If one good thing has come out of this pandemic, it’s that I’ve been able to take a serious look at my study and note-taking habits, and identify ways that I can try to work with more focus and more efficiently in these areas.1 One of the things I noticed is that even though I enjoy reading on my Kobo Clara or Kindle Paperwhite, I find them difficult to use for study purposes, because taking notes on those devices can be slow and painful, especially if you don’t have the latest edition. I’ve also learned that the productivity space is completely overrun by white men, that women tend to call themselves “organization experts” instead of “productivity experts”, and that it is freakishly easy to become overwhelmed by choice when investigating productivity tools. But I digress.
Today I want to talk about a new tool I tried that seems to have been the bridge for the tiny gap I felt when trying to take notes on my iPad. That tool is the PaperLike screen protector.
If you’ve spent any time on YouTube or Instagram, you’ve no doubt seen the PaperLike screen protector, as seems that the company is actively targeting social media influencers and creatives for in-kind reviews. I am not ashamed to admit that I was completely sucked in by the reviews I saw, so I bought one. It arrived thoughtfully packaged, and the company included two screen protectors, wet wipes2, a microfibre cleaning cloth, and stickers to help you correctly place the PaperLike on your device, as well as to assist with dust removal.
My biggest complaint with writing on the iPad is the glass is so smooth that it makes the Apple Pencil glide so easily across the page — almost too easily. Controlling my strokes when writing was difficult to do before I applied the PaperLike, so I was pleased to see that the protector’s texture not only added some much needed friction to the stylus, but it gave me back the pen control I was missing.
However, what you gain in control, you lose in clarity. The screen is darker and text is less clear with the PaperLike applied, although you can counteract this effect by increasing your screen’s brightness somewhat. But if text clarity and colour accuracy is more important for you, then you should probably avoid using PaperLike or any other screen protector.
I have a more detailed breakdown of the pros and cons in the document below, but the short version is that PaperLike mostly works well, but that if your work requires text or colour clarity, it might not be the best tool for you. Do you use PaperLike or some other screen protector on your iPad? What do you like/dislike about it?