The Best Gift for Assistant Principals

My wife and my children bought me an early Father’s Day gift a few weeks ago, and I have not stopped using it since the day it arrived. Given how useful it was, I could not wait to share it with our audience because I think it is probably the best gift you can buy for assistant principals, principals, or even aspiring administrators.

The gift I am talking about is the reMarkable 2.

Why I Think it is the Best Gift for Assistant Principals (or anyone, really)

Here are 5 reasons why I think this might be the best gift I’ve ever been given…


I am constantly taking notes. Whether I am reading, I’m in meetings, I’m in church, or I am just sitting around brainstorming ideas for my campus, I literally take some type of note almost every single day.

What has that left me with over the last 21 years of being an educator? Stacks and stacks of used-up legal pads and notebooks. I love those legal pads and notebooks, but the reality is that they are basically unusable after I fill them up and sit them on the shelf because finding the one notebook with that one note that I wrote from that one book I read three years ago is a time-consuming beatdown.

The reMarkable lets me tag notes and organize them in folders that make sense to me. I can search for a specific note and find it in no time. In the three or four weeks I have had my reMarkable, I have created 9 different folders that serve various purposes, and there are multiple “notebooks” within each folder. I’ve never been so organized with my note-taking. Also, being able to have multiple “notebooks” in one convenient place has encouraged me to start journaling for the first time in a long time. I didn’t see that one coming.

They advertise it as having a “paper-like” feel. I found that hard to believe until I started using it. I used to take notes on an iPad, and this is a completely different experience in terms of feel. On my iPad, it was very clear that I was writing on a piece of glass. However, the reMarkable feels very similar to writing on paper. My terrible handwriting looks just the same on the reMarkable as it does on paper.

Sync Your Devices

Since you can store your notes in the cloud, the reMarkable allows you to access your notes on your phone or your computer as well.

My reMarkable also syncs with my Google Drive, which allows me to do some cool things. Here’s a great example…

A few weeks ago, we had a Solution Tree consultant come to our district to talk about utilizing “guiding coalitions” on our campuses. Before they showed up, they gave us links to four different articles they wanted us to be ready to discuss at the training. I saved those PDFs in my Google Drive, and then I imported them into my reMarkable. Once they were in my reMarkable, I was able to highlight and make annotations directly on the articles. Now I have those articles with me wherever I go. Being able to write directly on a PDF has been a game-changer for me.

It also syncs with Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive if you use those.

Convert Notes to Text

The reMarkable lets me convert hand-written notes into text quickly and easily. It’s not a feature I use often, but I think it could be something I use more in the future.

No Distractions

This is a huge factor for me. I am very easily distracted. I can’t stand having red dots pop up on my phone, and when I used to take notes on my iPad, I would fall victim to the red dots all of the time. The reMarkable doesn’t have this issue. It’s meant for one thing, and it does that one thing incredibly well. This helps me lock in for sustained sessions of deep work without getting distracted by my email or social media accounts.

Useful Features

There are a ton of useful features that I love. There are 48 different notebook “templates” you can use for note-taking. You can erase with your “pen,” or if you need to erase a larger section, there’s a select tool you can use to do that. There is an undo/redo function that I use all of the time. I can copy and paste notes, and I can resize or move them when needed.

Purchasing Tips

First, let me say that I know this is an expensive purchase. I look at it as an investment. If my family had not purchased one for me, I was going to buy one for myself because I had seen so many friends singing the reMarkable’s praises. Now that I’ve used it myself, I would absolutely buy it again.

That being said, here is how you can save a few bucks.

reMarkable wants you to buy their “folio” to protect it. Their folios are NOT cheap, and if you do not need the keyboard that comes with the “type folio,” there are great options on Amazon for a fraction of the price. Here’s the one that I use. It works great, but if I have one complaint, it’s that it does not have a pen holder, so the pen sometimes falls out when it is in my backpack. I will eventually buy one like this with a built-in pen holder. One of my good friends has that one, and she loves it.

Wrapping it Up

I can’t say enough great things about my reMarkable 2, and I am so glad my wife pulled the trigger after she’d heard me talking about it for a couple of months. It saves me time, and it has allowed me to get myself more organized than ever before. Even with the steep price tag, I have no problem stating that I think this is the best gift for assistant principals, principals, or aspiring administrators. If you are looking for the perfect gift for someone in one of these positions, or if you are looking for something to help you become a better note-taker, the reMarkable 2 is a no-brainer.

If you are looking for something more affordable, you might consider one of these “5 Best Books for New Leaders.” I highly recommend each of the titles listed there.

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