LiveScribe your planners and notebooks

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I first encountered Livescribe — the nifty digital pen-recorder that, via a special sort of paper, enables you to take notes and record things at the same time, then replay certain snippets by tapping on specific words — a few years ago. (If you used it during class and tapped your “test Friday” note, for example, you’d skip straight to the part where your professor announced there’d be a test on Friday covering such-and-such topics.)

A friend who’s a grad student and gadget geek had an early version; as a freelance writer, I was intrigued. There are few things more tedious than transcription, and you don’t always need to transcribe every part of an interview — just the parts that are relevant to your subject. However, I conduct a lot of my interviews on the phone, and the idea of having to do them on speakerphone just so I could use Livescribe didn’t seem terrifically practical. And though I don’t recall LiveScribe paper being of poor quality, the pen-and-paper experience is important to me, and I like being able to choose which tools I use for a particular project.

But there are plenty of others, I’m sure, who’ve come to use and love Livescribe. One of our survey respondents even suggested we release a planner format that’s compatible with Livescribe and Anoto (a similar technology I’ve not seen in person).

With the caveat that I have no idea how easy or difficult this would be, I’m curious to know if you agree. Do you use Livescribe? Would you like a Quo Vadis planner or notebook that’s compatible with it?

Oh, and speaking of our planner survey… if you haven’t already taken it, we’d love to get your opinion! It’ll be online here through the end of the month.

10 thoughts on “LiveScribe your planners and notebooks

  1. Yes! I love Evernote and my livescribe pens, both the Wi-Fi because it syncs to Evernote without me having to remember or do anything – and my livescribe3 because I’m hoping it will replace my Wi-Fi pen. BUT I need a planner. I want a planner that automatically syncs. Moleskine has an Evernote Planner but I have to remember to take photos of every page. That’s okay for archiving but not for using the planter across all my devices. Someone needs to make a livescribe planner that automatically syncs to some cloud, (either iCal or Evernote). I’m sure many people will want Google calendar. That’s not my preference since Google has become big brother but I’m sure others would want it.

      • Zebra T-Refill For Telescopic Retractable Rollerball Pen, Medium 1.0mm Tip, Blue, 2/Pack Item: ZEB84422 also know as Pocket Pen expandz mini.

        Also Cross Mini Ballpoint Pen Refils Item:8518-6 works but much more expensive, and not much better performance then the Zebra refills.

    • I would also love to know which refills you’ve adapted! I think a planner for the livescribe would be great… I was just thinking of this, so I hoped online and found your question =)

  2. I tried to adapt to the LiveScribe. The concept is very interesting, but there were two issues I just couldn’t get past:

    1) It’s ballpoint only. Ballpoint is my very last choice: Fountain pen, rollerball, mechanical pencil, jabbing my finger and writing in blood, and then, very last, ballpoint.
    2) Proprietary paper. Yes, I understand the reason. No, I don’t understand why they don’t produce a wider variety of products.

    The ballpoint issue (and BAD ballpoint at that) was the showstopper for me.


  3. I tried and reviewed the Livescribe and I thought it was fun and novel, but not all together practical for my needs. I suspect largely in part because of the limited selection of paper products compatible with it. I would definitely reconsider if y’all were making products that worked with Livescribe!

  4. YES!!! I have gone to the extreme of making my own custom notetaking system by combining the Livescribe paper with M by Staples – a customizable notebook system.

    • I’ve recently purchased a Livescribe pen and ran across the M by Staples system as well and have been trying to create my own notebook combining the two. I’d love to hear/see what you’ve done or any suggestions you have.

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