A Mighty Pen, DIY Press Kit, and Tax Time Mileage Tracker

A monthly rundown of the latest gadgets that can help you succeed in real estate.

October 1, 2010

Never Miss a Word

It’s possible that this pen really is mightier than the sword. The Echo Smartpen has a built-in microphone that captures every word of client meetings, lectures, and important conversations. It holds up to 800 hours of audio and includes a speaker and a standard headphone jack for playback. Connect the pen to your computer with a micro USB connector to transfer your audio as well as any written notes and drawings that you make on your Livescribe Dot Paper. Want to share your notes and recordings? Pencasts can be sent as an e-mail or embedded on Facebook or on a Web site or blog. $169.95 for the 4-gigabyte version; $199.95 for the 8-gigabyte version. Livescribe; Oakland, Calif.; 877–727–4239; www.livescribe.com.

Do-It-Yourself PR

Looking for new ways to publicize yourself and your real estate services? The PR Toolkit for Real Estate Professionals is a collection of customizable templates, tips, and instructions that will help you create a real estate–specific public relations campaign. Learn how to write press releases, implement social media strategies, boost your search-engine results, and become a trusted contact for newspaper reporters. The kit, which can be downloaded from the Web immediately after purchase, also includes a free PR consultation via the phone, e-mail, or Skype. $49.99. JW Public Relations; Kalamazoo, Mich.; 269-274-4071; www.jwprtoolkits.com.

Track Your Miles

Quickly and easily record your tax-deductible miles driven for business with MileBug, a mobile app available for the iPhone and Android and Symbian smartphones. The app breaks your records into detailed reports by vehicle or by business. Tailor the interface with frequent destinations, choose kilometers or miles, or set up custom rates. When tax time comes, all your mileage is in one paper-less location, which can be e-mailed or printed as an Excel file from your computer. Available through the iTunes App Store. $2.99. Izatt International; American Fork, Utah; http://milebug.com.

Shane Michael Singh is a Chicago-area writer and a former REALTOR® Magazine intern.