As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I generally prefer writing on a computer over pen and paper, because what I write is then searchable and easily retrievable. I can edit it, use portions of what I wrote in other work, morph journaling pieces into essays, and so on. Technology makes writing easier. On the other hand, there are times when using a computer is not practical or desirable. Like when I’m out in nature; when I want to draw a diagram, picture, or mind-map (creative cluster); when I don’t have my computer with me; or when I need to slow down, to feel a pen in my hand, to write viscerally.
Then, I pick up my trusty Livescribe smart pen and write and draw to my heart’s content knowing that everything I do will sync to my computer and Evernote (another writing tool I’ve blogged about).
Not only will the Livescribe record every stroke of my pen, it records audio. Have you ever reviewed your notes and wished you’d more accurately written down what the speaker said? Or interviewed someone for an article and realized you didn’t write down the exact words you want to quote? What about wanting to import a drawing you made to your computer? The smart pen has solved all these issues for me, because I can simply press record, and write down key words or draw symbols. Later, I can hear exactly what was said when I wrote that word or drew that symbol.
What is a smart pen and how does it work? The picture above, which is a screenshot from Livescribe’s web page, shows what the pen looks like. And the short, slick, promotional video below describes some its features. I have an older, refurbished version of the pen, which still works quite well for me. Though all technology has it drawbacks, I’ve found this tool to have more advantages than disadvantages.
Smart Pen Pros:
- I can easily capture audio and refer to it later
- I can write whenever and wherever and import my writing automatically to Evernote.
- The handwriting is searchable.
- I can pair drawings and creative clusters with typewritten prose
- It offers a way to centralize, categorize, and retrieve all my writing.
Smart Pen Cons:
- The pen is large in my hand and uncomfortable for long periods of writing
- You have to buy special paper and ink cartridges, which cost more than regular paper and cartridges. (You can usually find them for less $ on Amazon.)
Please leave a comment. Have you ever tried a smart pen? If so, how is it working or not working for you?