definitely worth any trade offs.
Even though my handwriting still absolutely sucks (as seen below) despite the greater control that the PaperLike gives me, I still love it. It allows me to write faster with the Pencil while making fewer mistakes, which is a huge help when trying to catch the highlights of a meeting in my notes without falling behind.
While I have used my Pencil to take notes on my iPad on many occasions over the last four months, I just finished up a week long advanced system engineering course covering the Commercial and Industrial Automation Platform that my company installs. This was the biggest test I have given the PaperLike, as I took all of my notes using my iPad Pro, Pencil, along with my favorite note taking app, Notability. I had to work fast because this was a hands-on course, with constant lab work building the applications and templates that were being described and demonstrated. We covered a ton of content over five days, so the pace was fast throughout. I had to work quickly to write down the highlight points of the lecture and get right back to my computer keyboard to continue along in the exercises.
As you can see above, while my writing may be chicken scratch, I understand it, and thanks to Notability, I actually have all of the lectures from the week long course recorded, as well. This is THE killer feature of that app in my book, as I now have all the digital ink from my notes synced up to the recording. This is an INVALUABLE feature for going back and finding key points within a lecture recording after the fact. I was also able to take pictures of a couple of key PowerPoint slides (we were given paper copies to follow at our desks) and embed them directly in my notes as a future time-saver.
After putting the PaperLike and my go-to note taking setup to an extended stress test, I can say that all of the components- the iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, PaperLike, and Notability- worked together fabulously. When I need to go back into these notes for reminders and clarifications in the field, and I definitely will, I will have everything I need to get to the right information quickly because of the combined power of these tools. I would HIGHLY recommend all of the products above to anyone who needs to take thorough lecture or meeting notes.
If you like what you see here, keep an eye out tomorrow. We will be holding a giveaway contest for a 2-Pack of PaperLikes and your choice of one of a selection of powerful paid note taking apps. If you are looking to take your iPad Pro game to the next level, don’t miss out!
Do you have any experience with the note taking on the iPad Pro? How about the PaperLike? Do you like Notability, or does another note taking app tickle your fancy? Let me know in the Comments section below, on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.