Benjamin Levin/CNN
CNN —  

Using a computer or phone for writing and messaging is all well and good. But when it comes to taking notes, making lists or just doodling, it’s hard to beat physically writing things out. That’s where the Think Board X2, a peel-and-stick whiteboard by Think Board and Rocketbook, comes in (starting at $29.99; amazon.com).

The Think Board X2 can be stuck to virtually any surface — a fridge, counter, desk or painted wall. And using the Rocketbook app (on iOS and Android), you can scan your creations and send them to a wide array of cloud destinations, including Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, Slack, emails and more.

It’s available in three sizes: small (8 by 11 inches, comes in a pack of three), medium (10 by 15 inches) and large (24 by 36 inches).

The tech that makes it all possible is Rocketbook Beacons. They reside on each corner of the Think Board X2, allowing the app to pick up and scan its contents. If you’ve already got a whiteboard, you can make it scannable by sticking on four reusable Rocketbook Beacons ($14.62; amazon.com).

We got a hands-on tryout of the Think Board X2, and we were impressed with how functional and versatile it was. But before we talk about our experience, let’s go over how to use it.

Installation

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The Think Board X2 takes minimal effort to install. Rocketbook has an instructional page here, including a video, but we’ll lay things out too. Here’s what you’ll need: your Think Board X2, the included cloth and some water. That’s really all it takes.

If you’re applying your Think Board X2 to a smooth surface like a countertop or fridge, you’ll want to use the wet application technique. First, clean the surface with water, ensuring anything that could make it bumpy is removed. Next, dampen the surface, peel the X2 off its backer and stick it on. After that, use the included cloth to press the Board down to ensure it’s stuck well and free of bubbles.

We recommend using Rocketbook’s suggestions for this process: Before pressing the Board down, stick something inside the cloth, such as a credit card, to keep it firm. When you’re ready to press, do so in a vertical line and then a horizontal line. Finally, press on the rest with single horizontal strokes. Once it’s firmly applied, wipe down the surface and board once more.

If you’re applying the Think Board X2 to a painted or otherwise slightly textured surface, do everything the same way, except skip dampening the surface before applying the board. To recap: clean the surface, apply the board, press it down and clean again.

Snap and share

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Once your creation on the whiteboard is complete, it couldn’t be simpler to share it. Download the app and sign up to get started. You can sign up via a Gmail account or a different email. Once you’re in the app, you’ll want to start by setting up some Destinations.

Select the Destinations tab on the bottom menu. Here you’ll see a list of icons that can be associated with different destinations and recipients. Select Change Recipient to modify or add email addresses where you want to send your scans. Select Change Destination to select a cloud service like Google Drive, OneDrive, Trello and more. The default file type is a PDF, but you can change that in the settings below.

Now let’s scan something. The New Scan tab will open up your camera. Point it at the Think Board X2 so that all four orange Beacons are visible. Hold still, and your creation will be scanned. If you make several scans in a row, they’ll be bundled together (in settings, you can turn off bundling). After that, press Next to write a file name and choose one or several of the Destinations you’ve created to send your bundle to. You can also select the three dots on the top right to share it.

Finally, the History tab shows you all your previous scans. You can share and reshare these any time.

Our experience

To put it simply: We loved the Think Board X2. It’s easy to stick just about anywhere, and just as easy to peel off without residue. And once it’s stuck, you can use it just like a regular whiteboard. Installing it on a fridge, for example, took about a minute from start to finish. There were very few bubbles after we pressed it down. From there we could write, doodle and erase to our heart’s content. The included cloth, as well as regular cloths or even a fingertip, cleaned off the dry erase marker easily.

When it came time to share what we drew up, we had no problems at all. Snapping a photo with the app worked nearly instantly, and sharing was super fast thanks to premade Destinations. Less than a minute later, we received a PDF in our email, on Google Drive and on iCloud all at once (as per our selections).

Benjamin Levin/CNN

The image quality was better than we expected. It seems as if the app enhances the intensity of your strokes, as well as straightens the image. This makes for a clear, accurate representation of whatever you created. Even the one or two bubbles we missed when smoothing out the whiteboard on our surface didn’t show up in the final image.

Bottom line

From study to sketches to grocery lists, we can foresee so many uses for the Think Board X2. It takes a minute to install, and once you’re ready to share what you’ve made, it takes a minute to scan and send too.

And the sharing process is so streamlined. We especially liked the inclusion of premade Destinations so you can effortlessly share with groups of people, or just send yourself some notes.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.