Life at an agency is not for the faint of heart: long hours, aggressive deadlines and demanding clients are practically in the job description. However, what compels most to join the ranks of the marketing, creative and advertising agency org charts is the satisfaction of bringing ideas to life.  Roles may be varied, but the one constant is that it’s an “always on” position. A digital culture and growing competition in the field dictates that ideas have to happen anyplace and anytime; real-time delivery is not a nice-to-have, but a mandate.

From Post-Its to Productivity

When ideation is at a premium, how do agency pros stay competitive and churn out the best work for their clients? Since time and creativity can’t be doled out, the best tools for success are the freedom to think creatively and the ability to express ideas by any medium: words, sketches, drawings or even a combination of them all.  Toggling between different modes of communication is often necessary, so most agencies are familiar with the use of sticky notes, flipcharts, whiteboards and even notepads for brainstorming, taking notes or even presentations, when words and diagrams need to work together. But fleshing out those ideas later, say, when inspiration strikes at midnight, or collaborating with other team members can be a challenge with this analog approach.


There are inarguable benefits of using pen and paper for capturing ideas—from memory retention to greater creative productivity—but what’s missing is the ability to easily access and amplify those ideas.  Bamboo, a leader in digital stationery, offers one solution with its portfolio of smartpads that merge the ease and benefits of pen and paper with digital technology. The current lineup features the Bamboo Folio and Bamboo Slate. All three offer an ideal platform for capturing ideas with pen on paper and the ability to turn handwriting into digital notes and files. A simple touch of a button enables your notes, sketches and drawings to be saved digitally and accessed on your iOS or Android devices, so you can increase your productivity. Inkspace, Wacom’s cloud service, takes it a step further to enable users to save, edit and email files anytime, from anywhere.

Stay Focused and Engaged

It’s not an unusual sight to see a meeting room full of heads bowed, typing furiously on a laptop or texting on a tablet or smart phone. While they may be hard at work, it can be distracting and make the team seem disengaged. Not only that, it can be tempting to glance at that video of cats in boxes rather than the conversation taking place. With a smartpad, you can take notes with the ease and benefits of handwriting on pen and paper with the ability to save, search and share notes later on. Or add annotations to your content to further streamline correspondence.

Deliver in Real-Time

Consumers expect content around the clock, so savvy agencies need to be prepared to go from idea to execution in real-time. Bamboo’s line of smartpads allow users to pair with leading apps that together, streamline the process of bringing ideas to life.  With a paid Inkspace Plus subscription, users can easily convert handwritten notes into text so you can review and search for exactly what you need—no more flipping through pages of notes. Inkspace Plus also allows users to convert that diagram or drawing to a vector file so you can shape and share it quickly and seamlessly.

Collaborate Seamlessly

In an agency setting, team work generally extends to both the client and other stakeholders.  In fact, collaboration is a crucial part of the creative process where ideas can really flourish when multiple points of view converge. Using a smartpad, like the Bamboo Folio, collaboration is simple. By pairing with compatible apps, files can be easily shared, whether notes, sketches or diagrams, and integrated into existing content anytime and anyplace.

Leverage Visual Thinking

One of the best ways to hone your creativity is to give your stream of consciousness free rein and incorporate doodling into your thought process. In her book, The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently, author Sunni Brown suggests that doodling can not only be a form of problem solving but can also help spawn creative breakthroughs. Similar to handwriting (versus typing), she believes visual displays lead to greater memory retention. She’s not alone in her assertions, as other research supports doodling both to increase the flow of ideas as well as to better convey them to others.  During the daily commute or when you’re waiting on that barista, you could be sketching on your Bamboo Slate, just like you would in a notebook or journal with the added ability to share files and collaborate with colleagues. Who knows, maybe that doodle becomes a new logo or tagline, or the groundwork for a process map for a client assignment.

Work How You Want

Bamboo offers three versions of their smartpad with a size and design to fit any mobile lifestyle. Each style allows you to write as you would normally using the Bamboo smart pen with any paper (up to 50 pages with the Bamboo Spark and up to 80 with the Bamboo Folio and Bamboo Slate). Write, sketch, draw and doodle, then press a button to save digitally. Files can be saved locally and with compatible apps, you can organize, save and share files with anyone.

Learn More

Buy Bamboo smartpads


The Bamboo Folio comes in two sizes: one for full-size notebook paper (A4) and a half-size (A5) option. The dark gray cover helps you stay organized and keeps the smartpad protected.

Bamboo smartpads smart notebook

The Bamboo Slate comes in two sizes: one for letter and half-letter-sized paper both come in a medium gray color. The slim design without a cover offers a lightweight, on-the-go solution.

Bamboo Slate smartpad

Bamboo Spark handwriting to text

For more information on Bamboo smartpads, click here.