Electronic Writing Pad
Do You Need an Electronic Writing Pad?
An electronic writing pad can go by many names; digital memo pad, electronic writing tablet, digital writing pad, electronic tablet, and several other monikers are common. But in general what these devices do is allow you to take notes, draw diagrams and so forth in class, in meetings, and elsewhere and to store them digitally.
This allows the user then to search their notes quickly and easily, to share them with others via e-mail, and to have them stored for safe keeping. These electronic writing pads are great for both students and professionals who have to deal with a lot of written information.
On this page you can learn more about these devices and find some that may make your work much easier. One of the options on this page, the Boogie Board, is actually an LCD writing tablet that isn't really intended for organizing and sharing your notes online. It doubles more or less as an electronic drawing pad or white board.
Photo by Electric Images.
What Will An Electronic Writing Pad Do For You?
A digital writing pad or electronic writing pad will allow you to have not only a hard copy of your notes but a digital copy as well. This means your notes are backed up and won't be lost easily. These digitized notes also make it easier to find information even if you have taken thousands of pages of notes. They will include software that allows you to organize your documentation, search it, and find exactly that one piece of detail that you need right now.
Many of these devices allow you to highlight, annotate, and even bookmark information.
Of course, with your notes being stored in electronic fashion, it's also easy to share your notes immediately with anyone. And in fact, you can share them with everyone, all at once.
Finding the Right Electronic Writing Pad
When you're shopping for an electronic writing tablet you'll have a few things to consider, here are some basics:Writing AreaSure you'll want the tablet to be portable, not too large and not too heavy. However, you'll want to be sure the writing surface is a size you'll be comfortable with using. Some will prefer the 8" x 11" standard paper pad size while others many prefer the 6" x 9" notepad.MemoryThe storage space will determine how many pages of notes you can take before downloading. Some of these electronic writing pad devices will feature an expansion slot, other's won't.Battery LifeMost of these digital writing pads will operate with batteries. You won't know for sure until you use it, but looking at the manufacturer's estimates as to the operating life per charge is recommended.CompatibilityCheck to be sure the software that is included with the tablet will be compatible with your computer OS.The SoftwareKnow what features are important to you and compare that to what the software offers. Editing is pretty basic, handwriting recognition assures accuracy and saves frustration, while the ability to annotate and bookmark is available on some but not all products.Navigation and SpeedReading current customer reviews and professional reviews is about the only way to get a feel for how smoothly the device and it's software functions before you have a chance to get your hands on it. Audio
Some electronic writing pad devices will record audio as well, allowing users to pair up verbal notes with their written pages.
Electronic Writing Pad with OCR Software
This digital notepad allows you to take and share notes, minutes, sketches and diagrams via e-mail. It features a built in voice recorder that will file the audio linked to the corresponding written page. You can organize and edit notes, convert them to BMP, HTML, PDF, JPEG, ONENOTE, TOP, TXT, Word Doc, and ZIP files.
When this electronic writing pad is linked to your PC via USB port it will even function as a PC tablet. It comes with OCR handwriting recognition software, a 4 color ink pen, and spare ink cartridge. It has 32 MB built-in memory and will store 160 pages of written notes and 130 hours of voice recordings. Of course, this is expandable up to thousands of pages of stored information. It operates off of a rechargeable poly-lithium battery which will provide 20 hours of operation per charge.
DigiMemo L2 Electronic Writing Pad
This electronic writing pad is another option for those who want to be able to store, edit, organize, highlight, and annotate their notes, mintues, and more. By digitizing this information, users can also easily share their documents with others via e-mail. This portable device uses regular paper, thus in the end, users have both a hard copy and a digital copy of their work. The writing area measures 8" x 11".
Pages can also be saved as BMP, JPG, GIF, or PNG files. This digital memo pad can even function as a graphics tablet for your computer. It provides 32MB built-in memory, expandable via it's CompactFlash slot. It will store 999 digital pages with the built-in memory and will operate for 100 hours with 4 AAA batteries. The estimated life of the digital pen is 14 months.
A Quick Look at the DigiMemo Electronic Writing Pad
CrossPad Electronic Writing Pad
If you prefer a smaller writing pad this Cross Pen electronic writing pad may be ideal. It is built to use a 6" x 9" tablet. Users are able to store 50+ pages of notes which they can search for by keyword, page number, or date. Of course by uploading their digitized notes, they can also cut, paste, and send notes and mintues via e-mail.
This digital memo pad operates off of 4 AAA batteries which have an expected life of 3-4 months with moderate to heavy use. The pen operates with one AAAA battery and may run as long as 12 months.
The Boogie Board
The Boogie Board is unlike other electronic writing pad devices. It isn't really a good tool for taking notes as it does not store the information you record. However, what it does do well is act as a "scratch Pad", small drawing board, or whiteboard. It features a pressure sensitive writing surface that allows you to write or draw on it with the included stylus, your fingernail, or any other non-marking or scratching instrument. Kids can draw pictures, adults can doodle, mom can keep her to-do list, teens can use it to do calculations, and parents can leave messages for their spouse and kids on it.
It measures 8.8" x 5.6" x 1.5".