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Moleskine's smart planner requires too much effort to use

From Engadget - September 23, 2017

Before you can even set up the pen, the app asks that you agree to Moleskine's privacy policy and terms and conditions. You have to check several boxes on each page before you can proceed to the next one, and there's no way to skip any of this. Normally, this would not be an issue; we agree to terms and conditions all the time. What bothered me was that on the last page, you must check the box that says you agree to Moleskine sending you promotional or informational material if you want to move forward. This is usually optional; making it mandatory is an oppressive move on Moleskine's part.

A company spokesperson told Engadget that its privacy policy states that you may be asked in the future to provide an email address and password to access the app. "This is completely optional, so you are not required to enter an email or password to use the app or product," the company said. If you do provide an email, Moleskine said, it would send promotional emails from respective channels, and it wo not if you do not supply your contact info. For the purpose of this hands-on, I checked the box, crossed my fingers and moved on.

I was intrigued by the premise of the connected planner at first. Using the smart pen, you write down your appointments on the physical planner and the system will send them to the digital calendar of your choice (iCal, Google or Outlook). The planner also has plain lined pages on the right, where you can jot down ideas or to-do lists, which then sync to the app.

Linking the pen to the Moleskine app was relatively easy: I held down a button until a light on the device turned blue, then placed the pen next to my iPhone. The app found my pen after a few seconds. Once I started writing in the planner, the app detected the new book, it jumped to the page where my pen was, and my scribbles appeared on my phone in real time. Just as with the existing smart writing set, you can use the pen to tap on the envelope icon on the top right of each page to send a PDF copy to yourself or your friends.

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