Smartpens are a new office trend with ever-expanding possibilities. The functions of smartpens have grown leaps and bounds since the technology first came about, and they’re still increasing.

Smartpens basically record what you’re writing and transfer those notes onto your computer. Each smartpen has different abilities, however, some of which are more useful than others.

IOGEAR Mobile Digital Scribe

This smartpen was the first on the scene. Because of that, it doesn’t have all of the great features that you might find in a newer model.

It captures and stores everything you write and doesn’t require a special notepad or piece of paper. This makes it particularly easy to upload your notes to your computer. If you already have the Mobile Digital Scribe connected to your computer it will automatically transfer any text and drawings directly to the screen.

Logitech IO2 Digital Pen

The Logitech IO2 Digital Pen performs most of the basic functions that you can find on IOGEAR’s pen. Once you transcribe your notes, you are able to save them in a number of different formats and file types.

After you save them, you can search the files for words and phrases in order to help you scan notes more easily. You can search by date, file type and file name. Unlike the Mobile Digital Scribe, you cannot use any surface to record your notes with this smartpen – you must use Post-It notes or Franklin Covey’s iScribe software.

Livescribe Echo

The Livescribe Echo is undoubtedly the most innovative of all the smartpens. It allows you to not just record your handwritten notes, but audio as well. It then allows you to save those audio files in a variety of different formats.

The coolest feature that you’ll find on the Echo is the Pencast functionality. A Pencast allows you to play back the audio and synchronize it with your notes, making it much less complicated to keep a detailed record of your thoughts without writing down everything. Apple has also built a free app that allows for easy sharing and replaying.

These pens are pretty cool tools that can be ideal for just about anyone. They take a great deal of time out of transcription and make remembering particulars of a meeting or conversation much easier.

To check out a review of the Livescribe Echo, click here.