For a long time I’ve been fascinated with the notion of handwriting notes and have them end up in my digital river of information, where I can take them further. There is something valueable to doing things by hand, but not having a way to move it into the digital afterwards is a barrier. I’ve spent many hours on transcribing notes, and mostly it’s just a chore, not a way to already digest their contents.
Handwritten notes to digital notes basically come in two varieties: writing on paper with a pen that captures your writing, or writing on a digital device that then processes it immediately.
Mostly these are expensive options, and with some severe and obvious limitations, having your notes stuck in a silo’d device and application chief amongst them. This week I read Robert Lender’s posting about the Boox Nova2 he has ordered. His posting, reading the Boox site and online reviews, showed me a device that finally might be worth a try. It is less expensive than previous varieties I encountered. It can sync with cloud tools (Evernote e.g.), and it can e-mail notes too. It can do multilingual text recognition. It is slightly larger than my Kindle, comparable to my A5 regular notebooks. It’s an Android device able to run a variety of e-reader apps, allowing me to combine different libraries (although Calibre is a fine tool for that too.) It’s an e-ink device, on a more full feature tablet the distraction is too much, I’m after writing and reading only. The writing surface is by Wacom, with which I already have good experiences.
Now that I have finally finished a voluminous report for a client, that took me three weeks to write at the cost of sleep and heaps of stress, I decided to splurge on the Nova2. I am curious to experience what this device may do for me.