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I'm always super intrigued by the reMarkable 2, but I think it's because it paints an image of the type of person I think it'd be cool to be, someone who can just write down notes and draw stuff with a really cool, slim device. Someone who carries around moleskines and uses them, instead of just buying so many of them in different shapes and leaving them in a drawer packed to the brim with notebooks.

The problem keeps coming back to the fact that I'm absolutely not the type of person who wants to carry that thing around everywhere and who likes or is good at hand writing or drawing. I realize I won't base all my life and processes around this one device that is also supposedly hard to get info off of easily into things like OneNote. If I was somewhere without a computer, then I wouldn't be carrying this big tablet on me. I've bought enough tablets and laptops with writable screens and MS surfaces over the years to know that I still never drew or took notes with the pen, but I still keep buying them hoping I will.

The thing is still so cool and I want it, but maybe I'll wait for version 3 or 4 and extra disposable income that will go to waste on it!

Put a stack of 3x4 index cards in you back pocket, and write thing down as needed. In the evening, (eg when you pull keys/wallet out of the pocket) review the cards briefly and toss the used once into trash unless you really need to keep one.

This is a low-commitment device that still achieves half the benefits of really writing things down.

When I was in the Navy I carried a little memoranda pad in my left breast pocket. I’d take notes each day, at the beginning of each new day, I’d carry any necessary information from the previous day to the next page and then fold the previous page along the diagonal, alternating the folds right and left each day.

The effects of pulling out a notepad and jotting notes are markedly different than pulling out a phone or tablet- especially in a conversation or meeting. IME a phone signals disengagement, while a notepad signals the opposite. When I pulled out my pad, I could see body language and word choices change almost immediately. If it was a positive or neutral conversation, people tended to show appreciation for my interest in what was being said. If it was a negative interaction, people started to be much more careful about what they were saying.

Now I carry an attaché case and use larger, more professional looking, notebooks. Even in the age of Zoom, I angle my camera to ensure it’s obvious I’m taking notes. Sure, it’s an extra step to digitize the important stuff, but I think it’s worth it.

> The effects of pulling out a notepad and jotting notes are markedly different than pulling out a phone or tablet- especially in a conversation or meeting. IME a phone signals disengagement

This! It matters even if you are paying attention; in this day and age pulling a phone strongly signals disengagement. Even if you're actually the most attentive note taker, the rest of the attendees don't know this... and once one person signals disinterest, many will follow. It's like you're "giving them permission" to stop paying attention.

I've noticed that early on; 15 years ago, I was keeping notes on a "feature phone with sliding keyboard". I was pulled by my manager for being disrespectful after the meeting; I showed him the notes and demonstrated that I was by far the most attention / had the best retention / was most involved in the meeting, but still... the message was - it looks unprofessional, stop it.

Thing is:

* My handwriting sucks (I literally can't read my own; I'm 42yo - don't tell me to practice / it'll improve, just don't be that arrogant ignoramus ;).

* I'll never be organized on paper. Ever. My circles are potatoes, my lines are squiggles, and everything is all over the place and disheartening to read (I love whiteboards but it's a whole other thing, somehow)

* I love love love my typed notes. I can type fast and asynchronously while I listen and look at the speaker. I can search them, retain them, review them, summarize them.

But I'm aware that I'll always look disengaged on my laptop compared to somebody with their notebook :-/

I've noticed that as well -- no matter how engaged someone is, if there is a screen that they can see but others can't then it is an information imbalance that is disruptive to the normal flow of conversation. It's like hearing half a phone conversation -- your brain works overtime trying to reconstruct the part it can't see. And it makes some sense; when I am talking to a person and they keep glancing at their laptop, phone, or watch it's exceedingly off-putting and they seem disengaged even in cases when other evidence indicates they are paying attention.

I've similarly noticed that interacting with someone wearing a bluetooth headset or smart glasses is off-putting no matter how much they indicate they are paying attention and not watching or listening to something I can't see.

Like you, I prefer to type my notes. I've found that angling the screen down so that I can't see it either and then maintaining normal eye contact with everyone makes the problem mostly go away. Possibly because I'm not constantly breaking eye contact to furtively glance at a glowing screen that they can't see. Or possibly because I wasn't paying as much attention as I felt like I was -- there is some research that indicates that people who can see a screen or TV while they are accomplishing a task often significantly underestimate how much time they spent looking at it and how much it negatively impacted their task performance.

Agreed; that one thing, has actually been made easier with Covid-induced remote work at my project. On Zoom, people don't know I'm typing furiously - I'm a touch typer and can do reasonable amount of formatting/bullet lists without looking down, so I can look at and engage with and react to person maintaining eye contact while my fingers do their own thing :).

I haven't had a chance to use the remarkable 2 in an in-person meeting (covid) but with the stylus/pen and its shape, it's really obvious that it's not a consumption device. If it's flat on the conference room table, everyone in the room with decent eyesight will identify it as a monochromatic screen for note taking (as long as the pen is in the picture). Depending on camera angle, it's also obvious in video chats and easy to screen share using their app. Other thoughts:

* Remarkable's handwriting recognition is some of the best I've seen (but that's a low bar). Works well even on doctor chicken scratch but it's tied to their cloud stuff. The calligraphy pen setting helps with the aesthetics of bad hand writing

* This is why the remarkable has been a game changer for me. The pen selection tool allows me to draw an arbitrary shape and selects all strokes that fall within it. I can then drag or copy/cut/paste the selection, which I use all the time to rearrange my diagrams and copy/paste bits that I draw with a straightedge as a template. The big missing pieces are shape drawing tools and an infinite canvas so you can infinite scroll to the sides to keep drawing but with pinch to zoom, I usually just zoom way into a page when I open a notebook i know is going to be huge. Even zoomed out the resolution on the display makes it really readable (I can barely identify individual "pixels" with a 10x loupe)

* If the process of hand drawing/writing/annotating doesn't appeal to you or help with retention, the remarkable 2 is a really expensive ebook reader... with ssh.

I enjoyed this review of Onyx Note Air by a grad student:


It seems Note Air has potential but is not priced well. You might think reMarkable 2 is also expensive, but with Note Air you have to buy additional stylus too. The video above shows how Note Air works with reMarkable 2 Marker and Staedtler stylus.

I personally think if latency and price would get solved, Note Air has much more potential than rM2. I couldn't believe they actually put a lot of thought into designing the software that run Note Air, but the guy in the video explains things in detail.

If all you want is an ereader with ssh, a Kobo with Koreader will do that for you. They just run Linux, so it's quite a fun device for hacking around in.

Plus Koreader itself is in Lua and is relatively easy to make changes to.

>My handwriting sucks (I literally can't read my own; I'm 42yo - don't tell me to practice / it'll improve, just don't be that arrogant ignoramus ;).

I am close to 40, 2 - 3 years ago, I re-practiced handwriting with my daughter who wanted to learn (out of school) writing. To my surprise, my handwriting did improve and I was actually surprised by the result (cursive, I am French), hers was miles ahead of mine but really I was damn surprised by how effective it was.

I used to have teachers that refused to correct my copies because of my handwriting, so it's never too late.

Having been at university in France, I know what it means to be judge by handwriting and style rather than content. Ironically, a few points off here and there for handwriting can actually be the cutting line in some cases for admissions in the future. Thy destiny is lying in thy hands.

Similar experience going to a French school for the equivalent of 10th grade, after attending US schools until then. My first math test grade was very low, mostly because I didn't write things in the correct colors. That was quite a shock.

That's so funny- that makes me think: 2007 (or so) a manager asked me not to use a Windows Pen Tablet in a meeting because it wasn't respectful.

2011 Every senior manager brings an iPad to meetings and seem to get distracted.

2015 (Tech co) Everybody brings an MacBook Air or a MacBook pro to every meeting

2018 (Entertainment Co) Any electronic device is considered disrespectful in a meeting, especially phones.

and this is why I love remote work in a tight team. Cameras are really only on for standups / outside of team meetings / coffee breaks. Instead we do whatever we think is appropriate during meetings.

I normally make notes on paper and use the computer to fact check myself and the conversation (where it matters). It makes everything waay faster.

By a certain definition we are cyborgs with augmented reality when working remotely in a way we can't be in-person. It's as though everyone has a HUD with as many monitors as they wish on which they can pull up any program while facing the rest of the team and looking them in the eye (camera) when necessary.

You missed 2014 - Business Partners bring in their BlackBerry Passports :->

still using mine.

I think there is a spectrum.

  |Disengaged <----------------> Engaged|
  |Phone          Laptop       Pen/Paper|
So even though your phone had a keyboard, it still looked like you were texting instead of paying attention. A small laptop would have probably had a better reception. But I agree, nothing beats taking notes on paper as far as giving the impression of being engaged and attentive.

To add to that, with a laptop (tactile keyboard), it's also easier to type notes while maintaining eye contact. That goes a long way to show respect and look engaged.

On a side-note, I do this on video calls too, keeping the window near where the camera is located so that there is still eye contact.

I wonder if something like old school Graffiti (from Palm OS) would work for you.


I did use Palm devices extensively, and found Graffiti shockingly intuitive - it took me no time at all to be fully fluent in it. All the way up to Palm Treo, I loved them and couldn't figure out why people went Gaga over iPhone when it came out - I felt that I mostly had that same thing for years already (I recognize there are important differences in retrospective, not the least that iPhone was fashionable and cool to use;)

I would definitely work better with Graffiti-style input rather than full writing recognition; but:

a) I am a dorky minority - pretty much always a negative focus group for these things :P

b) even for me it's not ideal and modern lightweight laptops are a better solution -- I type at speed of speech these days; I don't think I could ever write / squiggle that fast.

Does anything modern support this? Does the remarkable? Because this would be killer for me. I have terrible hand writing and being able to type without hauling out a keyboard would be great for notes.

There is an Android keyboard called Graffiti Pro that does exactly that.

I don't think there is anything equivalent on the Remarkable, I think the idea is handwriting then if you need you can OCR it.

I’ve found the disorganization of writing is actually a benefit. I have a remarkable and I put almost everything in a single organizational notebook. There’s no pressure to do things right, no fretting about space or making clean shapes, just thought dumps and open notes.. which I condense down later on a computer if I ever decide I actually want to “go forward” with an idea. Works for me given I feel a friction with long term cleanly organized notes that sometimes inhibits the process altogether.

Could tap strap[^1] be a viable solution to this? It does have some learning curve but I didn't found it too bad (was able to memorize all alphabets in a weekend). Though being as fast and accurate as keyboard will take some time and effort. With 10mins per day, after 15 days I'm at 28WPM with 98.5% accuracy (they have a training app)

[^1] - https://www.tapwithus.com/

I’m a poor typist, for some reason I can touch type with my left hand, but I have a tendency to “hunt & peck” with my right hand. This is probably because I have to use a lot of GUI-intensive, mouse-based design software for work (constantly taking my right hand off the keyboard).

After reading your comment, I decided what the heck and my TapStrap2 arrived Thursday. I know I should just take those 15 minutes a day and improve my typing skills, but where’s the fun in that?

In any case, I’ve got the alphabet memorized, and now (at the end of Sunday) I can consistently get 18 WPM. For extra challenge, I decided to learn on my non-dominant (left) hand. I’m pretty impressed with how quickly basic proficiency can be achieved. I haven’t explored the mousing features, or macros, but I can definitely see myself using this in meetings in the future— if for no other reason than some sweet show-off value.

This looks really cool! Do they allow customizing gestures / "key bindings"? (Some of them don't look too comfortable and give me RSI just from looking at them.)

I also wish they allowed using two of these things at the same time (on both hands) so that one could type on a "virtual" QWERTY keyboard instead of having to resort to weird multi-finger gestures.

Have you tried typing the notes while keeping direct eye contact with the person speaking?

You can even half-close the lid to make it completely obvious the only thing you could be doing is typing notes.

The notes might come out a bit messy, but you can clean them up later.

My handwriting sucks too, and much of it is nearly illegible, but I find that I have much better retention if I keep written notes rather than typing.

Even if some of my notes are difficult (or even impossible) to read, it's still sufficient to help remember what I felt so notable that I wrote it down.

I realize that everyone's not the same, but studies have shown that writing leads to better conceptual recall (but typing tends to record more information)

My wife's version of a shopping list is a bunch of lines of "running writing Ws". The typed approximation being




At the shops, I have no idea but she knows what she wrote.

I’m familiar with that language.

I think it’s intentional.

We’re being tested somehow...

(I particularly like, when I’m sent to the store, reading “Wwwwwwwww” followed by a legible “etc.”)

ProTip: always bring home some flowers; it seems to distract them.

It'd be interesting to try hooking up some basic storage to a keyboard and just touch type without having a screen handy

And make sure the keyboard is a chording one, so you don't have to look while touch-typing, and you get: https://www.friedmanarchives.com/dataegg/

That is cool; it was discussed on HN, submitted by the creator: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26790486

I think that is like wearable computing input devices such as the Twiddler keyboard: https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=twiddler2&iax=images&ia=ima... and the DataEgg was intended to hold notes inside it and be a standalone device.

Related, the classic MicroWriter AgendA which was a PDA with chording and normal keyboards from the 80s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MicroWriter,_AgendA,_and_...

I think it should be possible to build that pattern into a multitouch web page on a tablet and take chording notes on a flat screen.

There is one device that allows you to take digital notes and appear to be paying attention.

How do you feel about learning stenography?

The pen and paper kind of steno or the digital kind? What device is this?

AFAIK digital steno depends on steno keyboards (which are very cool), and I haven't seen any portable device with one. I would love to have a laptop with an ortholinear n-key rollover keyboard (it's easy to adapt an ortholinear keyboard to steno mode and switch between modes).

Also I have not seen any software supporting analog steno, but that would be awesome.

Sorry I was talking about digital. I didn't even know about the pen and paper kind.

There are portable devices https://github.com/openstenoproject/plover/wiki/Supported-Ha...

Good insight. I find that when I say "oh that's cool, let me write that down" as I pull out my phone, it results in similarly-positive reactions.

If you want something slightly more techy; the ONLY app that I absolutely cannot live without is Blitzmail on Android (I believe there's an Apple equivalent?)

It's simply an an ultra-simplified one destination email client.

One button on your homescreen opens up a little text input window. Hit send, and it emails yourself. That's it, and it has been absolutely life changing, I've retained so much and simplified so many things. Ideas, scheduling, notes, etc.

I use Telegram to take notes on my phone. You can "message yourself", they changed it to "saved messages" but it's essentially just you chatting with yourself. Each message is a note, beginning with "Topic :", e.g. "Game design :".

Then about once a month I copy paste the whole chat into a text file on my workstation PC, date and archive it, and clear the chat. Telegram includes the exact time and date of each message in the paste, and my consistent "tagging" of the notes with the topic means that I can programmatically parse the text files later to organize them, maybe on my website.

After years of note-taking in various forms, I find that I rarely actually need to peruse my notes archive. It's the act of taking notes itself which helps with retention of ideas.

What is your workflow to process all the emails to yourself?

Event scheduling I do in "remind calendar" for Linux with a little notify-send.

Most everything else in my life organization-wise, I use http://zim-wiki.org for. I just go through them and file them in ideas or todos.

I try to avoid using my phone as much as possible. The rule of thumb there is -- if it's not a real human communicating to me directly/individually or as part of a small group, I should try to just use the computer or not use it at all.

This got some discussion as the "Hipster PDA" some years back (originally 2004 from Merlin Mann), along with some low-cost options to simplify managing it - multicolor cards, bullet journal rules, cutting out card-sized pieces of plastic from a cheap folder to make a "cover" and of course various sizes of binder clips.

I found a medium to large binder clip to work better than hole punching and a ring - you can't just open it up and use it while standing, but it holds together better and easier to add/remove cards.

A big advantage of this over journals (Moleskine, Field Notes, etc) is that there's no mental block of "I don't want to write something stupid or trivial in my journal/notebook."

Not to make it personal but: Do you do this? How do you find it? It's a simple and alluring solution plus I've been looking at the remarkable2, but this answer sounds like doing the dishes. I like a empty kitchen sink, but I honestly pay someone to come in twice week to have that, because the low-rent solution of just doing the dishes is beyond me. I'm never going to sit down and review the cards, and then the benefits of going digital. Globally instantly accessible by others, indexed, impossible to lose, etc.

Off and on. Started on it again just yesterday, hence my comment.

>I'm never going to sit down and review the cards

Well, don't sit down then. Standing up flip through the cards you filled during the day and toss them into garbage, unless one is really important. You're strictly better off than writing down nothing at all during the day, which is the default state for most people.

But what kind of things to you write?

I do this. Todo items that pop into my head, little notes about ongoing projects. Things I want to remember or process but aren't an immediate task.

Later in the day when I pull them out, many do get trashed. Lots of Todo items never make it to my digital Todo list because my brain processed them mostly in the background during the day. I find the physical nature of the cards means I can't avoid that processing step. The times I revert back to digital first, my notes end up everywhere (I input them in the fastest way, rather than finding the right place) and immediately begin rotting because now I have remember and force myself to condense and organize rather than it occurring naturally.

I do something like this, though generally just in the situations where I don't have my notebook.

For me, it's a bit more adhoc than the suggested above. Recent uses: jotting down measurements of some furniture; writing for somebody the name of a book I was recommending them; shopping and todo lists; doodles and sketches. notes tend to be odd phrases from conversations. The reviewing is minimal -- under 10% of what I write needs preserving, the cards mostly get a quick glance and then go straight into the recycling.

I use the same index cards when I'm writing something, for paragraphs or ideas which I can visually arrange on a table.

I've been doing this in some form for a couple of years, but just as a low-key background thing. For me it's just the minimal viable equipment for being able to write things.

I could use my phone for almost all of this, but index cards are a lower risk of distraction.

Shameless plug, but if you like note-taking on index cards but are still looking for a slightly more digital solution to the problem, we've[1] built an online note-taking platform that is based around digital markdown note-cards, which is a bit different from most other digital solutions which are usually document or bullet-list based. I realize that many on HN want to "own" their data a little more than you typically expect of a cloud-platform, but you owning your notes is very important to us which is why we've spelled it out in our T&Cs[2] and why we have a publicly-accessible API[3] for maximum flexibility.

[1] https://supernotes.app

[2] https://supernotes.app/terms/

[3] https://api.supernotes.app/docs/swagger

Wonderful! I even like Basecamp inspired design.

And then I get to referral scheme :). Eww.

But everything else is pretty solid, I will give it a try, love the idea so far.

There should be card size rugged reMarkable mini to put in pocket and take notes anywhere.

Exactly what I do. Even made a simple 3x5 holder that is two pieces of leather riveted on one short edge. If needed, I pick up colored 3x5s to color code. For example, yellow = my Home Depot shopping list, or measurements notes.

I've used a number of gadgets over the years (starting with an Apple Newton), and none of my notes on them have survived.

On the other hand, I've got boxes and boxes of notebooks (Strathmore sketchpads and Moleskine-equivalents) that will outlast me -- to say nothing about cloud providers, backup media or outdated file formats -- unless I suffer a house fire or natural disaster.

Notebooks are cheap, and even terrible ones will last decades with little or no care. You can toss them into backpacks, lend them, get them (a little) wet, leave them in the sun, sit on them, forget them at the coffee shop, and even lose them permanently and basically not worry too much. If I was using a $400 gadget instead, I'd never carry it to the places I currently carry paper. My note-taking and scribbling would go down. I'm not even going to talk about battery capacity anxiety.

The gadget-lover in me would probably be happy with one of these things. My practical side and experience tells me that in the long run they are more trouble than they're worth.

You have different selves working at different time scales. Your problem is that your short term self is winning out against your long term self. The remedy is to learn to hold your attention where you want it, so when the short term self directs your attention to the line of cocaine you can keep it on the long term goal instead. To get better at directing your attention... meditate, particularly deeply focusing on a sensation. Practice practice practice.

You can meditate (it possible that it works for somebody). It is easier to create an environment where you don’t have to exercise the control most of the time e.g., don’t buy/put cookies on the kitchen table unless you intend to eat them. Though one doesn’t exclude another one.

Make it easy for your “short-term” self to do the right (from the “long-term” self point of view) thing.

I purchased one a couple months ago, and it has definitely helped to 'become a different person' in that I have found a joy in both handwriting notes and sketching that I never had before.

I downloaded some PDFs on how to sketch, and I can sketch right there in the PDF along side the examples..

The futility of hand-written note taking was always my lack of organization, but the auto syncing of this really helps in that department.

I can't say it is for everyone, but while I was definitely not the target consumer for this device, I am more that person now after buying it. I appreciate anything that pushes any of my time from consumption to production, and this helps me to do that.

Links or recommendations for the sketching PDFs?

The book I am using and liking right now is How to Draw: Sketch and Draw Anything, Anywhere with This Inspiring and Practical Handbook, by Jake Spicer

I will add, it probably isn't the ideal device to learn how to sketch, because it isn't as expressive via pressure as normal pencils, or able to do different levels of shading, but at least I am trying now.

Having used the RM2 for a month, I would actually say the RM2 comes very close to a regular pencil and is actually more flexible than one, as it comes with additional brushes.

Yes, with a Remarkable you get a several different "tools" (Pen, Pencil, Mechanical Pencil, Marker, Paint Brush etc).

However I think each of these is much less expressive than actually having the Pencil, Marker, Paint brush etc..

These don't provide nearly the versatility, such as levels of shading, that the real tools do, but the convenience of having some form of all of them in one small "pencil" is extremely nice.

If your end goal is to produce good art on paper, I would probably not start here, but for having fun and developing an interest it's been fantastic.

Now that I think about it, maybe it is the "Undo" feature that sells me =)

Great comment that also gets right to the appeal of the moleskines (and GoPros). Everyone wants to be this person who is so flooded with genius insight every thought must be transcribed, or whose athletic prowess is so unmatched every minute should be recorded. Of course in reality, that's mostly not how either one works.

For my part, all my best ideas are incredibly simple, abstract, and writing it down is both incredibly difficult and also worthless. Sometimes I doodle to work through an issue, but that takes little more than a napkin and a crayon.

All that said I really, really love eink. I could almost buy an RM2 just to support eink development.

Like you I'd wanted a remarkable but could never justify it. Then a friend told me about the handshake crypto that was given away to GitHub users back in 2019 https://handshake.org/claim/ and how it was worth real money now.

Anyway, I claimed the coins, transferred them into dollars (just before the recent crash) and bought a remarkable for "free".

Honestly, it's a nice tablet, but, I'm glad I got it for free ;)

For comparison I rarely use the pen on my iPad Pro. I think partially because of all the distractions, as soon as I grab my iPad there’s lots of other stuff I could be doing other than taking notes. And partially because the writing on glass never felt right. So it’s been more of an occasional use when I really need to sketch something.

I was on the fence for the RM2 for a while for the same reasons you mentioned. Would I really use it?

Well I got it recently after trying a friend’s and I’ve surprised myself by using it daily. We’ll see if the habit sticks but so far the killer feature for me compared to a notebook is being able to erase, move text around and insert pages.

This makes me much more likely to just start jotting stuff down without being worried about “wasting” pages in a notebook.

By the way the device I hear comes with a 30 day trial period for this very reason. Lots of people don’t know whether they would really use it. So you can order it, find out how it fits into your life and return it if it doesn’t.

I've looked at it seriously a while back when it was on presale, but it's definitely a heavy chunk of change, especially since I'm Canadian and have to pay the exchange rate prices.

I do like the idea of no distractions and being able to move stuff around and organize it, unlike with paper, but most of my life is at home (since I'm self-employed) and I already have a computer on all 3 floors of my house that I'm usually at with OneNote and Notepad++ with a ton of tabs on each, so I'm worried that I'll never really use it unless I want to sit on the couch and focus, but then will I be wishing I had all my subsequent notes and such already on OneNote and in my various notepad++ tabs? What happens when I go back and sit at my computer for the majority of the day where I do work, play, research, side businesses etc.? Do I need some stand and will I just be cross copying notes back and forth?

Is it something I can comfortably hold and write on while sitting on a couch, or on some random chair or while leaning against a wall? Or am I going to be doing weird grips and being forced to counterbalance my writing on a floating pad if it's not sitting on a desk? I find writing in a small notebook way harder if it's not just on a table, so even that already worries me. Will I get less legible or not be able to as effectively write on the entire surface area of the device while holding it if not on a desk or having it setup on my lap (which may not even be that feasible without some cushion or stand)?

A 30 day trial could definitely help me figure this out, but I'm leaning towards the fact that it probably won't work out, at least not with the current version and I'm always afraid I won't commit the time I need to really test it in those first 30 days, haha!

The hard back makes it like a clipboard so you could use it on a couch or sitting anywhere really, but I mostly use it for writing while at a table or my desk. I’d rather take notes by hand than type though. Previous attempts to type notes never worked out for long. Too many distractions on the computer for me.

If you’re already heavily invested in taking notes in OneNote then this probably won’t help much due to the overhead required to sync back and forth.

Getting OneNote on the Remarkable would be awesome though, I hope this will happen in some future version.

The writing/drawing/painting experience of the Apple Pencil would be massively improved if it had a small high resolution haptic speaker similar to the Switch Joycons or Steam Controller to emulate different drawing tools and surfaces.

This is pretty accurate, from someone who just got one as a gift. They are useful devices, however your criticism is spot on.

That said, a couple big advantages I haven’t seen advertised:

- I don’t have a dozen notebooks around, just one - easy to start a new notebook, plus the centralization, is sort of an “organized by default” mode - I can’t take notes on my computer, so it’s either this or paper - distraction free is good, and the physicality of the pen and screen is a much better experience than an iPad

Your other criticisms are valid and a little too accurate. It’s still a useful device, there’s just a bit of a premium price because of the fancy factors you discussed.

One of the things I love about mine - I never realized that I get 'anxiety' about wasting paper or space on paper. Being able to write and keep a few lines per page has been great.

And being able to move text around once you write it!

I've got a ReMarkable 2 and love it. I also have written and sketched in notebooks so there is that habit. But a couple of things in your comment made me say "hmm".

This stood out "... and who likes or is good at hand writing or drawing."

Over the years many folks have seen me writing in my notebook and said, "Wow I wish I could make notes like that." It motivated me for a time to carry around copies of pages from my early notebook notes which compare unfavorably to cro-magnon cave drawings :-). I would explain to them they are written for an audience of one (me) and serve to help me recall details that I might otherwise forget, so there isn't anyone judging or evaluating them. At the same time, the more you write and draw, you tend to get more capable (this is especially true if you're somewhat self critical of your own results).

So I would agree that something like the ReMarkable is a big chunk of change to spend on something you don't feel you would use, but consider that a 5 pack of quadrule or lined composition notebooks is a couple of dollars/euros when school starts and can be thrown away. A stack of those, a variety of writing instruments (I like 1mm gel pens or the BIC 4 color pens, but others like mechanical pencils or roller ball type pens) And be intentional about writing things down for a few weeks (the various habit books suggest six as a minimum number of weeks but its an experiment right?)

Then at the end of your experiment go back and review your notebook(s) and compare your awareness and "presence" in that time with a time where you were not taking notes.

My guess is that either you will say, "this is a good thing, I should do this more" or you will say "interesting but not my cup of tea." Either way, you have a good understanding of yourself and how note taking and notebooks fit into your life. At which point the decision to buy something expensive or not has the backing of your lived experience of whether or not you find it useful.

The remarkable tablet allows me to go sit under a tree and design system diagrams or draw mindmaps. And then recover them for reference later. It's particularly helpful for work-thinking. For personal thoughts, having written/drawn them is often enough to cement them and I'll reference them months/years later as a novelty.

But the core of all this is that the sitting-under-a-tree-habit came after the device. Before, it was a bit of a romantic idea I'd tried with moleskines, but it didn't really scratch my itches.

You know what would be a dope addition to something like the remarkable:

Voice memos, so you can add some audible context to each diagram

Great idea.

>hand writing or drawing.

A few weeks of practicing 10 minutes a day or so will give you good handwriting.

A few weeks of a basic drawing course with a small amount of practice will give you decent enough skills to get your ideas down on paper.

People naturally do the things they like to do. I actually enjoy the process of writing with fountain pens, calligraphy, taking notes, etc. Strangely, I also really enjoy the experience of typing.

Taking notes and drawing don't make me cool. Carrying a notebook and a fountain pen made people think I was kind of eccentric more than anything. Carrying an iPad Pro 12.9 with a stylus made people think I was a geek. No one was mean about it or anything, but it definitely doesn't make a person cool. Just be who you are and do the things you enjoy.

If you think you would enjoy writing/drawing, put a little bit of effort into it and you will have pretty good results.

As far as the e-ink tablets go, I'm hoping the large format ones become more affordable and more polished. I would love to have one but the value proposition vs an Ipad is terrible. Single-purpose devices can frequently be better than a more generalized device, but in the case of these E-ink tablets the few things they do (reading, writing, drawing) generally offer a worse experience than doing that same thing on an Ipad. The only upsides are battery life and the e-ink screen.

Any drawing courses you’d recommend?

There's tons of free ones on youtube so there's no need to spend a bunch of money. Proko has some good stuff on his channel. He does a lot of comic book stuff but he's a classically trained artist. Pretty sure he's got a beginner's section. He also has some videos giving advice on learning resources. There are lots of others that are really good too.

Drawabox.com has some good free stuff too.

If you'd prefer books I think Andrew Loomis books might be public domain. Fun with a Pencil is a good one. If they aren't public domain you can get them for $10-15 on Amazon because they started reprinting them.

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way is also a really good introduction to drawing. Don't let the title fool you though because its one of the best beginner's drawing books regardless of the genre.

Those are just examples though, there's tons and tons of great resources and everyone has their favorites.

Wow, I feel as if I wrote this. This is exactly how I feel: I've tried doing this many times and always fail at the note taking thing.

Lately I'm using Notion though for journaling and I really enjoy it. I'm keeping up a journaling streak.

There is a book called Visual Thinking by Williemien Brand which goes over drawing basic things. I love it because the author did amazing research into how to draw things with the least effort. I use it to supplement my notes.

The beautiful part of the remarkable 2 is that you can erase and redraw. You can also copy and paste. When making diagrams, the arrows will look identical. Recently, they added zooming in.

I used to take notes on paper. I bought thick, quality paper. I used a nice Japanese made fountain pen. I loved taking notes that way. I still miss parts of it.

When I started, my writing was not very beautiful, but I used a couple of cheats that helped. I write in all caps and I write quite small so that there is some padding above and below my letters. I write slowly so as to have consistent lettering. Even if they are imperfect, they look consistent. The focus should be on letter spacing.

Before covid, people used to come up to my desk and say it was the most beautiful writing they have ever seen. It wasn't, but the techniques do work.

As far as the feel of the notebook. I let my kids play with it. They love it.

You described my problem so well. I have aspirations to be the sort of person that makes stuff like this: https://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniecristea/14-study-notes-tha...

But I don't and I won't because that's just not how I work however much I'd like to. And that's OK. In fact, it's good to accept that about one's self.

Now that I know I have ADHD, I at least have an explanation why my desire to be something I'm not has always failed, but even without the diagnosis, we all have our personality quirks that mean that certain things just won't work for us. It's nice to have beautiful notebooks to give away as presents for other people though. :-)

I'm actually using my moleskine quite a bit, but it's frustrating because everything is chronological, all mixed up. I'm not using it enough to justify having different ones for all activities. And when it's full and I get a new one I never have have my older one at hand, it stays at home.

So this kind of tablet looks really nice...

The reason I prefer to write on my moleskin rather than my laptop is because if I have my laptop, I get distracted and I do stuff I'm not supposed to.

Additionally I find it rude to be on your laptop when you're in a meeting, because people might think you're doing other stuff, and also because having your screen between you and other people creates a kind of "barrier".

I actually like that it's chronological and mixed up. It's a nice little time machine. Mine have meeting notes next to drawings of birds and measurements from the garage.

I'm somewhat like you (aspiration-based notebook purchaser), but I actually did buy a remarkable - both the original and V2.

Bizarrely, I've ended up using the RM exclusively for work-related notes, and still keep all my personal ideas in a paper notebook. Aside from a subconscious desire to work through my stationery backlog, I have no idea why.

RM is nice to use and I'd definitely recommend to note-taking gadget lovers, but the software quality prevents me from calling it a more general must-buy device.


On a serious note, this comment resonates so well. I actually bought a RM2 but returned it since the transcription & syncing was nowhere near what I expected. But, also what you wrote. Turns out, I'm near a laptop often enough that typing in Notion works pretty damn well for me. Coupled with all of Notion's rich document structures and fast navigation there's no way a RM2 can compete.

Also, for the record I have an iPad Pro and basically have one, very specific use case. I'm a private pilot and use the iPad extensively for flying. Writing down instrument flight rules clearances which I get over the radio from the tower has been the only persistent use case for the stylus that I've found. Cockpits are too cramped for the keyboard and there's too much information to write it with a finger.

There are some great suggestions in this sub-thread... don't get a gadget for the sake of getting one. That said, if you have a considered need for one, here's my take: I "think by writing" and unfortunately my textfiles are more organized than my physical papers. The reMarkable 2 was worth it for me. The thing eliminates all my paper clutter and is so close to paper it's effectively identical. There's tooth to the paper and drag on the "pencil." It OCRs your handwriting and is searchable. Options: I recommend absolutely spending the money on the eraser-equipped stylus. Otherwise you have to manually switch tools using the slow eInk UI and it would be a nightmare. I got the grey cloth cover and it's a great understated look compared to the leather. Just looks like a notepad. My reMarkable 2 had an odd build quality issue where the back was bumped out a little. I got an early one. The device goes past the uncanny valley right into a paper replacement. I had to stop myself setting a coffee cup on it because I forgot it was 'lectronic. Re: durability, I still use paper pads at the electronic or mechanical bench due to worrying about scratches on the reMarkable. The screen has not scratched yet for me but I do worry about it.

Omg, I am the king of moleskin unused notebooks.

What was awesome though was when my then 3 year old daughter found one of the moleskins and a pen and did a bunch of scribbles on every 10 pages or so.

I truly love that little moleskin.

I just recently (last week) bought an outdoor log with graph paper and some other logs....

Your comment makes me want to prove you (myself) wrong and actually use it.

I've always been impressed with the. Various engineers I have worked with, like John Blair of nerflix... he is really fn today keeping a solid tech journal

I literally have this comic on my wall: https://poorlydrawnstore.com/products/nice-notebook-print

I also just bought a super mini and thick notebook for $10 that I haven't used, but was just so cool looking. I still feel like an idiot for buying it, but maybe I will use it someday.

I have a $2 notebook from Muji sitting in my drawer but it's too nice to write in. It's $2!!

Japan is on a whole other level with writing and stationary. Go to a Tokyo Hands or Muji and you'll feel like the type of person that should be writing constantly. I can't imagine we would fetishize writing so much if computers didn't exist.

Those Muji notebooks are treat to write in. Do yourself a favour and start using yours. Once I finish my Moleskine I'm going back to those.

That’s perfect. That’s exactly how I felt about nice notebooks and that’s why the digital version is so much better for me. The freedom to erase and reorganize removes that anxiety.

I've been thinking of getting one (or something similar) since I tend to write short-term notes on stickies and leave them on my desk or monitor. I haven't found a computer based equivalent that I like using as much as writing.

This works well when I'm working 100% at home or at the office, my notes are where I work, but my company plans to have a hybrid workplace with employees working from the office 2 or 3 days a week, now my notes will be scattered between home and office. (well, worse, the office might move to a "hoteling" desk format where no one has a permanent desk, so I can't leave my notes on my desk at work).

So one of the electronic paper products seems like a good solution - write my notes in epaper, and I can access them from work (or vice versa).

Though they are still pretty expensive so more likely, I'll just switch to keeping notes in a notebook that I carry back and forth.

I carry a Moleskine everywhere. There's a bigger notebook on my desk. I just think better on paper. I took a serious look at those E-Ink tablets, but none of them beat the price or reliability of pen and paper. You can't easily flip through the pages. They're too big. They need an account. They need software updates and long term support. They work with a private cloud.

I'd love a sketch book with layers and an undo button, but at the same time, I appreciate the simplicity and realness of a physical notebook. I can smoothe lines with my thumb, or use colouring pencils.

When I finish a notebook, I scan its pages. It takes about 15 minutes. I suspect I'd spend a lot more time building a system around a digital tablet.

I'm in no way cool or carry moleskins, but for some dumb reason I thought doing a second Masters in an area unrelated to anything I do - my first is in computer engineering, this new one is GeoEngineering - would be a good idea. I'm someone that needs to write thoughts and notes on paper and then construct a doc around such. I have a Remarkable2 and it was great for note taking, it was also great for hand writing out some advanced math courses / problems I had to revisit.

In some classes where we used Excel, I would do a mix of an iPad Pro (with pencil) and on the computer excel.

I like the simplicity of the Remarkable2, but it doesn't handle all my needs, but it does many.

I have one.

The really good thing is that it's open. Like you can ssh into it from day one. No cloud forced on you. refreshing.

I think my #1 use is to jot down notes during a phone call. It is like an infinite stack of post-its. Jotting does not get in the way of a phone call.

#2 is reading ebooks and pdfs. It's a little slow working with .epub books, but with pdf files it is fast.

Actually I convert ebooks to pdf format using calibre. It's a pretty good experience. I've figured out the fonts, font sizes, margins and so forth, and made that my calibre conversion default. Works well for me.

I have put Working Copy (a git client with a half decent editor - ie it does not do autocorrection) on my phone and if the moment strikes I put a note into one or two books that I Promise To Publish Real Soon now.

was out jogging today and had a thought and popped it in. is in gthub right now so i think of it as safe.

But yes. I completely understand - i too want to be one of those people.

in fact watching this i thought there is a market for business pads - that look like your are taking notes and updating tickets not thumbing thorugh facebook in a meeting.

Slap a specialised JIRA client on this and I think you have a package winner.

Voice commands like "Hey Siri, add X to my [grocery/hardware/project] list" and "Hey Siri, remind me [tomorrow at 10] to do X" have made me more effective at pretty much everything.

I bought a reMarkable 2 after being on the waiting list, and returned it a couple of weeks later. I just couldn't deal with the latency.

>instead of just buying so many of them in different shapes and leaving them in a drawer packed to the brim with notebooks.

That was me until I started bullet journaling. My notebook becomes whatever I need at the time. Todo list, calendar, journal. Flexibility with structure.

Might I recommend an Apple Newton? ;)

Small(ish), syncable (bit of a learning curve to do so, but it is possible), and even comes with a physical keyboard if you want to really type things out rather than just use a stylus.

In my experience its OCR software is on-par with the Remarkable, if not better.

Good times.

I bought one and work from home and it suits me really well.

I have never been more organised, I used to scribble notes on random bits of paper that would get lost - now o can refer back to meetings weeks ago.

Are you me, you sound like me. I feel the pain.

They say don't sell a product, sell a lifestyle, a future, possible version of one's self that they want to be.

These guys nailed it!

I keep mine at my desk and use it for relatively germaine note-taking and ideation...

Why you gotta be a hipster about it?

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