Livescribe 3 Smartpen Review

livescribe3

Bottom Line…

I really like and recommend the Livescribe Smartpen 3. I do recommend that you look at all three pens and find the one that meets your needs the best because these pens are not just generational iterations (yes the tech likely improves) but they are completely different offerings.

If you found this review helpful please consider buying from Amazon.

The Review….

I use my Smartpen for work. I am currently working on various projects that require numerous workshops and meetings that all present information that I will either need to know (or reference) at a later date and/or require me to capture actions items for follow up.

I have now been using the the Livescribe 3 Smartpen for just about a month now in the scenarios referenced above and I have noticed a few things that may or may not be helpful to anyone contemplating if this tool would be of any benefit.

1. The tool does everything it claims to do. I have not yet found it lacking in what I thought it would do, but I do wish the Livescribe+ application had a few more features.

The 2 features (or maybe better stated as improvements) that I think would go a long way would be the following.  1) The ability to export converted handwriting text documents with inline pictures. Very rarely do I need or want my notes shared in a PDF format.  2) Improving the handwriting to text feature to include more words per line. I find that the typical sentence written on A5 or 8.5×11 paper requires me to format every line into a single contiguous line instead a sentence with a carriage return right in the middle of it.

Ultimately, what ends up happening is I take a few pages of notes and take a picture or two of a whiteboard and then head to my desk to review my notes. I select and convert all of the handwriting to text and copy the notes to an email and sent it to my desktop. I then pull up Livescribe+ on my laptop and begin concatenating chopped sentences and putting images inline into a word document for distribution.This really is much less work for me than starting from scratch with just my handwritten notes.

2. I must point out that action items work great. I am able to convert an action or todo item in livescribe+ and email it to Toodledo; my task management platform of choice.  Contact information and events work much the same with their respective apps. The integration with iOS reminders works well too.

3. I do wish this product had a desktop companion application. I suspect that given Livescribes 3 different pen offerings they would likely suggest that I need two pens. Given that I like to see my handwritten notes while i am editing the converted text i have considered using the hdmi output options for my iPad to connect to my second monitor.

4. The last real observation of the pen that i think is of note is that I have had to improve my penmanship and change up the style of my notes. The OCR on this product appears to me to be very good. The Livescribe+ app has converted some of my penmanship that had me scratching my head a bit, but for consistency I have had to get better. No more running letters together and just scribbling over a letter clear it up. No biggie! I have also moved to writing more sentence like notes instead of the outline approach I generally use. I find that using dots and arrows converts to text okay but adds work to the cleaning up of the converted text. I also found that circled numbers don’t have a text conversion and make cleaning up your notes even more work.

5. Another minor observation is that I never intended on using the pen outside of work. I have however found myself using the Livescribe journal (came with the pen package I chose) for all my personal notes. These notes tend to be lend itself the the feature of the product much better. I generally only need to convert a few sentences that are easily put together on my iPad and then used with either reminders, sent via email or etc… very quickly.

6. Having all of my handwritten notes be searchable and not lost in my notebook is invaluable! I know applications like Evernote are also a solution to this issue, but I prefer not having to store these types of notes in the cloud.

If you found this review helpful please consider buying from Amazon.

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