There are several new tools to make the experience sketching and note-taking on digital devices more rewarding. Almost every pen gadget boasts an army of features but I haven't yet found one that compares to the simplicity and comfort of a traditional pencil and paper approach. I think we're moving in the right direction with some of the latest software that allows cloud-syncing and remote collaboration but the hardware is far too cumbersome for most of my illustration and brainstorming sessions. I already have enough gadget accessories to lug around when I travel and it's rare that any of them are as agile and portable as my notepad. I imagine someone will eventually discover a holy-grail drawing technology that not only fits in my back pocket but also doesn't rely on electricity. I'm sure mankind will look back decades from now and realize most of our writing and drawing gadgets were clumsy toy prototypes that led to more ambient solutions. It's amazing how far mankind has evolved drawing and word processing tools in the past centuries, yet the fundamental mechanics of sketching graphite on an analog slab hasn't changed that much since our neanderthal cave painting days.
Here's a round-up of some writing and sketching tools that are nice, but won't replace my analog sketchpad anytime soon: