Have you ever written down notes during a meeting, but afterwards when you are looking back at the notes, you forget what the context of a particular set of notes is referencing?
Smart pens look to circumvent problems like this that may surface. Although smart pens are most often marketed toward people who have attention span deficits and other similar learning disabilities, they can truly be helpful for workplace efficiency regardless of disability status.
Name View Price
Neo smart pen N2 Bluetooth Livescribe 3 smartpen Black Edition Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen Livescribe Aegir Smartpen NeoLab Convergence Neopen M1 Smart pen
What is a smart pen?
Different people have different needs when it comes to their choice in smart pens, so feel free to use this list to guide you in figuring out what the best smart pen is for you.
Smart pens, like any other pen, allow you to write or draw words and images on a piece of paper. In addition to the obvious usage to transcribe, smart pens also act as recording devices. As you are writing your notes with a smart pen, your pen is also recording audio, and sometimes footage. After you are done with your meeting and you want to go back to your notes, you can easily access the audio recordings from your pen.
By taking your smart pen and tapping on the desired section of notes, your smart pen will playback the audio that was concurrent with that exact section of notes. This differs from simply having a recording device and a pen as this allows you to skip to any desired section of recorded audio without having to sit there scrubbing through the audio.
Furthermore, this helps you save a lot of time and energy as you no longer have to find the exact corresponding audio to a given section of notes. If there is still confusion on what the exact function of a smart pen is, watching a video demonstration is highly recommended. Some smart pens have less features or are rather simple, and we did not include them on this list. This is a list to find the best smart pen for you, so most of these have a good mix of features and utility.
Among the extra features, the best smart pen will also have another added feature outside of the attached recording device. This is the ability to digitize your notes at ease. People who like to digitize their notes often have to retype their notes or scan their notes as a pdf file. On top of the fact that this takes extra time, on occasions in which your notes include a graph or image, simply typing up your notes is insufficient, and having to digitally reproduce images is often a hassle. With the use of a smart pen, everything you write can be easily digitized so the extra work required to digitize notes is removed.
Different occupations may have different needs that a smart pen can fulfill. Since they all come with a variety of added features, the value of their utility is subject to the needs of the user. No single smart pen acts as the end-all-be-all of all smart pens so we have aggregated a list to find the best smart pen for you. If you have ADHD, the best smart pen for you will specialize in the audio recording aspect of the smart pen, but if you are simply doing office work, and you want to easily share notes with other people, the best smart pen for you is one that specializes in digitization. Nonetheless, there are many smart pens that specialize in each of the given categories, but the list that is provided below displays the best smart pen models of their category.
The Best Smart Pens in 2018
1. Neo smart pen N2 Bluetooth
The Neo smart pen N2 Bluetooth is specialized for office use rather than for use by students. It comes with an app that enhances the utility of your pen. Furthermore, this smart pen comes with many ink colors. The only issue is that it has a tendency of breaking if not cared for properly.
2. Livescribe 3 smartpen Black Edition (APX-00020) – best livescribe smart pen
Livescribe smartpens always come with the livescribe+ app. This app allows you to digitize everything you write in real time, which is highly convenient. You can also use this function to do presentations if you do not have a white board available. Using the app will allow you to display everything you write onto a screen like you would in old fashion projectors.
3. Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen – best smart pen for college
This is the only livescribe pen that does not come with the Livescribe+ app, as it lacks bluetooth capabilities. However, this pen can store notes onto Mac OS and Windows, whereas the other livescribe pens must first store their notes on their mobile devices then send it to their computer. This pen is very specialized for recording lectures rather than digitizing, making it better for students.
4. Livescribe Aegir Smartpen – cheapest smart pen
This is the cheapest smart pen on the list. It is a Livescribe pen, so it comes with the Livescribe+ app. The pen comes in many colors, and looks rather similar to gel pens as the colors are generally very bright. This is a very lightweight pen for casual usage, and weighs about the same as regular pens.
5. NeoLab Convergence Neopen M1 Smart pen
The NeoLab pen is incredibly good for travelers who have to write notes. If you are working with doctors without borders and have to write patient notes, this is the best smart pen for you. The pen has a very long battery and is compatible with almost all devices. The lifespan, however, is very inconsistent.
What Smart Pen Should You Buy?
The biggest deciding feature amongst this list of the best smart pen models is actually the software that comes with the products. Generally speaking, the Livescribe models have an edge when it comes to doing a specific task in tandem with a mobile device as their Livescribe+ app works very seamlessly with their pens. However, if you take away the app, and look for the best smart pen model independently of the software, NeoLab smart pens easily hold their own. Obviously, it is difficult to tell you which smart pen is the best smart pen because each of these pens bring something extra to the table that benefits users differently based on need. For example, if you want a pen that can transfer notes to any device, but does not require you to be tethered to a device during while you are writing, the Neopen M1 is the best smart pen for you. In contrast, if you want to be able to update your notes in real-time and digitize them as you write your notes so you can immediately send it to other people after your meetings, the Livescribe pen is the best smart pen for you. Overall, although there is a lot of overlap between the utility of each one of these pens, there is a smart pen on this list that will fulfill all your needs.