I am a big fan of the Livescribe digital pen, simply because it lets me combine my natural, non-intrusive, note taking with pen on paper with the productivity gains of having those notes available to me digitally on any platform.

Well, Livescribe Inc. today announced the release of the Livescribe 3 smartpen, the fastest way to make handwritten notes useful on a tablet or smartphone and this is my brief first look.

First off, the smartpen looks elegant in black and chrome. Not that the looks are massively important; after all I ditched my MontBlanc for my Livescribe Echo back in 2011. They have also upgraded the ink cartridge to a premium Swiss made model. It is designed as a premium writing instrument, with the look and feel of a quality ballpoint pen combined with the intelligence of a mobile device.

Livescribe is positioning this particular smartpen as their ‘Mobile Companion’ and they continue to offer the Echo and the Sky Wi-Fi models. I briefly position all 3 at the end of this post.

The Livescribe 3 smartpen lets you

• Write on Livescribe dot paper and watch everything appear instantly on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch devices with Bluetooth® Smart wireless technology.

• Use the built-in microphones on a tablet or smartphone to create interactive “pencasts” that synchronize recorded audio with written notes.

• Convert handwriting to text to create tasks, reminders, contacts and calendar events.

• Add photos and text memos to notes to add context and clearly communicate details.

• Share written notes, photographs and diagrams as PDF files over Mail, Messages, Evernote, Dropbox and other apps.

The Livescribe 3 smartpen captures everything written on Livescribe paper as soon as it starts up, and then transfers that content to Livescribe+ when the app opens. This allows people to take notes with just a smartpen and notebook, and then do more with that information on their mobile device later.

I have found that pen and paper notes simply become more valuable when they are available on the digital devices we use daily. There are now 3 ways to integrate your handwritten notes and audio recordings with your digital records…..

1. The new Livescribe 3 smartpen connects to mobile devices with Bluetooth Smart wireless technology.

2. The Sky wifi smartpen uses wireless cloud syncing straight to Evernote.

3. The Echo smartpen connects via a USB connection to a Mac or PC, providing the perfect solution for any device.

I will update here as best I can. Till next time…..

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