Let’s Use an iPad (Mini) as a Moleskine Notebook – Part 3: Prezi App


In Part Three of this series, I want to focus on the functionality of Moleskine and how we can re-create a similar experience on an iPad. When I think about the functionality of Moleskine, I can think of these basic criteria:

  1. Collection of ideas
  2. Creation of ideas
  3. Association of ideas
  4. Flexibility of writing on paper with a pen

Obviously, the advantage of Moleskine derives from my fourth point, which, in turn, allows us to explore various ideas freely. At this moment, even if you use the best stylus available on the market and an app that lets you write and draw freely, I don’t think you can achieve the same flexibility of writing on paper with a pen. If this is the case, I need to think of a way to achieve the first three criteria outside the box. Enter Prezi.

3. Think like Prezi…

For those who are unfamiliar with Prezi, it is a web-based presentation application and is a great alternative to PowerPoint. Prezi uses a canvas instead of slides and its primary purpose must be to encourage its users to think about developing a stronger storyline while allowing them to jump from one idea to another easily. I just started using Prezi recently, but its strength over other presentation applications is, for me, its ability to allow us to see ideas visually.

Reading and writing allows us to develop our capacity to understand and generate ideas linguistically, but freely sketching out our ideas on paper or Moleskine can let us see previously unnoticed connections among ideas, and such an identification of links among ideas further strengthens our engagement with them. I think that the flexibility of writing on paper with a pen must enable us to visualize ideas easily and that a lack of such flexibility on computers and tablets still make some of us to rely heavily on notebooks like Moleskine. I think this Prezi’s “Idea Matter” introduction video may be a good place to start thinking about the visualization of ideas:

Indeed, the narrator says, “Prezi is about creativity and the visualization of thoughts in motion.” But how does Prezi actually work? The following Prezi tutorial video “3 Steps to a Great Prezi” will show you to understand what you can achieve by using Prezi:

This video clarifies the three key steps to creating a great Prezi:

  1. Brainstorm
  2. Organize
  3. Direct

The first two steps – Brainstorm and Organize – are crucial in visualizing ideas on an iPad as we do in Moleskine. A basic notetaking process involves organizing ideas on pages while a more elaborative way to take notes likely integrates brainstorming processes in order to deepen our understanding of the ideas.

Prezi has an iPad app, and I thought I might take notes on it as I usually do on Moleskine, and this is what I got at the end:

This may be only understandable for me, but it is much better than what I would have jotted down in my Moleskine notebook. The advantage of taking notes on the Prezi app over Moleskine was constantly to change the position of words and phrases to clarify the relationship among them.

The Prezi iPad app has very limited functions though: to add texts and photos and to rotate and resize them. In the future, this app may receive more functions so that we can add shapes like arrows and lines, which are essential to clarify connections and relationships between ideas. Prezi has constantly kept updating its app since its original release, so it may add more functions in the near future.

For now, Prezi’s iPad app may not be the best app to recreate Moleskine experience on iPad, but considering that we can continue editing on iPad and the Web, it is a decent app to capture and develop ideas on iPad as we would do on Moleskine.

Let’s Use an iPad (Mini) as a Moleskine Notebook Series

  1. Evernote and Moleskine suggest: Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine
  2. Dress an iPad like Moleskine: DODOcase and Moleskine Covers for iPad
  3. Think like Prezi: Prezi App
  4. Create idea collages: Adobe Collage App

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