I’ve been using the reMarkable 2 tablet for almost three months now. I’m often asked what I think of it. The short answer is this:
If you are thinking about getting one, I have no reservations recommending that you do. The hardware is very nice and the experience of writing on it is terrific. It’s not exactly like paper, but it does feel analog. It feels “real”, unlike using the iPad and Apple Pencil, which feels like writing on a computer screen.
Here are what I’ve been using it for:
- Morning pages. I don’t write morning pages as a practice, but I often open a new page first thing in the morning and make marks on it.
- Brainstorming. The reMarkable is great for sitting down, away from the computer, and thinking something through. Sketches, scribbles, and a few notes are a perfect use for the tablet.
- Drafting blog posts. I’m drafting this very post using it.
A common thread here is that they’re all throw-away notes. I have not been using the reMarkable for things I’ll want to reference later. It’s great for raw materials to be used later in some other format, but less so for long-term notes. I find that it’s still too much trouble to quickly jump between notes on the reMarkable. Swiping from page to page is slow, and getting to an overview of a notebook’s pages requires tap, wait, tap, wait, tap, and wait. This makes paging around in a notebook rather cumbersome for certain things.
I use the reMarkable nearly every day, but only a little. It spends most of its time sleeping.
I keep a paper notebook open on my desk, not the reMarkable. The reMarkable wakes quickly at the touch of a button, but a paper notebook never sleeps.
I use paper for:
- Personal journaling. Nothing beats paper and a nice fountain pen.
- Tasks and quick notes. This is my lightweight version of bullet journaling.
- Jotting things down. Phone numbers, names, anything I need to remember.
As great and convenient as digital tools like the reMarkable are, there is one thing about paper notebooks that I never want to live without, and that is the artifact itself. There is no substitute for a shelf lined with full notebooks. I can pick one up today, or in twenty years, and easily skim around in it. No digital format, as convenient as they may be, can replace that.