February 9, 2024

Notes on my Remarkable Tablet

Some notes on my note taking device

I love my Remarkable 2. I’ve been using it pretty heavily for almost a year now. It’s my every day companion device. Here’s some notes and ideas.

Note: this is all my personal opinion, I have no ties to Remarkable. Although they are one of my dream clients for 2024 so there’s that.


The Remarkable is Great at Reading & Writing (and Arithmetic!)

What do I use my Remarkable for? The three R’s - reading, writing and arithmetic.

Core, daily usage:

  • Taking notes, capturing ideas, jotting down the day’s todo list. All of the kinds of things that a notebook does for you.
  • Doodling, diagramming and constructing more involved elaborate ideas. The kind of thing that is hard to do on a notebook because it involves zooming in and out, erasing sections, using straight lines etc.
  • Reading PDFs (and annotating with notes) - what a perfect form factor for reading PDFs! I’ve read so many more academic papers over the last year directly because of my Remarkable.
  • I’ve been working with a client to make a Monthly Business Review packet - it’s 50+ pages of charts and data, Amazon-style, and on a whim I loaded it onto my Remarkable as a PDF and it’s a great way to read all the data (and add little annotations!). Now I load each month on there and sit down and read it front to back.

Fun, quirky uses:

  • Helping my daughter Roxy with her maths homework! I find that explaining things like mathematical concepts in a space where you can easily erase, switch pages etc is useful. Roxy and I did that last night as I was helping her understand place value for tens and hundreds.
  • There are various game templates for the Remarkable that you can buy but I prefer to play something like drawing wars with my kids!

And here’s a recent usage that I’m really digging - constructing a custom project tracker for my book writing project:

The base layer is a PDF I made in Figma that then lets me track editing progress as I work through my Winter of Word Craft book sprint.


Fun Remarkable Templates

I’ve also been playing around recently with some fun remarkable templates - things that work great on a drawing device. Like Wardly Maps:

And Zenko maps:

One thing I want to do is load up some sheet music on it (well, first I have to learn how to read sheet music. Actually maybe I should put a piano key template on there and I can just color in the keys I need to play…)


Unsolicited Ideas for Remarkable

Here’s some ideas I’d love:

I work with my Remarkable template right next to my laptop screen every day. It functions a lot like a second screen - except getting things onto my tablet is a slightly slow process. What if there was a “second screen mode” that could be a combination of live-data and note taking? Something like this:

(I just faked this demo with a PDF but a live-calendar view imported from Google Calendar would be awesome - I’d like more room to scribble on my calendar pls)

Related to this idea - I’d also love a more formal diary / daily entry system. Kind of like Obsidian’s daily notes. Some kind of date-based notebook inside the Remarkable would be rad (even if it doesn’t sync with your actual calendar!). A daily journaling / diary / planning format would be great. (Yes, right now you can select a day-planner template, but you can’t then see them in a calendar view - the date isn’t a foundational element of the note).

Another thing I’d like - a quick-send feature. When you select an object on your tablet you can cut/copy/paste etc. I’d love one more quick-action to email it to yourself. Right now you have the option to send yourself a full page (as png or pdf etc) but often I have a single diagram/sketch that I want to send to myself - I don’t want the full page.


Giving Advice is Hard of Course

As we know, giving advice is tricky. All these ideas are ignorant of the real challenges and focus areas that Remarkable is thinking about. Maybe Remarkable is gearing up to launch Remarkable 3? Maybe they’re trying to push into enterprise use cases? Maybe they’re trying partner with an ebook platform so you can buy and read books? I know at least that international seems to be a focus for them right now.

If I had to guess though, looking at the outside I think one of the core tensions for Remarkable is that they have their own software and they don’t run a stock android install. This is likely both a benefit (full control) and a curse because it makes things like ebooks, loading web pages, syncing with calendars etc much harder…


Anyway - if you’re a Remarkable user, what are your workflows and setups? I’d love to compare notes!

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This post was written by Tom Critchlow - blogger and independent consultant. Subscribe to join my occassional newsletter: