How To Choose The Right Smartpen

If you’re not sure about which model Livescribe smartpen is right for you, this blog post will help. Remember: Livescribe DOES NOT release models that necessarily replace earlier models or are better than existing models unless specifically noted at launch.

The easiest way to determine which Livescribe model is right for you is to think about how you want to use the smartpen. These are the typical questions I will ask you if you need advice on which model best suits your needs:

  1. If you write a lot and need to convert hand written notes into an editable format – I’d recommend the Echo model. Why?
    • The Echo model has an optional software program called MyScript for Livescribe. This program works inside Echo Desktop and allows you to convert one or many pages of notes into editable text.
    • Livescribe 3 has hand writing conversion built into the mobile app (Livescribe+) BUT in my experience the mobile version isn’t as good as the desktop version.
  2. If you take shorter notes and won’t really do that much audio recording (i.e. < 2hrs/w) – I’d recommend the Livescribe 3 model. Why?
    • Livescribe 3 is ideal for snippets of content – i.e. 1 or 2 paragraphs
    • The app allows you to swipe to convert text which can then be used in email, reminders, or sent to cloud services
  3. If your primary work or study machine is a desktop or laptop (PC or Mac) – I’d recommend the Echo model. Why?
    • Content goes from pen and paper into Echo Desktop and you then have your notes or notes and audio locally on your primary work/study computer.
    • You simply tap the pen on your notes and the pen will replay the audio that was recorded at that point in time
    • You can also replay audio via Echo Desktop
  4. Your a student and want to capture notes and audio – I’d recommend the Echo model. Why?
    • The built in mic on the Echo means in class, all you need with you is pen and paper. Simply tap record and you are instantly taking notes and audio.
    • Whilst you can record notes and audio with Livescribe 3, you need to have your companion device with you, with the app open in order to start audio recording
  5. You use cloud collaboration services like Evernote or OneNote and/or a tablet heavily – I’d recommend Livescribe 3. Why?
    • Livescribe 3 allows you to connect the app to your cloud account and either manually or auto-send content from pen and paper into the cloud.
    • I personally use Evernote a lot and if I’m taking short notes or working on a plane, I’ll use my Livescribe 3 as I’ll often Bluetooth the content to my iPad and then into Evernote so that its then instantly available wherever else I might be working.

Buying a Smartpen

The process I recommend is as follows:

  1. Determine which model smartpen will best meet your needs – Echo or Livescribe 3
  2. Determine whether you need the base model (i.e. 2GB Echo or Livescribe 3 Black), a Smartpen value bundle (scroll down our homepage for more information), or one of the premium editions
  3. Add your selection to the shopping cart and complete your checkout.

I’ll be updating this blog post from time to time. If you still need help, please contact me via

Posted in Livescribe 3 smartpen | Tagged , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Changes to the Livescribe smartpen Range

I’ve been advised by Livescribe that effective immediately the product range of smartpens will be reduced to two core SKU’s – the 2GB Echo smartpen, and the Livescribe 3 Black Edition.

2E and LS3.png

Both these smartpens are priced at AUD 249.

The premium SKU’s that existed in the Echo and LS3 range – namely the 8GB Echo, LS3 Pro, and LS3 Moleskine are officially retired with little or no stock available (Officeworks may have some units on hand but possibly only via online).

No further changes are expected to the product range for the foreseeable future. Both the 2GB Echo and LS3 Black are our top performers with the 2GB Echo still the #1 choice for education.

Special A5 Paper Offer

We also have a special offer running till June 30 for both Aussie and Kiwi customers – you can purchase either pen and I’ll include a 4-pack of A5 paper for free.

Details of the free paper offer can be found here.

Posted in livescribe | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Collaboration and Digital Pen Technology

Following on from our March post about the Quilla Connected eWriter, I’m pleased to advise that a new pen-based collaboration solution will be entering the AU/NZ market.

The Hoylu Huddlewall is a large area (think wall-sized) collaboration platform that uses a variety of input methods – including digital pens. As more and more corporations and higher learning institutions focus on collaborative learning and problem solving – the Huddlewall offers new ways to create, capture, and share ideas.

This YouTube clip gives you a quick introduction to the collaboration possibilities of the Hoylu suite.

I expect the solution will be available in Australia and New Zealand towards the end of Q3 2017.

Hoylu Collaboration

Posted in New Tools | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Livescribe 3 vs Neo smartpen N2

I’m asked often about the differences between the Livescribe 3 smartpen and NeoLABS N2 smartpen so this blog post is a summary of what I think of both models. This is my personal opinion…

Note that I’m not including the Echo smartpen in this comparison as I consider it to be unique with no natural competitor.

1. Size of pen

A lot has been made of the slimmer size of the N2 vs Livescribe 3 – certainly I find the N2 easy to hold and like the anodised alloy finish (ala the first Pulse smartpen) but having used both for close to a year I don’t mind either. The image below shows you the difference in thickness – it’s really not that much.

Neo vs LS3

2. Battery Life

What you gain in the slim pen you lose in battery life. My experience so far indicates the N2 lasts 8-9 hours, whereas the Livescribe 3 gives me 16+ hours of work. Knowing I can go a full week on the road without needing to charge my Livescribe 3 is significant for me.

3. Paper and Accessories

Both have taken a different approach to paper and accessories. I like the range of legal pads available for the N2 and the different journals – the journals in particular for the N2 have a nicer feel, higher quality to Livescribe’s journals.

4. Mobile App

This is hard to split…

  • Neo Notes has a cleaner interface but some commonly used functions like sharing, emailing, and text conversion are not as elegant as Livescribe+.
  • Livescribe+ tends to want to show you lots of stuff at once whereas with N2 you need to go tapping.
  • The calendar view in Neo Notes is brilliant.
  • The Android version of Neo Notes is far superior to the Android version of Livescribe+
  • Hand writing conversion is the same as they both use the cut down version of MyScript from Vision Objects.

5. Future Direction

A difficult one to measure as tech vendors are notoriously secretive when it comes to future features – which IMHO is counter-intuitive in relation to engaging users and also incorporating feedback from the field…

The recent announcement of the collaboration partnership between NeoLABS and Anoto makes it hard to understand what will come next. Hopefully we’ll see wider distribution of the Pen Generations model and maybe even an off the shelf custom forms solution…

Overall Thoughts

  1. If you need to take lots of notes and audio and work at a desktop or laptop – go with the Echo
  2. If you prefer to take brief notes and want to share to email or cloud easily – either LS3 or N2 will do the trick
  3. If you want to change ink colour, do on-screen (simple) edits etc the N2 is pretty cool


Posted in Livescribe 3 smartpen | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments

The Humble Flipchart Goes Digital

A staple of every office, boardroom, or training room is the humble flipchart – the large format paper and marker that gives you the ability to go large in working through ideas, mind maps, the action list, etc. But the attraction of the flip chart – large format paper & marker – is also its Achilles heal. Someone needs to physically take the paper, or take a photo, or transcribe what has been created.

What if the flipchart was digital?

What if those grand ideas, insights, updates, and actions were digital, in the cloud, and always available?

Want to bring up that new org chart you created 3 months ago? The business improvement workshop where you all brain stormed ideas for new products?

Well, pretty soon you’ll be able to do all this and more! Introducing the Quilla Connected eWriter from Quirk Logic.


Quilla is the next generation flipchart – its 42 inches of digital brilliance. Those great ideas, the action lists, those drawings you marked up with changes are now always available!

You can find out more about Quilla via the Quirk Logic website.

I’m expecting we’ll have Quilla available in AU/NZ in the second half of this year. Stay tuned.

Quilla - 1.jpg

Posted in New Tools | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Livescribe 2GB Echo Bundles

So, given the Echo range has been consolidated to just the one SKU – the 2GB Echo, our two value bundles – the smart writing sets for the Echo range are now clearly the best value for money anywhere in Australia or New Zealand.

What is Included In the Echo Value Bundles

Irrespective of which option you choose, each bundle includes:

  • Livescribe 2GB Echo smartpen
  • MyScript for Livescribe

There are two options – based on whether you want to use A5 or A4 paper.

2GB Echo A5 Smart Writing Set

This value bundle is for those smartpen users who prefer smaller format spiral pads – A5 size. This bundle includes the following:

  • 2GB Echo smartpen
  • MyScript for Livescribe
  • A 4-pack of A5 spiral notebooks
  • An A5 smartpen portfolio.

2GB Echo A4 Smart Writing Set

This bundle differs from the A5 bundle in that it includes the larger A4 spiral notebooks. This bundles includes the following:


  • 2GB Echo smartpen
  • MyScript for Livescribe
  • A 4-pack of A4 spiral notebooks
  • 2x Echo ink refills (4-pack).

I hope this post helps you understand the key differences between our two most popular Echo smart writing sets.





Posted in Echo Smartpens, MyScript | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Livescribe smartpen Test Drive Launched

Starting today I’m pleased to announce that we have launched a Livescribe smartpen test drive/try before you buy service for our (potential) customers in Australia and New Zealand.

The purpose of the test drive is to give you the opportunity to try the pen, experience the features, size, and benefits that come from this product before you commit to a purchase.

How the Test Drive Works

The test drive service is really simple – and it’s obligation free.

In summary:

  • You can trial either the Livescribe 2GB Echo smartpen, or the Livescribe 3 smartpen for a period of 30 days
  • We will send you either option along with a notebook, USB cable, and instructions on getting starter with your trial pen
  • At the end of the 30-days you MUST return the pen to us (if you don’t you’ll incur an additional fee of $100)
  • If you do then decide to purchase a smartpen, we’ll also give you a discount code to save 7.5% off paper and accessories.

What The Test Drive Cost?

The only cost to you is for shipping both to you, and back to us at the end of the trial (we’ll include a return satchel). Yes, I did give consideration to this being a free trial but to be honest, I believe you’ll take it more seriously when you have some skin in the game as well.

This is obligation free

If you take up this offer you are under no obligation to purchase a smartpen from us. All I ask is that you take the trial period seriously, use the pen, ask questions, give us your feedback (good, bad, or otherwise) and return the pen to us.

Posted in Livescribe Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments