I’m finding the joy in writing again with a little help from the Supernote Nomad

I recently accepted that I am and always will be a paper-and-pencil kind of girl. When it comes to writing, nothing does it for me like the act of scribbling by hand. I’m more creative, less distracted, and more emotionally invested in what I’m doing than typing on a keyboard.

But over the past decade or so, I’ve lost touch with handwriting in favor of writing professionally. I spend most of my time hunched over a laptop, and for the sake of efficiency, I’ve unconsciously conditioned myself to write almost exclusively that way. While it’s certainly best for the day-to-day demands of news blogging (I mean, how else could we do it?), being away from the notebook has killed my desire to do any creative writing outside of work. These days, every time I open my laptop to write in my spare time, it feels like work.

But what also it feels like writing pages upon pages of handwritten text after putting all the words in my head on paper. This load led me to look into digital notepads for the first time; Since many of them can convert handwritten notes to text files, they’re the best of both worlds. Although none of the available options spoke to me for a while – reMarkable 2 and others E Ink tablets too big for my taste. Then he came out with Ratta Supernote Nomadand I was sold.

The Nomad is the perfect compact. With a 7.8-inch screen, it’s more like the size of an e-reader, meaning I can throw it in a mini backpack and take it anywhere with me – and I do. My Nomad arrived in May (I ordered the $329 Crystal version because I’m partial to a clear case), and I’ve been using it almost every day since. I was cautiously optimistic about what writing about this thing would actually be like, but it exceeded all my expectations.

It only took a few minutes to get used to it, which resulted in me getting over my somewhat irrational fear. designed for this device — will scratch the screen. (It was expensive, okay?) The tablet doesn’t come with a stylus, and I shelled out a little extra for the $89 Heart of Metal stylus, a decision I’m very happy with. It’s nothing like a stylus, but instead has a sharp, precise tip like a real pen – hence my initial hesitation.

The experience of writing on the Nomad is very close to the feeling of actually using pen and paper. It has texture, something you don’t get with the iPad typing experience. I type pretty fast and haven’t had too many problems with lag so far. It comes with a number of writing templates, including lined “paper” with several different ruler size options, and you can create your own or download templates made by others. I haven’t dabbled too much with the custom versions yet, as the built-in offerings were adequate for free writing, note-taking, and organizing my life.

I was pleasantly surprised that the handwriting recognition tool was able to convert my chicken scribbles into printed text. My handwriting is fine at best, but things can get pretty messy when I’m working fast. It’s not 100 percent accurate—it’ll throw in occasional gibberish—but the device gets it mostly right. You can export the converted post as a .TXT or .DOCX file and have Nomad format it for you. It does require some cleaning, but it’s never a big deal.

Supernote devices can sync with a number of different cloud storage providers, including Dropbox and Google Drive (though Google doesn’t work for me right now, so one point against that) and the company’s own cloud. You can also lock individual files and folders behind a password, and so did I indeed rate it. Nothing bothers me more than the thought of someone reading my unfinished drafts, some of which are never meant to see the light of day.

And finally, I gave up my paper planner – something I never thought would happen. Supernote’s built-in monthly calendar and weekly planner finally gave me an alternative that actually worked for me. One of the main reasons I use paper planners is that I like to doodle to highlight important events or tasks, and the Supernote Nomad allows me to do just that. The only thing I miss is using different colored stickers and pens, but I’ll survive.

I’ve probably done more writing (the “for me” kind) in the last month using Supernote Nomad than I did in the last year. It’s just that my laptop and even other non-distracting writing devices, e.g Free writing traveler, there is Eventually I hope to draw and read on it too, but for now all I want to do about it is write because I’m having such a great time doing it. Before you ask – yes, I wrote this article on Nomad.

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