Best Products That Turn Written Notes into Digital Files

People committed to notetaking understand the pain of having no way to easily sort or share what they have written.

If only the notes were available in a digital format!

You see where we are going with this.

Here are options for a smartpen, an e-ink tablet, and smartphone apps that let you keep working with pen and paper while also enjoying the benefits of digital files.

Pen Digitizer

Moleskin products are some of the best. But Moleskin also has a Smart Writing System that employs a Smart Pen that works with the Smart Notebook that comes in pages with ruled lines or dotted paper. 

The pen and ink on the paper track your motions so you can send them to your tablet or computer. When you use up the notebook, open a new one and keep working!

Here is what you get with the Smart Writing System:

  • Smart Notebook with 176 pages of special paper
  • Notebook dimensions: 5″ x 8-1/4
  • Moleskine Smart Pen
  • USB cable to recharge the pen
  • 1 pen tip ink refill
  • Paper Tablet Smart Notebook: Large 176 pages 
  • Free Moleskin App available on the App Store and Google Play.

E-Ink Tablet

If you would rather not fuss with pen and paper but still want the look and feel of that experience, then an e-ink tablet is what you should look into.

The Remarkable 2 is an e-ink display and drawing tablet that looks, feels, and reads like paper. 

If you don’t know what e-ink is, think of it sort of like an etch-a-sketch, but in reverse. Instead of using a magnet to pull particles off a screen to reveal an image, e-ink uses an electric current to turn on and off pigment oils located in the display. 

Once turned on, the ink pixel will remain on the screen but slowly fade until a current of electricity turns each pixel on again. This makes them very energy efficient, so they last for weeks or even months between charges.

E-readers like the Kindle have helped to popularize the technology, making the displays not only more clear and higher resolution, but also useful for simulating paper more accurately. While these ink displays are typically greyscale, companies are exploring the use of color within the display.

Remarkable also offers a subscription service that gives you unlimited cloud storage, Google Drive and Dropbox integration, easy handwriting conversation, and the ability to share your screen.

At $299 with a Connect subscription, it is on the more pricey side. But just think about how much money you have spent on notebooks and pens over the years. The Remarkable 2 offers a good reason to ditch your favorite pen and notebook. 

Smartphone Apps

Evernote and OneNote are smartphone apps that use the camera on your phone to convert notes and math formulas found on paper or even a whiteboard into a digital file that you can edit, share, and print. 

The above apps do their best to recognize your handwriting and convert your writing into editable and searchable text. If you scanned in the file using a scanner, you can also upload these to the app.

If either app doesn’t recognize your notes, you can change the apps or share them with a digital drawing device.