Dave's Sketch Journal

Drawing is taking a line for a walk. - Paul Klee

The Marriage of Digital and Analog

Yesterday I was trying to enter my friend's name into my iPhone. I located my Address Book, hit the plus sign, switched to the Chinese keyboard and waited for him to say his name . . . for the forth time.

Of course, we were out talking on the street. It's nosy with horns, busses, and people. He speaks with an accent, which makes it all the more difficult to concentrate on what he's saying while trying to get the app up on my device. And whenever I start to speak Chinese it usually draws a crowd. I'll look up after a few minutes and three or more people are gathered around listening in on what we're saying. (They are always flabbergasted when any foreigner can understand and speak a little Chinese.)

This all gets in the way of just getting the information from my new friend. It's a pain.

After much frustration, I pulled out my paper notebook, handed him my pen, and asked him write it himself. In an instant I had captured his name and phone number. Later, when I had more time, I entered his information into my phone.

Is There a Better Way?

All this got me to thinking. There are advantages to pen and paper. After all, it is an ancient and successful method for recording information. No wonder the iPhone wasn't invented earlier. Pen and paper were working just fine.

Of course, I do need my digital device. It's got my dictionary, calendar, address book, audio recorder, class notes, and a host of other great tools like google maps, which helps me get home before dark. But it became clear to me that I needed to carry both the iPhone and the notebook.

Or do I? Is there some way to marry the two? Could I somehow carry one device that solves both my digital and analog needs?

What if I glued or pasted a piece of paper to the back of my iPhone? Nah . . . too barbaric.

How about affixing a small clipboard with epoxy to the back? No way! Come on, think of something brilliant.

What if I cut out the back of my iPhone cover and slipped a piece of paper into it's edges? Nope. Close but looks like a hack job.

Okay, what about this? What if I buy an iPhone bumper and slide a thick piece of paper under its edges? Bingo. Now you're talking.

BackNotes for the iPhone

Now, when I need to capture something quick, I'm ready with my new BackNotes app.

This is the perfect solution for travel too.

If I can't turn on my phone during take off or landing but still need to record something brilliant before I forget it. I'll use BackNotes.

If I need to know the flight number, gate, or hotel reservation number, I'll simply print my itinerary on a piece of stiff paper and slip it into the back of my iPhone.

Now I can approach the gate with confidence. While all the tech jocks are fumbling with their digital apps, I just flip my phone over and access my information. BackNotes to the rescue. It's faster than the average app.

Hey, you can get BackNotes too. It's FREE! And you don't even have to visit the app store.

Avoid strangers. Introduce yourself.

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