Monday, June 06, 2016

**RESOURCES** For Note-takers (May 2016)

How is it that I am just now hearing about the wonder that is digital writing? You guys have been holding out.
Image result for digital smart pens
If you are a writer (or student, or other notetaker) whose mind works the way mine does and- Wait. Let me back up. I don't think that anyone's mind works the way mine does. What I should say is that if you are the type of writer who:
  • Comes up with the most brilliant ideas ever at the most inconvenient times, and/or
  • Tends to write on any and everything when your ideas and thoughts strike, and/or
  • Loses some of your amazing ideas/thoughts because of lost notes, and/or
  • Sometimes like to write things down (instead of using a keyboard), and/or
  • Is sometimes so much of a scatterbrained creative genius that all the mind-mapping software in the world can't help.
Basically, if you are like most writers and/or creative personalities, then you might benefit from gadgets that help you keep better track of your ideas.

Personally, I want one of those digital gadgets that let you take notes on the go, then transfer those notes to you computer. Preferably, the notes will transfer to text format. I'd dance around the moon if I could find something that would do all that and work with MS Word.

So far, I've seen some of the digital pens that sound interesting:
  • Livescribe sounds neato. I'm confused about whether it works with a PC or just phones and tablets. This was one of the first "smart pens" I heard about. Thing is, apparently, you need to use a special type of paper. I'm bookmarking this for later reading.
  • Equil sounds most interesting to me at first glance because I saw the words "real paper, real ink" and thought of not having to spend so much on refills and such.
  • IRISNotes is on my radar because, right off, I see that it's claimed to "type what you write". That is exactly what I need. EXACTLY. 
  • Like some of the other pens I've seen, the Neo Smartpen sounds like it might be more for artists than for writers. 
  • Bamboo Spark sounds interesting also. I'm a little confused about whether or not it's limited to a Wacom tablet.
By the way, the drool factor was highest for the Moleskin "Writing Set". Who am I kidding though? I can't afford regular Moleskin notepads, no way am I going to get tangled up with a gadget from the brand. Besides, there are too many downsides just to have something with the "Moleskin" name on it. (There's a reason I drive an old, old Honda. Two words: cheap and reliable.)

Since there are so many potential pros and cons for any of these (depending on what the user needs), I'm checking a lot of lists and reviews. This one is where I've started.

So, if you are like me, you might have questions about which gadget would be best for writers to use. If you are more up on all of this than me, I hope you can help ease my confusion. I'm still on the hunt for a pen that will work well for me. I will be back to do another post when I've narrowed down options based on the following:
  • Affordable initial cost (I'm thinking most writers I know want a range of $100 - $150), and
  • Most affordable upkeep (refills on ink/cartridges/special paper etc.
  • Easiest to use on the go
  • Reliable at saving & transferring written notes
  • An ability to recall stored notes would be nice
  • Works with a PC/Not limited to smartphone or tablet. (If it works with only a PC, I'm fine)
  • Out of the box "user-friendly" setup and management. (Most writers don't want to have to deal with anything but getting their ideas down!)
  • Warranty/Guarantee. Better yet, a trial period.
  • Decent online and/or customer support.
Is that asking for too much? I don't know, but it sure doesn't hurt to ask anyway.