Gadgets You Never Knew You Needed: Smartpens


Board meetings, classes, workshops or lectures–how can you get all the detailed notes you need? Sure you can bring your laptop with you, but do you really want to type when someone’s pitching an idea? Or type while your high school teacher is glaring at you for silence.

The old-fashioned way is to record a meeting or lecture with a mini tape recorder. Who uses those anymore today when we have compact Netbooks at our disposal? There’s something smaller, portable (and definitely can fit inside a breadbox) available to you. Have you ever heard of the Smartpen? It’s a marvelous little gadget that every business person or student should own. Here’s what a Smartpen has to offer:

  • Download your “handwritten” notes and transfer into text onto your computer
  • Download drawings or tables
  • Built-in microphone
  • Built-in speaker

Can you imagine taking down your handwritten notes with a Smartpen, hooking this awesome gadget into your computer and your notes are converted into text? No need for you to physically type anything. Seriously, stupendous!

Now for the downside of the Smartpen:

  • Requires special paper or tablet
  • Train or download software in order to transfer information into your computer
  • Compatible with Windows but not with all Mac users

Still, meeting after meeting, lecture after lecture, consider owning this unique gadget. The Dane-Elec Z-PEN allows you to jot notes, sketch or draw on any paper and does not require special ink. Easy to use converts all your work into PDF files. This Smartpen fits most budgets at a little under $70.

The DSI DigiMemo L2 works with a digital notepad that looks like a clipboard. You can store up to 2gigs using an extra SD memory card. Manages up to nearly a thousand pages and not too pricey at a little under $170. Does not need special ink or paper but it does require you use the electronic notepad gadget companion.

IOGear Mobile Digital Scribe transfers your handwritten notes onto computer without the need of special ink or special paper. What separates this Smartpen from the others is that it can recognize twelve different languages. At a good savings priced under $80.

If you want the mother load of super pens then the Livescribe Pulse is the one for you. While this pen requires special paper it not only transfer your handwritten notes, sketches and drawings, it also has a built-in microphone, built-in speakers, a digital read out display and audio jack if you want to hear the play back on headphones. Livescribe Smartpens can also store up to 8GBs of information.

There’s a Smartpen for every budget. You’ll save so much time transferring your notes to text with ease. Once you see your handwritten notes transfer into digital files on your computer you’ll ask yourself…

How did I ever live without this?

Let me know what you think about this gadget in the comments!

Charli “Chuck” Gulley is a screenwriter, filmmaker and freelance writer who lives in Southern California. Quite the tomboy as she enjoys Rugby, Fencing and touch football. She’s an alumnus of the prestigious screenwriter’s workshop, “Writers Bootcamp.” Her passion is Hollywood, anything and everything to do with filmmaking. If you don’t find her on set you can find her at the arcade playing air hockey and eating pizza.

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