New Study: Handwritten Notes Essential to Knowledge Workers

Research from Independent Consulting Firm Reveals that Two Thirds of Knowledge Workers Think Better Notes Would Improve Job Performance, Company Decision-Making

OAKLAND, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — May 22, 2011Livescribe, maker of the groundbreaking Pulse and Echo smartpens, today released a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Livescribe which shows that today’s device-centric information workers rely on handwritten notes and believe that better integration of handwritten notes and spoken information with their digital workflow would significantly improve professional productivity.

The research was unveiled this month during a San Francisco panel discussion during which influential technology executives and Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Frank Gillett discussed key findings (video available here). The survey results show a tangible need for technology that brings handwritten and spoken communication into the digital domain and integrates the information management capabilities of computers with the ease and convenience of note-taking. This is apparent even among those who have not previously encountered smartpen technology like the Livescribe Echo and Pulse smartpens.

While workers and their employers alike increasingly favor the use of laptops, mobile phones, tablets and other peripherals to manage overall workplace information, an overwhelming majority (87 percent) of business professionals use handwritten notes to complement these technologies. Also, three out of 10 review such notes on a daily basis.

Findings included:

  • 87 percent of information workers make use of handwritten notes
  • 38 percent of workers use handwritten notes to organize their priorities through to-do lists
  • 67 percent felt that better note-taking would improve both their personal job performance and decision-making within their organizations
  • 75 percent saw value in the ability to computerize, index and search, and share handwritten notes and associated audio

The research reinforces industry perspectives that suggest devices spanning home and office – such as smartpens – are helping people to develop “personal clouds” of disparate information available online.

“Digital devices and services will combine to create the personal cloud, an integrated resource for organizing, preserving, sharing and orchestrating personal information and media… users will rely on the personal cloud for retaining all their digital information,” wrote Frank Gillett, vice president and principal analyst, Forrester, in the July 2009 report entitled The Personal Cloud: How Individual Computing Will Shift From Being Device-Centric To Information-Centric.

"People in all walks of life and at every stage of their education and career find handwriting to be a critical method for recording and processing information," said Byron Connell, CMO, Livescribe. "We believe this commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting confirms that our vision for a smartpen platform that enables the capture, access and sharing of written and spoken information any time, anywhere is well aligned with the needs of today’s fast-moving knowledge workers.”

Forrester Consulting conducted the research via an online survey of 1,000 knowledge workers in 21 different industries in the U.S. during a two-week period in March, 2011. Slight weights were added to industry, region, age, race, gender, and education to more accurately reflect the population.

About Livescribe

Founded in 2007, Livescribe has developed a new low-cost mobile computing platform to enhance personal productivity, learning, communication and self-expression for written and spoken information. The company’s platform increases the fundamental value and use of writing and speech by enabling the capture, access and sharing of this information any time, anywhere, on any device.

**Members of the media who are interested in reviewing additional research findings should contact Jody Farrar ( Email Contact) or Gretchen Bender ( Email Contact).**


Jody Farrar
Email Contact
For Livescribe
Gretchen Bender, 415-365-0471
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