I just received my Evernote Smart Notebook from Moleskine. I have been wanting to try this paper/digital tool for a while. The Evernote technology is able to “read” your handwriting and make it searchable within your notes. As a principal, I could document meeting notes electronically and not having to lug around technology all the time. Students could also potentially use these notebooks to curate their writing and create digital portfolios.
I tried it out by copying down some information from Richard Allington’s book What Really Matters in Response to Intervention. I took a picture with my iPad, then searched for the word “lesson” within that new note. Here was the result:
Pretty cool, right? My handwriting is not the best, yet Evernote still managed to capture the appropriate word.
When I showed my notebook to my office assistant, she asked if Evernote could read handwriting in any Moleskine notebook. To find out, I used my read aloud Moleskine notebook containing notes on different books I like to share with students. Picture taken and new note created, I searched for “audio”.
As you can see, it does work.
This bears the question: Is the Evernote Smart Notebook worth it?
I would say yes. You need Evernote Premium to be able to search within images and PDFs. Three months of the Premium subscription comes with a Smart Notebook ($30). In addition, these specialized notebooks have different stickers you can put on a note (see second image). Each sticker can be customized to digitally associate with an Evernote notebook and tags within your account. These stickers could be a real time saver.
Even though a regular Moleskine notebook is half the price ($15), the Evernote Premium is nice in that you get a lot more storage – 1 GB a month instead of 60 MB. It’s a nice way to try out Premium and the sticker technology. However, if you already subscribe to Evernote Premium ($45/year) and don’t mind taking a few extra steps to organize your handwriting, the technology appears to scan either type of page.
Have you tried the Evernote Smart Notebook? What has been your experience? Please share in the comments.