Your Reading List & recommendations

Hi-tech handwriting – and why it’s good for business

Handwriting isn’t a long lost art just yet. But with typing and tapping on the rise, there’s a lot less pen meeting paper in the workplace. This isn’t a surprise. After all, cloud computing, smartphone data speeds and productivity applications are better than ever.

But don’t discount handwriting just yet. Studies have shown the act of scribing is better for memory than typing, strengthens the left and right cortex links in the brain and can contribute to increased levels of creativity.

Here are three pieces of tech that can help reintroduce handwriting into your digital business.


Wacom Bamboo Spark

This notepad folio is a lot smarter than it looks. With space for a tablet or a smartphone in the inner lining, it pairs with any Android or iOS device to turn your scribbles into text.

Thanks to an electro magnet under the notepad on the folio’s right-hand side, it can track your pen strokes. After every page scribed, simply press the button in the centre of the folio to send your scribbles or works of art to your phone, tablet or laptop.

The app can then convert your page into a PDF, an image, or even let you paste the text directly into an email, document or presentation.

Wacom Bamboo Spark

Livescribe 3 Smartpen

Prefer a traditional pad of paper? The Livescribe 3 could be just the thing. There’s a camera and a sensor in the pen, and when writing on the special Livescribe dot matrix paper, it tracks the dots, digitises your writing and sends it straight to your phone or tablet.

Usefully, it files each new notebook, so you can flit between them without muddling your filing system, and like the Wacom Bamboo Spark, you end up with digital, sharable, handwritten notes.

Livescribe 3 Smartpen

Microsoft Surface 3

Now we’re talking. This multi-purpose tablet packs a pressure sensitive display and with an optional Surface Pen to offer handwriting support in a number of great ways.

First off, tap the button on the back of the pen that comes with the Surface 3 to open a new note in OneNote. Thanks to an Office 365 subscription, available from O2 Business, you have up to 1TB of cloud storage, ensuring you never run out of digital paper.

Your digital doodles can then be dropped straight into a Word document or PowerPoint presentation.

That isn’t the only way the Surface can get your brain firing with handwriting. For every text entry field, you have the choice of typing on the folio keyboard, tapping on the on-screen keyboard or handwriting to your heart’s content.

As these gadgets show, handwriting’s far from dead, and with a modern twist, integrating handwriting into your day to day workflow could even help boost your brainpower as well as your business.

If you want to know more about the smartphones that connect to the Wacom Bamboo Spark and Livescribe 3, or if you want to pick up a Microsoft Surface 3 on O2 Business, visit the O2 Business shop.


For free, impartial business tech help and advice, why not book a session with an O2 Guru? They’re available online, in store and over the phone.

Book a session now


All articles


Public sector

Safe & secure


Tech advice

Work smarter