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Which Livescribe smartpen Echo or WiFi is the smart choice for you?

Being productive and effective in meetings, especially in managing commitments from meetings, invariably means having to make notes so you can refer to them later, make decisions and take action on them.

The challenge with traditional pen on paper is that you can’t synchronise your paper notes with your digital tools. So there is always an element of duplication in transcribing notes and the problem of having data in paper format and resultant actions (emails / Tasks / Calendar entries) in digital format

I have been working on bridging the gap between paper and digital for years.

Back in the day I was an early PDA and Stylus adopter, I used early hybrid Laptop/Tablets and – of course play with the current crop of tablet formats. All are useful but, as yet, none have ever been able to replicate the immediacy and intimacy of writing notes or sketching out diagrams on a sheet of paper.

Then back in July 2011 I discovered the Livescribe Echo and ditched my Montblanc for business meetings and became a Raving Fan. The Echo digitised my notes, turned them into PDFs, morphed them into digital text through OCR, created ‘Pencasts’ and enabled audio recording, storage and playback. All in a pen format!

Later on, in March 2013 the wireless version – Livescribe WiFi – came along, directly linking notes created on paper to an Evernote account. This was useful but created challenges in the way your files could be manipulated from within Evernote. I liked it for a while and reverted to my non-wireless Livescribe Echo smartpen for business meetings, preferring the flexibility of file management within my Livescribe Desktop

Livescribe promised enhancements to the WiFi experience and they are slowly delivering on them. You are now able to archive your Livescribe WiFi notes, releasing capacity on your pen.

I am also told that other enhancements are in the pipeline, so I still have my Livescribe WiFi safe to hand. I will write further when these enhancements are released.

For the time being though, I’m packing my Livescribe Echo for business meeting note taking.

You can check this Smartpen Comparison Chart  to help you decide which Livescribe smartpen you want to go for

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Richard Maybury August 9, 2013, 6:40 pm

    Hi Ian, yes, the Evernote Moleskine approach can be useful.
    Being an obsessive observer of people behaviour – especially in meetings – I know that laptops and tablets can trigger distraction / disengagement behaviour; even in one-to-one meetings!
    Managing our focus and our energy is tough enough without almost infinite distractions being only a click away!
    Richard

  • Ian Harvey August 9, 2013, 8:54 am

    Another twist on the same point is http://evernote.com/moleskine/ which is a Moleskine notebook optimised for photographing to Evernote. It also provides handwriting recognition and with stickers can categorise your notes as well. My reason for moving to it was quite different. I found having an iPad open in meetings too distracting, so it’s there only for reference now.

    Naturally this doesn’t offer audio recording, so is functionally less rich.

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