Why I Use a Tablet

I’m looking for some feedback on this article I’m going to be publishing to StudentTabletPC shortly:

Thanks for the feedback from everybody thus far. I am also looking forward for what I have to say. In talking with Tablet people in the past, I’ve notice that everyone has their own personal story about their Tablet. What they use it for, how they use, and why they feel it works so well for them. The cool thing about Tablet’s is their versatility. Unlike a traditional computer, everyone has a different way of interfacing with their Tablet and I think this makes the Tablet crowd special. So here is my personal story about my Tablet.

Blame it on Star Trek and the PADD, I suppose. Ever since I was four and first set my eyes hands on a computer (Windows 3.11, anybody?), I’ve been glued to the screen. My dream of infusing the computer even more into my life came true when I started high school at Seattle Academy of the Arts and Sciences (SAAS) back in Seattle.

SAAS is one of a handful of private schools in the Puget Sound area that has a laptop program. Every student is required to buy and maintain a laptop for use at school. This was my first (but certainly not last) time I tried to go paperless. One of the frustrations of using a conventional laptop in school is the obvious inability to take notes in the native format (i.e. handwriting). This becomes particularly evident when in classes that require special characters, such as calculus and physics.

I experimented with different note taking formats, programs, and techniques. But nothing I tried worked and I just sucked it up and used my laptop when I could and a conventional pad of paper for classes such as calculus.

End of my junior year, I began to take note of the Head of the Math Department. A man named Gary Anderson was using something new and amazing. It was called a Tablet PC and it was the most significant change in my computing experience since the Internet.

This back story is important because it illustrates the trials that I believe every potential Tablet user goes through. It also raises important questions: How will I adapt to using a Tablet PC? What are the limits of Tablet computing? Am I a dork? (You will, 42, and only sometimes)

I love my Tablet for two simple reasons: It helps me organize and it keeps me organized.

I use my Tablet for just about everything. I take all my notes with it, I scan documents into it, and I type my papers on it. Then I keep all that data organized using Microsoft OneNote and a variety of folders assigned for each semester and class. In OneNote, each class has its own tab. I keep track of notes by lecture title and date of lecture. I highlight key points using OneNote’s rather powerful flags, which I can then automatically collate for later study.

However, I’m far from reaching my goal of going paperless. We still live in a paper-based world and many things don’t make sense to convert to digital (like my entire Calculus book). But I’m headed towards that goal and I’m excited about the changes I’m seeing.Microsoft Visa and OneNote 12 will hopefully prove to be great building blocks. I’m also holding out hope for Apple to introduce a Tablet. One thing is for certain though: without my Tablet, my room would be a horrible mess of papers all strewn about.

Here’s the final article, as posted:

Thanks for everybody’s feedback in the comments. I am looking forward to what I’ll be able to contribute to this website. In talking with Tablet people in the past, I’ve notice that everyone has their own personal story about their Tablet. What they use it for, how they use, and why they feel it works so well for them. The cool thing about Tablets is their versatility. Unlike a traditional computer, everyone has a different way of interfacing with their Tablet and I think this makes the Tablet crowd special. Here is my personal story about my Tablet:
Ever since I was four and first set my eyes hands on a computer (Windows 3.11, anybody?), I have been glued to the screen. My dream of infusing the computer even more into my life came true when I started high school at Seattle Academy of the Arts and Sciences (SAAS) back in Seattle.

SAAS is one of a handful of private schools in the Puget Sound area that has a laptop program. Every student is required to purchase and maintain a laptop for use at school. This began my first (but certainly not last) attempt to “go paperless”. One of the frustrations of using a conventional laptop in school is the obvious inability to take notes in the traditional format (i.e. handwriting). This becomes particularly evident when in classes that require special characters, such as calculus and physics.

I experimented with different note taking formats, programs, and techniques. But nothing I tried worked and I just sucked it up and used my laptop when I could and a conventional pad of paper for classes such as calculus.

End of my junior year, I began to take note of the Head of the Math Department’s new toy; Gary Anderson was using something small and amazing. It was called a Tablet PC and it was the most significant change in my computing experience since the Internet.
This story illustrates the trials that I believe every potential Tablet experiences. If you are currently not a Tablet user, you might be asking some questions: How will I adapt to using a Tablet PC? What are the limits of Tablet computing? Am I a dork? (You will, 42, and only sometimes)

I love my Tablet for two simple reasons: It helps me organize and it keeps me organized.
I use my Tablet for just about everything. I take all my notes with it, I scan documents into it, and I type my papers on it. Then I keep all that data organized using Microsoft OneNote and a variety of folders assigned for each semester and class. In OneNote, each class has its own section. I keep track of notes by lecture title and date of lecture. I highlight key points using OneNote’s rather powerful flags, which I can then automatically collate for later study.

However, I’m far from reaching my goal of going paperless. We still live in a paper-based world and many mediums don’t make sense to convert to digital (like my entire Calculus book). But I’m headed towards that goal and I’m excited about the changes I’m seeing.Microsoft Visa and OneNote 12 will hopefully prove to be great building blocks. I’m also holding out hope for Apple to introduce a Tablet. One thing is for certain: without my Tablet, my room would be a horrible, unorganized mess of papers.

Alright, group therapy time:
Why do you like your Tablet? Leave a comment with your story about why you like your Tablet (or why you refuse to use a Tablet).