Matt and I use Evernote to take, organize and search for previously taken notes. Evernote keeps your notes in the cloud, so they’re available anywhere that you have access to the internet.
The Evernote Smart Notebook is a snazzy moleskine designed especially for Evernote, containing special paper to allow for the use of auto-cropping and Smart Sticker recognition within the Evernote iPhone app. Matt was kind enough to offer me a chance to use one of the new Evernote Smart Notebooks he bought for himself.
I left my Smart Notebook at home today, which is a bit of a drag because I had taken some notes on what I wanted to include in this review about the notebook itself. No worries! Because I used the notebook the way it was supposed to be used, I can look at my notes in Evernote for Mac.
So here’s how it works:
- Write until your heart is content in your Evernote Smart Notebook – draw pictures, make notes for work, scribble notes for home.
- If you want, throw some Smart Stickers on the page next to the corresponding notes. (I think these are the coolest part of the notebook.)
- Open your Evernote app and use the Page Camera feature to grab a snapshot of your pages.
- Evernote will digitize your notes, making them searchable, and will organize each page with a tag using the Smart Stickers.
The Smart Stickers are my favorite feature of the notebook. The notebook comes with four sheets of stickers that are preconfigured to become “Home, Work, Approved, Rejected, Action, Travel” tags in the app. Write a note and place a sticker on the page. When you use the Evernote Page Camera, your note will automatically be tagged with the corresponding sticker. If you don’t need your notes to be tagged with one of the pre-set tags, you can customize the stickers to use different tags. (More information on Smart Stickers)
Once you’ve uploaded your page image, Evernote will work in the background to recognize your handwritten notes. This is a great feature but even with my girly, fairly neat handwriting, it doesn’t recognize everything I’ve written.
The Smart Notebook is a great tool to add to your note-taking repertoire. Although I type quickly on a keyboard, I haven’t quite mastered the iPhone or iPad keyboard. During meetings with clients, I still like to handwrite notes and include simple wireframe sketches. I’ve never thought to grab a snapshot of my notes so once my notebook was full, it is quite a task to find a specific note again. With Evernote, you can write your client’s name at the top of a page (which makes it searchable) and all you have to do is search for their name to find that page of notes. It definitely beats paging through an entire 120-page notebook.
BONUS! The notebook also comes with three free months of Evernote Premium ($15 value) which means more bandwidth to upload all of your note pages and faster image recognition.