Many doodlers and notetakers still prefer paper, and Moleskine’s sketchbooks and pads have been a top choice. The company has leveraged partnerships with Adobe, Livescribe and Evernote to digitize physical drawings and notes with ease. The Moleskine Smart Writing Set is, however, its first attempt to brand an entire pen-paper-and-app set by itself. The Smart Writing Set caters to those who like jotting down ideas on paper, but also want the convenience of automatically digitized notes.
The setup is comprised of a paper notebook (called the Paper Tablet), the aluminum Pen+ and a mobile app. All these three pieces work together to instantly digitize any notes and illustrations — and can even capture audio — as you write on paper so that they can be easily edited with software on a phone, tablet or computer. It’s just amazing to watch your pen strokes appear instantly on your mobile device.
The notebook (or Paper Tablet) is a pleasure to write in as Moleskine’s other journals. The black aluminum pen (a Neo smartpen) feels solid and sleek, and it incorporates some cool stuff, including a hidden camera that traces and digitizes your every stroke of the pen. The iOS app (with Android coming soon) lets you add colors to your notes and sketches or even erase portions of them. You can tag, search, or export each page, and sharing is compatible with a plethora of applications, including iCloud, Google Drive, Evernote and Adobe. When you fill up all of those pages, extra Paper Tablets are priced at $30 each.
The pen’s battery lasts for five hours of continuous writing. For $199, there isn’t a lot of technology I would like to see on the pen itself. For example, it relies on your smartphone’s mic to record audio. Also, you may need to constantly check the app to make sure your notes are being digitized properly.
In summary, if you want to do some occasional digitizing or sharing your notes or sketches, Moleskine’s Smart Writing Set will work great. But if you expect to take down highly accurate notes, you’ll be better off exploring other options.
Find out more or purchase from Moleskine.