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Special pen help!

(6 Posts)
LightShinesInTheDarkness Wed 08-Jul-09 11:08:57

A large part of my job involves minute-taking and I don't do shorthand!

I've been told about pens which you use to take notes as usual, then download to your PC and it converts to text.

I use a standard PC with Microsoft Office Word.

Does anyone own/use one of these gadgets and, if so, can you recommend one or let me know of any downsides?

HolyGuacamole Wed 08-Jul-09 21:06:20


Snorbs Wed 08-Jul-09 21:35:22

I remember them (they were known a "digital pens") from a few years back but I haven't seen any around for a while to be honest. They never were very popular as they simply didn't work particularly well.

All the ones I saw had to be used with special paper that had a microscopic pattern of dots across it so the pen's camera could work out which way the pen was moving. This made them expensive to use in the long run as without the special paper they didn't work.

Handwriting recognition is always a bit of a lucky dip, too; sometimes it works great, a lot of the time it's more hassle than it's worth as it doesn't read the words reliably and so you're left trying to work out what "important - hyfyglky snnoab pfui" means.

You need to write very carefully and clearly for handwriting recognition to work reliably. That would rather defeat the object for you as it would slow down your minute taking.

How extensive are the minutes you need to take, and how vital is it that they're 100% accurate? You may find that a digital voice recorder (or Dictaphone, if you want to be all 20th Century grin) works better as you can then just type up the important bits later on.

CMOTdibbler Wed 08-Jul-09 21:53:52

My boss has one of the pens that uses the special paper, and will also voice record. The good bit is that it actually does write, so you have your physical notes as back up too. He loooooves it

LightShinesInTheDarkness Thu 09-Jul-09 13:01:46

snorbs - mmm, my handwriting is not all that clear so it may be a problem. (I write hyfyglky snnoab pfui all the time - its one of my favourite phrases!)

Dictaphone is not my thing, as participants would not want to be recorded and I'd be for ever trying to delete the 'not for the Minutes' bits!

CMOTdibbler - go on, ask him what its called for me, will you?

I had no idea about the special paper though.

CMOTdibbler Thu 09-Jul-09 19:35:40

I'll ask him - I tried to find it online last night, but couldn't find the one he has

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