I sometimes have to make drawings and writings very quickly in succession. For example, I will type 5 to 10 seconds, and then draw something for 5 to 10 seconds, repeatedly.

This means that I have to drop my pencil every time, and pick it up (I type with 10 fingers and can’t do that with a pen in my hand).

Is there some technique, or a product, that allows you to keep your pen in your hand, or on some magnet on your wrist, or whatever, so that you only need to “flip the pen back into your hand” rather than having to pick it up.

This would make my process much more fluid and intuitive.

  • Hold onto the pencil and use dictation?
    – Stan
    Jun 1, 2018 at 22:28
  • You have ten fingers? I also type with both hands; but, I only have eight fingers. ; )
    – Stan
    Jun 1, 2018 at 22:39

2 Answers 2


You could adapt yourself to use a one-handed variation of the DVORAK Simplified Keyboard layout.

I use the two-handed version which comes with the MAC operating system as an alternate input source "foreign" keyboard layout. It's available in the keyboard preferences. It's popular due to the frequency-of-use letter layout. Most-used keys are easier to reach.

Windows has an equivalent keyboard layout as part of their operating system as well.

As obscure as the "DSK" layout is, there's a one-handed version for either the right or left hand. It's very handy for thumb operation (Right or Left hand) using a smart phone when texting.

With this workflow hack, you draw with your preferred hand and "key" with the other (after having optimized the keyboard layout for it.) You do not have to drop the pencil as you alternate your attention to your typing hand.

With some practice, you'll probably be doing both simultaneously without thinking much about it.

  • 1
    For short bursts of typing (like your 10 second lots) I type with one hand on a normal keyboard. Takes a bit of getting used to but no need to learn a new layout. And when you do a longer stretch of typing you can go back to using both hands.
    – Willeke
    Jun 3, 2018 at 6:38

Don't switch — Do both with the same tool

Many minutes before personal computers became ubiquitous, creative individuals would use the same implement for both drawing and to make human readable text.

Hard to believe; but, it's true.

The procedure involves forming letters to make words using the same drawing tool. The inventor called it writing. Later, it became known as cursive script. For many, it was faster in practice and had fewer technical requirements than mechanical apparatus allowed. It was modified for clarity by using formed unconnected letters. This slower procedure was first called block printing which subsequently became shortened for simplicity to printing.

To this day, using a pencil is the quickest, simplest and most direct marking-engine in use for both writing and drawing.

An aphorism cautions that switching is a faulty procedure with, "Don't change horses in mid-stream."

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