Thoughts on e-ink tablets?

I am very interested in hearing more about your writing practice on the iPad with the Apple Pencil. Are you journaling? Writing drafts of blog posts and scripts for videos? Are you using GoodTask, or something else?

Perhaps you could talk about this in a segment on your next MPU follow-up episode?

The siren song of social media is so loud for me that a single-purpose device would not silence it, unless I also smash my iPhone. Which seems excessive.

And thanks for the tip about dictating day one entries. For years I’ve been sporadically keeping an events journal – people call it an interstitial journal nowadays. For the past few days I’ve been dictating entries, and therefore have been more diligent about it.

I’m not MacSparky, but I’m finding it really helpful to write on my iPads with an Apple Pencil. I’m profoundly dyslexic, but Notes, Drafts and GoodNotes all do surprisingly well at reading not just my printing, but even my truly ugly, weird, dyslexic cursive, The Apple Pencil 2 is noticeably “better” than the 1, but I’m using the 2 on the current Mini, and the 1 on the 8th generation iPad, which may also affect handwriting.

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I’d forgot all about the Kobo Sage. Do you ever side load books onto it? How do you find that?

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This will be a serious improvement and addresses most of what was keeping me from considering a ReMarkable.


I also just discovered the reMarkable browser extension (for chrome, brave, etc.), called Read on reMarkable, which can send a web page to the reMarkable as either text or a pdf.
So far, it’s working really well.


Just ran across their virtual environments called Room to Think. They’re kind of like Lofi Girl, if that is familiar.

I think they need help with marketing or onboarding.


And in a similar vein as the reMarkable, here’s a modern-day typewriter. Keyboard with mechanical switches, e-ink display, distraction free.

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Just found out my Son in Law got a Remarkable 2 about a month ago with free Connect for 12 months. I’m gonna check it out tomorrow when they come for dinner.

(Credit card will be locked in a box, changed to a rock at the bottom of the ocean)


Hopefully, he has the pencil too.
If you can, try to spend some time with it alone so you can be with your thoughts as you use it.

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My friend Mike Vardy has one of these and I spent some time on it last time I was with Mike. Again, it feels like something pretty expensive and of limited functionality. I get that the point is the forced constraints, but that just doesn’t land with me when I could do this (and have a digital writing pad) with an iPad.


Focus mode doesn’t allow you to “simplify” your device by limiting the apps you can access while focusing. You can limit the home screens (which I’ve done) but you’re still one left swipe away from all the apps you have on the device. It’s very easy to be unfocused while in a focus mode. It’s strange, given that most focus apps for Mac can limit access to applications while in focus mode for obvious reasons.

Perhaps Apple think that Screen Time does this, but that’s something quite different.


And with an extra device, you are only one step away from your other devices, so what is the point!?
If someone is so dependent on the other stuff, that he/she even will override a Focus mode, or a ScreenTime Restriction, he/she should spent their money rather into a therapy, instead of some extra devices.

Guess it depends on your personality. If I am laying in bed reading on my iPad, I will switch away to check Twitter at times. When I am on my Kindle, I could just pick up my phone to check Twitter, but I don’t.


So, why not?
And why are you switching to Twitter on your iPad, if you do not easily switch your devices, to check with Twitter, if you thing you have to?

I don’t know, that’s why I said it’s a personality thing. You and I don’t think the same way. :wink:


Different strokes, right? People still make beautiful furniture with hand tools.

I’m glad you, and others, can focus at will. That’s a superpower that many of us don’t have. People who have great difficulty with focus (e.g. me) have a hard time understanding what it’s like to just focus on a task.

Even the smallest thing in my peripheral vision, like the replacement tips that came with my reMarkable, pop into my mind as I’m trying to focus on another task. “I should put those somewhere where I’ll be able to find them. I have no idea where. Maybe that grey cabinet. Wait, what did that video I was watching say about data science?”

Or just now. I’m on my Linux box, where I should be studying data science, but I’m posting on MPU. “I should post a picture of those reMarkable tips so people know what I’m talking about. 20 minutes later, I’m setting up nextcloud so I can send the photo from my phone because I created a new nextcloud instance on my Raspberry Pi and haven’t switched my Linux box over to the new server.”

It just goes on and on.

I hope people can at least empathize.


Of course. And this forum is an endless source of distractions :smiley:


I did not expected you to answer, but was hopeful to encourage you to think about it for a moment!
If someone could withstand the urge to check Twitter (or what else), by simply using an extra device for that, they should be able to withstand the same urge, by using other means, like Focusmode, Screentimefunctions, special Homescreen and so on!
The eInk Device could have the same amount of distractions, like an iPad!
Instead of reading your scientific papers there, you could become distracted by the comic/novel/newspaper you also could read there. There are also some kind of games for that and so on.
So there is physical no reason why someone should be less distracted by a special device (also containing hundreds of possible ways for distraction!) and an iPad with a special setting.

Of course, everybody can use the devices he/she thinks helps the most, but I want to encourage for a moment to think about, why they think that they are in need of a special device, to not get distracted, while this device could distract in almost exactly the same way, as the universal iPad/Tablet.

I think you’re over-thinking it. I understand what you’re saying, I just don’t work that way. Obviously others are the same.

If I am on my Kindle, I am reading, that’s it. If I am on my iPad I will switch apps, I will get side tracked.


Sure, if you want to be distracted by the Apps on an iPad, that is totally fine!

But this is a completely other approach, then to be “in need” of using an eInk Device to not become distracted.

Your approach is a willful distraction by the iPad, the other thing is the feeling of people, that they could only be undistracted, if they spend a lot of money for a special device, to “protect” them from the “evil distractions” of an iPad!

And that is just not, how this really works in most cases.

People who are thinking about that like this, are spending a lot of money without a real reason.
Like swallowing some little sugar pills, and expecting them to help with whatever (sometimes even life threatening!) medical conditions, or using a “GTD-Method” and wondering why the work is still there, after they did their lists and reviews.

And that is, why I mentioned that these people should rather think about their situation, and looking for a real solution, instead of spending money on a Device, that is more or less just a sugar pill for them.

Ok, think of it this way: people enjoy these other devices and don’t mind spending the money to buy them.

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