Reimagining Pen & Paper



At work we’re reimagining how we do, well, everything.

We’ve moved our office software to the cloud, transitioned to an agile project management approach, and are expanding on and accelerating our cultural revolution. It’s little things that make a big difference, and the impact is exciting. The way I work is shifting, and one of the things that’s at risk of getting left behind if handwritten notes.

I like taking notes on a computer just fine, but sometimes there’s just no substitute for pen and ink. In a world where I can use my wristwatch to do work though, how does a paper notebook fit in?

This week I went looking for a 21st century solution, and I found Rocketbook.

They sell reusable notebooks (some of which you erase by microwaving them, which seems a bit gimmicky) and, crucially, an app that digitises the notes and automatically saves them to one of a number of predefined cloud destinations like my all new work Google Drive.

They’re $51.05 in Canada which is definitely expensive enough that I wanted to try the app first. You can do that with freely downloadable PDF versions of the notebook’s specially marked pages and grab the app from your app store of choice, and it works great. While I was at it I tried scanning the same page using the Google drive app and it was just as successful, cropping, deskewing and colour correcting without the need for any special page markings.

So I’m sticking to my regular old notebooks and the Google drive app that came on my phone. Fittingly, it turns out I had the tools I needed all along and I just needed a little adjustment to my approach to make the big difference I was looking for.


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