The joy of writing with an iPad


I think I have to share this. This is my brute-force writing setup in the living room. Just a small iPad mini, a wireless keyboard, a writing app (in this case, it is Ulysses with an old-fashione theme, while awaiting for Scrivener).

Minimal, easy, ergonomic, totally silent (apart for dogs barking outside). And sorry for the power cable, that should not be needed and makes everything look messy.




I’m not sure what sadist taught you about ergonomics, but I wouldn’t go to them for your inevitable chiropractic needs. Please take care and get up and stretch frequently if you use this setup for long periods.


I might agree the position shown in the illustration is ergonomic for a puppet, but I franky feel better in being able to reposition my display and keyboard as I feel comfortable. Something very easy to do with the disjoint display and keyboard allowed with an iPad. I can even stretch while still continue to write! :slight_smile:


I’ve never met anyone who sits up that straight. :smiley:
But maybe that’s just me.

Well Robertdguthri, if you never need to look at the keyboard your picture is fine. But if you occasionally need to look down at the keyboard it is a clear advantage if you only need to move your eyes, not repeatedly tilt your head up and down. Your setup becomes even worse if you use reading glasses, which force you to move your head even more.

Ergonomic specialists would have nightmares if they saw my current setup, half-sitting in the sofa with my MacBook resting on my stomach, but it works just fine. :slight_smile:

(but using Ulysses?? :unamused: )

I occasionally get stabbing pains in my neck when I try to look over my shoulder. It’s like a white-hot needle-jab into my spine, the aftermath like circulation returning to a numb limb. That pain is due to a long, difficult-to-break habit of slouching at computer desks and laptops, and I would spare anyone a similar experience–even if you have to learn (like I am) to sit like a puppet on a string.

You are, of course, free to put your ipad on the floor and velcro your keyboard to a ceiling fan, but that flexibility in positioning does not match the definition or practice of ergonomics. :unamused:

Be well, and enjoy your writing arrangement while you can. :mrgreen:

Ah, the “it hasn’t harmed me yet, so it must be risk-free” argument. :stuck_out_tongue:

You’ve all convinced me. I’m going to set up my keyboard above my screen from now on, like the computer nerd equivalent of this:

Just curious, are you left-handed?

Are we getting a pic? :laughing: If half-sitting, what is the other half? Lying down?

If half-sitting, what is the other half? Lying down?

Not waving but drowning?

Works great with Scrivener! You just have to synchronize to external folders on both programs. It replaced WriteRoom for me. Ulysses works better with Box than Dropbox, but the former is excellent.

Right-handed, with a hint of left-handed. But how can you see it from the picture?

In case you are all convinced that not looking straight at a screen is bad, then I suggest that a little pain might help when writing! Now, try this: … -49-pm.jpg


Keyboard angled on the LHS towards the iPad. Wondered if that was the hand you used to touch the iPad’s screen. Also had the low light and the blue screen as signs of a solitary and slightly melancholic writer working for their art above all else. Have, of course, conjectured an entire story around your pic. I’m a writer: conjecture doesn’t have to be accurate. :stuck_out_tongue:

Wait! Can you elaborate on your workflow? As far as I know, Ulysses on iPad does not work with Dropbox

Mmmmmm. “Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation” and “Not waving but drowning”. I’ve now imagined you as a visceral g33k poet. Part Dylan. Part Berners Lee. 100% boho dude. (Ignore me. I’m painting fanciful mind pictures of all the Scrivener peeps; spurred on by Paolo’s initial pic, and RDG’s ape [where is Freud?] bars. :open_mouth: )

Briar Kit, your imagination works, as usual, very well! I use either hand to touch the iPad screen (for example when selecting). However, as far as the keyboard placement is concerned, I guess it depends mostly on the fact that typing in Italian requires that you use your left hand more than your right one. I don’t know if this is also true in English.

I open my Scrivener-exported document in either Dropbox or Box, then open it from there in Ulysses. When done editing in Ulysses, I share/open the edited document to Dropbox or Box. With Box, you can see the shared documents right in Ulysses. It’s a bit intricate, there are various ways of doing it, but in the end it works.


ILAL: didn’t know that about Italian. Don’t know if English requires a user to use one hand more than the other: never thought about the question; never noticed a “dominant” hand in my own typing; and never heard anyone ever refer to a “dominant” hand. Why the “dominance” in Italian for the left hand?

It all depends on which letters that are used the most in the words in each language. The Qwerty-setup was originally chosen based on the relative use of different letters in English, so that letters used more often were positioned on the starting positions of your fingers ( e.g. asdf on the left) with easy access to ert and uio above, while unusual letters like q, w, z and x were placed in slightly more akward positions.

My subjective, non-scientific feeling is that in Swedish we use the left hand more than the right, and definitely while writing in English on a keyboard with Swedish layout, as we have our three national letters for the sounds “eaux”, “ae” and “oe” at the right side.

Half-sitting… means either half-lying or half-standing I suppose. I prefer half-lying, at least in a sofa, but only while doing fiction writing. Lying is not well received in scientific writing, not even half-lying. But half-sitting is okay! :smiley:

I would say the left is used more in English - I’m basing that on the fact that on my last several keyboards, the E, A, S, and D keys are the only ones to have the paint wear off.

Mind you, I am left-handed so maybe I just hit those keys harder or something?

^ Somewhat related - which hand do you use to type the letter Y?

Maybe this is just a personal quirk, or maybe related to handedness, but according to every fingering diagram I just pulled up on Google, the Y is supposed to be a right hand key, but just keeping half an eye on my own typing this morning - I discovered that I switch back and forth on that key, and apparently I actually use my left about 75-80% of the time.

I’m not even consistent within the same word - take “psychology” for instance, the first y is done with the right hand, but the second with the left.

A capital Y… ROFL, I was about to say that a capital Y was always done with the right hand, but just typing the example I reflexively used my left, but the second Y (← and that one) were both right.

I guess I’m never buying one of those split keyboards…