I am working with a new toy: an iPad Pro with an Apple pencil. This will serve as my daily journal. Before, I tried but failed, to write every day. For me this is essential. The process records my thoughts and the new things I learn. It is a mnemonic. Writing in longhand forces me to concentrate on my thoughts, and it helps to fix them in my memory. But to keep a journal of any length, a problem surfaces. How do you find a specific passage? To be able to do this is critical as it shows the growth of one's viewpoint. Unfortunately, to be able to find a topic, I would have to make it searchable. This is almost impossible with a handwritten journal. But, if one converts the journal to ASCII (American Standard Communication Information Interchange), one can search and find specific topics. But, this requires a machine and can be done in one of two ways. The first is to type in the information on a laptop computer. The second is to write longhand into a journal and then convert the script with a scanner. Both solutions are cumbersome.
My solution is using a tablet with a pencil for my journal. Many of these devices can, with the right software, convert my writing to ASCII, making it a searchable document. Once done, I can record and file my notes, ensuring that my musings can be readily called up. Carrying a tablet with a small pencil is more convenient than lugging around a laptop computer. No matter where I am, I can record my thoughts. Finally, my notes can be made more complete by including photographs and diagrams.
The iPad will become my daily companion. Not only will it accompany on trips, but it will record my microscope and photography sessions. I can keep the tablet next to my photomicrography setup and record my camera and microscope settings.