In the wave of the new Evernote line from Moleskine, based on the success of the Evernote Classic Notebook, I thought I’d share my experience with the Classic version of the notebook. I’ve been a fan of Evernote for years now, but waiting for the initial wave of fandom to pass when the Moleskine companion to the product came out. I finally broke down an purchased one, as I was looking for a new graph paper notebook, but has the feel of my Moleskine sketch notebook (which contains blank pages).

[soliloquy id=”263″]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backstory: I tend to use graph paper for work related note taking as I’m always making charts, diagrams, etc and the graph paper keeps me in line, pun intended. I use my Moleskine sketch for just for that — sketching with ink or pencil. I used to use larger, cheap spiral bound graph paper notebooks for work. I even save them to refer to later on, but I wanted something smaller and something that would bridge the gap between my pen and paper ways and Evernote.

The Evernote Moleskine has its pros and cons, so for you notebook lovers, listen up.

Pros:

  • The notebook is great; a solid moleskine. As you can see from the image slider above, it has a nice embossed cover and green bungy to match the Evernote branding.
  • The interior graph paper is actually a dot grid — not the usual blue line sort of thing. I’ve getting to love dot grids. This apparently aids in the alignment and image capture for the Evernote “page capture” process.
  • Special stickers for automatically tagging content that is captured into Evernote from the notebook page. I have to confess this is a neat feature, but I have yet to really make use of it. I snap the image soon after I finish a page, and taking the time to pit a sticker on a page ¬†slows me down.

Cons:

  • Paper type. This is not a sketchbook. I tend to use a fountain pen, and there is high tendency for bleed through. The paper is not rough like it’s trying to show it’s made from recycled materials, but rather smooth and takes a fountain pen well…but it can bleed. This limits me to using only one side of a page. I have used a thin gel ink rollerball which works great, and I’m sure it will work great with a ballpoint. A pencil works as well, but I’ve found that I perfer a softer lead to get a dark line. Again, more preference than anything.
  • Stickers. The sticker are a great idea, but the don’t give you enough if you really went to town using them. There are also only a few types of stickers to tie to Evernote tags.

Other than that I love the ability to scan pages into Evernote and OCR things. This is available for premium users, and they give you a 3 month trial with the purchase of the notebook. My handwriting CAN be OCR’d if I write carefully, as in a diagram, but for scribbly fountain pen notes — not a chance.

Here is a short video on how the system works.

In any event, if you are a pen-paper user who is trying to make the jump to digital notetaking, or like have a foot in each world, this is a great notebook to try out. I’m not the only one who thinks this, as evidenced by the entire new line of Moleskine products for Evernote that is soon to be released. Hey, but don’t take my word for it. Try one for yourself.