Smartpens are a new office trend with ever-expanding possibilities. The capabilities of smartpens have grown leaps and bounds since the technology first came about, and they’re still expanding.

Most smartpens simply translate your handwritten notes into computer files for easier review. Exactly what each smartpen is capable of, however, varies greatly.

IOGEAR Mobile Digital Scribe
This smartpen was the first on the scene. For that reason, it doesn’t have all of the great features that you may find in a newer model.

It captures and stores everything you write and doesn’t call for a special notepad or piece of paper. This makes it especially easy to upload your notes to your computer. If you already have the Mobile Digital Scribe linked to your computer it will automatically transfer any text and drawings directly to the screen.

Logitech IO2 Digital Pen
The Logitech IO2 Digital Pen performs most of the basic functions that you can find on IOGEAR’s pen. Once you transcribe your notes, you are able to save them in a number of different formats and file types.

You can then search for words and phrases by date, file type, or file name. You can add items to your calendar just by writing them down. The Logitech IO2 Digital Pen doesn’t work on any surface like the IOGEAR pen, but it works with Post-It notes and Franklin Covey’s iScribe software and digital planning pages.

Livescribe Echo
The Livescribe Echo smartpen is by far the most technologically sophisticated of all the smartpens out there. It not only transcribes everything you write down, it also records audio and converts the recording into a number of different audio file types.

The Livescribe Echo now has a feature called Pencast, which plays back your audio and synchronizes it with the notes you took. You can play these Pencasts with your iPad, iPhone or iPod making the files super easy to share. This is great for any individual who wants to share the contents of a meeting with their coworkers but doesn’t have the time to tell them about it or transcribe the entire thing.

Smartpens are a cool technology that is sure to keep becoming more popular in the office setting. They make it easier to become a more efficient worker with little effort.

To check out a review of the Livescribe Echo, click here.