A Broken Spacebar and my iPad
I used to write almost exclusively on my computer. Then, my spacebar started going bad sometime around November of last year, inconveniently just before I launched this blog. Especially problematic given how much and how often I like to write, I nevertheless decided not to fix it: right around that time the flame war around the iPad as solely a content consumption versus a multi-faceted creation device was raging across the internet, and I wanted to decide what I would use my own iPad for myself.
It’s been six months since then; I still haven’t fixed my spacebar.
At first, it was tough: I jumped in without any preparation, and my experience suffered for it. Instead of creating a new workflow around this new medium, I attempted to adapt my iPad to the way I was used to working on my computer. I wrote in text files stored remotely and synced the documents to my computer via Dropbox. Even when I finally moved away form this approach, I excluded any service incapable of syncing to my desktop machine. My Windows machine. To say this restriction severely limited my options would be an understatement. I eventually found Simplenote though, and for a while life was good: Simplenote had a decent desktop client, the iOS app worked well, and the syncing seemed rock-solid.
I used Simplenote for quite a while. As time passed though, as Simplenote’s syncing idiosyncrasies became more and more pronounced, I gradually came to terms with the reality that it was time to move on to better things. I had tried purely iOS text editors in the past, but all fell short of my expectations in one way or another. Then I found Drafts; shortly thereafter, Simplenote was but a distant memory. Within the space of three months, I had gone from a desktop-centric workflow to focus solely on iOS.
It’s been three months since then; I haven’t looked back.
Today I still use Simplenote occasionally: every once in a while I look back through my notes to find an article fragment or something of the kind. All my writing happens on iOS these days though, in Drafts, where the only tie to the desktop computing world sits at the top of a list, labeled with “Send to Dropbox”. Had you told me six months ago that today, I would have forsaken my beloved Sublime Text for a touchscreen keyboard on my iPad, I would have laughed. “That’s ridiculous,” I would say, “you can’t write on an iPad.” Oh how I was wrong.
Sent from my iPad.