If you’ve ever been in a meeting with someone using a laptop to take notes, you’ll know they can get in the way of good old-fashioned human interaction. As well as creating a barrier between meeting participants, laptops can be a source of distraction with email notifications, instant messaging and other interruptions diverting attention away from the meeting.
Pen and paper is usually a better option, but it is useful to have notes in electronic format on your computer where they can easily be accessed. So what to do?
Previously it would mean either using a laptop, or taking handwritten notes and typing them up or scanning them. But both of these options take time.
Step forward, the Livescribe 3 Smartpen!
The Livescribe 3 allows you to take notes on paper whilst syncing everything you write to your mobile device via Bluetooth. You can then use the Livescribe app to view the notes, convert them to text, email them, or sync them to your favourite notebook app such as Evernote.
I’ve been using a Livescribe 3 for the past few month to take notes in meetings, during training, and at seminars that I’ve attended. I have these automatically sync to my Evernote account, so I can access them in the same place as all of the other notes I’ve collected digitally. Evernote also recognises the handwriting as text which means my handwritten notes are fully searchable.
The Livescribe is especially useful for meetings and training when using the Pencast feature to record audio. If you’ve forgotten exactly why you wrote something down, you can easily listen back to that part of the recording by clicking on a note in the app.
To see the Livescribe in action.
You can also view the notes I used to prepare for this blog article.
To capture notes, you do need to purchase special notepads and the smartpen requires a compatible mobile device to function. If you own and iPhone, iPad or Android phone then you’ll likely be ok, but check for compatibility on the Livescribe website before purchasing. The pen battery lasts up to 14 hours and is recharged using the included USB cable.
The Livescribe 3 is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.