Analog Meets Digital: Meet the Notebook that Connects to the Cloud

I have had a bit of a dilemma over the last few years. You see, those of you who know me know that I'm a bit of a tech geek, and make heavy use of my digital tools. But, at the same time, I've come to learn and recognize that writing things out by hand is actually much better for learning, comprehension, and retention. I have lived with this conundrum for a little while, and I tried when I am able to actually write things.

However, I do not intend on going back to the old days of filing papers in a drawer. The reality is that notes and documents are much more usable when they are stored on my computer in an easy to use fashion.

There are two items that are now in my repertoire which it helped me to bring handwriting back into my life, albeit in a limited capacity. Still, I found them very helpful and I can foresee continuing and increasing my use of them. The first is the Apple pencil, which works with my iPad Pro. This is truly the first tablet stylus that actually feels like a pen. The delay is almost non-existent. My main apps are DEVONthink To Go and Notability, and the pencil works great especially with Notability.

But while the Apple Pencil is kind of old news, the Everlast Rocketbook is the new kid on the block. It was a Kickstarter project and was even on Shark Tank. It is an actual notebook, which comes in a smaller size and a larger 8.5x11 size, with pages that can be erased with a moistened paper towel, provided that you use Pilot FriXion pens or highlighters.

But while it is cool enough to have erasable pages, the link between analog and digital comes with the free companion app. With the app, you scan the page and check off which cloud folder you want to send it to (see it in action in this video). I have this set up to go to a Dropbox folder, which is connected to my DEVONthink database. I then tag the PDF with some information, so that the information is easily accessible later via searching.

I wish I had known about the Rocketbook before the publication Surviving and Thriving in Seminary, as I would have recommended it in the book. But this blog post will have to do. Check it out!

Posted by Danny Zacharias.