Pencil Keyboard {invention}

I’ve been enjoying using the iPad Pro 9.7 a lot recently, particularly for taking notes in presentations using the Notes app, where I can type, take a picture and then annotate the picture with drawing immediately. I have also really enjoyed Procreate for sketching – the feel of the pencil is much, much nicer and more natural on a tablet than using a finger.

I bought an Apple’s Silicone Case in Cocoa and it’s just beautiful to hold, touch and use:

ipad-2 wide


However, I’d really like to be able to write with the pen and have it turn the writing into text, and the only way I have found I can do that is by using a large keyboard. Not so nice.

I looked at quite a few applications but all the drawing ones which allow for the entry of text use the large keyboard.

I want to use the nice little tip of the pencil to make the marks for the text where the text actually is though, not far away…

So why not use the ‘scribble’ feature on the Apple Watch?

The idea is that thinking while having your hard upright, looking at a monitor is very different than looking down, and when you look down, a pencil is much more pleasant that stubby fingers.

I scribbled along the way and this is an exported recording of that process (pretty cool huh?):


The idea is that you scribble characters into the little square, which is about the size of a keyboard key. This then automatically turns it into text. This box would follow the text where it is on the screen, jumping down a line when the text jumps down, so it’s not suitable for long texts, just notes and concept map items.

  • The little thing on the left is to indicate whether you want upper case or lower case. Not the best solution so far.
  • The thing on the right is a line break key.
  • In-between the line break key and the main square is access to basic punctuation.

Key scribble box for pencil


Picture how intimate it would be for a concept map type application – connect nodes with a pencil, then add new ones through a double tap and scribble, then continue…

(I’ll just file this away as an idea for now, but maybe later)