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Livescribe Pen

By Cathy Margolin,

Last Spring, I learned from some professors about a marvelous way to record your notes without scanning and without reams of paper scattered all over the place.  Using the Livescribe pen, which has a recorder and a pen which records what you write, you can write your notes and just pull them into the computer via USB cable, into the Livescribe Desktop program (free download).

I recently upgraded from the Pulse version (grey and uses a cradle to pull information into the computer- I used a 2GB which recorded about 90 pages with not much audio) to the Echo 8GB version . 

One of the reasons I like the pen is that using the Livescribe notebooks (available in many different sizes), you can take notes 2 ways:

1. Recording your pen strokes which you can pull into the computer and save off as a pdf. This is great for those confidential internal meetings.

2. Recording both pen stokes and any audio which you can then pull into the computer and save as a pencast pdf.

You can also upload your pencast to and using that url of where the file is located, send the url to your audience to see and hear you draw and talk at the same time. I think this would be great for accounting, math, chemistry classes as well as for any type of note taking that may not need to be structured.

You can also share using Google Sites and OneNote, and send  pencasts from paper to other applications such as email, Google Docs, Facebook, Evernote and mobile devices, including the Apple iPad and iPhone (

The reason I like the Echo pen better than the old version Pulse pen is that is uses a micro USB out of the top of the pen to pull into either a PC or a MAC.  All my phones now use the micro USB so I have plenty of extra cables around for pulling into multiple computers.

It is available in the 2GB (make certain it has starter dot paper as some smaller packages do not), 4Gb and 8GB.

I have used the starter paper, the flip paper pads (the small notepad like a reporters notebook but shorter, 3 x 5) and also the Black lined journal for traveling (has an elastic to hold the page, 5.5" X 8.25"). I have been known to keep one journal in my car and another journal for my main work location.  Since I have 2 pens, I keep separate notebooks for each one (just in case I forget it somewhere).

I love this Livescribe pen! Now I do not have to scan my notes anymore!

Update Jan 2013:

Love the pen. I have used it to go through my notes for the year to prepare my summary for my review and it made it all so easy, just by flipping through my Livescribe desktop. Many people at work and other places have are now using them to take notes (most meetings) and also audio where you tell people you are recording them- usually big lectures/conferences, so you do not forget anything.

Another trick I use, is that I keep a nice bound notebook in my car for those meetings away from work, I keep one notebook  for work and another one for my student work ( I am working on a doctorate). And they all get uploaded to my Livescribe desktop without all those odd pieces of paper I used to have around- it has really cleaned up my clutter.

There is now a new SkyPen which includes WiFi. More later when I get one to revie.

 2GB: 4GB:




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