Why You Should Use a Digital Notepad as Your New Travel Journal

Save paper, money and aggravation with a digital notepad.

woman taking notes in journal
Prefer taking notes and writing thoughts the old-fashioned way? At least add digital security.Shutterstock

Keeping your memories and insights in a journal can be a great way to preserve them. But they’re also prone to getting lost, getting destroyed if they fall in water, and a host of other problems. That’s why a digital notepad should be your new travel journal.

Who Needs Paper?

Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook Set
Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook SetAmazon

Digital notebooks come in three forms. The first is an erasable notepad where you use an app to scan your notes, which are then uploaded to a cloud server, automatically transcribed, and made searchable and accessible. The second is more direct; a digital touchscreen that you write on with a stylus. The third uses a special pen to track your writing and transcribes your notes to an app that way. The former is cheaper, more rugged, will let you use colored pens, and won’t need batteries, while the latter two are faster, has fewer steps, and won’t require special erasable ink.

Power to the People

Sony DPT-RP1/B 13” Digital Paper, Black
Sony DPT-RP1/B 13” Digital Paper, BlackAmazon

If you go the digital touchscreen route, look for battery power. Since they’re not color screens, their battery power more closely resembles the camel-like energy of a Kindle as opposed to the daily recharge your tablet needs. That said, like any epaper device, the more you use it, the faster your battery power will drop, so if you go that route, be absolutely sure that you have access to a charger and some electricity, and that you invest in a case.

There’s an App for That

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

If you need the more rugged scannable notebook, get some backup supplies. These notebooks usually require that you use erasable pens, much like a whiteboard, so that you can just wipe them off and reuse the page. That said, you do need to have that specific pen handy for it to work, and if you lose your pen, you’re out of luck. Similarly, remember that in order to preserve your notes, you need to scan them with your phone, so if you know you’ll be away from an outlet for a few weeks, either bring a power bank or be ready to scan when you get back.