Which Stylus to Buy?

by qrayon 22. July 2013 10:47


We’ve been asked a few times to recommend a good stylus. We did a quick survey, and here are the ones that are most popular around here:

1. The Cosmonaut. This is probably the coolest and most unorthodox of the bunch. It's a thick marker-like stylus that doesn't look very wieldy, but it turns out to be quite comfortable for illustration and writing on the iPad. The shape makes you use it more like a whiteboard marker, which may be more appropriate for the iPad, as you tend not to rest your palm on the screen as much.

2. Bamboo. This is one of the better pen-like styluses. It has a narrower tip than most. It is closest in weight/feel to a standard pen.

3. Boxwave. This is the most inexpensive stylus of the lot, but it works great. It’s shorter than most, which also makes it more portable.

4. Adonit Jot. This stylus has a hard tip, which allows for a finer level of precision. However, the downside is it makes a fairly loud tapping sound each time you write.


If you just a need a stylus for casual use, the Boxwave is a good economical choice. However, if you tend to write or draw on your iPad for more than a few minutes at a time, as we do, it’s worth investing in a stylus that fits you best.

Book Review: The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rohde

by qrayon 4. May 2013 11:33

Sketchnote Handbook

Sketchnotes are notes taken in real time while listening to a lecture, talk, or presentation. They incorporate both typography/words and pictures to capture the speaker’s main points. Sketchnotes can help you stay more engaged during a lecture, and are more fun than just taking written notes. The completed sketchnote also serves as a visual map of the talk for later.

The Sketchnote Handbook is easy to read, and is full of inspiring examples of different styles of sketchnotes. The book mainly covers techniques using pen and paper, but they can also be applied to digital tools. For example, the tip on different writing patterns to fill a page is useful, although if you are using Inkflow you can easily change patterns mid-stream. There’s a section at the end with exercises to practice drawing people, objects, and lettering.

Make sure to pick up the Video Edition of the book. This includes a unique code to access over an hour of additional video content online (yes, you can watch them on your iPad too). It’s sure to give you new ideas on how to take better notes and communicate visually.

Mike Rohde did the illustrations for the book Rework (another excellent read). He also started a website called Sketchnote Army, which has tons more examples of Sketchnotes. Well worth checking out.

Books We Love: Thinkertoys

by qrayon 9. May 2010 20:21


One of our all-time favorite books on creative thinking is Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko. If you have never read it, you are in for a treat! It’s chock full of the best tools and techniques for thinking and brainstorming that you’ll ever find anywhere.

Among our favorite tools are Idea Box (chapter 11), where you combine different permutations of parameters for an idea or product to come up with new ones, and Ideatoons (chapter 20), which pushes you to draw out written concepts – processing information visually triggers whole different systems in the brain. The author also has an excellent website with tons of bonus tips, techniques, and insight. Very highly recommended.

If you know of a better source of thinking tools, please do let us know!

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