I thought I’d briefly share a fun gadget that can be used for shorthand note-taking. It’s the Boogie Board 9.7 Sync eWriter. You can think of it as a paperless digital notebook. Its screen and stylus were designed to have more of the feel of pen and paper, so it’s less slippery than writing on a tablet. It will sync with your mobile device or PC with the Boogie Board app (note: it will not work on the Kindle, unfortunately).
I use it to take notes when I’m out and about. If you’re a fan of Evernote, you’ll be able to save your Boogie Board pages as either an image or .pdf, and share them into Evernote with just a few clicks. (Before this, I was taking notes in a conventional notebook and either scanning the pages in after-the-fact or transcribing them in. The Boogie Board lets me skip that step. Definite plus!)
The technology isn’t perfect– as you can see in the bottom photo, some of the lines dropped out during the transfer. My penmanship is better on paper, too, than on the Boogie Board (I hope I’ll still be able to read these notes at some point in the future). The stylus tip is thinner than most I’ve tried and pleasing to write with, but you won’t be able to achieve that fine shorthand plate look on the Boogie Board itself (it does thin out in digital translation), nor will you be able to fit as many words on a page than you could on real paper because of this fatness in line (this isn’t really a problem, since you can save unlimited pages digitally). The usable writing surface is a little smaller than a steno pad sheet.
What it looks like on the PC or after it’s transferred to Evernote (you can see some strokes have dropped out):
Translation: This is a test. This is only a test. If this had been an emergency, you would have been directed to take out a boring piece of paper and to write with a boring pen. :o)
Apart from the Boogie Board 9.7 Sync, we also got both my kids their own Boogie Board 10.5 eWriter (non-syncing type). It is available as a clearance item directly from the Boogie Board website. It is their largest model (its usable writing surface is about the size of a steno pad page). We use this one to play Notehand games. I call out the names of Pokemon critters and they try to write them in Notehand on their Boogie Boards. I figure if they can write down names like Artikuno and Blitzle, they can manage most any word they encounter in the real world! It’s good practice.
Anyway, Boogie Board is another potential tool for shorthand users. You can keep one foot in the traditional camp and another one in the high-tech world. Rather fun, don’t you think? There are videos on YouTube for the Boogie Board 9.7 Sync. I’d recommend taking a look.