The analogue way to be connected
So what is Whitelines Link paper? Essentially it is reversed out paper, with white lines on a darker background (in this case grey) rather than darker lines on a white background. The theory behind it is that it is easier to write on this paper because the lines won’t interfere with your writing. This is particularly true since most of us will write with a darker ink like black or blue, and most paper uses a black or dark grey line, and even more so if you use a heavy grid paper.
The Link element then combines this paper with the use of a smartphone app to scan, align, clean and send or save your page digitally, all in one seamless action. Could this be the perfect coming together of digital and analogue?
Whitelines paper was developed by a Swedish inventor called Olof Hansson about ten years ago. You can watch a short animated video on the history of Whitelines paper here, but all you really need to know is that he came up with the idea as a result of being frustrated by his experience of using traditional ‘dark line’ paper. By turning the traditional idea on its head he did something so very simple and yet it really does challenge an idea that we take for granted with paper – that we write by making a darker mark on the paper than the paper itself. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best though.
Part of the secret in the paper only comes out when you copy or scan it though. For technical reasons I won’t pretend to understand, the grey paper doesn’t scan, so what you are left with once you remove the paper and the lines is just your writing. Nice dark lines on a pure white background.
How Is Link Paper Different?
This is where the idea is really pushed forward. It feels like everyone is trying to create the perfect marriage of digital and analogue just now and the Whitelines Link idea might just be the best idea yet. It’s secret lies in the app which does a single job well without fuss or distraction.
Whitelines Link paper is different to standard Whitelines paper because it has specially formatted paper that the app can read. What this means is that it has markings in three of the corners which the app will read when scanning the page. These are essential and must not be obscured as the app needs them to be able to align the page. Once scanned then it will align the page into a rectangle regardless of whether it was scanned at an angle or not. Your page is then digitally saved ready for using.
What Can You Do With Link Paper?
Once you have your page in a digital PDF form you can do pretty much what you want with it. What makes the app so good is the ability to do the most commonly used next steps seamlessly. These are to send or save – either email the PDF as an attachment, or save it to cloud storage. The Whitelines Link paper is already pre-connected to both Dropbox and Evernote, as two of the most popular online storage options.
And then there is the little secret on the page… If you plan to email it, or save to either Dropbox or Evernote, then the page has tiny pre-formatted tick boxes for each option. Before you scan just tick the ones you want to use and the scanning process will automatically carry it out for you.
So What’s The Point Of Whitelines Link Paper?
Well, if you have no interest in ever converting your page into a digital form or copy it then there really is less milage in this paper. The Link paper function uses up some of the paper and it is only worth giving up that small amount of page space if you intend to use it. But if you do want to share notes and ideas, especially if you are working remotely, then the app makes it all so easy.
That said, if you have ever found lines on a page are a distraction then the reversed out paper idea of white lines on grey might work for you. The real selling point though - it's USP - is the ability to sync paper to PDF. The app is so easy to use and if you are out and about and want to save ideas, especially if you want to share them with others (maybe a colleague or team back at the office) then this is just so much easier than other ways of achieving the same result.