I know, I know - Filofax produced digital paper when digital pens first arrived ten years ago, but nobody bought it. So why should they try again now?
The Livescribe pen, that's why.
When digital pens were introduced a decade ago it was confidently predicted that we would all use them to write documents and translate them into computer format using handwriting recognition software.
Writing is much more intuitive than typing, they said, and everyone would just love to ditch the keyboard and use good old pen and paper. But they didn't. The software for translating handwriting into computer typeface could not handle the average scribble, so digital pen users found they had to spend as much time correcting the final document as they did writing the thing in the first place. So digital pens bombed, except in specialist form-filling applications.
However, the Livescribe pen finally cracked it, with a digital pen that is genuinely useful for lots of regular people. Anyone who takes notes at meetings, lectures or briefings finds the Livescribe totally brilliant.
It is a digital pen with a dictaphone inside. At the lecture (say) you switch it on and it records the spoken words. As you listen, you make notes. Afterwards, the pen links the audio with the written words, so you can listen to any part of the lecture simply by pressing the nib onto the paper where your note is. No more 'fast-forwarding' looking for that particular quote - just select the written note and it is played out to you.
For journalists like me it changes the way we work. Students, lawyers, insurance assessors and many others are adopting it with speed.
The only drawback is that the Livescribe pen needs special paper printed with a background of barely-visible dots to work - so you have to buy your notebooks from them. They are good, and not particularly expensive, but they are all that is on offer. And Filofax's digital paper only works with the old Nokia and Logitech pens.
So I want Filofax to produce Livescribe-enabled paper so I can have a choice of really nice binders that reflect my personal needs and tastes.
And if Filofax were to make pen-holders large enough to accommodate the rather chunky Livescribe pen, that would be an added bonus.
You can find more about Chris and his past-times and interests on a couple of his blogs: Rowing For Pleasure and Ornamental Passions