Smartpens are a new office trend with ever-expanding possibilities. The functions of smartpens have grown a lot since the technology first came about, and they’re still expanding.
Most smartpens essentially translate 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 on the scene. Because of that, it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that you might find in a newer model.
The Mobile Digital Scribe captures and stores everything you write down for later review. Unlike other pens, you don’t need to write on a specific surface in order for it to register, a simple piece of paper will do. It even lets you link the pen directly to a computer so that everything you write down will be displayed on the screen.
Logitech IO2 Digital Pen
The Logitech IO2 Digital Pen is also a more basic model, like the IOGEAR version. It lets you save your notes in a number of different file types and formats.
You can then search for words and phrases by date, file type, or file name. You can add items to your calendar simply by writing them down. The Logitech IO2 Digital Pen doesn’t work on any surface like the IOGEAR pen, but it works with Post-It notes and Franklin Covey’s iScribe software and digital planning pages.
The Livescribe Echo has far more features than its counterparts. It not only transcribes your written notes into a PDF, it also records any audio and lets you save that in a variety of different formats.
The coolest feature that you’ll find on the Echo is the Pencast functionality. A Pencast allows you to play back the audio and synchronize it with your notes, making it much easier to keep a detailed record of your thoughts without writing down everything. Apple has also built a free app that allows for easy sharing and replaying.
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 forced to remember the minute details of a meeting again.
To check out a review of the Livescribe Echo, click here.