Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Nebo + Evernote = Awesomeness

This past week, I've been trying an experiment with my work journals: handwriting. Shy of writing a novel, this is probably the greatest mark of Nebo being a useful tool.

For a long time now, I've used Evernote as the central note taking hub. Regardless of where created, if it's non-transient, it'll end up in Evernote. For the years of working from Android: it's usually been just an alt+tab away when using my keyboard while docked, and when undocked I've been a stylus with glide/swype style input.

A side effect of the iPad change over is multitasking sucks, and the floaty keyboard has a bugnormous history on iPad. When I shift between apps in Android, Evernote yields a pretty lossless experience. When I do the same thing in iOS, it's more like "Snap back to save point", so alt+tab'ing back to Evernote on my iPad can be followed by changing side-tabs, finding the note again, and repositioning my cursor. Yeah, that sucks, but that's the iOS app. It took quite a while for most of the floating keyboard bugs to get knocked out of the OS as well, for us freaks that do swypy style writing with a pencil.

Nebo's been a side tool for a while now. Often my choice in meetings^ and simple charts/diagrams, which would then be exported as PDFs for Evernote or HTML for my internal web server, depending on context. But I've never really used it for my journal, despite being unexpectedly good at handling the funky nouns local to my environment.

By in large my work journals have consisted of typed text, entered into my notes system.

Handwriting has mostly been limited to tasks that called for mobility, such as scribbling results as I move between pieces of equipment, and not converted to typed text--which is Nebo's speciality. Depending on what I'm working on, my journal entries can vary from a note per day to a note every few months.

What I've been doing this week has been creating my entry in Nebo. Usually written a sentence or a paragraph at a time, and then converted to typed text. No, I can't spell any better with a pencil than a set of fingers; but Nebo works excellent at converting handwriting to typed text. Among other things.

So typically, I'll have my iPad across from my keyboard, and I'll shift to it periodically to write stuff in my journal entry. When I've finished: I export the page as text, and send it to Evernote. Send it to my notebook for journals, tag it as a work related journal entry, and tag it for the projects and search-worthy terms relevant to what I've been writing and working on. If I start the page with the title, Evernote for iOS even picks that up as the note title.

This has been working well enough for me that I think that I'll stick to it. Things that Nebo doesn't support, like attaching files, I can always do after the export. Things that are lossy, like subtitle formatting, I can usually enter manually or omit. Nebo also lets me shift to directly typing text: both using the on screen, and my Bluetooth keyboard.

Net result is I get the convenience of pen input, the searchability of typed text, and don't have to curse profanities at the autocorrect for swiping words. I'm liking it a lot more than I thought.


^ I've given up on Evernote's handwriting stuff. Because it mostly sucks on all platforms, and when combined with app switching on iOS, usually erased my frakking writing!

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