Tech-enabled notebooks that are actually better than pen and paper

Update your note taking without losing your penmanship.

ipad hand stylus
Notes without ink smudges or coffee stains.Suganth via Unsplash

While pens, pencils, and quills still work magic on a piece of paper, writing utensils for your bullet journal can be a pain to carry around. I still high school nightmares from the stacks of paper in my high school backpack. If you're like me, know you have the option to leave the loose sheets and explosion-prone ink pens in the past. Here are some techier options to bring your handwriting into a digital era.

Rocketbook Everlast Smart Notebook

Upload your handwritten notes to the cloud.Amazon

The Rocketbook Everlast Smart Notebook has 36 reusable pages that—if written on with Pilot FriXion pens, markers, or highlighters—can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. After 15 seconds the ink dries and you can scan the notes with your smartphone's camera to Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive. The notebook comes with one pen.

EVO Planner’s Non-Dated Gratitude Agenda

EVO Planner’s Non-Dated Gratitude Agenda
A notebook designed to keep you focused.Amazon

The EVO notebook is a 90-day productivity-tracking notebook with fancy copper gild on its pages. Within the planner, you’ll find daily, weekly, and monthly sections to record your daily activities and what you hope to get done. The notebook—supposedly the product of more than 10 years of cognitive psychology research and development—is designed to help keep your life organized and your mind goal-oriented. It combines your own notes with an intelligent organization system that you can capture using its EVO app. Each day, fill out the pages, and the app will help you keep track of your progress. There are four versions of the notebook—Alchemist, Architect, Explorer, and Oracle—each designed for different types of thinkers. There is a quiz and a chart on their website to help you choose your “brain type.”


reMarkable digital notebook
Read e-books and sketch without having to carry bulky notebooks or pens.Amazon

I took the reMarkable with me on a trip to L.A. back in October. The tablet lets you read, write, and sketch without bulky notebooks or multiple pen sizes. There is no backlight, which means it's easy on your eyes, and no glare so you can see in bright sunlight. It also holds a charge for several days. You can store unlimited pages, including PDFs, e-books, and your own handwritten notes. The reMarkable could be a bullet journal or an artist's notebook. Write or sketch on blank, dotted, or gridded pages. The tablet comes with a marker, 10 marker tips, and a USB cable to charge the device.

Moleskine Evernote smart notebook

Moleskine Evernote
Smart stickers help organize your handwritten pages.Amazon

The Moleskine Evernote is a flat-lying notebook, with a hardcover, thick paper (70 grams per square meter—more on that here), an elastic band to keep the notebook closed, and a pocket inside to store loose papers or business cards. Use your smartphone—and the Evernote Page app—to capture pages from the notebook. Within the app are “Smart Stickers” that help you tag, organize, and search for scanned pages. The notebook comes with three free months of Evernote Premium.

Sony Digital Paper tablet

Sony Digital Paper tablet
Take digital notes with Sony's lightweight paper tablet.Amazon

The Sony DPT-CP1/B is designed to feel like you’re holding paper in your hand. It’s got an organic paper-y texture, is super-thin, and is designed to have less glare. You can takes notes on PDFs, doodle on the screen, and easily send notes or documents to your computer via their app. The screen measures 10.3 inches diagonally and the devices weighs 8.5-ounces. It can stay charged for three weeks, depending on how much you use it.