I’ll admit it, until recent years I was terrible at taking down good notes. I was often so tuned in to what the person I was meeting with had to say I forget to write things down. It was made worse if they were speaking very quietly in a loud room full of people. So often, I would overlook something important. It’s been a bit of a challenge, but I discovered Livescribe pens a few years ago, investing in a 8GB Livescribe Echo pen which enabled me to capture audio notes and jot down essential details in meetings. I could listen back to parts of an interview or meeting and glean important facts, and this really helped me write better blog posts and stay on track.
Check out the video for the new Livescribe 3 Pens.
Recently I decided to try out the new Livescribe 3, which has been totally redesigned around mobile computing and I gotta tell you, the changes are fantastic. The pen no longer captures audio onto the pen its self, it doesn’t need to. It now utilizes the microphone and storage on your preferred smartphone or tablet device via the Livescribe+ app. If you want to record an interview, simply hit the record icon on your Livescribe notepad paper and your smartphone starts up the Livescribe+ recording app while you write. There are several advantages to this; 1) You end up with much better recordings because you don’t hear that annoying scratching sound in the background, which was made by the sound of the pen writing the notes. 2) You can actually use some of this audio for Podcast content. 3) The person you are meeting with can see that you are recording. One of the things I found most awkward about the Echo Livescribe pen was informing people I was recording. With the Livescribe 3, people can see what you are doing, and the pen is an excellent ice-breaker. While you are writing on the Livescribe paper, your notes are being transferred live onto the app on your smart device, but here is where it gets really cool. You can open up a page of notes on the Livescribe+ app, select a note in the Feed view by swiping right and the written notes will swivel around to reveal cleanly typed text. I was amazed at how well the app understood my writing. This makes it very easy to export notes to email, Evernote or another other text editor for refinement. If you are a blogger, this is a wonderful feature. You can also tag notes so they can be grouped with other topics, and because the notes are being converted to text in the app, your notes are now searchable.
I am very excited about this tool, and how much more productive it is going to make me. You can pick up a Livescribe 3 pen for around $149, but there is a bundle which comes with a nice leather folio and a one year subscription to Evernote Premium for $199. If you are looking to take your productivity to the next level, maybe the Livescribe 3 would be just the thing to get you there.