Equil smartpen2: phenomenal tool or novelty toy?

I am not into gadgets. The very word implies something useless; perhaps fun for IMG_5001aW1a week, but quickly discarded. A pet hate of mine is the insane amount of electronics made, for stuff that do not need electronics. Waste of resources, batteries, minerals, human costs and filling up insane landfills with rubbish.

Enter the Equil Smartpen2. I got really excited. Being the tactile, old-school doodling sort of person; this might be what I have been looking for. Getting handwritten notes, doodles, meeting notes etc. over into digital has always been a hassle.

The idea is basic:

it is a normal(ish) ballpoint writing on any paper and talks to a receiver and stores the input. It connects to device via bluetooth and the transfer isthesis_Page3 instantaneous. Very cool to see my doodles live. You can choose pen colours, thickness of lines, markers; and digitally add text and images. It should also work with handwriting recognition, but we shall see.

Getting it to work was easy peasy, but I am struggling with connecting it to Evernote/Dropbox/iCloud. Another problem: it does not seem I can trust it when I set the paper format, there are always bigger margins. May not sound like a big deal, but the point is that I should be able to use it without also having a screen. If I cannot trust the margins, I cannot trust it without the connection to mac or phone. Ah yes.. and it makes a faint buzzing noise when writing. That could become incredibly annoying, but as of now I reckon I will listen to music as I write.

..and what I really want to avoid, is that using this becomes being about the technology and not the writing. I need it to be invisible – it must disappear into my workflow, not add more techno-fiddling to it.

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