27 April 2016

Guest Post - Review of the Myequil Equal 2 smart pen and how it can be used with a Personal Filofax. - Mark

I'm sure we all mix technology in our day to day planning with our paper organisers. Thank you to Mark for this review of the Myequil Smart Pen.

We live in interesting times, I am 53 years old, so can remember black and white TVs taking an age to warm up, then produce a grainy picture, which nose dived if it rained. Now I can get an instant crystal clear video, anywhere on a smart phone. I am probably the last generation to really appreciate this technological revolution. That is what I'm writing about, the best of the old tied to the best of the new. A smart pen that compliments a Filofax, with all its heritage.

Much loved Malden personal with equil charging unit.

Like a lot of people I own to many ways of jotting down notes, 2 personal Filofax organisers and a pocket, a mini.  I think very highly of the flex system, which seems out of favour these days, but is the only true ‘pocket note pad’. The problem with this collection is that I'm not organised enough to remember what I wrote where, although each has its own job. 

My first meeting with a smart pen, was at a meeting where someone had a ‘Livescribe’, this seems to be the market leader in the smart pen world. What impressed me was the hand written minutes were emailed to me before I got home from the meeting. I had a look at the livescribe, but it wasn't going to fit into my world, having to purchase special paper meant being economical with its use, a nice idea though. Then my interest was sparked by a company called Bamboo, that do a smart pen system that uses any A5 pad. So I started digging and found the equil 2.

The Equil 2 uses a similar technology to the Bamboo, but can be used with a Filofax and is used as my note taking partner with my personal Filofax. 

Receiver on the top of the page, pen left and charger unit to the right.

What it does is record up to a 100 sheets of paper onto a small control unit that clips onto the page you're writing on, then sends them via blue tooth to your electrical devices, smart phones tablets laptops, etc. The device is clearly aimed at Apple, but will work with anything bluetooth enabled that has the equal apps in its app store. There 2 apps, one for notes and one for sketching. I have only used the note taking app, which is more than powerful enough for me. You can cut, copy, change font colours and generally mess about with the text to your hearts content. 

It can even convert your handwriting into text, an impressive trick. You can also add media to your notes email them and save them as PDFs. So they don't just live in the app, you can print them or store the PDFs in computer files. The clever bit for me is you can organise the notes into ‘collections’. These appear in the app as notebooks. You can have as many as you like and call them what ever you like, they are effectively files. So whatever note pad or Filofax I use, the note ends up on my, phone and MacBook (I'm now hopelessly tied into the Apple eco system, mainly because of Windows 8). They all connect via my iCloud but any cloud system should work.

The result is I have taken all the dividers out of my Filofax, loaded them up with blank paper and organise my rambling thoughts in the app, which is pretty straight forward. You can also tag each note making it easier to find. 

Personal Malden A4 pad Receiver on top of the Pad and pen

The whole thing consists of a charging unit, which is 16cm long and powers both the pen and receiver. The receiver is about 8 CM long and clips onto the paper you're writing on, ideally it wants to be on A4 and in the house thats what I use, but it works fine on a Personal and I have got it to play on the Flex, but really it is not great on small paper. The equal would probably be best at home on an A4 Filofax, but I don't have one and can not justify another Filofax, I can't, I really can't.

The receiver and pen connect via infra red, so need line of sight. Once you have had a play with it it becomes second nature. The charger and receiver both have a quality feel to them, the pen maybe less so, but I'm assuming has to be plastic because of all the connectivity it has to do. Refills although small, are available from high street retailers for less than £1.00 Sterling a refill. Perhaps soon premium pen makers may join this market, much as Brietling and Tag Heuer have both made smart watches. In fact this would be an interesting direction for Filofax to move forward to. Build a receiver into a cover, make the cover the charger, so the (perhaps mock fountain pen) and receiver were charged from the cover. The app could be very Filofax based, easy to use and very organised.

Find out more at the Equil Website


  1. Thank you Mark. It sounds interesting and very helpful. I now need to find this to play with.

  2. This is really interesting. I use an A4 FF to take notes at work. This would be a very useful tool. Thank you for your post

  3. Very interesting review, thank you Mark. I think I am from the same technological generation, and so the whole concept looks very fascinating, and it seems the early kinks in these systems are being ironed out.

  4. thank you for the review
    or not? now I want a smart pen... what a huge spend :D

  5. Very interesting idea - if you do a lot of writing.

    For notes on my Flex Pocket, I take an iPhone picture using the Scanable app which then sends the searchable data to Evernote. Works for me.

    I agree about the sad "death by a thousand cuts" that is happening to Flex by Filofax. First the academic year diaries went then the calendar year diaries, then the year planners and withdrawal from the USA market. Now they don't even promote the Flex brand and logo on the individual item UK webpages.

    They really are fickle. The Filofax as a fashion accessory craze quickly passed, Flex was suddenly everything and the current fad is dozens and dozens of tablet cases. Whatever next?