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Discussion Forum > Using a Digital Notepad and Pen for Productivity

I am not a student but I take a lot of handwritten notes, especially when I am talking to people on the phone.

It seems to me that a digital pern with a digital notepad might be a good productivity tool for people that take a lot of handwritten notes.

Does anyone have experience (good or bad) with digital pens and notepads?

I try to avoid wireless technology when possible (because of possible deleterious health effects). Does anyone know of and/or have experience with wireless digital pens and notepads? I have heard that "IRIS Notes Digital Pen" has non-wireless capability. But its reviews on Amazon are very unfavorable. Any suggestions?
May 4, 2010 at 17:16 | Unregistered CommenterMark T.
To my knowledge, digital ink is not even close to the usability of real ink. They need to increase the resolution a bit more, and then find a way to make the screen more responsive to your pen (the feel of writing) like paper is. Then there's the size of the page and the easy of flipping through pages.

If somebody has technology that achieves close to this level of comfort, I'm interested to know about it.
May 4, 2010 at 22:42 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Baljeu
I've dabbled with a digiscribble. To be fair, it works as advertised and it works on any paper. You can go anywhere with a regular notepad and later put all the writing back on the pc. But getting the digital writing into regular software programs is a clumsy process, as well as the built in handwriting recognition. In practice, I just didn't use it much.

I've heard varied things about the livescribe, I think that was wifi though, not sure. The use of special paper puts me off.

I've got a wacom tablet and they also have 'real pens' that can write on paper simultaneously. It works but if I'm going to be behind a desk, my typing is faster than my handwriting. It's also an expensive solution. have a pen & software that integrates with onenote, very appealing to me (and onenote has great handwriting recognition and searchability to boot. It works similar to the digiscribble I think, but this one needs special paper and the pricepoint is geared toward businesses not consumers.

The microsoft courier concept would have been exactly what you're looking for, a digital pad with digital pen. Unfortunately microsoft, as a lot of the naysayers expected, ditched the project. Looks like we'll have to wait a few more years.
May 5, 2010 at 1:04 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Knight
While all the new studies in this direction look rather chaotic, but I also think that this is what the future is for. It would be cool to use such digital pen for teachers and children so that the child does not need to be embarrassed by being called to the board. You can draw a graph or write an equation sitting at your desk and the drawing will be transferred to the interactive screen. Also, the teacher using a special application on the tablet will choose whose work to display. This now does not sound like a fantasy. It will happen in the near future tomorrow.
May 29, 2018 at 11:27 | Unregistered Commenterharris92
The Samsung tablet/phone and pen combination seems decent, in the store, but it's too expensive for me to buy for an experiment. looks promising.

You can print LiveScribe paper at home. Yeah, it still uses both paper and computer, so may as well use regular paper and scan it. Except...the ability to listen to what was happening when you made a particular mark might be useful. is paper and an app that straightens the image and sends it to the program of your choice. It's wireless.

TinyScanner also straightens the image. I'm not sure where it puts it, though. The last time I used it, I couldn't find them, so took normal pictures, and haven't bothered to look into it.

Peter: no longer exists. Dead product, or someone forgot to renew the domain. Looks like their product is Capturx, and it's pricey.
May 29, 2018 at 20:23 | Registered CommenterCricket

I seriously thought of getting a reMarkable because it seemed to do everything that I wanted - until I found out that it can't handle Kindle files.

I would be delighted to be told that I'm wrong and it can.

The Evernote app scans, straightens and cleans up written notes. I find it completely invaluable.
May 30, 2018 at 9:10 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
And EverNote automatically put things into EverNote, where you can add text, and it's ready to be tagged and filed.

How easy is it to convert the image to PDF and mail to friends?
June 6, 2018 at 16:36 | Registered CommenterCricket

<< And EverNote automatically put things into EverNote, where you can add text, and it's ready to be tagged and filed.>

You can set Evernote to smartfile in which case it will automatically file and tag notes using its past experience of where you file them.

<< How easy is it to convert the image to PDF and mail to friends? >>

There are multiple ways of making them available to friends. Most are very easy. I don't think most of them (or possibly any of them) involve PDFs though.
June 7, 2018 at 1:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Auto-file and auto-tag are, as yet, more effort to set up than they're worth for me.

Sigh. My singing teacher likes PDFs of my music. (I have the original with me at all times, but it's easier if we don't have to share a copy.)
June 7, 2018 at 16:41 | Registered CommenterCricket
<< My singing teacher likes PDFs of my music >>

I recently scanned a piece of music from sheet music. My scanner automatically makes a PDF, runs optical character recognition to make the PDF searchable, and imports it into Evernote. (It's a regular Evernote note, with the PDF attached into the note. You can attach / import any number of files into a note.)

I can then file or tag the note as needed. The note is searchable with the text in the PDF.

From that point, as Mark noted, there are many options to share. If the other person uses Evernote, it's easiest just to share the link. Even if they don't use Evernote, you can share a web link, and they can view the page (and the attached files) in a regular web browser. You can also email them the note -- the email will include all the attachments.

If you are using a music program and exporting PDFs from there, you can attach the source file and the PDF file to the same note, and share that. Makes it easy to keep the files in sync, and shareable.

You can also make all kinds of custom workflow integrations with other apps using If This Then That:
June 8, 2018 at 15:56 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
I have used Livescribe for the last 10 years when taking notes on investigations. My favorite version was the Echo version. The pen was bulky and the ink wasn't that good- but you could download your notes to your desktop and search. I didn't use the voice recording feature that much, but when I did it was awesome. I purchased the Livescribe 3 and had high hopes- it is smaller and does write better- but it syncs with your phone and then you can transfer to evernote. In 2016 they were purchased by ANOTO and they don't seem to be updating the software much- the android app doesn't automatically send to evernote (Iphone app does). All my notebooks are on my phone and at least with android- not going anywhere. Also for recording it uses your phone- so you have to carry your phone around too. When it is time to replace this one- I am going back to the echo- the desktop software was much better and easier for organization. Notes from the echo can be exported to a pdf. I wanted to try the oxford system- where you take pictures of your page and it syncs with evernote- but I can't find any store that ships to the US. I know that I can take pictures of pages and upload to evernote, but it was much faster to plug the pen into my computer and let it transfer. Jennifer
June 8, 2018 at 18:41 | Registered CommenterJennifer B.
Did I mention that if you are using the paid version of Evernote (which I am) not only will the Evenote app scan, straighten and clean up documents (which would include sheet music) but also make them searchable through Evernote?

It also makes handwriting searchable. So you can use it for handwritten notes too.

In fact I think it will do just about everything mentioned in this discussion without the need for separate scanners, special pens or anything other than your phone - which most of us carry around with us all the time anyway.

It took me about a minute to scan this and get it up on-line, which is less time than it took me to find the sheet music!

Note that I can add comments etc subsequently and they will be updated automatically to the version you get.

(If I don't want you to get the comments, I can just make a duplicate in Evernote and add the comments to that instead)
June 9, 2018 at 12:03 | Registered CommenterMark Forster