Evernote CEO Phil Libin said today that he doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about competition, but he admits that there has been one “age-old rivalry” — with pen-and-paper. Hearing about people who still take notes on paper is “infuriating,” Libin said, in part because he still does it himself.
“This is a fight that many people in the technology space have been fighting,” Libin said. Today, however, “we are announcing a cease-fire.”
Specifically, Libin, who was speaking at the Evernote Trunk Conference (where he also announced Evernote Business), brought Arrigo Berni, CEO of notebook company Moleskine, on-stage with him to announce a partnership on something called the Evernote Smart Notebook. The idea is to bridge the digital and analog worlds, allowing you to take notes physically, then import those notes into Evernote.
So the smart notebook uses specially formatted paper that allows it to work with Evernote. In the new version of the Evernote iPhone app, you can take photos of pages from the Moleskine notebook, and then they’re browsable and even searchable in the app. The notebook also comes with special stickers, which tell the app the notebook (the virtual kind) where each page should be saved.
Berni noted that the collaboration makes sense, in part, because Moleskine’s customers are often very digitally savvy. For example, in a survey, 60 percent of Moleskine customers said they also use a digital device to take notes. He also pointed to the “What’s in Your Bag?” Flickr group, where users, yes, post photos of what’s in their, and where Berni said it’s common to see bags that hold both Moleskine notebooks and iPhones or tablets.
Libin said they’ve been testing out notebooks in the Evernote office for the past couple of weeks, and they’ve encountered one problem — the notebooks are so pretty that you don’t want to write in them. His solution? “Order two.”
Evernote handed out free smart notebooks (the very first production copies, apparently) to all the attendees at the Trunk Conference. If the notebook can actually deal with my terrible, terrible handwriting, then I’m pretty sure I’m going to be hooked. You can preorder your own notebook here. The pricing will be $24.95 for a pocket notebook and $29.95 for a large notebook.