The Digital Tickler

Back in college, I remember being forced (by law) to join the ROTC. I still remember being required to bring in a tickler - a small, pocketable notebook for taking whatever notes the lieutenants thought were important. That did not last long for me, though, since after that first meeting, I got transferred to some other unit that didn’t require it. That handy-dandy notebook (proof that I watched Blue’s Clues with my kids) sure had a place in your everyday carry (EDC).

The iPad Mini was just that - a small, pocketable iPad, a digital tickler, and with the latest iPad Mini supporting the Apple Pencil, it was just a perfect note-taking device. I’m amazed by how Scribble understands my ridiculously ugly handwriting! The Quick Note feature is just gravy on my note-taking workflow.

Armed with a highly-capable A15 Bionic chip, which is one of the fastest and energy efficient mobile processors in the market today, and coupled with a gorgeous display (although not ProMotion) and WiFi-6 and 5G connectivity, this small iPad can now replace my iPad Pro in my EDC (though I rarely leave home these days – only when extremely necessary).

The iPad Mini now comes with a USB-C port, which means that I have to carry two types of cables, the USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to Lightning. Unfortunately, whilst not the iPad Mini’s fault, the Sandisk iXPand Luxe drive (USB-C and Lightning) does not work (it won’t work on the M1 iPad Pro either), but the Sandisk Extreme Pro portable SSD drive works! The USB-C YubiKey dongle works, though, which is great!

The iPad Mini does not come with FaceID, but Apple added TouchID without the Home button. I wish that it was under the display (I guess until Apple perfects it - make it secure, accurate and fast - we won’t see it on any device), but the fingerprint scanner is on the button at the top. When you first enroll your finger, it will ask you to do it whilst the iPad is on portrait orientation and then immediately ask you to do it when it is on landscape orientation. If you don’t have a FaceID-enabled device, then it is fine, otherwise, you need to re-train yourself to reach that button to authenticate. Yeah, FaceID spoiled me. Why can’t Apple add TouchID, along with FaceID, on the iPhone – surely would be safer when wearing face masks?! :)

Whatever you can do on your big iPad or iPad Air or iPad Pro, you can mostly do with the iPad Mini, and I am pretty happy with the portability of this tiny, handy-dandy, digital tickler! Now I am looking for a case or pouch that can store an Apple Pencil, USB-C charger, and two USB-C cables – any suggestions?