The Multimedia Enhanced Journal is a new product that seeks to combine the best of two worlds.
Offering what the advertising states is the ultimate in personalization, the ME Journal has a QR code on the corner of each page which the user can scan to upload up to 50MB of content per page to the ME website into a personal account linking the written word on the journal page to a wealth of media online. An option to enter the code numbers manually is also offered.
A QR (Quick Response) Code is a type of bar code easily read by handheld devices to store information or links to goods and services.
This first struck me as an odd combination -- an effort to link two disparate groups with nothing in common. Like hitching up a horse team to move a Cadillac.
Would those who admire fine paper and the experience of moving ink across a page be interested in digital uploading, bits, bytes and bandwidth?
Could a person used to instant digital access 24/7 and ever evolving faster devices be lured back to paper and pen?
Weren't these groups mutually exclusive? Did such a person exist?
I'm so wired, I lose track of how many ways I have to interact with the world wide web. I have what can only be called a woodcase pencil obsession. I love fountain pens and am seriously fussy about paper.
Okay. They're out there, these people with a foot in each realm. Can the ME claim them?
Slightly larger than the small Moleskine, with a firmer cover that still feels a bit flexible. This journal looks and feels like business with a touch of elegance.
Surprisingly, it will lie open. almost flat, even in the middle pages.
The title (front) and company (back) are inscribed unobtrusively.
The first page contains instructions so help is at hand.
85g Clairefontaine. Need I say anything else?
The only complaint I've ever read about Clairefontaine paper is it can be BLINDINGLY, BLAZING WHITE. The ME Journal has lined ivory paper -- a nice mellow cream.
My only objection is LINES. I always use blank pages. I'm strangled by lines, but that is a quirk of mine.
I first tried to scan the QR code with a different scanning app and was impressed that the ME app did that itself, relatively quickly.
The APP is free, fast and user friendly.
The user must sign up for a free account. Other than the 50MB limit per page, I couldn't find a space limit or lurking offers to sell more space.
The website is clear, uncluttered, relatively fast and user friendly.
So, will it work?
I'm hampered living in northwestern Montana, as I'm often without either Wi-Fi or cell signal. I'm not used to being able to call on those at will. I don't take them for granted as some do.
My current travel journal is a soft cover, pocket Moleskine.
Obviously, I've been making it a multimedia experience for quite a while. Adding video and audio are enticing prospects.
Will the tidy, more efficient ME replace it?
I can't tell yet. I'm going on an photography field trip and art class next month. I've decided to take the ME Journal and give it a good, boots on the ground try out.
One thought -- We've started planning a wedding at my house, and it occurs to me what a nice gift the ME Journal would be.
Suppose the wedding party wrote something on the pages about the day, then uploaded pictures, video and whatever via the QR codes then gifted the book along with the free account and password for each book so the lucky recipient could page through the book and view the special day at leisure.
I think that's a good idea.
As always, possibilities are limited only by imagination.
Purchase link is on the website. "ME Journals are available in large (6 ¼ x 9 ¼”) and pocket (4 x 6 3/8”) sizes in three colors—black, red and raspberry—in a firm, leatherette cover that’s perfect for on-the-go writing. Each journal has a bookmark and elastic closure."
DISCLOSURE -- I received the ME Journal from a contest on Rhodia.com.
I always like to see other folks' daily carry. Here is the rest of my travel journal set.