Thursday 24 June 2010

LiveScribe - Review and RFE

It's not often you'll see me do a product specific review or comment, but @JoeBaguley introduced me to a technology that has been really very useful and has no become part of my day working live in a positive way.

Both Joe & I were at a conference and started the first sessions taking notes, me on my tablet PC and Joe on his LiveScribe pen ( - needless to say 4 hours later my tablet battery was flat but Joe's solution kept on going without faltering for the entire day (and the next one for that matter). During a lull in the second day (and whilst my tablet still had it's new battery life that day) I went online and ordered my own LiveScribe setup.

I'm now starting to see people use these in many meetings (@mikiSandorfi being the latest) - everybody I show it to 'gets it immediately' and wants to know costs and where to buy it from, so here's the list of LiveScribe equipment I purchased :-

Mini Leather book
A4 Ringbound Notepads
Pen Refills


  • Great product, it just works
  • Simple to use - naturally being male I've never even opened the manual, let alone read it...
  • Love the variety of notepads - current I make the most use of the A4 sized ring-binder pads, feeling very natural in size, format and usage. But I also carry the mini leather notepad with me permanently in my jacket pocket
  • Makes maintaining an electronic version of your notes & records trivial
  • Battery charge lasts for ages and so it would appear does the 4GB memory
  • Its great to be able to sync & recall the audio directly against the areas you've written

So time for some Request For Enhancements (RFEs) :-

  • Gel nibs - it would be really good to get some replacement gel nibs rather than ballpoint
  • Coloured writing - it would be great to be able to 'set colour' of writing in electronic copy (ie select different pen colours when handwriting regardless of the nib's actual ink colour) - and have the electronic version show these colours
  • Re the desktop application :-
    • Need to have settings for the directory locations for data storage (at least I've not been able to find how to manage this)
    • Option to backup/recover data files used by the desktop application
    • Whilst the OCR search is great, it really does need a built in, and decent, OCR conversion to MS office formats
    • It would be useful to have integration with MS OneNote
    • The desktop desktop application really needs to be working via corporate firewalls and proxy servers

Overall? Sometimes even something so simple and basic as a pen & paper can be improved to a dramatic level that makes something so much more suitable to revised work requirements. Would I buy it again? Absolutely without thinking!

1 comment:

  1. I am sooooo behind the curve. I just bought the Italix "Parson's Essential" italic fountain pen. It does not take batteries, though.