Bamboo Spark

I started using a Bamboo Spark a few weeks ago and it's already an important part of everything I do.

At first I was skeptical but after the first sync to my Samsung phone I was sold.  What is really remarkable is that this product is so darn good right off the bat.  It makes one wonder what Wacom will add to the next iteration.

Not sure if this is for you?  Well, consider these suggestions ...

1.  Make notes at a meeting - any meeting - and the notes will be with you no matter where you go.

2.  Got an idea for a new or better _________?  Jot down your idea and you've always got that fabulous idea with you.

3.  Like sketching?  Do it in your notebook and sync it to your tablet or phone.

4.  I've been using my Spark to capture potential customer information - name, phone number, email address and product. 

I've shown my Spark to a bunch of people and everyone was totally amazed and immediately told me how they or someone in their family absolutely needs their own Spark!

Bamboo Spark Models

Models

At present there are three different folios ...



Smart Folio with Gadget Pocket

A smart folio with additional space to carry your
smart phone or extra paper.



Smart Folio with Tablet Sleeve

A smart folio, with a flexible sleeve to hold a tablet with up to a 9.7 in (diagonal) display.



Smart Folio with snap-fit for iPad Air 2

A smart folio, with a flexible sleeve to hold a tablet with up to a 9.7 in (diagonal) display.

What's Included


In the box you'll find ...

  • The folio you selected.  There's an off/on switch on the bottom edge and a charging port on the top edge.
  • The Spark Pen with two extra refills and a removal tool.  Extra refills are available at any office supply store (Staples, for instance).  The top of the pen is an antenna.  
  • The Spark Paper Pad.  It's a nice looking pad but there's nothing special about the paper.  You can use any paper you want including cheap stuff from a dollar store.  I use scraps of paper at my part-time job.  The only requirement is that the paper has to be used on the pad (the grid work is under the pad).
  • Charging cable.

After taking the Spark out of the box it will need to be charged using the USB cable - the orange and green lights near the Sync switch will be lit.  

The charge will last for about a week if you turn off the Spark when you're not using it - shortly after getting my Spark I just left it on all of the time which wasn't a good idea. Now I turn it off after using it and the charge seems to last about a week.

Using your awesome new Bamboo Spark

The first thing to do is to download the appropriate app- either for Android or IOS.  

You'll find the Android app on Google Play and the IOS version on the APP store.

Once the correct app is installed you'll need to connect the app to the Spark via Bluetooth.  In either case it's a simple procedure and here are some screen shots (from my Android in Settings) of the steps ...






Turn on your
Spark.






Press Hold the Sync Button
for 5 seconds.






When the Spark and your Device are connected, Tap the Sync Button to confirm.






Name your Spark!
(I selected Sparky)






Select the Orientation.

Top - Landscape top.
Right - Portrait right.
Bottom - Landscape bottom.
Left - Portrait left.

Not only can you sync your notes/drawings/doodles to a device - you can also sign up for the Wacom Cloud and sync to all of your devices - my primary device is my Galaxy Samsung S4 and the notes/drawings/doodles end up on my iPad Mini.

That is so cool and so useful!

Working with A Spark

As I mentioned earlier, I've found all kinds of different and useful things to do with my Spark, as a matter of fact something new seems to present itself everyday!

I was planning a PaintShop Pro tutorial (written and video) and created a Mind Map to help guide me through the video.  After completing the map with the pen I pressed the Sync button and when I checked my Samsung there it was - here's the screen shot ...


Fixing an Oops - Splitting

I was recently involved in a product training and made my notes on my friend, Sparky - my first test drive with my new Spark.

This was the first time I used more than one page for notes and I didn't press the Sync button until the end of the product training and this is what happened (screen shot from my iPad Mini) --->

As you can see, it's totally useless.  Here's what I learned from that - you absolutely need to press the Sync button after completing every page or this is what you get!

Shortly after this fiasco I learned something else - this can be fixed quite easily!

On the top right corner of the screen is the word SPLIT.

When you select it a new screen comes up with a slider at the bottom and a red button on the right side.  As you move the red slider to the left it erases the last page that was entered character by character!

Here's a GIF of the Split function in action ...


As the little red dot moves from the right to the left you can see the page becoming clearer and clearer.  When the page you are splitting is nice and clean, press SPLIT to complete the task and then go to the Library.

If you're splitting more than two pages then the ones that still need splitting will be visible - do the same thing over with them and Voila - a nice neat two or more page document!



Select and Combine


On occasion I made a couple of notes that didn't fill a page and then sync'd.  For whatever reason, I made more notes at the bottom of the same page and then sync'd again.

What I had were two digital pages for one paper page which is annoying if the two notes should be on the same page!

Here's how to make that happen ...

The first thing that needs to be done is to Select the pages that you want to combine.  

This is a screenshot of my Samsung Galaxy S4 - the Select choice appears when you tap the three little dots on the top right of the screen.

On my iPad, Select is visible on the top right of the screen when in view all notes mode.  

When you tap on Select all of the notes are visible and all you need to do is tap on the ones that need to be combined into one page - a little check mark will appear on the Selected pages.

When they are all Selected, simply tap on the little dots (top right, Samsung Galaxy S4) and then tap on Combine - all of the selected pages have been combined into one page!

Here's the three notes...

and the final note after being combined ...

Exporting Notes

Notes can also be exported as test (still in beta) an Image or as a PDF file.  If you choose WILL then you can send your notes to Bamboo Paper as well.

And More

There's more to learn about Spark and here's where you will find some fabulous inspiration.

Check out this link - www.bamboo.wacom.com - for some fabulous suggestions to get the best out of your Spark.

Cornell Notes


Cornell Notes have been counted on for generations to aid in recording and retaining information, and what better way to capture, shape and share this technique than with Bamboo Spark?


Decision Matrix


Undecided about how to spend your important time - use this decision matrix, also known as the Eisenhower Decision Matrix - to focus in on the most important task.


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SBI!