I’d been thinking about how to make the move to being even more mobile and “digital” with my writing and teaching life given how flexible my schedule seems to be. And note, flexible isn’t always a positive, LOL. Just means I never seem to be in one place for too long. Like now I am typing this from a Starbucks in Hickory, NC because I am going to Poetry Hickory tonight so I came up early to walk.
I’m not sure if my desire for all this started before or after I had my new phone . . . But, that will be part of the discussion. I went for the Samsung Galaxy II Skyrocket. I was actually thinking about getting a Galaxy Note (so I could take handwritten notes) but since my contract was up and I wanted to get my husband a tablet for her birthday as well I took the really good deal that came with the Skyrocket when I realized what a great little phone it was.
I had an iPhone 4 for two years. I had not had a smartphone before that but decided I needed one when I started teaching. I was correct about needing it. I still like the iPhone but also this summer my Canon G10 camera died so I wanted a phone with a better camera. I’d played with many an Android phone so I decided to jump in. My only complaint with the phone, actually, is that the task bar at the bottom that has phone, web apps on it won’t let you change it. That and I have to have my Gmail and my school email in separate programs. These, however, are minor issues that I could find ways to work around so not really complaining just noting for anyone else on the phone market.
As I made the switch to the android phone I also upgraded Google Docs, honestly my primary word processing place and storage area, to Google Drive which is FANTASTIC on the phone. I can edit documents on the fly. I can even hit a microphone button and it will take dictation from me. That isn’t perfect, but what a great feature! I can also take a picture of say text on a chalk board and Google Drive will turn it into a document where it will also “translate” the text. Also not perfect, but exciting.
I no longer carry a notebook around with me. Instead, if I’m in a longer meeting or gathering, I get my netbook out (which is getting a bit slow and battery a bit pitiful after two years of hard use but I LOVE this netbook) and take notes into a google doc or a sticky note. If I just need a quick reminder of something I can use the talk to text function, text message myself, or I can even use this program called Skitch to finger write a quick note. Those image files can then be forwarded to Google Drive from my phone for me to work on later. I have the program on my Kindle Fire as well although it doesn’t do Drive which is disappointing. I like my Kindle but I honestly wonder if another option might be better for me to read books online which I do like doing now.
I don’t want this to go on forever, but what have I noticed about making the switch? I definitely feel less scattered. I also find that when I am ready to write since I’m doing more of it on my netbook or desktop instead of trying to read my chicken scratch later, that I’m more focused – centered.
This may not be the move that everyone wants to make, but I’m glad I did. The only reason I can’t move away from a netbook at this point (cause I’d love to just have a tablet with external keyboard) is because I can’t use the school’s Blackboard Learning Management System effectively on a tablet – I’ve tried!!
And we can discuss whatever you’d like now but other note was I had a chance to play with the new Google Chromebook. I LOVE Google, but Chrome book? Underwhelmed.