Editing Mode

In case you didn’t know, I use computers. A lot. Between working as a programmer, writing books, and the occasional leisure time spent playing on computers, the vast majority of my life is spent with a screen of some sort in front of it. That time means I come across and try a lot of different tools, and some of them actually make my life better.

One such tool I’ve started using extensively while writing my latest book is Notability. It’s a note taking application that let’s you import PDFs that you can write directly on top of. This is important because I can’t see the typos from within my text editor.

Switching environments when switching tasks is an important concept I picked a while back. For me, that switching comes when I build the book and switch over to a PDF version on my iPad to read it. With Notability, I can take the PDF version of my book and change rooms or sometimes just turn the chair around away from the desk, and switch into “editing” mode.

I’m not alone in using an iPad for editing. I hadn’t found an app that worked well for note taking though, so I often switched back to my text editor to write notes. Having to mentally switch context back and forth and back and forth as I physically switched devices hurt my productivity. Being able to do it all in one app has made iPad editing much more feasible.

Once I’ve finished an edit pass and have a whole slew of changes to make, I switch back to my computer with my iPad close by. Notability lets you change the color of the pen you use, so I swap it out for green, and slightly larger for impact, then start slashing through all of the red as I mark edits off. The satisfaction from marking something off with a physical slash can’t be overstated.

I’ve been using Notability for about a month now and don’t know how I managed to edit without it. I highly recommend it if you have an iPad and are doing any type of writing/drafting work.

Question for the Reader

I’ve been considering a series of short posts like this about tools that I use and how they fit into my work flow. I love to watch people work and see how they interact with their systems, though. Is this something that interests you?