Favorite Tech of 2022

I had fun incorporating some new technologies into my daily life in 2022.  Here are some of my favorites.

Remarkable 2

Remarkable tablet in a purple case with a black pencil showing different styles of writing tools on the tablet

I love my iPad.  I use it all the time for reading, playing games, watching videos, and drawing.  It’s the best art supply I’ve ever owned.  But I don’t like using it to take notes.  It’s a bit too much.  It’s large, bright, and it’s easy to be distracted by all the other things I could be doing while taking notes, such as checking Reddit for more cat posts.

So, in addition to an iPad, I also use a Remarkable.  It’s an electronic paper tablet, and that’s it.  I can use it to take notes, to draw, to read — and that’s about it.  I can’t check Facebook.  I can’t play Words with Friends.  I can’t watch Glass Onion again.  And as a note-taker, it’s pretty, well, remarkable:

  • One of my favoritesMark up PDFs.  I can take notes and have them converted into text (and it does a pretty good job, even with my lousy handwriting).
  • Create grey-scale pencil sketches when I’m doodling and thinking at the same time.  The screen is a bit rough, so it feels like I’m working directly on paper.
  • Use various virtual writing tools – pencils, pens, paintbrush, highlighter, using different widths and, for some, different gradients.
  • Choose from a wide selection of backgrounds (lined paper, calendars, graph paper, and more) as well as add and remove layers.
  • Add notes on the tablet and by using the desktop app.
  • Write emails and send them directly from the tablet.

I find it great for meeting notes, doodling while thinking, reviewing documents, and jotting down quick ideas.

Note: It’s less expensive than an iPad, but be aware that you’ll need to buy both the tablet and Remarkable pencil to use it (you can’t use a separate stylus).  You’ll also need a subscription to use all of the features.  You can use a cheaper case.

iRobot Roomba i4+

Tabby Turkish-Van type cat staring at a iRobot Roomba 4. The cat is under a 50s style diner table, and the Roomba is under a similarly styled chair.
Cat vs Roomba

I don’t like carpet. Yet, in my new house, the basement is covered with the stuff.  Without help, I was never going to keep up with the vacuuming needed for two rather furry cats.  Thus the Roomba.  It vacuums the whole place three times a week, then empties itself.  I get to enjoy having a relatively clean basement. The cats get to stare bemusedly at the robot invader every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Note: I bought my vacuum before Amazon bought iRobot (so this is really from 2021, I guess?).  If you want to outsource this thankless job to an “Amazon Free” bot, there are other automatic vacuums like Shark IQ.

Addi Crochet Hook Swing

Blue and white addi swing crochet hook, size 6mmWhen you get old, gripping those little crochet hooks gets a bit harder.  Addi hooks are curved, easy to use, and come in all kinds of sizes.  I can crochet for hours in comfort.  Right now I have several of these hooks stashed away in various half-finished projects, waiting for the day when I can remember exactly what stitches I was using.

Educational Technology Librarian at Chicago-Kent College of Law