Hmmm… Moleskine gets into the Digital Pen Market

Moleskine has introduced its Smart Writing Set, a notebook and digitally-enabled pen that works in combination with an app that syncs with the Moleskine Notes app, Google Drive or Evernote. The notebook is designed with rounded pages to look more like the shape of a tablet. Maybe to visually differeniate it from the regular notebooks? It features 100 gsm paper and NCode encoded pages to help sync with the digital app.

The Pen+ features a tiny camera and internal memory to store digital data as well as an actual rollerball nib. The pen comes with a charging cord as well.

The initial Smart Writing Set is $199 with replacement notebooks selling for $29.95.

I know a lot of people like the idea of analog-meets-digital tools but this seems like a very pricey venture. What do you think?

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9 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Interesting and quite expensive … I like the idea of being able to upload my handwritten notes but it’s a bit expensive in the long run… As a bid to capture the non analogue market and capitalising on their brand is a good way forward… They hope to get new converts I guess… But it is an interesting response to the complaints about paper quality… Not solving that but moving on to something that takes attention away…. I’m on the fence as of now.

  2. Everytime I see any tool like this my first question is how does the pen feel?

    In order for this product to fly Moleskine needs people to want to use the pen. And they also need people to want to use their paper. (at least with the paper most of us already know what we’re getting into there.)

    If I was marketing it I would look to making the paper great, and to making sure the pen holds as many different kinds of refills as possible (and making sure people knew it).

    As it stands Moleskine really doesn’t say a word about either of these crucial things.

  3. It’s a gadget. I tried the digital capture Moleskine and just didn’t seem that useful. I still like the Reporter, but have moved on to Midori. I just want my analog to be analog.

  4. I will always take analog experience over digital, but sometimes you need a digital output. I spend most of my day at work in meetings, and the notes of such meetings need to be converted into documents relatively fast. To get the best of both worlds, I use the Livescrive pens. Products like this allow me to have the analog experience I prefer, while also enabling me to deliver the quick digital output my bosses expect.
    I have not tried the Moleskine yet, but it would have to be evidently superior to Livescribe for me to switch to their system, specially considering that Moleskine already makes a Livescribe compatible notebook.

  5. Hello Ana,

    thanks for the review!

    Regarding the Moleskine Smart Writing Set:

    Sorry, but not for me.
    There are a lot of apps out there for smartphones which let you photograph your notebook pages and export them in different formats (even pdf files). These apps even do a perspective correction/crop for the user if needed.

    So I will stay with those for digital archiving/sharing purposes and keep my notebooks for what they are.

    Plus I can use my fountainpen on whichever paper suits best for me. 🙂

  6. Hey,

    In fact this is an already established product. The Pen is the NeoLabs N2 Smartpen. The App is simple the NeoLabs Neo Note app with Moleskine branding. And the Notebook is basically a Moleskine Journal with the N Code pattern on the paper (which is what makes the pen work). The quality of the Moleskine paper really doesn’t come into it as the Smartpen is a ballpoint using a D1 refill (and just about any D1 refill works with it).

    There are some really cool things about this. Things like you can write anywhere in the notebook and the software will know which page, you can write on previously used pages and the text will simply sync in, you can change the colour of the text to whatever you want (so write first time in one colour, then change it when you go back and make changes), the ability to Transcribe your text into digital text.

    For those who don’t like the price of the Moleskine journal, there are others available. From A5 ring books, to A4 paper pads, a 24 month undated diary, and even another cheaper journal made by NeoLabs (and of very good quality). Any Ncode paper will work with this pen.

    I use my N2 (non-Moleskine branded) for things like meeting minutes, work notes to automatically sync into Evernote so when I get back to my work PC my tasks, notes and to-do’s are already there, ready to go. I also us it when writing my stories, I write them by hand, Transcribe into OneNote, and edit and check them from there. Makes the digital -> Analogue process so much easier and less of a hassle.
    I personally love Moleskines (which is a bit strange as I am also a fountain pen user) and I was waiting for them to release the journals for the N2. I’m very happy they have finally done so!

    1. Honestly, thanks to your comment purchased one, and that thing that you say about being able to use any notebook with annNCode is just wrong. Question: are u a Moleskine marketer writing on the comments? I am really disappointed that the only option I have is a 30 dollar A5 option… OCR is great, sure, but overall your comment is a bit misleading because you defend something you have never tried and present info as a truth… anyway.

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