Hands-on with the Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine

Hands-on with the Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine

Summary: Evernote is one of the most useful apps I have on my devices, but I still like to put a pen to paper and make notes. Thanks to a new product from Moleskine, Evernote fans can record in a cool Evernote-themed notebook and get their notes accurately into a digital archive.

Hands-on with the Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine

In late August I wrote about the Evernote Smart Notebook announcement and immediately place my preorder for a small ruled Moleskine. It arrived last week and I have been enjoying its use in my daily life. While I am an avid mobile device enthusiast, there is something about writing things down on paper that helps me think a bit more clearly and creatively. The Evernote Smart Notebooks are now available to purchase for $24.95 (pocket) and $29.95 (large).

Check out my image gallery of the Evernote Smart Notebook and Page Camera utility.

The Evernote Smart Notebook comes in either Pocket (3.5 x 5.5 inches and 192 pages) or Large (5 x 8.25 inches and 240 pages) size. I purchased a Pocket size one since I like something that is always with me and is easily pocketable. I may purchase a Large one soon though because you can fit a lot more content onto a large page and it seems that the more I write in my Smart Notebook the more I come up with to write about. You can purchase the paper in ruled or square (grid) lining. I went with squared since I tend to draw engineering ideas out and like the feel of a grid. Both are optimized for capturing into the Evernote application.

The outside hard cover is embossed with the cool Evernote logo and icons of things you might write about or with (pens, paint brushes, travel, lightbulb, etc.) and is one major reason I wanted to get one of these unique Moleskines. You can see the front cover in my image gallery. There is a green elastic strap to hold the notebook closed and a green bookmark strap inside. There is a page inside the front cover to record your information in case your notebook is lost. Within the back cover you will find directions on using Evernote and a code to use the Premium service for free for 3 months. There is also a small pocket for the included four sheets of Smart Stickers. Smart Stickers are used by the Evernote software to automatically add tags to your notes you capture.

Currently, the Page Camera utility is only found within the iOS application. I used my iPhone 5 to capture notes from the Smart Notebook, but Evernote is also working on getting the Android application updated to support the Page Camera feature. The Page Camera feature helps optimize images captured using the Smart Notebook while also giving you the ability to add a series of captured notes to a single Evernote note. You can review the images you captured and reject or approve them before saving them to your Evernote account. There is a toggle at the center of the Evernote camera capture utility to turn Page Camera on or off. Evernote also recommends you have the flash on to capture notes from the Evernote Smart Notebook.

You can always use an Android or Windows Phone device to capture notes taken in the Evernote Smart Notebook (until Page Camera function is added), but the Page Camera utility finds the dot pattern and corrects the skew of the photo while also improving page contrast capture. Smart Stickers are also captured and catalogued with the Page Camera function in iOS. I also noted that standard, non-Evernote optimized, Moleskine notebooks are available for about $10 less than these ones. You can always use them and capture notes with Evernote, but the software optimizations will not be supported.

I am enjoying the experience with my Evernote Smart Notebook and love that they continue to provide ways to make Evernote a part of my daily life.

Related ZDNet content


There are currently no prices available for this product.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, iPad, Smartphones, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Where can you purchase this


    Where other than online @ Moleskine can this product be purchased?
  • Or.. you could get a tablet with a real digital pen with pressure...

    And write directly into an electronic notebook, skipping the middle man and the waste of resources.

    I have the Samsung Note 10.1 and I don't even use paper for brainstorming anymore. It's easier to turn on the tablet, flip up the notepad and start writing... and if I want to stick in links or even pictures or text from the net, I can multiscreen the browser and copy from it in a second.

    Try that with the Moleskin.
    The Werewolf!
    • Samsung Note...


      I have used the Samsung Note, it is Garbage. I would rather write on paper and take a picture of it to put in Evernote...
      • Galaxy Note 10.1


        I use the Note daily and love it.

        I don't see why someone would spend $24 on a notebook when you can use a pen tablet or just a plain old normal notebook.
        Jamie Maguire
  • Seems amazingly primitive...

    unless it actually converts your handwriting into text. It's a lot less sophisticated than the system we had a decade ago, where you could write on a tablet screen into Microsoft OneNote (and get an audio sync as well, if you were recording an interview), or you could use an Anoto pen.

    With an Echo smartpen you can write in a Moleskine-style notebook and then transfer your text to a computer and either keep it as ink or OCR it. The pen uses special Anoto paper, but it works pretty well, and you can record audio as well. Major drawback is that the actual pen is a pretty awful ball-point not a nice gel or rollerball pen.

    There is also the ASP-301 Bluetooth pen, which uses the Anoto system, where what you write on paper appears immediately on your Android smartphone screen.
    Jack Schofield
    • I have the echo pen

      Great comment... I was thinking of commenting about the echo and you summed it up great.
  • Welcome to the past. In 2002 I had a Seiko SmartPad that...

    ...worked with my Palm Pilot. It was a small portfolio which held my Pilot on the left side and a standard 5X7 steno pad on the right. It had an included pen and worked with the IR port on the Pilot so anything you wrote or drew on the steno pad was automatically transfered to the pilot as a monochrome image. It worked great and was completely automatic. Welcome to the past.
  • OP forgot...

    So a couple of things that were left out, you get a 3 month membership code included with the purchase of the notebook. It also reads your handwritten notes and adds OCR to all your notes. It will also use the smart stickers, which can be customized, to put notes in specific notebooks and add specific tags. It is actually very useful.
  • No 'Page Camera' function for Windows Mobile: UNimpressive


    It is average because ANY program out there can take pictures. The fact that we are using Evernote for records etc, in NO way enhances either Evernote or writing notes in a notebook or taking pictures of it.
    So what?
    IF Evernote get off their asses and get the Page Camera going for systems other that Android and iOS, THEN they will have earned some plaudits.
    Otherwise why advertise a function that, for over 25% of users, is NO function?