Smart Notebooks, Smart Pens, and Smart Writing

I recently came across an interesting article about Moleskine’s Smart Writing set. The idea of “smart writing” is a very interesting concept that I had never seen in this capacity before. So, this article got me thinking about different options for “smart writing” and whether other companies were offering the same thing.

Essentially smart writing means writing, either on paper or other form, and having that writing be transposed into a digital copy. This could be translated into many different purposes, such as taking notes in school, graphic design, doodling, and architecture.

Below is a brief overview of a few options for smart writing and how much each one costs.


Moleskine’s Smart Writing Set

Moleskine developed this notebook that allows you to write on a paper (the Paper Tablet), but you would also instantly have a digital copy of the notebook. The $199 USD pen and Paper Tablet combo connect to the app, which reads the pen strokes. Then, you can both have the physical copy and store the digital copy of your notes. Each additional notebook is $29.95 USD.


Mod Notebooks

In 2014, Mod released a notebook that share the same concept as Moleskine’s set: digitizing notebooks. However, these notebooks differ in all other aspects. The Mod notebooks are regular paper notebooks that you mail to Mod once you fill the book. Mod then scans the notebook and creates a digital copy of it on Dropbox or Evernote. Therefore, you always have access to the digital copy of your notebook, but not until after you finish writing the whole notebook. The Mod notebooks retail for $29 USD.



Livescribe notebooks and pens are the exact same concept and premise as Moleskine’s Smart Writing Set. This is not surprising, as one of Livescribe’s products has Moleskine’s name attached to it.

Livescribe produces notebooks and pens that connect to Dropbox or Evernote They have varieties of pens and packages to choose from, but they all essentially offer the same concept. The Livescribe Smartpen connects via bluetooth to your smartphone and digitally prescribes your notes in near real time. The Livescribe 3 Smartpen retails for around $150 USD, while the notebooks go for around $26 USD each.


Walcom’s Bamboo Spark

Here is another example of a product that has the exact same concept as the Moleskine. Walcom’s Bamboo Spark digitizes any page in your notebook with a press of a button. It also connects with Dropbox and Evernote.

The portfolio that it is sold in includes a area for the smart notebook and an area for a tablet or other device. It retails for $159.95 USD and the pen is an additional $39.95 USD.


So which is best?

Most of the products I reviewed seem to do relatively the same thing for relatively the same price. So which option is best really depends on your objectives and price point.

If you don’t need that physical pad of paper, smart writing can also be done right on a tablet.

So, if you are interested in investing in a smart writing product, this is a good starting list. There seems to be many different smart writing products on the market with the same concept.