I was recently introduced to Livescribe while attending a conference. The writer was saying that she swears by it.

Given that I prefer to write than to type, my ears definitely perked up when she mentioned that it can be used to convert handwriting to text.

I was wondering if there were any other writers out there who use Livescribe and what were your experiences with it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Livescribe:


  • I use a LiveScribe 3, and used to use a Sky Wifi. The LiveScribe 3 is a lovely pen with a garbage app that it's reliant on; I just have it send all my pages to Evernote when they're finished. The Sky Wifi is a bit clunky as a pen, but it syncs directly to Evernote, no middle-man app. I haven't tried any of the rest of them,

    Honestly, I bought my first LiveScribe on a whim, thinking it'd be a fun toy. And it really revolutionized my writing process. Being able to easily write things down on paper and then have them sync to the cloud and show up with the rest of my notes and research has been great.

    But I've never had much luck with the "handwriting to text" thing. My handwriting is just too bad. So I haven't even played with that for a while. They have a new handwriting-to-text app connected to it, but when I tried it out a few months ago it was so buggy it practically didn't work at all.

    So if the handwriting-to-text works for you, that's awesome. But if it doesn't, you can get your handwritten notes onto your computer pretty much just as easily by using a smartphone to take a picture of your notes in Evernote and selecting the "Document" setting so Evernote automatically cleans up the photo.
  • edited September 2015
    Still, I really quite like my LiveScribe. (To the point that I recently lost my 3, and immediately ordered another to replace it.) I'm much more reliant on handwritten notes now than I used to be, and I find writing things out to be a useful way of getting around writers block. Is it worth $120 for a Livescribe 3 for that purpose? YMMV.

    Oh! The writing/voice-recording thing is cool, too. You can record voice while typing — and then go back in your notes later and tap on any word on the page, and it'll play whatever was being recorded at the same time you wrote that word down. It's pretty cool, although I liked the implementation on the Sky better than the Livescribe 3.
  • Thanks @BrandonSeifert I am very much a handwriting to text kind of person. I think it may be worth a closer look.
  • Well, even if the straight-up handwriting -> text function doesn't work with your handwriting, if you upload the PDFs of the pages from the Livescribe+ app into Evernote, Evernote makes the handwriting searchable. You can't copy converted text from Evernote, but you can search within a note — and you can export a searchable PDF too, which is also handy.

    I haven't checked to see if there are other smartpens on the market, too. There may be a better option than the ones I've tried.
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