By Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D.
For as long as I could remember I’ve always loved using quality writing instruments. When I graduated high school, I could remember getting a Cross pen set from my parents, which I really cherished. After completing my doctorate, my wife went out and bought me a Mont Blanc Ball Point pen which I still enjoy to this day. About 10 years ago, I got back into the fountain pen hobby and have amassed quite a collection of really nice pens. Holding a quality pen in my hands allows me to quickly capture my ideas and I find that I am much more creative and my ideas flow much more easily when holding a pen.
As part of the work that I do as a university professor and as an assistive technology consultant, I have been working with digital pen technologies for over 20 years now. In many instances having the analog experience along with the digital component makes a difference in the work that I do. Just last month, I was really excited to see that Lamy, a noted manufacturer of high-quality writing instruments collaborated with NeoLAB Convergence to create the Lamy safari ncode pen. The Lamy safari ncode pen has the iconic look of the Lamy Safari along with the digital components of the NeoLAB Convergence Smartpen. This is the perfect union of the analog and digital technology, and opens a whole new world for writing instruments for the 21st Century. Using the Lamy safari ncode pen I am now able to capture all my ideas and notes and store them digitally on my iPhone using the NEO Studio app. Since I wear lots of hats, having all my notes in a digital format makes it easy for me to search and find exactly what I’m looking for very quickly. Using the Lamy safari ncode pen I can also quickly transcribe my handwritten notes and bring it into the word processor of my choice for editing. Similarly, when I am collaborating with my colleagues on projects, I can easily share my notes right within the NEO Studio app. One of the really cool features of the Lamy safari ncode pen is the ability to record audio as I am taking my notes. This feature comes in handy when I am working with students and need to record their oral responses. Being able to go back and listen to a student’s response when I am writing up a report is invaluable.
Image courtesy of Lamy
As much as I enjoy pens, I couldn’t help myself and needed to explore the world of Eink devices to see just how they could be integrated into my workflow. Prior to COVID, I was able to get my hands on a ReMarkable 2 Eink device, that utilizes the Wacom Electromagnetic Resonance (EMR) technology. From the start, I would have to say that the writing experience is second to none. Using the Remarkable 2 Stylus the nib glides over the screen for a great tactile experience. One of the benefits of the Wacom EMR technology is that the stylus doesn’t have to be charged – so you are always ready to go. Additionally, there are many companies that sell their own unique styluses that take advantage of the Wacom EMR technology, so that you can choose one that best accommodates for your handwriting and overall feel in your hand. Companies like Staedtler NORIS Digital, Lamy, and Kaweco all have EMR pens with different features that you may find attractive.
Image courtesy of Staedtler
For me one of the joys of using the ReMarkable 2 is that is the fact that it forces you to work in a distraction free environment and really concentrate on the matter at hand. Similarly, using the ReMarkable 2, I have been able to keep my paperless environment much more organized. Using the Remarkable 2 Connect service, all of my documents are automatically synchronized, and it is easy to push PDF files to the device for markup. This is a feature that I use all the time when I am interviewing students who are entering into our graduate programs. I can quickly upload the Interview Form, annotate it and then when I’m done, I can email it to our Admissions Department. This has saved me a lot of time and has made me much more efficient.
All in all, it has been an exciting experience to use both the Lamy Safari ncode and Remarkable 2 for taking and capturing notes.
Image courtesy of Remarkable
Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D. is a school psychologist with expertise in the area of assistive technology. Brian has a passion for using all kinds of digital technology in his professional work. Brian is an Associate Professor of Education at the Saint Elizabeth University in Morristown, N.J. where he coordinates Graduate Programs in Special Education and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in special education and assistive technology. He maintains a consulting and private practice in the area of assistive technology, working with schools and parents to find innovative solutions to support student learning.
Brian is available to consult to individuals and companies that are looking to integrate digital pen technologies into their workflow.
You can contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org
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