Every so often we come across a simple concept and invention that makes us do a double take. Sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Yanko Design are often responsible for turning our heads, and today’s Kickstarter treasure is no exception. Like our recent portable darkroom find, this product is all about combining the analog with the digital.

iSketchnote is a smart (dare we say, brilliant?!) iPad cover that integrates the easy and natural feeling of a notebook with your iPad. It transfers your notes and sketches instantly. For real – it’s instant!

When you’re trying to draw out a concept, whether it’s a traditional drawing or illustration, a family tree, or a bunch of wire frames, pen and paper really does do the trick. There’s something hard to pinpoint about it, but sketching and doodling and brainstorming just doesn’t work as well in purely digital form.

So, what’s an innovator to do? Invent a way to combine the real experience of pen and paper with digital technology. It’s real paper, a real pen, and a genius iPad case.

The app lets you digitize your sketches and notes as you write or draw them. You can even set it up so it recognizes the colors and thickness of certain pens. The pens are fashioned after regular old pens, and don’t require batteries or any electronic charge. In the case is a sensor matrix that recognizes and tracks the pens in real time. Each pen has a permanent magnet ring that communicates with this matrix.

So far, pens come in black ballpoint, orange felt, and black felt.

Use iSketchnote at your desk, on the go (the case folds up quite easily), or you can even use the notebook and cover without your iPad! To go iPadless, simply create all of your notes and sketches in a notepad on your iSketchnote cover, and they will be automatically transferred to your iPad the next time you connect to it. Amazing!

To be one of the first folks to start sketching away, pledge $149 over on Kickstarter and you can expect to get your very own iSketchnote around May 2014. Your pledge gets you the cover as well as three pens. Sign us up!

Would you use iSketchnote? Do you use a notepad to take notes or sketch? Or have you gone entirely digital? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.