Best Contraptions for Taking Notes


Remember paper and pens? Oh, you do? Well, forget about them. At least if you want be able to take the best notes you’ve ever taken in a class, and most importantly, know where to find those notes come exam time. Here’s all the gizmos you’ll need to absorb all the pertinent highlights of your countless hours in the lecture hall.

Livescribe Echo


There are a few sweet digital pens out there, and their ability to record what you write is getting better and better. Livescribe’s new Echo, not only stores what you write in easily up-loadable form but as a bonus, it’s also listening to what’s being said. That’s right, whenever the Echo smartpen is writing, a tiny microphone automatically begins recording. Sometimes you can’t make out what you wrote, or you know that motor-mouthed prof spouted something you didn’t quite catch. You’re pen, on the other hand, hears and sees all. No knowledge escapes the grasp of the Echo!

IRISnotes Digital Pen

While other digital pens require special paper or electronic writing pads, IRISnotes has to unique distinction of working on any type of paper. Scrawl down your notes in class in all their chicken-scratched glory, then upload them to your computer wirelessly. Once they’re in IRISnotes converts your handwriting into text, which you can edit, rearrange, add to, or print like any other text document. The text function also works in several different languages. Other digital pens also happen to look and feel like writing with a giant frozen hot dog. IRISnotes sleek utensil is the size and shape of any old fashioned pen, it just has a much bigger brain.


Evernote is a software application that creates a storage system for any kind of information (text, image, video, sound, whatever). Evernote pools everything your put into it into a single database/interface that can be accessed, rearranged or expanded from your computer, mobile device, or online Evernote account. It’s seems simple but what makes Evernote perfect for the student is that is coordinates all different types of files and information. So say, for example, your Art History teacher throws up a slide of a Renaissance portrait that isn’t in your book, but will definately be on the test. Snap a picture of it with your iPhone and save it by it’s name in Evernote. Come cram time, when you search the title in Evernote, the picture will appear, along with all that notes that include it, and any other information you may have thrown in about it in the mean time. Your disparate, disorganized notes have been brought together without you doing a thing. It’s like having an intern inside your hard drive.

Whiteboard iPhone App

OK, this one might seem simple but it can really come in handy. Have you ever used your iPhone and tried to grab a snapshot of the cluttered bullet points your professor has spread across the whiteboard during class? All you got was a muddled grey glare, right? Whiteboard is a recognition system that turns the image into a legible rendering of the handwriting. It’s useful enough for making sense of what you’re seeing, and saving notes in your phone, but just think: if you threw those images in Evernote, the software would turn the images into searchable text. Everything you learned all semester has officially been organized. You’re welcome.

Last day to enter is December 15th!
$10,000 from ScholarshipPoints