Round Table Discussion: Pen Scrapping

by | Productivity Advice, Scrapbooking Ideas | 1 comment

In my fantasies, these wonderful ladies and I are all sitting at a table that is indeed round. We’re in a small, eco-friendly office building in southern California and I’ve flown them in just to talk pen scrapping. Ah, let’s dream it together!

Recently, I interviewed three DST members to talk about using a pen and tablet instead of a mouse for digital scrapbooking. Welcome clikchic, Jill D-Zines, and vivie!

Simple Scrapper: How would you describe scrapping and designing with a tablet or “pen scrapping” to someone unfamiliar with it?

  • clikchic: I would describe it as using a pen in place of a mouse to move the cursor with more control and digital scrapbook with the pen instead of the mouse.
  • Jill D-Zines: It’s just like “regular” scrapping, but with a much more natural feel than a mouse.  It looks like you are just plain-old writing, rather than dragging a mouse around.  Very, very cool!  I love my pen!  😀
  • vivie: It feels like drawing or touch screening.  The pen tool is the best thing to use!

Simple Scrapper: Do you scrap, design or both with your tablet?

  • clikchic: I mostly use it for designing and photo editing… I tend to use the mouse for scrapping.
  • Jill D-Zines: Both, but these days I definitely do more designing than scrapping.  Fortunately, I love both.
  • vivie: I do both scrapping and designing with my tablet.

Simple Scrapper: Is it useful for other computer tasks?

  • clikchic: I am sure it is, but generally only use it in Photoshop. I am left handed but mouse with my right hand, so I use the pen in my left and mouse in my right.
  • Jill D-Zines: Absolutely – I use my pen exclusively and would be hard-pressed to even FIND my mouse these days! LOL!  I love the tablet too, with it’s programmable buttons and scroll-bar.  It, together with the pen, makes everything easier, handier.
  • vivie: I use it for scrapping and designing.  If I’m doing emails, then I’ll use my mouse.

Simple Scrapper: What are the benefits vs. a mouse?

  • clikchic: Easier to use on fine details, more precise control.
  • Jill D-Zines: I was having a fair amount of wrist and hand-pain before I switched to a pen.  I had “repetitive motion injury” and was going to have to cut way back on everything computer-related if the pen hadn’t worked out as well as it has for me.  Also, it works absolutely perfect for me in my left hand, so I don’t feel like a clutz anymore.  😉
  • vivie: In terms of designing, I can more quickly get to where i need and if I’m extracting, it’s more exact.  I can’t control the mouse as well as I can control my pen.

Simple Scrapper: Was it challenging to learn? Did you teach yourself?

  • clikchic: I found it fairly easy to adapt to as it is so much like using a pen or pencil. I taught myself.
  • Jill D-Zines: It was very simple to learn, although it did cause me to go a bit slower for the first several days.  At first I would just use it for an hour or so and then go back to the mouse, but I finally decided that if I really wanted to adjust quickly, I had to go put my mouse away someplace away from the computer, and force myself to use the pen exclusively.  I’ve never gone back to my mouse since.
  • vivie: It was difficult the first month since it was just a different way/habit of doing things but I could see when I was extracting how much easier and better it was.  I kept using it because i knew that the position of my hand was much better for it.  I didn’t get tired as easy.

Simple Scrapper: Has using the tablet helped your productivity?

  • clikchic: Yes definitely, it gives me more control and means I can do precise things more easily.
  • Jill D-Zines: Definitely.  My Wacom (Intuos 3) pen gives me a lot more precise control, so I’m able to do much more with it – especially for anything that I want to draw or “doodle”.  I have made a couple of fun alphas and fonts that I don’t think I could have made with a mouse.
  • vivie: It has helped my productivity.  I’m so much quicker and more accurate.

Simple Scrapper: What advice would you have for a newbie?

  • clikchic: The initial learning curve isn’t too bad, it is more getting used to using it than anything. I probably wouldn’t bother with one unless you do a lot of fine detail work such as photo editing or designing.
  • Jill D-Zines: The best way to get used to it is to force yourself to use it exclusively for a few days.  Once you get past that initial adjustment, you’ll probably never want to go back to a mouse.  The Bamboo Fun is a fabulous tool, and a perfect place to start, but if you plan to use your pen with a program that allows for much more detailed and precise controls, (Like Corel’s Painter X), you may want to consider the Intuos 3 instead, as it has additional controls that really make it so much like “the real thing”.  It is worth the small bit of time spent to learn all the options because is really is a remarkable tool and you want to be able to use it to it’s fullest capabilities!
  • vivie: Keep working at it.  It takes time to change a habit so give yourself time to get used to something different.

Thank you ladies for your time and energy in sharing your thoughts on pen scrapping! Does anyone have any questions?

Did you find this post helpful?

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1 Comment

  1. Christine (supertwinkle)

    I’m just starting to use my Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet and pen to scrap, and I love it! It’s especially helpful and fun on the laptop, where I don’t hookup a mouse anymore. Just the pen is great!

    Christine (supertwinkle)’s last blog post..Delve Into Twelve


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