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The Tools That I Use (Drawings)

Continuing from the previous Tools That I Use post, here’s what I’m using to generate the hand drawings in blog posts and case studies.

Wacom Cintiq 12WX with SketchBook Pro is indispensable for high-resolution drawings I’m using in case studies. I’ve tried to import router symbols in SketchBook Pro and make them look like they would be hand-drawn, but my illustrating skills are almost non-existent.

Typical SketchBook Pro drawing

SketchBook Pro is an overkill for low-resolution blog post drawings … and it forces me to sit down with my computer, so I prefer to draw all other diagrams on an iPad. My fingers are way too clumsy and fat (supposedly rock climbing really helps to make them oversized), so I’m relying on a Bamboo stylus to get some reasonable precision.

Paper 53 is my favorite drawing program, particularly due to its interesting brush-resembling strokes.

Typical Paper 53 drawing

Penultimate is not bad either, but is pretty limited in its drawing options. SketchBook for iPad is nice when I need to zoom in (to write small text) or work with multiple layers, but I’d need a newer iPad to get the most out of it.

The best I could get out of Penultimate

Getting the drawings from the iPad to the laptop where I do all my writing has been a royal pain (the best I could do was sending them via email). Fortunately at least SketchBook Pro and Penultimate started supporting saving individual PNGs directly to Dropbox … where they miraculously appear on my laptop ready to be published in a blog post.

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  1. Have you tried the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1? I believe that its digitizer and stylus are licensed from Wacom. I use it for work to take notes, and sketch diagrams. Notes can be shared directly to Dropbox.

  2., for the win! Integrates with Google Drive. Has all the Cisco icons. Absolutely my fave.

  3. Check out Notability. It has a brush style similar to Paper and adds drawing features like doodle selection with copy/paste - so you can duplicate a router doodle over and over - and text boxes. It also syncs with the major cloud storage players.

  4. Hi Ivan;

    Thanks for sharing the details. May I please ask you as to how you imported router symbols to sketchbook pro? Was it directly from visio stencils?


    1. I don't think I ever did that. If I'd want to do it for whatever reason I'd probably export them as PNG (so I'd get background transparency) from wherever and then import PNG files into Sketchbook.


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