Over the weekend, I ordered a Livescribe 3 Smartpen. I had seen the advertisement from the company:
Then I read some reviews, most of which seemed positive for what I want to do with it. I also saw that the pen is compatible with Evernote, which I already use and am familiar with. At $149, it was worth it to me to try it out.
The setup was easy. It only took a few minutes to set up the pen to work with my iPad. I downloaded the Livescribe+ application, turned on the pen, paired it with my iPad, and it was ready to go as soon as it updated the firmware. Less than five minutes from the time I opened the box until I was writing with it.
The pen didn’t do as well with my script, but the pen had no trouble with my print (see sample below).
I’m okay with that! I’m well aware that my handwriting is spidery and sometimes hard to read. But my print is pretty neat, and the pen had no problem reading it.
From there, it was easy to send the writing to my Evernote account, either as a .png image or as a .PDF document. I created a new notebook in Evernote to save my Livescribe work in.
The thing I love about Evernote is that I can access my information on my phone, my iPad, and my desktop seamlessly across all three devices. The text of any PDFs I create in Evernote can then be copied and pasted directly into my word processor and edited there.
So what does this mean for me?
I prefer to hand write my rough drafts. However, I generally type them because it’s less time consuming to do so rather than to write out my ideas on paper, then stop and type the same thing.
With Livescribe, I can write in the medium that suits me better.
Rough drafts can be handwritten in any location, transformed with a quick touch of my finger by my phone or iPad into typed text via Livescribe/Evernote, and then when I’m back at my desk, I can open the file, add the text to my writing, and edit it. BOOM.
Using Livescribe is going to be an enormous time saver. But it also means that I have much more mobility as well. All I need is my phone, the notebook, and my Livescribe pen in order to have a mobile office. I don’t need to take a laptop with me on long trips, and I’m not tied to having internet service in order to use the product.
My writing can be sent via Bluetooth to my phone or iPad, then synch to Evernote once I have wireless access.
This is HUGE!
I’m attending two writer’s retreats in the coming months, and I’m also planning a vacation overseas during the Christmas holidays. I can participate fully without having to lug around a heavy laptop case or worry about internet access while I’m traveling.
I can do more of what I love in the way I prefer to do it with less hassle and in a shorter amount of time.
Best $149 I’ve spent in a very long time.