If you have ever tried writing on a tablet or phone screen, you know that it is a less than amicable experience. Especially, when you have horrible handwriting such as myself, writing on a screen leads to an illegible amount of scribble that ends up being completely useless.
Sometimes paper simply beats digital. The experience of writing on a tablet, no matter how far the technology in touch screens and digital pens has progressed, is sub-par at best.
However, even though writing on paper is better than glass, you don't want to wind up having several notebooks piling up around you. Nor do you want to take the time to scan each page into your PC for viewing later. With the Livescribe smartpen, you can now take notes on paper and have them automatically be replicated digitally with zero effort.
HOW DOES IT WORK
The Livescribe Smartpen looks like a simple (slightly large) pen. However, it connects to your tablet or smartphone and syncs with the Livescribe application which is available on iOS and Android. The pen pairs to your device with a Bluetooth connection.
The caveat with the Livescribe is that you have to use the Livescribe "Dot Paper" notebooks which contain a specific dot pattern, allowing the pen to know exactly what you have written, and where.
You can also record audio along with your written notes by tapping the record icon on the dot paper notebook. This could come in helpful while conducting an interview, for example. A useful feature which is highlighted in the video below.
The pen contains a small about of memory as well, allowing you to save a small amount of written text on the pen should you be away from your smart device while taking notes.
As mentioned, you're bound to using the Livescribe Dot Paper for your note taking. However, you are not bound to the Livescribe application for storing your notes. The Livescribe pen has third party integrations for Beesy for iPad, Noteshelf for iPad, Microsoft OneNote, and Evernote.
The cost of the Livescribe pen may give pause, but if you take a lot of notes and want to sync and store them digitally, and with ease, it may be worth the investment.