Write on Paper, with Instant Digitization, Using the Moleskine Smart Writing Set

Moleskin has launched the Smart Writing Set, which is a combination of a Bluetooth pen, a special notebook, and an app, which lets you write in the notebook and have your writings – and drawings – instantly digitized. The company has created a video explaining how this works.



I’m intrigued by this idea. I know it’s not the first such device, but I would very much like to write more rather than type, and this could be a good way to do so.

I’ve been using the iPad Pro and Pencil recently, and I found an app that has very good handwriting recognition, even with my chicken scratch, but the iPad’s screen is too smooth to write a lot on. Writing is a tactile activity, and I need the friction of a pen or pencil on paper.

I’m tempted by the Moleskine Smart Writing Set, but at £200 – which is a terrible conversion from $200; it should be about £170, including VAT – it’s a steep price to pay for a gadget like this. Also, additional notebooks cost £24, and they only contain 176 page, and they’re only A5 size, which is a bit small.

This is certainly an interesting type of tool, and I hope it becomes more affordable in the future.

3 thoughts on “Write on Paper, with Instant Digitization, Using the Moleskine Smart Writing Set

  1. I think the only things that the Moleskine package adds is fancy brand name paper to write on, and a one year subscription to Evernote. The pen is a livescribe 3 with moleskine label. You can get the livescribe pen for less; US Amazon price is $120. There are several brands other than livescribe, but I haven’t yet done any real research.

    Smart pens need to write on special paper with orientation dots and control marks. Livescribe has (compared to moleskine) inexpensive paper pads in various sizes, and they also have free pdfs so you can print your own. Their iOS app looks decent from the specs, but gets mediocre reviews. Maybe the desktop software for the Echo is better; the Echo is about the same price and records audio too, so it’s more self contained. Circa $120 is still not cheap, but despite despite potential software issues, I’ve been getting more and more tempted. I just wish they had a pencil version–I always have to do a lot of erasing!

  2. Oops, I was wrong about the moleskine pen being Livescribe. Livescribe has a moleskine bundle, but the new ‘moleskine smart writing set’ uses a Neo smartpen, and a different app, which looks like it might be Neo Notes with maybe a few extra features (e.g. the color buttons). Other than that, I still think it’s a premium price for the moleskine brand name compared to just getting the pen, though less so, since the the Neo runs $170 on it’s own (US Amazon). You can print your own paper, but superficially at least; you have to use their special application which is windows 7+ only.

  3. Hey Kirk . . . throw a piece of light tracing vellum over the iPad and secure so it doesn’t move around and I think you’ll see it works just fine but gives you the tactile feedback of writing on paper.

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