I’ll admit it, I download journal and notebook apps like some people collect baseball cards. Seems like nearly every new notebook or journal app offers something fresh or stylish that I want to try out. The latest offering is Whitelines Links, a notebook app which scans and captures notes you make on specially designed paper.
Evernote recently announced a similar paper notebook that supports its iPhone app, but it seems Whitelines has beaten them to the punch – although the latter app actually supports Evernote as well as Dropbox. Whitelines may prove useful for those who still like to write or draw on paper, but also want to save notes and drawings in a digital format.
How It Works
The revenue goal of Whitelines Link is to market and sell their paper notebooks, but you can also download and print its special papers for free, as well as download its free iPhone app. The paper downloads come in A4 and A5 sizes, lined and squared, as PDF’s.
When you download the paper, it may appear as if there are no lines or other icons on it, but that’s what makes it sort of special. Whitelines de-emphasizes lines on paper because they say they’re a distraction. The papers consist of a soft gray background with soft white lines. There are also four soft white markers on each corner of the paper, which is for the Whitelines paper scanner app.
You write on the speciality paper just as you would traditional lined paper, and when you’re done, you can launch the app and line the screen up with the paper; it will automatically scan and capture your notes. You don’t even have to click the Home button of the iPhone to activate the shutter.
The Whitelines Link paper actually “tells” the app to capture content of the paper when the optical conditions are good, which means you want to lay the paper on a flat surface and capture notes in good optimal lighting conditions.
After the capture is taken, you have the options of saving and exporting the capture to your Dropbox or Evernote account, copying or emailing it, or saving it your iPhone’s Camera Roll.
You can also set up a quick save process by marking one or more of the three icons (email, Dropbox, or Evernote) at the bottom of the special paper. If you check the email and Evernote icons, it will set up the export for both destinations (note – be careful not to write on the paper upside down, because there’s no way to rotate the capture in the app or in Evernote).
You can designate a pre-determined folder in Evernote and Dropbox for your captures, or choose one during the export process.
Whitelines also allows you to further organize your captures in the device under one or more labels, e.g., Ideas, Work, Sketches, Class. These categories however do not transfer over to your Evernote or Dropbox notebooks or folder system.
As with photo images, Whitelines captures also get metadata attached to them, though the captures are saved to a Whitelines format, and not PDF or jpg. The Metadata includes the type of lined paper, the date the capture was taken, the location, and where the note was exported to or shared.
Overall the concept of Whitelines is sort of unique. It provides the opportunity for users who like writing and drawing on actual paper, but also want to archive their content in a digital format. For many of us who no longer handwrite as much as we used to, a Whitelines notebook might be a handy solution to maintaining those skills.
Let us know what you think of this concept. Are the features the ones you would like to see added to it?