This Smart Planner Lets You Switch Seamlessly Between Handwritten and Digital Notes

Organicer
Organicer

Digital calendars and note-taking apps are convenient on the go, but sometimes you just want the physicality of writing by hand in a paper notebook. A new smart notebook makes sure you never have to choose between the two.

Organicer is both a paper planner and a digital calendar app. You can take notes by hand in the physical notebook, then transfer it easily to the app with the help of QR codes. You can then edit and tag your notes, create checklists, set calendar reminders, and share items in the app.

Organicer

The extensive 300-page planner is organized similarly to a bullet journal, with pages for goals, brainstorming, habit tracking, and lists as well as overview calendars for the year and each individual month. There are 52 weekly calendar schedules organized by time, with half-hour appointment slots from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day of the week. There are also separate pages for checklists that you can use to write down your daily tasks or your grocery list.

Organicer

Each page features a QR code that allows you to capture your lists and upload them to the app. Each day on the weekly schedule has its own QR code, as does each checklist. When you upload your daily appointment schedule, the app will automatically create calendar reminders for those events at those times. You can upload and share your checklists with friends, giving them the option to receive a notification when you complete a task (a particularly handy feature when it comes to grocery lists).

Organicer

Organicer isn't the first notebook to try to bridge the gap between handwritten and digital notes. Neo's smart pen, for one, digitizes your notes as you write, uploading your scribbles from your Neo notebook to the cloud. But Organicer, by contrast, doesn't require you to carry a special pen or turn anything on. You do have to remember to whip out your phone and snap that QR code, but it also comes much cheaper. Each notebook costs less than $40, compared to $129 for a Neo pen.

Organicer just launched on Kickstarter, and is currently going for $33 with early bird pricing. Get it here.

Friday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Digital Projectors, Ugly Christmas Sweaters, and Speakers

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 4. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Google Is Tracking Everything You Do With Its ‘Smart’ Features—Here’s How to Make That Stop

Maybe you don't want Google seeing how many exclamation points you use in your emails.
Maybe you don't want Google seeing how many exclamation points you use in your emails.
Taryn Elliott, Pexels

Since we don’t all have personal assistants to draft emails and update our calendars, Google has tried to fill the void with ‘smart’ features across Gmail, Google Chat, and Google Meet. These automatic processes cover everything from email filtering and predictive text to notifications about upcoming bills and travel itineraries. But such personalized assistance requires a certain amount of personal data.

For example, to suggest email replies that match what you’d choose to write on your own—or remind you about important emails you’ve yet to reply to—Google needs to know quite a bit about how you write and what you consider important. And that involves tracking your actions when using Google services.

For some people, Google’s helpful hints might save enough time and energy to justify giving up full privacy. If you’re not one of them, here’s how to disable the ‘smart’ features.

As Simplemost explains, first open Gmail and click the gear icon (settings) in the upper right corner of the page. Select ‘See all settings,’ which should default to the ‘General’ tab. Next to ‘Smart Compose,’ ‘Smart Compose personalization,’ and ‘Smart Reply,’ choose the ‘Off’ options. Next to ‘Nudges,’ uncheck both boxes (which will stop suggestions about what emails you should answer or follow up on). Then, switch from the ‘General’ tab to ‘Inbox’ and scroll down to ‘Importance markers.’ Choose ‘No markers’ and ‘Don’t use my past actions to predict which messages are important.’

Seeing these settings might make you wonder what other information you’ve unwittingly given Google access to. Fortunately, there’s a pretty easy way to customize it. If you open the ‘Accounts’ tab (beside ‘Inbox’) and choose ‘Google Account settings,’ there’s an option to ‘Take the Privacy Checkup.’ That service will walk you through all the privacy settings, including activity tracking on Google sites, ad personalization, and more.

[h/t Simplemost]