A different kind of capture

By Bob Larrivee posted 04-02-2013 15:05


Imagine you are in a meeting where you are taking notes. You have a pen in hand and you are writing, drawing and doing all of those things you do while you are in a meeting. The reason you do this is to capture the information being shared, list any action items you may inherit and so on. Once the meeting ends, you take these notes and typically do one of two things with them, type them into a word document or scan them and save them for future reference. In either case, you are converting them to digital form. Now imagine you are talking those same notes but as you write them, they are instantly converted into a digital form. What I am saying is that you no longer have to type them out or scan them as they are automatically saved digitally for you. Confused? So was I at first, then I saw a colleague at AIIM13 using an interesting device from Anoto referred to as a digital pen.

This device allows you to write your notes while simultaneously converting what you write into a digital form that can then be saved as a PDF and stored in your repository. When I first looked at this, my reaction was one of why do this if I have tablets that can take signatures, but I then realized not all businesses are willing to invest at that level and as I spoke with Peter Nicholson of Anoto, I realized that this device combined with paper forms like those found in healthcare, makes sense. Having spent time with Doctors, and knowing they are paper intensive with many pre-printed forms, the patient could use a digital pen to complete the form and based on the options chosen, the information is automatically uploaded to the system making it immediately available. When combined with recognition technologies, this information could also be processed and used as metadata, etc.

In my view, this is another means of capture that could be considered in an overall capture strategy. While it may not meet all of the needs of an organization, it could be yet another tool in the mix of scanners, cameras, and multifunction devices to round out the capture requirements of an organization. I guess my point is this, not all capture requirements are the same and the means of capture these days is not limited or constrained to one specific device type. Organizations need to identify, document and analyze their business requirements related to capture and make their selection based on what best meets the needs of the organization. In many cases, it will be a blended approach.  What are your thoughts? Have you had experience with digital pens and developing a blended capture strategy?

If you are ready to move forward and are finding yourself stuck or unfocused and are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started. Be sure to investigate AIIM's Capture training program.

And be sure to read the AIIM Training Briefing on How to Assess Scanning and Capture Requirements (authored by yours truly). Click on the image to download and read. 

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.

Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM

Email me:

Follow me on Twitter – BobLarrivee    

#Anoto #BusinessProcessManagement #ElectronicRecordsManagement #digitalpen #ScanningandCapture