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Old 16-06-2019, 20:36   #1
thetope
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anyone use a tablet & stylus to take notes for work / study

I use [paper] notebooks in work to take notes of meetings and keep track of my projects.

I'm toying with the idea of buying a tablet to take notes on and then I could keep everything in the one place without having separate notebooks for separate projects. I might also want to convert handwritten notes to typed ones.

Does anyone use a tablet and stylus in this way? Does it work well?

So far i have been looking at
Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
Apple Ipad 2018 & Pencil, or Pro and Pencil
Surface Go

Also can anyone recommend software to go along with it? I mainly use microsoft office at work, I haven't used onenote before but I'm assuming it integrates well? Or does it not and is there better out there? Many thanks
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Old 18-06-2019, 04:37   #2
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I was recently on a training course and had my work-issued HP X2 hybrid with me.
It has a pen with it. Although I started with normal pen and paper for notes, I noticed a couple using their MS Surface Pros to take notes. So I checked how they were doing that.

Turned out they had used onenote to import the digital presentations we were being shown - they simply printed the documents to OneNote using their pdf 'Print to OneNote' option.

Once in OneNote you could use the pen to highlight areas and write handwritten notes straight onto the page. It worked pretty well and I used it that way for the rest of the week. The software was just the pen functionality built into Windows 10 (small pen icon down near the clock), so no extra software was used.
I didn't use any handwriting to text function, just left my scrawl on the document.

Best thing was that I didn't need the paper binder I'd usually bring back into the office as the one-note files were in the cloud already.
Downer was the need to keep an eye on the battery level as I was not using a mains plug for most of the time, but it still worked even in battery-saver mode.
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Old 18-06-2019, 06:31   #3
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I tried this in my office way back in 2010 when the Note line of tabs came out from Samsung.

Aside from the shifting of what you wrote off the tab onto PC or print after, the biggest issue I had was that it just felt wrong as the pen has no friction against the surface.

I have a Samsung Tab S4 and stylus now - still don't use the pen much.
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Old 18-06-2019, 12:25   #4
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I've got in to the habit of using my iPad Pro with pencil for taking notes, doing diagrams etc in meetings and it works really well. There's a tonne of great apps available for that purpose and there's enough "feel" when using the pencil that it becomes second nature very quickly.

If I could justify it, a new iPad Mini with pencil (albeit the previous version) would be a great solution for this.
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Old 18-06-2019, 14:56   #5
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There is a M5 Lite available with a pen, you can also find E-Ink/E-Paper tablets with Pens, Lenovo produced some Chromebooks for the education sector i.e the 300e that you could use a normal HB Pencil on the screen with, the 500e has a normal stylus.

I've got a first gen 300e and a Pencil works fine on it but I'm not sure if the second generation version supports that?! As I'm disabled I've avoided in investing in a smart pen solution, I've noticed using graphics tablets, that all these styluses convert the fine shaking in my hands into to a jittery mess.
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Old 19-06-2019, 10:50   #6
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I've got a Surface Pro 4 that I take to work with me and use to take notes, primarily using OneNote.

It's excellent for taking notes and if you're using Office already integrates nicely with everything else. In design meetings I can quickly make and share sketches or annotate screenshots.

A large number of our projects will have a shared OneNote Notebook soe meeting minutes and project notes are then shared between all project users as they're synced via OneDrive.

I'd definitely recommend OneNote though you could also try EverNote, both are available on multiple platforms but if you've already got Office at work I'd probably go for OneNote.

As for tablets I've only really used the Surface so can't comment on the others but the pen is brilliant and you can get multiple pen tips so you can find one that suits your writing style.
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Old 19-06-2019, 20:18   #7
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Thanks for the replies, I'm leaning more towards the Surface Go (pro is maybe overkill / too expensive and go is meant to be more portable) and onenote now after reading these. Sounds like it would work well for me.
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Old 20-06-2019, 06:12   #8
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Last year I got an iPad Pro and the pencil
I felt like for a moment I was living a life on board the enterprise

Then, after a couple of attempts to do things, I realised it was sod all use for me.
It may be different now, but I was expecting the pencil to in effect turn every input screen on my iPad into a piece of paper. But various apps worked in various ways.

Some seems to work well. Some didn’t work. Some could detect what I wrote. Some could not care less

Even something as simple as adding a signature to a document never seemed to be simple. With some apps it was fine, with others it did nowt

I just really wanted a “digital scrap book” using really just one app and a signature maker.
I gave up in end. No idea where pencil is now.

The fact as well that last years pencil. A premium and expensive product does not work with this years iPad is also a bit of a con
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Old 20-06-2019, 09:16   #9
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I use iPad Pro and Pencil. I mostly use it in OneNote for note taking and drawing, and then for markup on photos etc. I do not use it to maximum effect as not all apps work with it as mentioned above.
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Old 20-06-2019, 22:49   #10
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Have had a Surface Pro 3, 4 and a Surface Book for work... the pens are very useful and pretty robust. Mine is always stuck by magnet to the side of the book and stays there find whilst I'm taking book in and out of bag all the time. There's no pairing nonsense needed for the pen either, it just works. The Bluetooth on it is actually only for regular the push button on the end of the pen. Anyone with a surface pen (everyone where I work has a Surface and pen) can jab and draw on at your screen just fine.

For taking written notes in meetings, I do use OneNote extensively but find it easier to type bullet point lists most of the time. However when someone sends you a screen cap of something and you need to mark it, or you need to take a screen cap of something yourself and point at something specific..... or if you need to sketch out some workflow or process diagram.. it's invaluable.

Last edited by scoobyood; 20-06-2019 at 22:52.
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