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Mod Notebooks

A service that digitizes handwritten notebooks and syncs to the cloud

by David Graver in Tech on 19 March 2014

Writers and illustrators often fill notebook upon notebook with ideas, wordplay, sketches and doodles. Many are then lost to a drawer or a shelf, and the creativity stays locked away. Mod Notebooks has a brand new solution for salvaging those threads, beginnings and "what ifs." Their new service provides you with a notebook—plain, ruled, or dot-grid, thread-bound and tablet-sized, with super thick paper. It's classically designed and traditionally beautiful, but everything that unfolds after the notebook is filled demonstrates the innovation of the St. Louis-based founders, Marshall Haas and Jon Wheatley of Need/Want. Stowed in the back flap, a prepaid envelope allows you to ship your notebook away safely and, within five days, all of your work will be digitized and synced to a web application. The notebook is then returned to you for safe keeping or is recycled, depending on your wishes. Either way, all of the contents exist in an easily accessible and highly usable form.

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The fully responsive web app can be accessed from any mobile phone, tablet or desktop. Further, Mod Notebooks is compatible with Dropbox, Evernote and OneNote, for additional syncing, modifying and backing up. "Nothing beats pen and paper for making quick notes, sketches and doodles," Haas shares with CH. "We tried every app and stylus available, but kept coming back to our trusty paper notebooks. The tactile feedback from a stylus and touchscreen just sucks." Like many others, Haas and Wheatley still needed to save everything digitally. "To combat this, we used to take pictures of every page with our smart phones. This process is tedious and produces imperfect results. These were the pain points that gave us the idea for Mod." The service is the perfect segue between the tactile writing experience many love, and their need for digital access and modification in the modern day. And, with a search feature rolling out next, Mod Notebooks will continue to improve and evolve their already inventive system.

Mod Notebooks digitization, app and return shipping is available online for $25.

Images courtesy of Mod Notebooks

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