The New Apple Pencil-Supported iPad Mini Just Replaced My Moleskine Notebook

Transition your notetaking to tech without sacrificing your colourful doodles.

I’ve been a long-time proponent of old fashioned pen and paper. At any point in time, I have at least a dozen leather-bound notebooks on the go, with a selection of pastel Muji markers and fine-tip pens often nearby. This means my day planner, to-do lists, meeting minutes and interview prep notes are always aesthetically colour coded — and almost always surrounded by distracting doodles in the margins. 

When I attended an Apple product briefing in New York City earlier this week, I had my blue Moleskine notebook out, ready to jot down my takeaways from the presentation. When an employee held up the new Apple Pencil supported 7.9-inch iPad mini, he pointed to me and said, “look, it’s the same size as your notebook.” As he showcased how the device, which is priced starting at $529 CAD, would allow me to type notes, add hand-drawn illustrations, embed images, add audio and insert web links all in the same document, my pen and paper suddenly started to feel archaic.

Image courtesy of Apple

The capabilities of the iPad mini showed me how truly inefficient my notebook hoarding habits are. When you have multiple Moleskines going at a time, it’s nearly impossible to find the page you’re looking for — and that’s if you can find the right notebook at all. By turning in my stationary for an iPad and Apple Pencil, I’m consolidating all of my notes into one equally compact space, without giving up my love of freeform drawing and colourful doodles. Plus, with the new Flow from Moleskine app set to drop any day now, my iPad offers the same minimalist notetaking feel with more brush-sizes, shapes and colour options than I could ever fit into my pencil case. A few of the other benefits: I can export my notes to other devices, share them with other people and, before doing so, crop my doodles out of the document. The scribbles help me focus, but nobody else needs to see the little pink tulips I was drawing during their presentation.

With Advanced Retina Display and an A12 Bionic Chip, the portable-via-purse device delivers three times the performance and nine times faster graphics. This means it’s great for distracted illustrations, but it’s also perfect for downloading TV and movies for travel. As someone who’s watched everything from Roma to Blue Planet on a mobile device, I can attest to the difference a few more inches in screen size can make.

Photography courtesy of Apple

If you’re looking for something a little bit bigger than 7.9 inches, the new iPad Air is an equally affordable option. The 10.5 inch device starts at $649 CAD, and offers both Apple Pencil ($169 CAD) and Smart Keyboard ($219 CAD) compatibility, all at a breakthrough price. Or, for even more screen space, opt for the recently updated iMac, which features an incredible boost in performance with its gorgeous Retina display, sleek all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave. (I hear Roma makes an even bigger impact in 14.7M pixels.)


The new iPad mini and iPad air are available for preorder now at Here’s everything you’ll need to say goodbye to your pen and paper forever: