Android

Best smart notebooks in 2024

If you’re tired of keeping stacks and stacks of notebooks around, smart notebooks provide a great solution, which gives you all the ease and organization of notebooks without the extra mess by scanning your notes into your smartphone.



Most smart notebooks allow you to copy notes into multiple apps like Evernote for editing and sharing with co-workers and fellow students. In addition, you’ll be making the eco-friendly choice by reusing all those pages instead of buying notebooks year after year.



Our picks for best smart notebooks for all your class and work needs

Rocketbook Pro Smart Notebook next to smartphone, in white background

Rocketbook Pro Smart Notebook
Best overall

Premium design and construction makes it ideal for any setting

The most refined option from the current leader, the Rocketbook Pro (technically in its second generation) looks and feels like a premium notebook that would fit right in during an executive board meeting. Not only is the app quite good, there’s also an embedded NFC chip that streamlines pairing with third-party software.

Pros

  • Soft-touch synthetic leather exterior
  • Executive and letter versions
  • No annoying spiral ring
Cons

  • Not the cheapest
  • Could use more page template variety

Rocketbook’s most recent offering stands out partly because it slots into your schooling or professional life seamlessly, while greatly simplifying the digitization process thanks to the powerful app. It comes with everything you need to get started, including 20 double-sided pages, the required Frixion Pen, and a microfiber cleaning cloth. You can choose from executive or letter formats, and opt for the stylish blue or green model to spice things up a little. Despite being engineered for easy erasing and page reuse, it feels exactly like writing in a typical, analog notebook.


Livescribe SymphonyLivescribe Symphony Smartpen

Livescribe Symphony Smartpen
Premium pick

Adds audio context when written notes aren’t enough

$86 $108 Save $22

There aren’t many worthwhile smart pens, and the Livescribe Symphony leads the small pack with consistent tracking and straightforward OCR transcription. Its built-in audio recording makes it the perfect choice for keeping complex lectures lined up with your notes.

Pros

  • Ultra-convenient audio recording
  • Surprisingly precise tracking
  • 90-day battery life
Cons

  • Pricey
  • The paper’s an extra purchase or DIY project

Even though writing and drawing are useful, sometimes it’s best to have the full context of the lecture or meeting. With the Livescribe Symphony Smartpen, audio is recorded to the Livescribe app in concert with your notes. It’s a bit pricey, but nothing else does quite what it can do, recording your surroundings and pairing the audio with your notes to make callbacks to the source material especially easy. The battery life’s excellent, setup and note transfer are simple, and best of all, it feels no different from using a normal pen.

Rocketbook Mini Notebook

Rocketbook Mini-Spiral Notebook
Best small notebook

Perfect fit for tight spaces

$15 $18 Save $3

If you want to save on space, the Rocketbook Mini-Spiral Notebook is only 3.5×5.5″, making it perfect for a pocket or messenger bag. Even though it’s smaller, it retains all the features of its bigger brothers. You can write with any Frixion pen and scan and organize your notes through several apps. 

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Compatible with Frixion pens
  • Easy to erase
Cons

  • You must still scan into the app


If you like the idea of a smart notebook but don’t need a standard size, Rocketbook makes the Mini-Notebook. It’s only 3.5 x 5.5″ but has the same functionality as its larger cousins. It’s perfect if you’re a journalist or someone looking to take quick notes on the go but you aren’t carrying around a large bag. As with the other Rocketbooks, any Frixion pen will work.

Moleskine Smart Writing Set

Moleskine Smart Writing Set
Premium alternative

If you love Moleskine but want a smart notebook

Moleskine is better known for its traditional writing and drawing books, but the Smart Writing set turns compatible notebooks into smart notebooks. The pen captures strokes and input in real time and copies them to the Moleskine app through its N-coded technology. Similarly, notes can be scanned in and shared through several apps. 

Pros

  • Premium look and feel to the notebooks
  • Magnetic USB charging cable
  • Capture strokes in real-time
Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited to compatible Moleskine notebooks

Moleskine built a name with its premium standard notebooks, but it offers smart solutions as well. Even though the Smart Writing Set is a bit expensive, it offers all the smart features you’d expect, including being able to color in your notes later on as you edit and organize. It works with many Moleskine smart notebooks with N-coded paper that helps sort and share your writings.


Wipebook Pocket Pro

Wipebook Pocket Pro
Best for journalists

Small whiteboard functionality that fits in your pocket

The Wipebook Pocket Pro aims to be a sleek whiteboard that you can carry around in your pocket. It has 10 graph and ruled pages to meet different drawing and writing needs, and your finished notes can be easily scanned into the Wipebook app. It also includes a dry-erase pen, which slots into a holder on the side of the Wipebook. 

Pros

  • Uses dry-erase markers
  • Inexpensive
  • Different ruled pages for various tasks
Cons

  • Doesn’t scan in real time

While ink is useful for a notebook, sometimes a whiteboard can be easier. The Wipebook Pocket Pro stays true to its name with a dry-erase marker that you simply wipe to erase once you’ve scanned the page. It features 10 graph and ruled pages for writing or drawing, with completed notes sent into the Wipebook app. It’s also compact, like the Rocketbook Mini, for easy storage.

Supernote Nomad on white background front and back

Supernote Nomad
The digital option

An impressive device, if you can stomach the price

A cross between a tablet and smart notebook, the Supernote Nomad’s built to make note taking convenient and reliable. It feels identical to paper, uses any EMR stylus, and allows for sideloading of software like e-reader apps, file managers, and PDF editors.

Pros

  • Feels like real paper
  • Great for reading books and manga
  • Excellent battery life
Cons

  • Mediocre hardware means sometimes clunky performance
  • Costs a ton compared to actual notebooks
  • Could use a backlight



The Supernote Nomad’s not technically a notebook, but it’s purpose-built to replace one with an all-digital workflow. In fact, it’s actually an Android tablet. Although it’s significantly underpowered compared to most other tablets, a recent update added legitimate sideloading (no technical trickery required), and users have already found a good number of resource-light Play Store apps that make it even more useful than the stock software does.

Read our review

Supernote Nomad tablet review: Real paper is old news

A note-taking experience that feels just right

It feels more like real paper than any other tablet we’ve reviewed, and boasts exapandable storage and a user-replaceable battery for versatility and longevity. The only drawback is that it’s considerably more expensive than a notebook and the stylus must be purchase separately, but support for generic EMR pens can help mitigate the cost issue slightly.



Rocketbook Wave Smart

Rocketbook Wave Smart
Easiest to wipe clean

Smart notebook that uses your microwave

Unlike similar Rocketbook smart notebooks, the Wave Smart uses microwaves to clean the pages. Once you are done writing on the 80 included pages, simply put the smart notebook into the microwave to clean off the ink, allowing you to write on them again. It uses regular Frixion pens and markers like other Rocketbook products. 

Pros

  • Includes 80 pages
  • Inexpensive
  • Uses microwave to clean pages
Cons

  • Need to have a microwave
  • Doesn’t scan inputs in real time

While most Rocketbook pages are wiped using a cloth, the Wave Smart uses your microwave. Once you are done scanning your notes, simply throw the Wave Smart into the microwave to wipe the 80 pages for use again. As with other Rocketbook products, Frixion pens and markers are required.

Boogie Board Blackboard with stylus and smartphone

Boogie Board Blackboard
Straightforward reusability

Great, if you can deal with a few smudges and errant marks

$36 $45 Save $9

Instead of requiring specialty paper, the Boogie Board Blackboard, itself, acts as a reusable leaf. Make the notes or drawings you want, then quickly digitize them with the touch of a button for onboard storage, or by taking a picture with your phone using Boogie Board’s app.

Pros

  • Includes a stylus
  • Needs no additional accessories
  • Incredibly simple to use
Cons

  • Nonexistent palm rejection
  • Spot erasing works poorly

The Boogie Board Blackboard essentially works like a digital Etch a Sketch. Put the stylus to the screen and it leaves a high-contrast, semi-permanent mark. Finish your notes or drawing, press the button to store what you’ve written or take a picture to upload to Boogie Board’s or your favorite note taking app, and press the button to erase the display. That’s all there is to it. It’s basically digital paper.


Read our review

Boogie Board Blackboard review: Not quite a pen-and-paper replacement

Sometimes the old ways are better

Unfortunately, it’s far from perfect, and perfectionists won’t like its lack of palm rejection. Should you make accidental marks or place your palm on the screen too firmly, it’ll register the touch, which can make for a messy sheet. And while there is a specialty eraser on the stylus, it works very poorly, smudging onscreen marks instead of eliminating them. But if you’re careful, and don’t mind a little noise on the paper, you can get plenty of use out of the Blackboard without spending much or splashing out on any extra accessories.




Picking the right smart notebook

The most popular smart notebooks all work basically the same, by using paper with barely perceptible dots or grids that make for easy recognition of characters, lines, and other marks. Generally speaking, your write or draw what you want, then take a picture and upload it to the notebook’s mated app or, in most cases, the app of your choice. Of those typical models, the Rocketbook Pro’s our favorite, due to its premium feel and lack of an obnoxious spiral ring (which also makes it the only such option for lefties).

But there are some alternatives if you want something a little more comprehensive. The Livescribe Symphony is one of the few smart pens we recommend, and offers audio recording that ties into your writing, so you can easily pull up the soundbites that inspired your notes for additional clarification. It’s the most expensive option, but in the right situation it’s also by far the most useful and convenient.

Then there’s the Boogie Board Blackboard, which doesn’t use paper at all, but instead a simple display that registers a mark when you press the stylus to it, and erases at your command after you digitize or photograph your notes. It’s mildly similar in concept to a typical drawing tablet, but not nearly as precise as anything with a Wacom layer, since it’s meant for casual notes rather than detailed art.


Finally, the Supernote Nomad combines a heavily tailored Android environment with a paper-like display, and aims to eliminate your need for paper or picture-taking entirely. Its hardware can’t run games or other, even remotely resource-intensive software, but can handle various sideloaded apps that add useful, if subtle functionality. If the Supernote Nomad sounds like it’s up your alley, but doesn’t quite offer the functionality you need, check out our selection of great tablets for taking notes.

Overall, though, Rocketbook’s many offerings embody smart notebooks the best, and have the most ardent fans of all our suggestions. And if you want to get rid of the need for specialty paper, the Rocketbook Wave Smart and its microwave-erasure method should catch your eye.

Rocketbook Pro Smart Notebook next to smartphone, in white background

Rocketbook Pro Smart Notebook
Best overall

Simplicity and consistency in a premium package

The svelte form factor and feel of the Rocketbook Pro make it a pleasure to use, whether in school, at home, or during the business day. It comes in one of two page formats and three colors, and works with Rocketbook’s first-party paper as well its selection of templates you can print yourself.


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