Distraction-free digital typewriter carries a playful and whimsical character

Smartphones and tablets today are extremely powerful devices, allowing us to do almost anything and everything, including writing a novel. Of course, that will require more than the on-screen keyboard, but an external keyboard, even a mechanical one, isn’t always enough for a good writing experience. These mobile computers, powerful as they are, also tend to bombard writers with notifications and temptations, distracting them from the sometimes fragile flow of thought and words. Digital and smart typewriters offer a better solution, but their dry and clinical designs aren’t exactly inspiring to look at. Enter the Micro Journal, a writing device designed not just to make writing convenient but also enjoyable.

Designer: Un Kyu Lee

Digital typewriters, sometimes called smart typewriters, are the evolution of electronic typewriters. They’re more portable than these, offering the benefits of modern technologies and design, but are also single-purpose appliances compared to tablet computers. You turn them on, type on them, and turn them off again when you need to go. Everything is saved on local storage or a memory card and they don’t have any other function like connecting to the Internet or running apps.

Many such devices sport minimalist designs to avoid unnecessary visual distractions, but these designs also tend to feel uninspiring, which can actually influence the mind subconsciously. Some writers will want their tools to reflect their own creativity, and the Micro Journal’s design tries to add some style and flourish to the product to the point that it almost looks more like a toy with its pastel blue body and yellow display bezel. That tiny display also sits above the keyboard at a slight angle, offering a slightly more comfortable typing experience even if you have it on top of your legs instead of on a table.

Of course, the Micro Journal isn’t all looks and actually delivers that fun typing experience through hot-swappable Cherry MX switches. Many writers and programmers swear by this type of mechanical keyboard, and you can customize it to the layout that you want. Using the writing device is as simple as turning it on, though it also offers some advanced connectivity features, unlike other distraction-free typewriters. In particular, it allows you to sync your work with Google Drive, but it’s purely an optional feature, not a necessity.

Another difference between this product and others in the market is that, while it’s available as a finished device, you can also buy the Micro Journal as a kit that you can assemble yourself. This offers a greater level of flexibility and customization, especially if you’re the type to tinker with your tools before you use them. Either way, you get a writing partner that doesn’t nag you with incessant notifications, tempt you away from your train of thought, or make you feel embarrassed to use it in public.