I am an inveterate note taker. There is not a meeting or conversation during which I don’t take detailed notes.
When I started using mobile technology, I began experimenting with handwriting applications for my iOS devices. None of these worked very well for me. My requirements were that the app had to work seamlessly with Evernote, and that it had to be extremely easy to use.
I was never satisfied with Evernote’s Penultimate, but found GoodNotes and Noteshelf adequate when it came to integration with Evernote. What I found difficult to achieve was the ease of use. I would have to reach for my iPad, turn it on, start the app, create a new note and start writing at the beginning of every meeting. You would find me fumbling with my devices while other participants got fidgety and irritated. Clearly, nothing could beat the physical notepad and pen. So, I used this conventional method, and later scanned my notes into Evernote. Till I discovered the Livescribe Pen.
I use the Livescribe 3 pen, and write on a special Livescribe notebook made of acid free paper. You could also print your own Livescribe paper if you had a compatible printer. Although the pen is a bit pricey, the supplies are reasonably priced. I have paired the pen to the Livescribe+ app on my iPhone 6. The notebook I use is set to automatically upload to Evernote when I write. The app uploads each page as a separate note to my Evernote default notebook, which I process later as part of my workflow.
Livescribe+ is a well-executed app that will work on compatible iDevices and which is highly configurable. It captures handwritten notes as they are written, and can be sent to the Mail app, a printer, or to Evernote. It also takes advantage of the iOS 8 share sheet to allow opening on other apps, thus increasing its usefulness.
My physical and digital worlds have merged seamlessly and unobtrusively when it comes to note taking. I can write notes without spending time setting up, thus ensuring that meetings and phone calls start and proceed naturally.
I also like it that you can buy Livescribe sticky pads. I have these pads on my desk for writing quick notes, and which also get exported to Evernote without any intervention required from me. This is a picture of my desk as of this moment.
Livescribe has brought the dignity back to handwriting. It has enabled a mobile workflow without having me jump through hoops to take notes.