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I first saw a reMarkable 2 in a stuffy corporate boardroom. The entire meeting stopped in its tracks to accost the blushing device owner who had just pulled the tablet out of his backpack. “You like it more than a notebook?” “More than taking notes on your laptop?” “Do you have to have good handwriting?” Everyone was fascinated, and it was many, many minutes before we were able to return to the agenda we had gathered to discuss. Now that I’ve had a few weeks to try the tablet for myself I can confirm — it’s very good.
How I use it:
Here’s the thing. It feels awesome to write with it. It’s so satisfying. Unlike using the Apple Pencil on an iPad with a glass surface that is too smooth, the reMarkable 2 “tablet” has just the right amount of surface friction to make it seem like you’re actually writing. And there’s no discernible delay in seeing your marks, which can be an issue with other tablet products. It’s also free of notifications and alerts, so you can stay focused on the task at hand.
Why I swear by it:
The reMarkable 2 is a single-function device: It helps you take and organize your notes. Period. When I take notes on my laptop, it’s frenetic — I’m constantly distracted by new slacks and texts and emails pinging in. When I’m taking notes on my old-school paper notepad, if I want to look at what a colleague and I talked about last time we met… that’s not happening. The remarkable 2 is a device designed to mono-task in that narrow, note-taking, ideating brain space that makes up many of our workdays.
The very thin (4.7 millimeters), light (less than a pound) tablet has a ton of efficiencies and features I love. It comes with great templates. If you like taking notes on graph paper, lined paper or a blank page — all of those (and more) are possible. If you want a to-do template where you can self-soothe by checking items off as you complete them, that’s available to you also. Everything is stored in digital “notebooks” and syncs to the cloud so you can access your notes on your phone or laptop, too, and if you want to share your vision with the rest of your meeting, you can easily broadcast your notes. Want to convert your handwriting to text for mass consumption? Go for it. The Marker Plus also comes with an “eraser,” so just like a real pencil, when you flip it over and rub it over text on the tablet, it disappears. The battery also lasts up to 2 weeks, which makes sense because of this tablet’s limited functionality. You can also edit and write notes on PDFs, so if you’re looking over sensitive documents or working a collaborative project its even easier to share your thoughts.
But the emotional impact of having a simple note-taking device can’t be overstated in this world of device addiction. The other night I planned out the next 8-10 years of our real estate investment journey, tablet in hand, drawing and erasing, revising and rethinking. If I had done that on my computer or worse — my phone — it would have felt like work, and I would have inevitably gotten distracted by some kind of notification.
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