The Joys of Handwriting

Experts say that handwriting is better for our brains that just typing down our notes, they claim writing by hand brings into play very different cognitive processes, more beneficial. Apparently we may be able to better remenber a lecture if the notes were scribbled into the old-fashioned notepad rather than typed into the laptp.

With that in mind the reMarkable tablet was presented to the market.

ReMarkable Test! 

I tested the reMarkable tablet, a device for electronic writing. Perfect for writers and furious note-takers. 

It is nothing more than a note pad, or  better yet a digital note pad. This one is the reMarkable 2, which sells at $399; and an improvement from the very first version. When using it, at first I thought of it like an iPad. Instead it should be considered like a simple piece of paper. 

Writing on it is way better than writing an iPad. The hand rests comfortably on the tablet, and the pencil make a little scratching sound just like pen on paper. 

I’m using the regular Marker, but on a choice I would prefer the Marker Plus, as it has a built-in eraser. More practical than having to move to the left-side tools to select “eraser,” and then back again to select the pen. 

The reMarkable doesn’t tire the eyes as much as the traditional screens of smartphones and monitors. It is not backlit, you need light to use it, but I found that to be an advantage.

It weighs much less than an iPad, it can easily be carried around never to lose that creative impetus! 

Going to a new page is not super fast but acceptable when writing. Because of that, I would not use it to read an ebook, especially a page-turning thriller. It is fantastic with PDFs when you want to calmly read and reason, underline, and side note your information. 

When downloading online articles it is best to “clean up” the article before converting into PDF and then downloading to the reMarkable. This action is only possible from the computer, not from the App on tablet or smartphone. 

It is possible to create folders, notebooks, and quick sheets where to jot down a quick note or a TODO list.  Everything can be neatly organized, and it makes the sharing of notes easily. 

I think the App should be improved, the interface is not the best, and when selecting a file it does not fill the screen, making it difficult to read. Even if there is plenty of empty space that could be used to that purpose. 

There are a good number of templates to chose from; Grids in various sizes, lined, with margins US college style, legal, and Cornell. Plus creative, and musical sheets!

Once the writing is done the handwritten text can be quickly converted into typed text. It can be reviewed and corrected via a pop-up keyboard and sent to a memorised email address.Β 

While I read many reviews, I did not always agreed with. For example as I said above it is possible to correct the text once converted before sending via email; and in my view there is no need to memorise it. What for? The handwritten part is still there and handwritten notes can be converted as many times as one likes. 

The correction of the handwriting is fast enough, and although there are strokes that it has trouble recognising, it is easy to modify the writing style to a more legible one.

The selection of writing tools are just fine for me, including the choices of strokes (thin, medium, and thick). Usually one settles for a favorite tool/stroke.

Perhaps, I could have an issue withe the punctuation that I do not seem to muster as yet. Such as semicolons, parenthesis, and the like. My mayor issue would be the on/off button located on the top left side. It is difficult to feel it with the finger, and not very responsive.

All in all I like this product. It is a fantastic tool for students and researchers.

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

3 thoughts on “The Joys of Handwriting

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