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When I meet with you, I take quick notes while I’m talking and listening. My PA then opens a file and titles it with your name and your company name (if you have one).

My problem has always been retrieving the file as I’ll maybe remember your first name, your surname or you company name, so what filing sequence to use?

The only solution in the past was a cross referencing system which took a lot of maintaining and somehow never really worked. Plus I see a lot of people and ended up with hundreds of files, many of which were the result of only one meeting, never to see the person again.

Now I have a Smartpen. Wow! It comes with A5 notebooks using special paper (although you can’t see what is special about it). When the meeting starts, I switch it on and write my notes in the notebook. After the meeting or at any other time, I connect the pen to my computer via a USB and it downloads an exact copy of all pages since my last download. Now the real benefit. When I want to track notes relating to any particular person/company/event etc, I simply do a search and up come all the pages containing the search word (and it was in my writing – no training required).

Then if I want to add to the notes on any page, just switch on the pen and start writing. Somehow it knows which page I’m on and it picks up precisely where I left off.

If I promise to do a quotation, I write the word Quote with details of the quote required, then later do a search on “Quote” and up they all come. Once the quote is done I cross it out so that it doesn’t come up on the next search.

The pens also come with software to convert to real text (as opposed to handwriting) and also Wi-Fi so that you don’t have to plug in. Both of these options are at extra cost.

I bought the pen, spare inks and spare notebooks for just short of R3 000 from the Gadget Shop. It’s called a Smartpen Echo and it has changed my life!

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