Technology has to make it effortless.

Mr John Birmingham had a nice little post today on using a notebook to you know, take down ideas and story plans with a pen. Old school. But just because technology is old technology doesn't make it useless or invalid. Sometimes it is still the best thing, simply because it draws you in to what you want to do.

I love my iPad. Do all my blog writing on it. However I foolishly jumped into an update of the software before checking that the blogging app I use had tested and updated for iOS 5 and it killed it. I could and still did write on the web interface but it was nowhere near as enjoyable. The iPad works for me because I cannot touch type and the pace of my typing roughly matches the pace of my thoughts. I tried some other apps for blog writing but they all made the process harder. The way apple has set up the cloud services now means that whenever I pick up the iPad all my photos and saved links are there ready to go.

I use a lot of pictures in my blogs so the ability to place and move pics around in my blog easily and quickly makes me more likely to write. I found a new app for $1.99 that did all that I wanted and actually made it far easier to put together a post than both my broken app and the web interface. The technology was easy and so I was more likely to write.

At work however things are a bit different. I do a lot of design and marketing stuff as well as forward planning and iPad software design. I have a big iMac but my favorite tool is these big blotters that one of our suppliers give us. Almost as big as my desk it has calendars down both sides, space for to do items on the left and big beautiful blank space to scribble in. Every Monday I start a new one and transfer any left over things from the week before. Coupled with a bunch of felt pens it is integral to the way I work.

I've not yet found a easy way to replicate that with the iPad. Maybe not enough space that I can see everything laid out. Maybe on the new iMac with its massive screen there would be a mind mapping app that would replicate it. One thing I do love on the new iMac is the touch pad that came with it. I have a series of desktops set up, one for photoshop, one for time wasting, one for email, one for the software that runs all our ordering and data at work. I simply swipe between desktops and it is like a little mental switch that clicks your brain into that workflow.

New features and new technology is fantastic, but if you are not going to explore and push it, then the best tech for you might be a exercise book and a pencil. Whatever works.