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A reMarkable Tool: A Smart Digital Notebook for 2023


Most fields and subfields of work and leisurely hobbies have their own – and I say this endearingly – nerdy quirks. Long-time readers, for instance, relish the smell of an old book (which the Smithsonian even conducted a study on, describing it as a “combo of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness”). That sounds more like what you might find in a wine cellar or listed under ingredients for tea, but it’s indicative of just how intensely these quirks are nerdily experienced. In some cases, car mechanics grow highly accustomed to the smell of motor oil over, say, overly floral perfumes. Tennis players often cite an enjoyably distinct scent that shoots out of a freshly cracked-open can of tennis balls.

We’d be here for days, if given the chance to sit down and rattle off as many quirks as we could that are specific to professions and hobbies alike. And while people certainly aren’t limited to one quirk, I can say with full confidence what my favorite one is (and with zero hesitation):

The tactile pleasures of handwriting.

If you’ve stumbled across any other Future of Work articles I’ve penned, what has likely made a clear impression is the level of joy that eeks out onto the page (or webpage, in this case) when I’m able sit down, write and publish pieces. Granted, I’m not the James Joyce of Future of Work articles, but you catch my drift here. It’s a quirk. And regarding physically handwriting notes and letters, specifically, the quirks evolve; choosing one’s pen and paper, the feel of each, the pressure of the penmanship, what’s jotted down or poetically expounded upon, and more.

Quirks. For those rightly entrenched in their work or pastime, it can be a remarkable thing.

Well, for any fellow writers, the mainstream debut of smart notebooks and smartpen systems (circa 2007) has changed many folks’ minds on the one-two combo of digital and physical handwriting. Smart notebooks merge tech with more traditional hands-on, pen-and-paper experiences in order to digitize notetaking, drawings, etc. Smart notebooks aim to replicate the feel of writing on paper as closely as possible, while affording writers with various digital-age benefits like scanning and uploading.

This past Christmas, one of my brothers actually gifted me one from a company that makes smart, reusable notebooks, planners, and other like accessories.

And then, I heard about reMarkable.

reMarkable has designed a kind of digital notebook for tasks that demand both focus and passion:

The reMarkable 2 paper tablet.

Per a reMarkable representative: “The reMarkable 2 paper tablet creates an entirely new way to work. Enjoy paper-like handwriting, typing and reading, view, sync and refine on the go by using our apps, and convert your detailed handwritten notes to typed-out text while storing everything in one organized place.”

Here, reMarkable is correct. In addition to those features, the reMarkable 2 integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive, and it’s easy to import Microsoft Office files and web articles. Having been praised by the likes of Mashable Choice and Newsweek, verified users of the reMarkable 2 have found it to be a worthy investment, saying that – be it for daily notetaking, generally straightening out your thinking, and for completing weekly and monthly paperwork duties that must be written by hand – it's an effective way to capture, store, and then legitimately use brainstorming notes from meetings and interviews.

Additionally, the reMarkable 2 has a uniquely textured surface for writers’ experiences, it features zero pop-up ads or notifications, it supports 33 languages, flexibly converts cursive and block letters, and allows for folder and tag use to keep all documents and notes organized. Notably, it also promotes eye-friendly reading and writing without undue glare, eye strain or situated backlight, and it has two weeks of active battery life.

Pen and paper, as we know, is fantastic for visualizations and problem-solving. So, in presentations, reMarkable can also be screen-shared onto a big screen or for video meetings, making it an on-the-fly digital whiteboard for the modern era.

A few closing technical notes: With a reMarkable Connect subscription, users are able to unlock additional cloud storage for safekeeping their work. The reMarkable 2 has a 1.2 GHz dual core ARM, 1872 x 1404 resolution (226 DPI), multi-point capacitive touch, and even tilt detection.

If you’re interested, the reMarkable 2 can also be paired with the brand’s Folios, a.k.a. protections made from fine materials to fit these tablets. There’s the original Folio sleeve with a slot for a writing utensil, a Book Folio (i.e. the same, but in a book-esque folding style), and even a Type Folio onto which the reMarkable 2 can be propped up like a typical tablet in order write or draw onto. Learn more here.

The long story very short? The reMarkable 2 is ideal not solely for writers, but for nearly anyone in need of more satisfyingly productive reading and writing experiences.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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