I’ve been using a paper journal on a daily basis for the past year. I’d tried digital journals in the past, but I’ve always enjoyed using analog tools more than apps on my smartphone. The advantages to using a digital journal over an analog journal are the ability to archive them and the ability to search text. It’s not to say that you can’t do these things with your analog notebook. You can… but it requires that you snap a picture of the page and upload it to a service like Evernote. That works great, but it requires you to actually do it. I’m lazy, so it just never gets done.
Using smart pens with Moleskine notebooks is not exactly something new. Livescribe pens have been compatible with special Moleskine notebooks for the past two years, but those pens are too fat for my liking. Now there’s a new option. Moleskine is teaming up with Neo to bring us the Moleskine Smart Writing Set. This set uses a Moleskine “tablet” that is really just a paper notebook with pages that stick out past the covers and have been rounded on the edges to look like a tablet in a case. The paper is printed with a special dotted pattern that works with the Neo Pen+ smart pen and an app on your mobile device to digitize the page in real time as you’re writing and then share or archive the page.
Ncoded technology allows the Pen+ to recognize where it is in the Paper Tablet and capture each pen stroke as you capture your thoughts. The app then smoothly transfers your freehand notes from page to screen in real time, giving you the possibility to digitize text, edit, organize, share and bring your ideas to life. Simply tap the envelope icon on the page to share instantly.
The Neo Pen+ appeals to me more than the Livescribe because it is slimmer, made of Aluminum and can accept any D1 sized ink refill. You can also use the pen with other Neo notebooks types and sizes, or even print your own using the templates found on Neo’s site.
The Smart Writing Set is priced at $199.00 and is available from Moleskine.