Rocketbook Wave Connected Notebook Review

Rocketbook Wave Connected Notebook Review

Dec 22, 2016

For every unfortunate,unfunded concept, there is a realized dream that joins innovation to entrepreneurship. Kickstarted project Rocketbook is a perfect example… on paper.

Rocketbook melds few concepts together. In part, these concepts are, well, sexy. The item looks to be, at first glance, traditional means of taking notes; indeed, the core piece is a notepad. Then, it looks to provide extra, timely functionality by utilizing cloud connectivity via a companion app hosted on a smartdevice.

Finally, the Rocketbook has a final trick up its sleeve, one which involves microwave heat and the promise of reusability. More on that later…

The review package we received contained the Wave notebook, and a black FriXion erasable pen. The notebook “standard” sizing (8.5 in x 9.5 inches) contains 80 pages of dot-grid paper (there is also a smaller “executive” option). Each page has icons and QR codes to help with identification and storage.

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The next piece is the Rocketbook app; this app allows users to digitize the pages using the device’s camera, and to send them to email addresses and services.

Now, when it comes to reusing the notepad the system employs an interesting trick involving a mug of water and a microwave. Yes, you place the notebook in the microwave, place a mug on the notebook in just right spot and nuke it for a few minutes each on both sides.

It is definitely interesting, and it actually works. I admit to being a bit skeptical, but after less than two minutes (including flip) I had, in essence, a fresh notebook.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough time to make a pipin’ hot cup of tea. Impressive.

If I could, I’d love a more professional-looking notebook as an option, but to be fair, I wonder how, say, a leatherclad notebook would stand up to microwaving. I do love that there are two notebook sizes available, and the green factor here is invaluable.

Altogether, the 3-piece system manages to jump over gimmicky and truly be a useful tool, at $27.00 for the a notebook and pen, it doesn’t necessarily break the bank, either.

Evernote Smart Notebook Review

Evernote Smart Notebook Review

Sep 25, 2014

Recording inspiration is serious business. For creative people, the ability to jot down an idea or bring a concept to live via sketch is priceless. Even in a digital world, here are times when the hand written note on the fly cannot be surpassed.

For folks who cherish traditional notebooks, Moleskine is a well-known commodity, and its collaboration with mobile/web note-taking utility Evernote spawned the interesting Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook. The underlying idea is to create a solution that allows for the digital capture of handwritten notes, and access to these notes via Evernote.

The Moleskine Notebook itself is the size of a thin, small book, coming in at 8.25 x 5 inches. The dark leather that makes up the cover features embossing of different types, most notably the Evernote logo in the center. On the back cover is a lime green band; there is also similarly colored strip for bookmarking. On the inside back cover, there is a pocket that contains smart tags and documentation, and the pages (192 of them) are noted to be FSC certified and pH neutral. Altogether, it looks professional, reasonably sturdy and feels quite mobile.

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As a soccer coach, I had some great opportunities at a recent soccer tourney. I am used to entering coaching points and on-the-fly stats via smartphone and Evernote, but then you have glare and such to contend with, plus, there is always someone that assumes you’re playing poker during the game. As such, it does feel a bit more natural using a “regular” notebook. Also, as I tend to use each game as an opportunity to isolate things to work on in practice, after games, I tend to have all sorts of diagrams and notations.

It was easy physically replacing my coach’s jotpad with Smart Notebook. The ruled lines help guide entry and even diagrams, and I had no problem using to gather training points and the like. The moment of truth is the image capture, and this is effected with the help of the Evernote app.

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Now, I think the Android app could have a better capture utility. The iOS version seems to be a bit more robust with regards to alignments. Smart tags are great in theory, but not really functional in the Android app, and the OCR did seem finicky with non-printed writing. Finally (and this is more a function of the Evernote app), downloading Skitch is needed for further annotations.

All in all, while this item is not new, the question one must ask is whether the Moleskine Smart Notebook makes one more productive.

In my case, it did.

Never Forget A Thing With Floaty Notes For Android

Never Forget A Thing With Floaty Notes For Android

Oct 4, 2013

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Floaty Notes is a simple, yet helpful application that helps keep track of things to do, like a digital organizer. Its primary feature is that it also acts as a sharing platform, allowing its user to synchronize everything stored inside, across many devices, and acting as a group organizer. Floaty Notes can be downloaded from here: Floaty Notes on Google Play.

Quill Brings Handwriting to Android Tablets

Quill Brings Handwriting to Android Tablets

Feb 21, 2012

For Android tablet owners who have a stylus and want to use their tablet as a pen-and-paper replacement, one solution is Quill. This app allows users to handwrite in vector graphics in virtual notebooks. There are various settings for different pen colors and thickness, along with undo/redo and manual erase tools. There is a fountain pen mode that makes the line darker depending on how strongly the pen is pressed down on the screen, simulating an actual fountain pen. Each page can be tagged with various tags, which is perfect for students who want to remember what notes on various pages contain. The app also has support for the active pens on the Lenovo ThinkPad, HTC JetStream, and HTC Flyer. Notes can be exported as PNG files, or as PDFs, and shared via Evernote or Android built-in sharing. Quill is available for $1 from the Android Market), or available for free under the GPL from the Quill Google Code project website. Quill does require a Honeycomb device, so Galaxy Note owners are out of luck for now.