Let the Doodling Commence 😉

I am the least tech-savvy person I know.  Honestly.  The hubster and DD – darling daughter – know that left on my own, I’d need to survive without Wi-fi and all the other accoutrements of life in the digital…oh so digital…age because I think most tech innovations are part of a magical mystery tour…all psychedelic and ethereal fun…beyond my grasp.  If all systems are working properly without hiccups or blips, I’m a happy girl.  But that’s a ridiculous expectation, considering I believe the universe is loosely held together by paper clips and glue.  Old school Elmer’s glue…in the jar…with a brush. 

But every now and again, I surprise my family by being able to fight my way out of tech-y paper bag.  It’s not pretty, my journey in troubleshooting, but I’m getting better at being less dependent.  Note:  Ignore the vibes you might be getting from both of them, the hubs and DD right now.  If the universe is sending an “oh really” thought your way, it’s coming from them.  Not me.  Please don’t be a skeptic.  I’m getting better, acquiring skills.  Honestly, I am, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a little nostalgia, a tug of a throwback moment.

Here’s the thing. Me thinks all the various incarnations of screens – big, small, and in between (jumbo televisions, tiny iPhones, and our beloved tablets) are really just “smart” versions of the trusty Etch-a-Sketch from my youth.  Yep.  The original “whiteboard”.  Are you one of the uninitiated?  Here’s a pic of my favorite antique toy.  Amazingly, it’s still sold today!

I loved that thing.  I carted mine everywhere and loved the ability to doodle to my heart’s content, especially when I was frustrated because I enjoyed drawing nastygrams of friends or family that irked me.  I loved creating my own ‘graffiti’ knowing that I could whoosh it all away…destroy the evidence in a blink. 

Last week I had some idle time while I waited for the hubster to reappear from yet another foray into Home Depot.  (Yes, our kitchen remodeling continues and while I can occasionally stomach a walkabout in the lumber department, I mostly prefer to wait in the car, reading or people watching.  Unless it’s time to buy plants or flowers, then I’m all in and I’ll mosey around. )

I didn’t plan very well this last time we were at ‘the depot’ and I had nothing to read while I waited so I began tinkering with my iPhone and discovered a new app.  Not one that I remembered adding…but I learned it was just rolled out in December and it’s called “Freeform”.  Curious, I opened it up and starting exploring. 

Ohhhh….MY…..Gooooodnesss.  I immediately fell in love!  Although I only skimmed the surface of Freeform’s capability, I was entranced.  So long, Etch-A-Sketch…mana’s got a new friend, ready for endless doodling and tinkering. My inner child was thrilled with my 30-second creation.  Here it is:

Clearly my first round of playing was pretty childlike, but when I saw the potential – like the sample below – for collaborative white board work – I was bowled over.  I love the combination of creativity and utility the app provides.

In describing the capabilities of Freeform when it was rolled out in Dec 22, Apple shared:

Freeform is the perfect whiteboard experience for gathering inspiration and ideas all in one place. The infinite canvas expands as content is added to the board for unlimited flexibility when working with many files or collaborating with others. The app offers a variety of brush styles and color options to sketch ideas, add comments, and draw diagrams. iPhone and iPad users can draw anywhere on the canvas with their finger, and with support for Apple Pencil, Freeform makes it easier than ever to sketch ideas on iPad while on the go.

Draw anywhere?  Sketch ideas ‘on the go’?  No tool or stylus required, just my trusty index finger?  So, so good and while I know I’m probably late to the party because there must be zillions of other apps that do the same thing, this was my first a-ha moment with one. 

If you’re curious, there are tons of articles popping up everywhere about Freeform – like this one where Freeform’s function is touted as a tool to keep brainstorming “in alignment, less of a fever dream”.  (Did developers spy on me in my beloved ‘think tank’ moments run amok?) The broader uses for collaboration with up to 100 other users is beyond my ability to fathom…yet I’m intrigued by all of it.

The takeaways:

  1. I will retain my fond Etch-A-Sketch memories.
  2. I now have no reason to complain when I’m idle – anywhere – if I’ve got my phone.  Let the doodling commence.
  3. Despite the expansive uses for Freeform, I bet I’ll mostly enjoy ‘finger painting’ aspects because it’s fun and I’m a do-do-doodler at heart.

Big smiles,

Vicki 😉

P.S. I have other family memories on my mind this morning…Barbies, Match Box cars and Tinker Toys…on Victoria Ponders. Take a peek!

35 thoughts on “Let the Doodling Commence 😉

  1. Ha ha. I have often commented on how today’s tablets look curiously like the old Etch-A-Sketch. Glad to know I’m not the only one who has spotted this.

    I consider myself pretty tech-savvy but every once in a while I see eye-rolls from my twenty-something daughters when I’m trying to figure something out on my phone. I often remind them that, unlike them, I didn’t grow up with one of these devices as an extra appendage.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for that, Michelle — you’re right – I bet there are a few of us who’ve made this connection! Sounds like we need to stick together – as we receive those **loving** eye rolls from our kids. Eventually I figure things out…or trip over something fun (in this case) but I seem to take the long, long way (or so I’ve heard). xo! 😘

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh…that sounds familiar. Yesterday while our dear daughter was over, I asked her how to fix a pesky problem and she wanted to just do it for me and I needed to shoo her away…and say ‘no, no…show me’. Watching does NOTHING for me…I need that hands-on, muscle-memory, kinesthetic moment so I’ll remember for ‘the next time’…because there’s always ‘a next time’, right? Thanks for the smiles!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. This app makes perfect sense to me Vicki. Why, you may ask- as I admitted to being an etch-a-sketch failure in my comment at VP? Curving lines! Fingers can make lines of all shapes and sizes and no matter how many times I would read the instructions to “turn both knobs simultaneously to achieve a curved line” it never worked. I am now seeing that I don’t want to be limited to straight lines and 90 degree angles and the EAS just doesn’t cut it. I was not the failure… it was a finger-less design flaw all along 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOVE, love, love this Deb! I hadn’t put that together at all…but you are so right. That old Etch-A-Sketch was pretty limiting and the older I get, the more I like curvy lines…in all sorts of ways…versus the cut-and-dry angular stuff. What an observation! And for what it’s worth, I was like you – I could never figure out the instructions that said curvy was possible…but I had a friend who made it work…but I never understood how! Big smiles to you this morning. 😉😘😉

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Loved this Vicki. Its so easy to relate to what you describe. I muddle through with technology. I wasn’t a great fan of Etchasketch, preferring pen/pencil snd paper. I agree, we need to be hands on to learn.
    Enjoy playing with your new tool

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Brenda…”muddling through” is such a perfect description of how I navigate…often the hard way. And cheers to ‘hands on’ learning. I’m with you about that. xo! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay, I have to admit I noticed Freeform listed with my apps on my phone, but had not tried it. I’ve seen other versions but, yes, it was fun to play with for a few minutes. Okay, okay, maybe more than a few minutes. Us former etch-a-sketchers unite!!! I can relate with your IT struggles, I want to get better, but it is definitely a struggle keeping up with all of the changes! I try my best.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You…are cracking me up, Brian! “Former Etch-A-Sketchers” unite — too funny! And yes — it’s a little hard to walk away from Freeform once you start noodling/doodling. Maybe it’s a fun stress reliever when we’re besieged by tech troubles? LOL! 🤣😉🤣

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m with Brian I’d seen it but not tried it. Funny, I come at this from the other direction I love troubleshooting (and Vicki, you re pretty good at it, don’t sell yourself short) but creativity is not my strong suit. This is a fun way to play and open our minds, regardless of the orientation we come from Thanks for the creative inspiration on a Sunday morning!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Ha, ha, ha! I’m pseudo apologizing for the typos in my comment (sorry, not sorry) because I was typing with my left hand because my right was holding hands with Mr. D. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh, hello there, Mr. D….give him a hug from me…and I will accept any and all typos…with the image of you ‘one-handing’ things since he’s claimed one of your typing tools! 🥰🥰🥰

        Liked by 2 people

  5. What a fun find, Vicki, and your excitement is palpable!! I would get so frustrated with Etch-a-Sketch as a kid because I never turned out like I wanted. I was all about the Spirograph, though! Doodling and other creative outlets are just the best. I don’t have an Apple device, but I’ll need to see if I can find something equivalent.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Spirograph…I remember! And you’re right — for all of the “curvy insufficiency” (LOL) of the Etch-A-Sketch, our trusty Spirographs saved the day! Thanks for that, Erin! 🥰🥰🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a fun post, Vicki! And I had to smile at the timing, because I just saw the app yesterday, sitting on the last page of my Home Screen, all by its lonesome. I didn’t play with it long as I’m more prone to plug graphics in and use it for charts than doodling, but I made a mental note not to forget about it. Oh, loved your HoTM doodle, btw – such fun. Happy Sunday, friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kendra! I had the same reaction…poor little lonesome app hanging out all alone. And thanks for the chuckle about the HoTM doodle…no filters, no airbrushing…no skill 😉 required (LOL)…it’s exactly what I made by just tinkering for a minute. I’m anxious to circle back to find out what other fun I can have! Sending big hugs your way. 🥰🥰🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Doodle away, Vicki. I have fond memories of the time a buddy who lived across the alley and I attached a string to two empty soup cans and created a low-tech telephone that stretched the distance between our homes. Our use of it required far too much organization of schedules and parental permission, so it was soon abandoned.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hot diggity—a new toy! I’d better not get me one, or I’ll never get anything done. I know myself too well . . . It sure does look like fun though. I hope you enjoy it enough for both of us. But I’d better stick to Wordle.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks so much for this very informative article. It’s probably more informative for me right now than for most other people because I just got a new iPhone with Freeform preloaded.

    Like you, I also struggle, as I have been pulled kicking and screaming and practically forced into learning how to use all the latest and greatest technology. (I also fondly remember the Etch-A-Sketch, though my doodles have never been very artistic or skilled.) My old iPhone became unbearably slow and finicky when it came to using the few apps that were my favorites so I finally bit the bullet and got a new one. At the same time, I was hooked by the promo Verizon was offering, so I got an Apple watch and an iPad along with the new phone.

    I was hoping my daughters would be willing and able to show me how to use these new appliances until I was informed by both of them that neither of them has an Apple Watch but use Fitbits instead. My main hope now to make use of that product in my recently resurrected fitness attempt might be my son-in-law’s dad because he thinks that guy might use an Apple watch. He is also much more active than I am so I’m hoping he might have some useful tips for me if/when I decide to break that device out of its packaging! This guy has Facebook and Instagram pages with little to nothing on either, like me! He does, however, have much more manual dexterity as I briefly describe in an upcoming scheduled post.

    In the past, I might have asked my idiot now ex to help with this stuff, but he lost that ability and knowledge and even the willingness to try to help me several years before our marriage ended. Looking back, I might be able to chalk that up to his extended drinking bouts which didn’t improve his intellect or his disposition but sent them in the opposite direction. It even reached the point where I had to instruct him on how to use his new iPhone. Meanwhile, I am stumbling my way through all the new gadgets I’ve acquired since my divorce and move to be closer to my kids.

    This includes the new Smart TV I demanded they set up in my living room on the assumption that I would need it there as I recovered from my second hip replacement. After my first one, I had not been able to climb into the higher bed I slept in, pre-divorce, so I didn’t expect to be able to make it into my new one, even though it’s not quite as high. I sleep with the TV on and was using my son-in-law’s old TV with cable in the bedroom.

    Turned out I didn’t need my new second-hand power recliner, so I have been only recently and slowly started signing up for streaming service subscriptions. My kids won’t or can’t share theirs with me anymore, mostly, though one might be willing to let me use her Hulu until I get my own and cut off the cable. I also signed up for 3 months of free AppleTV+ and bit the bullet to get my own Amazon Prime membership.

    Now, if I could just come to embrace the Alexa (“Smart Speaker”) as much as my kids, do! I’ve also been trying, on and off, to figure out how to create an Avatar for myself to use on my blogs. I haven’t dared to ask for anybody’s help with that, yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, HB – you’ve got a whole bunch of tech adventures in front of you! I’m glad my post about noodling/doodling was a fun distraction. Good luck with all of your devices…I’m sure you’ll figure it all out and then circle back to teach the rest of us! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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