Smart technology is dominating the marketplace these days, from phones to watches and now to the formerly simple pen. We’ve come a long way from the quill and inkwell!
For many people that grew up learning with pen and paper, nothing aids productivity quite like handwritten notes and drawings. For some, typing is a bother that slows down their flow. But in the digital age, analog notes can hinder teamwork and easily get lost in the shuffle of modern life. Smart pens are bridging the gap for those who love to handwrite their ideas, but want to enjoy the benefits of digital storage and distribution.
Check out four of the best available smart pens below:
LiveScribe 3 is one of the most accurate smart pens available, and converts handwritten notes to type text with ease. A special LiveScribe notebook with micro-dotted paper (beautifully made by Moleskine) must be used for this impressive level of accuracy, but for those who love the ink and paper experience, it’s well worth the effort.
The LiveScribe 3 pen is synced with iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth, and records written notes in the LiveScribe app. As you write, the notes from the LiveScribe notebook are digitally replicated within the app. The pen automatically captures audio, so if you’re in a meeting you can link to an audio file of what was being said when you wrote down certain pieces of information (seriously!). Notes can be saved locally or to cloud storage, and sharing options through email and social media make notes easy to distribute.
Sky Wifi is manufactured by LiveScribe and offers the same advanced features at LiveScribe 3, but syncs to Evernote. For users on a team of Evernote fanatics, the Sky Wifi pen is a lifesaver! Notes can be categorized, tagged, synced, and saved with ease.
The Equil Smartpen 2 offers more flexibility for users that like to brainstorm on napkins rather than in elegant Moleskine notebooks. The Bluetooth pen utilizes a receiver that can be clipped to the top of any paper surface, and converts handwriting to text as well as saving doodles and sketches. No special paper is required, but some users find their handwriting isn’t particularly compatible with the text conversion.
Equil Smartpen 2 is compatible with a wide range of note taking apps, and works on both iOS and Android devices. In a market dominated by iOS, this smartpen is one of few options for Android users. The flexibility of surfaces and compatibility with a wide range of devices gives Equil Smartpen 2 a wide range of appeal.
Designed specifically for Evernote’s Penultimate app, the Jot Script stylus is the slimmest smartpen on this list, closest to a typical pen size rather than a larger wand. Jot Script utilizes low-power Bluetooth connectivity, and requires one AAA battery. Adonit’s Pixelpoint technology is similar to the micro-dots used in LiveScribe’s Moleskine paper in digital form:
Pixelpoint™ technology has enabled the first fine point stylus on the market with a 1.9mm tip. The Bluetooth LE, accelerometer, and Adonit’s SDK work seamlessly to place the ink point directly under the tip and improve the overall control on the screen.
Smartpens are relatively new to the market. But in the same way that smartphones have become an indispensable tool for productivity, smartpens are poised to change the way we think about note taking.