Came upon a great app this morning while doing a little research, I’m always on the lookout for ways to use my mobile devices more effectively in my business. This app, called Sketches (, is a very cool drawing app.

Now I’m not much of an illustrator, but to get my message across I can manage the odd stick figure or two, which is what I’d use it for. But effectively, I was looking for an app to replace the tablet and stylus I have that plugs into my computer that I have used on occasion to illustrate a point or two in a video. Problem with the plugin variety of apps is that you can’t actually see what you are drawing on the tablet, you have to watch it on the screen inside Photoshop or similar.

Now this might be fine if you’re a great illustrator, but if you’re not, then it’s next to impossible to see what you’ve done and start again, so an average or terrible drawing becomes abominable very quickly.

But with Sketches, you can see on the iPad exactly what you are drawing, and that for me is what I needed.

Now you’re probably asking, how does this translate to creating illustrations for videos, well let me explain.
There’s a cool piece of software called Reflector ( that allows you to mirror your mobile device to any MAC or PC. When you install and activate it and connect your iPad or android tablet, it mirrors the mobile device screen on your computer monitor. Then, if you have Camtasia or another screen capture software program, you can record the illustration, as it’s happening, and use that footage in a video to illustrate a point.

All you have to do is download Reflector and install it, then on your mobile device swipe up from the bottom (IOS7) of the screen and click Airplay.

You want to click on the computer name that you’ve installed reflector on and turn mirroring on. Now you can go to any app on your device and operate it and it will show up on your screen. Have a look at this quick video of it in action using Reflector on my computer and Camtasia recording the demonstration.

So here’s the steps…
  1. Download Reflector as trial first, then buy –
  2. Install Reflector and start it on your desktop or laptop.
  3. Download the free Sketches app from iTunes –
  4. Swipe your iPhone or iPad screen up to reveal Airplay.
  5. Click Airplay and choose your desktop from the choices then activate Mirroring.
  6. Swipe down.
  7. Install or start Camtasia or whatever screen capture software you use and click record the screen.
  8. Open Sketches app and begin drawing.
  9. I would leave the screen at full screen and adjust the pan and zoom when you save and begin editing the video, then you can capture just the illustration if preferred.