Digital scribbling applications and devices: Alternatives to pen and paper notes

Digital scribbling applications and devices are fast replacing pen and paper notes. Read the article to know alternatives outside the tradition of notes and Dictaphones.

Be it the classroom notes or points in a business meeting, with digital scribbling applications & devices, one need not worry about missing down information. These are fast replacing pen and paper notes. This article gives some alternatives outside the tradition of notes and Dictaphones.

Digital pens

Ten years back, who would have imagined that someday, even pens would be digitalized! Today, there are many digital pens available in market. These pens have speakers, voice recorders and data transfer options. Features of two such pens are discussed here.

Staedtler digital pen
This digital pen by stationery maker Staedtler clips a receiver to the note pad and records everything you write. The receiver can be later connected to computer via USB to download the notes in digital format. This will save your time, energy and around 100 pages of A4 text. The pen works on any kind of paper but only with Windows PC. The only downside here is that you have to note down everything manually and what gets missed, remains missed. The pen comes at a whopping price of Rs.11500.

Live Scribe Sky Wi-Fi Smart pen
This digital pen has an in-built Wi-Fi and a microphone. It records everything you write. Using the Wi-Fi, your notes can be synchronized to your smartphone and using the in-built microphone, you can record lectures to create a voice backup. You can listen to the notes through the in-built speaker or plug in headphones. The pen has a memory of 2 GB and can hold up to 200 hours of recording. It works only on a special kind of paper, the details of which are provided on the pack. It works with a large number of apps. The pen requires a charger and has small battery life. It will cost you around Rs.10500.


The voice recorder of your smartphone can store your notes. Just record the lecture, take snaps of the hand written notes and you get a slideshow with audio. You can take the snaps of your notes with the Google Drive or other similar applications. The app will use your camera as a scanner and convert the notes into PDF files.

Note taking applications

There are some very popular note taking applications like Evernote and Microsoft One Note which comes bundled with Microsoft Office. The basic version of Evernote which allows typing notes and has a voice recording function is free of cost. It can be easily downloaded from its official website. For additional features, you will have to pay. Evernote can sync with your smartphone camera so that you can take pictures of notes, documents or the speaker. Images, Word files & PDF files can be attached, annotated and shared as well. You can tag these notes with smart tags. OCR is automatically run on the images containing text. Thus, all the text you share will get converted into searchable text.


There are styluses in market which are great for writing notes and drawing pictures. The standard styluses have a 6 mm tip. Example, Wacom Creative which comes for Rs.6475 is perfect for drawing. It is not very good for writing though. Jot Script from Adonit costs $74.99 and has a finer 1.9 mm tip and is good for writing. Writing with stylus is tiresome though. Typing on a tablet is much easier. Styluses are ideal only for illustrations and drawings.

Read Review of e-Touch Pen: A smart gadget to use Windows 8 on non-touch computers


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