Technology Tingles: The Smartpen

Technology continues to move ahead exponentially. Trying to keep up feels like an intellectual marathon. And can be a financial drain.

Evernote (another great program) first mentioned a ‘smart pen’ …  I met it with the same skepticism I felt when techies announced grocery stores would soon scan bar codes on items at checkout.  Imagine the length of checkout lines without bar codes and scanners.

Livescribe Echo™ Smartpen 4GB Bundle

Today my daughter emailed me an example of a smart pen.  She took notes during a meeting using this mini-computer pen, and used it concurrently to record the meeting.  She downloaded the writing (in her actual handwriting) and the audio to her computer. She sent an email attachment and I was able to see her notes and listen to the recording on Adobe.  Amazing!

How are you all doing with technology?

Okay, now you might ask … “Why do we engage in blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads and Stumbleupon, with Google+ on the way as well?” Partly because keeping up with technology is wise, but mainly to keep in touch with others worldwide.   I want to be ready  on the day in the future, when I can reach out …  hoping my cyber friends and connections can help me celebrate a published book! Others may be working on other creative endeavors, or achievements and sharing can be exciting. Or keeping in touch with family and friends.

But beware the dragon! Social networking has big teeth and can swallow gobs of time, and even our active lives.  It requires a time budget and there is a continual learning curve.  I’m working on it! Both the learning curves and the time budgets.  Got any pointers to share?

See y’all Friday with another video to send you into the weekend on wings.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angela Wallace
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 20:06:36

    I’ve heard of the pen before. I’m not a fan of new technology. It usually takes me a while to embrace it. Same for social media; I only joined Facebook a year ago. I’m enjoying Twitter and blogging though. 🙂

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    • mspicher
      Aug 10, 2011 @ 21:07:39

      Hi Angela. Thanks for the visit! (I so want to visit all the blogs of those who have commented here. I will have some free time soon!) But each of us moves into new techie adventures at their own pace. Technology is full of expensive toys (I love new toys!) Great to wait until it feels right. Twitter and Facebook challenge me beyond the very basics, but I’ll get there!

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  2. Kate MacNicol
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 17:33:14

    The pen sounds like a great idea especially for taking notes at meetings or conferences and for doing personal interviews. I love the way you described the big dragon of social media. I’m still trying to balance it. I wrote down my hours the other day and I was spending more time on social media than my W.I.P. — not good. I hope that once I get the hang of everything I’ll do better. You blog looks wonderful Marion. Great job! Love the header.

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    • mspicher
      Aug 10, 2011 @ 20:46:59

      Kate, thanks for complementing the blog and reading about the Smartpen. Regarding time management, check out Kristen Lamb’s blog. She gives permission to not do it all and much more. You know about Kristen’s book, but for the sake of other readers, I will list it here … “We are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” (currently on sale for $4.99.) The book provides excellent insights and guidance for creating a blog that folks will want to read.

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  3. tamerietherton
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 10:28:32

    That pen IS way cool. I want one. I’m learning to balance family and computer time, but now with all this social media stuff, it gets hard. I might have to set time budgets – I love that idea.

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    • mspicher
      Aug 10, 2011 @ 20:40:47

      Balancing family and computer time is such a huge task. I am retired and am always short of time! Adding social media challenges and joys adds yet another task, though pleasurable. A time budget is key, but I have yet to find the lock! (smile) So who needs sleep? I will add this wee sentiment … as I look back I would like a few more memories of family time, as opposed to watching “laugh-in” in TV.

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  4. Laurie Ryan
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 09:55:46

    That pen is WAY cool. I have to admit to being a bit of a tech junkie. 🙂 As for social media, I dabble in it, but find it hard to play with it consistently. It’s such a time drain, I do need to get better at that, though.

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    • mspicher
      Aug 10, 2011 @ 14:52:22

      And a great tech junkie you are! I use your fabulous spread sheet (available for free download) on your website for tracking writing progress, and what’s left to do and how long it will take, etc..

      You may have mastered the social networking time-management whirl, as you have a website, and a wonderful shared blog. And you have published novels!!

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  5. patriciasands
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 07:48:10

    Thanks for that Marion! What an amazing “pen”. You are so right about the time constraints and learning curve of social media. Onward!

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    • mspicher
      Aug 10, 2011 @ 14:40:31

      My daughter and I plan to use ours when we attend the Surrey Conference in October. They don’t yet record their excellent workshops like RWA National does, so we plan to attend different ones and share our notes later. Might record them as well if the instructors don’t mind.

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  6. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 06:30:24

    I think social media is important and can be a great way to meet people. It can be a time drain though, you have to manage it carefully! Your blog looks great. Love the design!

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