Livescribe Pen: To Buy or Not to Buy

  1. 1
    The concept of the Livescribe pen is amazing. The price = Not so amazing.

    For those who are not yet familiar: What is a Livescribe pen?

    Basically it is a pen/recorder in one. There's a special paper that you write on as your recording. This allows you to "click" on your notes and hear that point in the lecture. For more explanation go to www.livescribe.com

    To anyone that uses it: Does it work? And is it worth the investment?

    How long does the ink last?

    When you archive a notebook, what exactly happens? Can you still play back the recording while looking at the notes?

    If I take notes with the livescribe pen, and then playback the recording, can I add notes to the notebook? I don't necessarily need my added notes to be linked to the lecture, but I do want to be able to add in anything extra that I may have missed.


    Thanks for any feedback!
    Joe V likes this.
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  4. 25 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I don't use it, but I considered it. Honestly, I'm glad I didn't spend the money on it. Recording lectures is good in theory and some people thrive on it but in reality relistening to lectures may be super low priority. i have enough to do without relistening to 5 hours of lecture every week. I record my lectures on my iPad (also links my typed notes to the audio) but I rarely relisten to it, mostly because my professors pretty much just read off of the powerpoints anyway. And I find listening to something I've already heard to be boring.

    If you have super lecturey professors who test off of what they say and you actually relisten to the lectures, I think it might be a good investment. And your classmates will love it if they miss a class and you can send them the notes AND the recording. But for me it wouldn't have been a great investment at that price. I'd probably run out of the paper and never reorder it anyway, knowing me :-)
    Last edit by Stephalump on Oct 15, '12
  6. 0
    I've had one for almost 2 years now. When I got it I initially used it in my pre-req pharmacology & nutrition classes. It worked great, was handy and I would listen to lectures over again while I was driving. However when I started actual nursing classes I never used it because I found writing on the power points worked better for me. And I could never spend as much time re-listening as I did sitting in class. I have used it once or twice since then, and it was strictly as a recorder (ie during an interview).

    I would skip the pen if I had to do it again, the initial outlay is expensive and the paper is costly. The refills never lasted very long and I didn't like how they wrote, at all. I ended up buying other refills on amazon, cut them to length and then fill the end with play doh - worked great. If you are an audio learner, I'd just pick up a recorder and save some money.
  7. 0
    Thanks for the input, it's very helpful. I'm more of an auditory learner, so much so that I literally hear the professor talking when I'm taking tests. While I'm hearing them in my head I can usually visualize the associated words/pictures which is why I think this smart pen is so awesome. It seems to function in the exact way that I learn, however I am a little hesitant due to the high cost.

    I honestly hate power points, they make me incredibly lazy, so I'd like to stay away from note taking directly on them if I can. In all of my previous classes that were strictly power point lectures I would pass with flying colors, but come out not knowing a thing.

    Plus I have a 45 minute drive to campus {Awful I know}. Rather than wasting those valuable two hours a day {if not more with traffic} I can absolutely see myself replaying the lectures throughout my drive....

    I'll be making a pro/con list shortly as it's how I seem to be making most of my decisions these days.
  8. 0
    Quote from bdicenzo
    Thanks for the input, it's very helpful. I'm more of an auditory learner, so much so that I literally hear the professor talking when I'm taking tests. While I'm hearing them in my head I can usually visualize the associated words/pictures which is why I think this smart pen is so awesome. It seems to function in the exact way that I learn, however I am a little hesitant due to the high cost.

    I honestly hate power points, they make me incredibly lazy, so I'd like to stay away from note taking directly on them if I can. In all of my previous classes that were strictly power point lectures I would pass with flying colors, but come out not knowing a thing.

    Plus I have a 45 minute drive to campus {Awful I know}. Rather than wasting those valuable two hours a day {if not more with traffic} I can absolutely see myself replaying the lectures throughout my drive....

    I'll be making a pro/con list shortly as it's how I seem to be making most of my decisions these days.
    Some schools already record lectures - check with the school before you go out and buy anything. I know several students in my program bought recorders of some sort, only to find out they were being provided podcasts and recorded lectures in at least 2 formats. Plus they provided the power points, and the power points in word format so that you could type into the notes, or print and write by hand whichever works better for you. Best of luck!
  9. 0
    Very good point CP2013. I don't believe my school as anything like that. I know that they use power points, but I think you already know how I feel about those

    I did speak to a sales rep for Livescribe which helped to clear up a few questions I had regarding how the whole thing works. Here's what I discovered:

    1. If I am replaying the lecture & discover that I missed something, there is a way that I can write it in and link that text to the correlating place in the lecture recording.
    2. Once you archive your notebook, it is still equally functional {meaning you can still touch a point in your notes to listen to the correlating spot in the recording}, only the process is now done on the computer rather than within the notebook. This is a very appealing feature as it condenses the amount of material I have to lug around with me, makes finding certain topics within the material easy and allows me to study on the go from my iPhone whenever I have time.
    3. I can still add additional information with my regular pens/highlighters {I like to color code things} as long as I don't write over the smart pen {aka the Livescribe}. Doing so could interfere with the audio playback. He wasn't entirely sure about the highlighter, but did suggest that I test it out with a few different types of highlighters.

    I definitely feel that I'm talking myself into this purchase... does anyone else who owns one have any other input? I'd really like a wide range of opinions before I spend $200 on a pen....
  10. 1
    bdicenzo,

    For what its worth, I think I read somewhere on here (Allnurses) that you can download the paper from the Lifescribe website. Definitely worth checking out and possibly saving some money!
    bdicenzo likes this.
  11. 0
    Before you buy make 100% sure you can record lectures. My school allows recording EXCEPT for the nursing program. In all of my nursing classes recording buys you a one way ticket out of the program. They have the rule due to professors sharing personal stories that could be HIPAA violations if recorded. So... be totally sure!
  12. 0
    personally I do not see how a verbatim recording will help you learn. You make notes on the things YOU need to remember. The thoughts have to flow from your brain to your hand. The pen is just a tool to document what you need to study later.
  13. 0
    This thought hadn't even crossed my mind, TheAmazingMrsA. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I'll have to look into that!


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