Livescribe and Evernote
Livescribe is a clever little company that manufactures a line of electronic pens. These pens are designed to enable users to save handwritten notes in digital form. I’ve been a Livescribe user for a few years now – ever since my last bout with school, working on an MBA. My wife was working on her ED masters at the University of Cincinnati at the same time. She came home one weekend raving about this new gadget that she was seeing all over campus – a Livescribe pen. I kidded her that “all the cool kids had a Livescribe pen.” A few weeks later she gave me my first Livescribe Echo pen for my birthday. I guess she wanted to be married to a cool kid.
Since that time, I’ve filled shelves of notebooks and am on my 3rd pen. If you use a tool several hours a day, most every day, you’ll wear it out. The Livescribe is no exception, but I keep replacing it because it is so useful to me. The ability to save handwritten notes in digital form without having to transcribe them is priceless.
It could be that having to use a Livescribe notebook imposes a certain discipline that sets me up to keep my notes together. Before, I used an assortment of ruled pads to take notes and sketch out ideas. Now, it’s all Livescribe all the time.
This year, I replaced my tired Echo pen with Livescribe’s latest model, the Sky WiFi enabled pen. There was a fair amount of controversy last Fall about the new pen because of Livescribe’s decision to use Evernote as the pen’s digital repository. For me, that wasn’t a bug…it was a feature!
I have been a rabid Evernote fan since reading Daniel Gold’s great little eBook on using Evernote with the GTD productivity system. Evernote is a great data management platform, and I love it. After reading a host of complaints on various blogs from Livescribe users who objected to being forced to use Evernote, it occurred to me that many of these objections might vanish for users that embraced all that Evernote could bring to their Livescribe experience. In this spirit, I’ve jotted down a few notes to help smooth out the Livescribe Evernote experience and bring additional utility to both of these great tools.