My wife got me a Moleskine Smart Writing set for Christmas. I was pumped. I've always had a tension between wanting to digitize notes but also not wanting to take a computer into meetings. This seemed to be the best meet-in-the -middle. 

 

So is it?

The Pros

What I do love about this is that it really does work as advertised. If you open the companion mobile app while using it, you can see your writing transcribed on the screen in real time. Pretty cool. That part isn't practical but fun. 

The practical part comes in with syncing in the background. I have it synced up with my Evernote account, so all of my notes are automatically backed up digitally. It's really helpful. The only thing is I can't designate which notebooks I want my notes to go to. I have to manually re-file those notes later, which honestly hasn't been that big of a deal. 

I also love the email feature. Honestly, I haven't used it a lot but love the option. In the top corner of the page, there's an envelope icon. Checking that off allows me to automatically email that note to a designated address I have in my settings. I've honestly used that for post-meeting notes and drip marketing ideas to co-workers on the fly. 

The email feature was a bit of a bummer on iPhone. It has to sync up with the native Mail app, which I didn't use. Since I switched over to a Google Pixel, the Moleskine set syncs up with whatever mail app I choose. Huge +1 for the Android version of this on that feature alone. 

The Cons

There are two big cons: price and charging your pen. 

It does get a bit annoying when I forget to charge my smart pen. The notebook is useless without it. I now keep it on a charging cord at my desk at work to avoid that situation but had several meetings where the pen would die mid-meeting. That was a bummer. However, I've been able to remember to keep a charge. 

Price is also a bummer. Replacement notebooks aren't cheap ($30). The initial set isn't super cheap either...but I feel like I've already gotten my money's worth out of it. I mainly just take it to longer brainstorming meetings at this point and don't sync up random status check-ins with it to extend the lifespan of my notebook - and my smart pen ink!

Overall, I've really enjoyed the Moleskine Smart Writing set. It's been great heading to meetings without a laptop and being fully engaged in what is going on. To me, it makes a huge difference. 

If you want to check out how to use all of the features (or at least see an in-depth look at what they are), this video is a great start.