Smartpens are the new major trend that has the business world excited. They’re still pretty young, but their capabilities are already vast and they’re still growing.
Most smartpens essentially convert your handwritten notes into computer files for easier review. Precisely what each smartpen is capable of doing, however, varies greatly.
IOGEAR Mobile Digital Scribe
This smartpen was the first to emerge onto the market. Although it doesn’t include some of the features that you may find in some of the newer pens, it can perform all the basic functions.
It does, however, do plenty of interesting things that make it a fantastic business tool. The Mobile Digital Scribe captures and stores all of your notes for later review. It doesn’t require you to write on a certain surface – a simple piece of paper will do. Also, if you link the smartpen to your computer, it can display your notes on the screen as you write them.
Logitech IO2 Digital Pen
The Logitech IO2 Digital Pen executes most of the basic functions that you can find on IOGEAR’s pen. Once you transcribe your notes, you are able to save them in a number of different formats and file types.
After you save them, you may search the files for words and phrases in order to help you scan notes more easily. You can search by date, file type and file name. Unlike the Mobile Digital Scribe, you cannot use any surface to record your notes with this smartpen – you must use Post-It notes or Franklin Covey’s iScribe software.
The Livescribe Echo smartpen is by far the most technologically advanced of all the smartpens available. It not only transcribes everything you write down, it also records audio and converts the recording into a number of different audio file types.
The Livescribe Echo now has a feature called Pencast, which plays back your audio and synchronizes it with the notes you took. You can play these Pencasts with your iPad, iPhone or iPod making the files super easy to share. This is great for anyone who wants to share the contents of a meeting with their coworkers but doesn’t have the time to tell them about it or transcribe the whole thing.
All of these pens are great for their own reasons and they can really help you become more efficient in the office. You’ll never be required to remember the minute details of a meeting again.
If you’d like to take a look at a review of the Livescribe Echo, check out this Inc. article.