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Because I believe (and research confirms) that handwriting notes improves the retention of the information you’re hearing and increases creativity, I am always looking for tools that help support handwriting yet allow me to capture the information digitally. I like a hybrid system.
I last wrote about Livescribe in March 2013. The company has been quiet for the last few years. That changed recently when the company announced the availability of their new Aegir smartpen and the release of their enhanced Livescribe+ apps for mobile (Android and iOS) as well as a desktop app. There is also a new Microsoft Office plug-in that lets users print any document with the Livescribe dot pattern.
The new Aegir pen is smaller in size and can store 1,200 pages of notes before it needs to be connected to the Livescribe+ mobile app and lasts for up to 10 hours. Once synced, the mobile app can digitize handwritten notes as text, PDF, image, or vector.
Notes can then be retained, archived, and easily shared in multiple formats. In addition to ten hours of battery life, the Aegir smartpens and Livescribe+ application also include the following features and benefits:
- Print documents with Livescribe’s dot pattern – As mentioned, Aegir users can print Word documents or PowerPoint slides using the Livescribe plug-in and a color laser printer. Any notes, comments, or annotations made on the printouts will be synced into the master document when the smartpen is connected to the computer.
- Pencasts – Capture audio while writing using the Livescribe+ mobile app to add voice to your notes. Tap anywhere on your notes to play back audio from that exact moment in time, as many times as you need to hear it.
- Handwriting made searchable – The Livescribe+ app helps users search through their handwritten notes by keyword for quick and easy reference, even from notes taken weeks or months before. Its tagging feature helps to group notes and stay organized.
- Storage & Sharing Support – When connected to the Livescribe+ App, notes are seamlessly transferred and digitized. Notes can be shared as Text, PDF, Image, Vector, or automatically synced with the cloud (Dropbox/Google Drive/ OneNote/Evernote).
Pricing starts at $99.95 for the standard edition. Education bundles, which include the standard edition Aegir smartpen, two Livescribe lined notebooks and ADNA stickers, are available for $109.95. Professional edition bundles including the professional edition smartpen, a lined journal, and ADNA sticker are available for $119.95. For Educational pricing, contact their education store. To obtain bulk pricing or inquire about reseller opportunities, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being able to record the audio while you’re taking notes can be an excellent tool for producers who are going through the discovery phase with a prospect. This allows you to make sure you concentrate on what’s being said, instead of making sure you are writing down every piece of data and information. Having the recording allows you to go back to read and listen to what was being said while you were taking notes.
The lower price point, a more stylish pen, the increase in storage capability for handwritten notes, and the enhanced app functionality make this a winning combination.
What tools have you found useful when taking notes?