7 Best Smart Notebooks for 2021

Why use a regular notebook when you can get the best smart notebook?

It’s sustainable, eco-friendly, and perfect for traditional and modern note-taking. 

Just for you, we’ve listed the 7 best smart notebooks and reviewed them based on: 

  • Price 
  • Design
  • Usability 
  • Page styles
  • Pen quality
  • App integration

We also made a buyer’s guide, so you’ll know what to look for in a note-taking device.

Let’s begin!

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1. Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook

If you want a digital notebook that’ll last forever, get your hands on this Rocketbook. It’s infinitely reusable, practical, and eco-friendly. With a Pilot FriXion pen, you can write on the pages, scan your writings, and upload them as digital notes. Just wipe the text off and you get brand new pages again! Full Review

  • Affordable
  • Erasable pages
  • Great scanning options

If you want a digital notebook that’ll last forever, get your hands on this Rocketbook. It’s infinitely reusable, practical, and eco-friendly. With a Pilot FriXion pen, you can write on the pages, scan your writings, and upload them as digital notes. Just wipe the text off and you get brand new pages again! Full Review

2. Rocketbook Fusion

Fusion is all about combining multiple use cases in one digital notebook. It’s packed with 42 reusable pages with various page styles. These are good for note-taking, planning, listing, sketching, еtc. You can erase the text with a damp cloth to use the pages again, similar to Rocketbook. Full Review

  • Highly sustainable
  • 7-page templates
  • Fast scanning

Fusion is all about combining multiple use cases in one digital notebook. It’s packed with 42 reusable pages with various page styles. These are good for note-taking, planning, listing, sketching, еtc. You can erase the text with a damp cloth to use the pages again, similar to Rocketbook. Full Review

3. Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set

Need a notebook you can use on the go? This electronic notepad is incredibly handy, carrying all the smart features you need. It includes the best smart pen we’ve seen so far – built with an infrared camera for instant note tracking. On the app, you can arrange tags, add colors, and save notes to multiple destinations. Full Review

  • User-friendly
  • Automatic page detection
  • Tags for organization

Need a notebook you can use on the go? This electronic notepad is incredibly handy, carrying all the smart features you need. It includes the best smart pen we’ve seen so far – built with an infrared camera for instant note tracking. On the app, you can arrange tags, add colors, and save notes to multiple destinations. Full Review

4. Rocketbook Wave Cloud-Connected Reusable Smart Notebook

The best smart notebook for cheapskates, the Rocketbook Wave is not only affordable but also sustainable. To reuse the notebook, cook it in the microwave for a few minutes, and voila! You get brand new pages again. Its smart technology also lets you do instant uploads of your notes to cloud storage of your choice. Full Review

  • 80 reusable pages
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

The best smart notebook for cheapskates, the Rocketbook Wave is not only affordable but also sustainable. To reuse the notebook, cook it in the microwave for a few minutes, and voila! You get brand new pages again. Its smart technology also lets you do instant uploads of your notes to cloud storage of your choice. Full Review

5. Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad Digital Notebook

Great for text notes with illustrations, the Wacom Bamboo Slate can digitize your work in full detail. It comes with a pen that records writing smoothly. And it’s paired with a notebook holder that tracks the pen’s movement and sensitivity. Full Review

  • Great for sketching
  • Registers pen sensitivity
  • Ink-to-Text feature

Great for text notes with illustrations, the Wacom Bamboo Slate can digitize your work in full detail. It comes with a pen that records writing smoothly. And it’s paired with a notebook holder that tracks the pen’s movement and sensitivity. Full Review

6. Boogie Board Blackboard Letter

If you want to go completely paperless, this writing tablet is the best reusable notebook. It’s the first device to use Liquid Crystal Paper. You can get a paper-like writing experience even without ink or paper! It comes with different page templates and erasing modes too. Full Review

  • Light and compact
  • QuickClear technology
  • Long-lasting

If you want to go completely paperless, this writing tablet is the best reusable notebook. It’s the first device to use Liquid Crystal Paper. You can get a paper-like writing experience even without ink or paper! It comes with different page templates and erasing modes too. Full Review

7. HOMESTEC Reusable Smart Notebook

Looking for a cheap pad you can pair with digital note-taking essentials? This reusable notebook is a smart choice. You can use any erasable pen with the pad – all it takes is an eraser tip or a quick blow-dry. Its wide sizes also give you enough room to write lots of notes, sketches, plans, and designs! Full Review

  • Affordable
  • 500x reusable
  • Cloud-enabled

Looking for a cheap pad you can pair with digital note-taking essentials? This reusable notebook is a smart choice. You can use any erasable pen with the pad – all it takes is an eraser tip or a quick blow-dry. Its wide sizes also give you enough room to write lots of notes, sketches, plans, and designs! Full Review

The Best Smart Notebook for 2021

Look no further. These are the best digital notebooks you can get today: 

Detailed Reviews

  • Affordable
  • Erasable pages
  • Great scanning options
  • Handwriting recognition

The Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook is an affordable pad that offers a lifetime of digitized notes. It lives up to its old name – Everlast. And it’s only 36 pages!

At first glance, it looks like your typical notebook. Spiral binding made of synthetic paper, cut in Executive or Letter sizes. You can get it in multiple designs, ranging from neutral to flashy colors. On the inside, you can choose between a lined page style or a dot-grid pattern. 

The design is unmistakable – it speaks to traditionalists who simply want a digital notepad for school, work, or daily scribbles. 

Along with the notebook, you also get:

  • black Pilot FriXion pen
  • microfiber towel
  • spray bottle

So, the notebook is reusable forever. You can write on the pages using the pen, then wipe the text off with a dampened towel. The paper has a fine texture that makes the pen glide smoothly. Just be careful with smudging – the ink takes around 10 to 15 seconds to fully dry down. 

So what makes this smart notebook, well, smart? To maximize its digital note-taking features, you can download the free Rocketbook app for iOS and Android. Use it to scan, save, organize, or access your pages conveniently. 

With the QR code and shape markers at the bottom of each page, you can upload your notes to your chosen cloud storage instantly. You can save them in JPG, PDF, or GIF formats.

Of course, a smartpen will save you more time with automatic tracking. The FriXion pen lacks this feature. But if you don’t mind a quick phone scan or a few marker shortcuts, this pad is super seamless in saving your notes. 

There’s an extra function, too – Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No more browsing through piles of notes to look for a specific text portion. It recognizes your handwriting for faster searches!

Overall, this Rocketbook notebook is a useful and sustainable device for taking smart notes on a daily. It won’t cost you your savings either – you can get it for just $25. So if you want a simple notebook that’s good for long-term use, this is our top pick for you!

Rocketbook Fusion
Rocketbook Fusion

BEST FOR

Planning and productivity

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  • Highly sustainable
  • 7-page templates
  • Fast scanning
  • Fully-functional notebook app

If you’re looking for the best digital notebooks to increase your productivity, the Rocketbook Fusion is an obvious choice.

It lets you write on 42 pages with unlimited reusability. Just use the included Pilot FriXion pen and microfiber towel to get into action. All it takes is a quick wipe to erase everything you’ve written, and you can use the pages again.

The pad is available in many colors, in Letter or Executive sizes. As for the page styles, you get both the standard lined or dot-grid pattern. 

But that’s not all.

It’s called Fusion for a reason – made to support a mix of writing use cases. Aside from those two patterns, this erasable notebook features a variety of page templates, too:

  • To-do list 
  • Idea list
  • Weekly planner 
  • Monthly calendar 
  • OKR Goal Template 

With a total of seven different page designs, you can do just about anything on this well-formatted notebook page. If you’re simply taking notes, listing down your groceries, drawing sketches, or scrapbooking, there’s a page that will suit your purpose.

The paper is glossy-smooth, making the pen and eraser glide smoothly. The texture is a little whiteboard-ish. The clear downside with this material is that it’s prone to smudging. Just be sure not to flip the page too fast or close the pad immediately. Wait for the ink to dry – it takes about 10 to 15 seconds. 

Now, onto the smart features. Like the Rocketbook Everlast Smart Notebook, the Fusion uses Core technology to digitize your notes. You can use the free Rocketbook app to scan and send your notes to cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc. Alternatively, you can cross out several icons at the bottom of the page and the app will read them. 

You can also integrate your files to productivity apps like Slack or Trello. It’s pairable with writing software like Evernote for enriching your notes, too! Optical Character Recognition (OCR) comes as an extra feature, but it reads text a bit poorly – especially for scribbly handwriting. 

At $35, it’s the best smart notebook for those looking for an all-in-one pad!

Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set
Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set

BEST FOR

Analog to digital note-taking

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  • User-friendly
  • Automatic page detection
  • Tags for organization
  • Multiple file formats

Only a few virtual notebooks have the power to turn analog notes to digital in real-time. The Moleskine Smart Writing Set is one of those rare gems.

The cost for this set is a little on the high side, but you get the most value with all its inclusions. For $149, you get:

  • Paper Tablet Notebook
  • Pen+ Ellipse Smartpen 
  • D1-sized ink refill
  • Micro USB cable

The Moleskine Smart Notebook sports that classic daily journaling look. Measuring 8.50″  x 5.25″, it’s light and compact, but not too small for a hardcover notepad. You can just throw it in your bag when you’re going to the cafe or a client meeting. It also comes with an elastic strap to keep your pages secure. 

On the inside, the pages are styled with a dot-grid pattern. The pad uses Invisible Ncoded technology for note detection. You get 173 pages, which is a lot compared to what others have to offer. Although like most Moleskine notebooks, these pages are not reusable. When you run out of space, you’ll have to buy a standalone Paper Tablet which costs around $22

The Moleskine pen is undeniably the star of the set. It has a metal body that offers a nice, premium grip. It carries a typical ink cartridge, which makes refilling a breeze. There’s also a light indicator, micro USB port, and a cable for charging and syncing

Magic happens when the pen’s infrared camera does its job. It tracks your handwriting and syncs it instantly to the Moleskine M+ Notes app. With this, you are able to send your notes as PDF, JPG, or PNG files to multiple cloud storages. The app also lets you organize your files by adding tags, colors, and highlights. 

Moleskine notebooks aren’t cheap. But if you don’t mind paying over a hundred bucks for a pad with high-end features, overall it’s a good purchase. Plus the Moleskine smartpen is simply the best! 

  • 80 reusable pages
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Fine-grain paper

Microwaving a notebook sounds like a bad idea, but it makes perfect sense for the Rocketbook Wave. That’s right – to use this notepad over and over, you have to pop it in the microwave to wipe all the text clean. Kinda weird, but it’s the best reusable notebook for traditionalists.

It’s not expensive either! For just $21, you can get the standard 8.5″ x 9.50″ spiral notebook designed with a dot-grid pattern. The package also comes with a Pilot FriXion pen. It’s the only kind of pen that works with this notebook, as it is erasable.

Unlike the other Rocketbooks, the pad’s paper isn’t synthetic, so the FriXion’s ink won’t completely vanish after microwaving it. It leaves a faint mark, but still quite unnoticeable. You can reuse the paper notebook up to five times only. There are 80 pages, so you won’t run out of space that quickly. It’s almost double what you get in the Fusion or Everlast variants. 

It’s a cloud-connected notebook, which means you can blast your notes to online storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, etc. You can integrate it with note-taking software too, like Evernote or OneNote. 

To do this, you have to download the free Rocketbook app for iOS or Android. Scan your notes with your phone camera, and the app will swiftly upload them as PDF files to your chosen destination. 

Now you might be wondering, is it really microwave-safe? Absolutely! Instead of the typical metal binding, the Wave uses white polypropylene. This material won’t have any negative effects on your appliance or the next food you’ll put in it. It, however, requires you to place a glass of water on top of the notebook, which explains the rings on the cover.

Overall, this affordable and functional cloud notepad is great for budgeteers.

  • Great for sketching
  • Registers pen sensitivity
  • Ink-to-Text feature
  • Compatible with regular notepads

Wacom is famous for its awesome drawing tablets and other artsy devices. If you’re searching for something along this route, take a look at the Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad Digital Notebook

It comes in two sizes – A4 and A5, which gives users a wide space for writing text with illustrations. From graphs to mind maps to rough sketches, this tool can satisfy the needs of visual thinkers!

The set includes:

  • Notebook holder
  • Regular notepad (80 sheets)
  • Smartpen

The clipboard-style holder measures 13″ x 10″, which is a rectangular panel covered in nylon fabric. But instead of clips, there’s a long slot across the head that lets you tuck the back cover or page of your notepad to keep it in place. It also houses the main button on the side, which doubles as the power and sync button

The smart technology is built into the board, which makes it one of the best digital notebooks. It’s touch-sensitive, so it can track precise movement when you write or draw with the smartpen. For example, the harder you press down the pen, the thicker your strokes will turn out. It captures pen sensitivity very well!

Another advantage you get with this electronic writing pad is that you can use any type of notepad with it. It’s all about the holder and the pen. These tools interact with each other in tracking and recording your notes. This also means that the included smartpen is the only kind of pen you can write with it.

To maximize the device’s features, you have to get the Wacom InkSpace app for iOS or Android. Pair it with the Slate via Bluetooth, and you can start writing on the notebook notes. When you’re done, you can just press the button. You’ll see everything you’ve written in the app as JPG, PNG, PDF, SVG, or WILL files.

The Ink-to-Text feature is a pretty impressive tool. This automatic conversion spares you the hassle of re-typing your handwritten notes. It requires a paid subscription, however, on top of this set’s price. 

The A4 set costs $299, which is an outrageous price for a notebook and pen. But if you’re willing to splurge for the best refillable notebook, the Wacom Slate is an easy choice!

  • Light and compact
  • QuickClear technology
  • Long-lasting
  • Multiple page styles

Say goodbye to ink and paper! The Boogie Board Blackboard Letter is the best smart notebook for all-digital lovers. Like one of those liquid crystal displays, this device uses digital paper. It’s reusable for as long as you need to, and it feels like the real thing.

The 8.5″ x 11″ writing tablet has a semi-transparent writing surface. While it may look pitch-black at first glance, the screen is made of see-through material. You can electronically write on any paper, document, photo, or flat-screen you put under it. The smart paper, though, isn’t scratch-free so you’ll have to be extra careful.

It’s great for mixed-use since it has various page styles. You can choose between four templates for many use cases, like writing notes on composition books, designing plans, making calendars, etc. Those templates are: 

  • Blank page
  • Lined
  • Dot Grid
  • Planner

It’s a remarkable notebook, literally. It features its very own QuickClear technology that lets you erase everything you’ve written in one go. You can do this by pushing the button on the front. But if you just want to erase a few details, the Exact-Erase button will turn your pen like a pencil eraser. There’s also an Erase-Lock switch that keeps your notes from accidental erases. Since the screen is touch-sensitive, this tool comes in handy. 

The pen that comes with it is the only pen that works, though. It’s not loaded with ink, so it works like a stylus. It also has an eraserhead that integrates well with the modes mentioned above. 

Like a typical virtual notebook, you can scan and save your notes using your phone or tablet. For this, you need to download the free Blackboard app for iOS or Android. Here, you can also organize, search, and share your notes online.

If you want cool notebooks you can carry with you like a tablet, go for the Boogie Board. Its $45 price isn’t much of a gamble either. Plus it’s ready to use right out of the box, no charging needed. It’s ultra-convenient!

  • Affordable
  • 500x reusable
  • Cloud-enabled
  • Works with any erasable pen

Whether it’s for jotting notes at school, home, or work, the HOMESTEC Reusable Smart Notebook is the most practical pad.

Starting at $12, this affordable notebook is the cheapest option on our list. Still, it’s got those smart features that complete the best reusable notebook! There are 87 pages in total. While the page styles are quite limited, you still get the standard formats:

  • 40 lined
  • 40 dotted
  • 7 planning pages

It comes in three different sizes – A6, A5, and B5. These wide sizes give you ample space for journaling, sketching, drawing, and lots of other use cases. You can even use them as coloring pages, as long as you use a compatible pen.

No smartpen required here – just a regular erasable one you can get from any supply store. But don’t worry, the package includes a gel pen along with a box of sticky notes. The ink takes a while to dry, though. You’ll have to wait for 15 seconds to avoid smudging. Also, if it gets exposed to high heat or under the sun, it may vanish.

Each page is reusable up to 500 times, which is why it’s the best notebook for college students or writing professionals. It’ll survive long sessions of note-taking without tearing. Just be gentle with erases as the paper isn’t as premium as a Rocketbook. The safer way to erase would be to use a hot hair dryer over the pages. 

And of course, it’s not a smart notebook without the digital note-taking abilities. You can scan your notes and blast them to cloud storage like Google Drive, Evernote, Box, etc. HOMESTEC, however, lacks a dedicated app for this. We recommend using the CamScanner app since it’s the most compatible, plus it can save your notes in JPG or PDF files. 

If you need a simple notebook for business, personal, or school-related notes, you can’t go wrong with this pad.

What Is a Smart Notebook?

Pen and paper, but make it digital – the recipe for a smart notebook

Much like how an eReader makes you feel like you’re reading a physical book, digital note-takers offer the same thing. You can write on notebook pages like how you would on a typical notepad. The difference is, the digital ones are built with smart technology

The tech behind these pads allows you to convert your analog notes to digital files instantly. It registers your handwritten text and translates them digitally. This way, you can access and view them as documents through the notebook’s dedicated app. It also enables you to scan and send your notes to various file destinations. These include cloud storage, productivity apps, grammar checkers, and other note-taking software

These smart notepads are either reusable or refillable. Reusable notebooks let you erase the text you’ve written, so you can use the pages over and over again. With the refillable ones, you change the pad when they’re full. Some electronic notebooks also require a smart pen or paper that can register your handwriting instantly, but others don’t.

Paper waste stats show that Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper in a year. That’s why this type of notebook is more sustainable and efficient. It offers smart ways to take physical notes. And most importantly – they have a much lesser environmental footprint. 

The best smart notebooks offer a lot of benefits for users who prefer the old-fashioned way of note-taking. At the same time, it adds the modern convenience of saving your notes and making them accessible online.

How To Choose the Best Smart Notebook

There’s only one way to be sure you’re making the best smart notebook purchase. 

Just look at all these details:

Size

Notebooks are generally handy – just like all the smart pads we’ve included on our list. The right size depends on what you want to use one for. 

A5 (5.8″ x 8.6″) is the most common size used, best for note-taking and journaling. Larger pads such as A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″) and B5 (6.9″ x 9.8″) are more appropriate for drawing, scrapbooking, and other artsy stuff.

Number of Pages

How many pages do you need? 

On average, a reusable smart notebook has to have at least 30 pages. This gives you just enough space to fill before wiping them clean or digitizing their contents. You can always make the pages blank again, so you don’t have to pay extra. 

On the other hand, if you’re using a refillable notebook, it’s wiser to choose pads that have more pages. The Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set, for example, has over 170 pages. That’s a lot compared to reusable notepads. But it makes sense since it doesn’t involve paper recycling

Page Style

Just by looking at the inside, you can determine what the notebook is created for. 

Most smart pads have lined pages or dot-grid patterns. Students, writers, business people, architects and engineers prefer this format. It’s the standard page style that makes it easier for your smartphone’s camera to read and scan your notes. All the options on our list have these basic styles. They are, after all, the best notebooks for note-taking, or any kind of freehand writing. 

For artists and designers, though, having a blank page style is more suitable. It works like a canvas.

There are also options offering unique page styles that can be useful for multiple use cases. You’ll find pages for weekly planning, goal-setting, appointment-scheduling, etc. The Rocketbook Fusion and Boogie Board Blackboard Letter are some examples of a digital notepad having multiple page styles.

Pen/Stylus 

Of course, the pen that comes with the notebook is a detail you can’t miss. Keep in mind that a regular pen won’t work on a smart notebook. Some pads, like Moleskine smart notebooks and the Boogie Board Blackboard, need a pen with tracking technology. 

Those that don’t, like HOMESTEC, only require an erasable pen for you to write on and reuse the pages. It’s the same with Rocketbooks, but only Pilot FriXion pens, markers, or highlighters are compatible with these pads.

Charging 

Is it an electronic notebook, or a pad that has no power at all? A notebook and pen with smart technology may require to be charged as the Moleskine Smart Writing Set does. This enables the device to instantly track and translate your notes digitally. 

Other smart notebooks, especially those on the cheaper end, don’t require any charging at all. That’s because the smart features are mostly executed by the dedicated app that you use with it. 

Storage

Losing your notes can be your worst nightmare. So, it’s crucial that you look into your smart notebook’s storing functions to ensure all your files are safe. Normally, these pads are able to sync your notes to several cloud storage providers like Google Drive, iCloud, Outlook, etc. For professionals, in particular, the best notebooks for work should be able to send their notes to office-related cloud apps. 

Reusability 

One of the greatest advantages of using a smart notebook is sustainability. Instead of wasting paper, a reusable notebook lets you write on the pages multiple times. You can wipe the text with a cloth, blow-dry it, or use an eraserhead. The Rocketbook Wave even lets you microwave the pad!

If you’re into paper recycling, the best reusable notebook is the Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook or Rocketbook Fusion. They are made of synthetic paper that won’t crumble or tear.

Notebook Apps

Smart writing notebooks can be paired with a dedicated app for full functionality. The apps scan your notes, save them as digital files, or share them online. They also integrate with cloud programs. All notebooks on our list work well with their apps and offer a seamless analog-to-digital experience.

Price 

The best smart notebooks on a budget usually cost around $12 to $45. The Rocketbooks are a great middle-ground, with the Smart Reusable Notebook priced somewhere along the 20-dollar mark. If you’re really budget-stricken, you can pick up a smart notebook for as low as $11.98, which is the HOMESTEC Reusable Smart Notebook. 

Expensive smart notebooks, which fall anywhere between $100 to $300, are rare. Some of these include the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set and the Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad Digital Notebook. It’s worth noting, however, that these options often include extra items such as refills, holders, charging cables, etc.

Wrap Up

Writing with a pen and paper never gets old. 

But when you find yourself wasting too much ink and paper, then it’s time to switch to digital notebooks.

They’re not only efficient and eco-friendly. They will also save you money in the long run.

So choose wisely – the best note-taking device is waiting for you!

FAQ

Which smart notebook is best?

The Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook takes the cake. It’s the only digital writing pad you’re gonna need for the rest of your life. While it only has 36 pages, each one is reusable forever. The app also makes it easier to scan your notes through individual QR codes and page icons. And it’s affordable!

Is a Rocketbook worth it?

Absolutely. If you prefer the old-fashioned way of note-taking, you’ll find great value in a Rocketbook smart notebook. Aside from the fact that it looks and feels like a regular notebook, it’s also good for long-term use. The Rocketbook Fusion, in particular, has different page templates for many use cases.

Can you use any pen on a Rocketbook?

Yes, but only on Rocketbook One. All the other units require special Rocketbook pens. Those include Pilot Frixion pens, highlighters, and markers. You can use any color, style, or point size as long as they’re from the same brand.

How many times can you erase a Rocketbook?

There are two Rocketbooks that are infinitely reusable

  • Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook 
  • Rocketbook Fusion 

Both are among the best smart notebook options for lifetime use. The pages are made of synthetic paper – you can write and erase without worrying about wear and tear. 

The Rocketbook Wave Cloud-Connected Reusable Smart Notebook is reusable for up to five times only. But it’s an 80-page pad, which is far more than what you get in those two Rocketbooks above.