Using Livescribe Smartpens in the Workplace

Over the past 4 years of working with the Livescribe digital writing platform we’ve talked to, met with, and engaged with thousands of business users around Australia and New Zealand – many of whom are rampant advocates for the Livescribe smartpen.

These users come from an incredibly diverse range of businesses – Busy executives, sales reps, executive assistants, project managers, lawyers, accountants, engineers, business coaches etc are finding tremendous value from being able to effortlessly take what they hear and write into their digital world

From talking to enterprise customers around ANZ, a number of ideas have been put forward and I wanted to share these with you – I’m interested in your perspective on these ideas…

1. Integration to SharePoint

To me this is a no brainer. SharePoint dominates the enterprise knowledge management space – a connector to allow a user to connect and drop content into a central directory would be a brilliant addition to Livescribe Connect

Livescribe Connect and SharePoint

2. Tags

Given that many enterprise knowledge management tools use tags heavily this makes a lot of sense. This suggestion got me thinking about how we could manage this.

One option would be to include a line at the top of the page titled “Tags” where any words written on that line become the page tags.

The other option that I think is even better is to create a new command line called “Tags” – so just as we can draw a command line and write ‘Email’ – if we wrote Tags the pen would then prompt us to nominate tags – AND – what pages those tags are associated with…

This should then allow us to use those tags to route content once it hits a tool like SharePoint – ultimately it’d be really useful if we could get content into SharePoint, have visible tags, and then allow workflow rules to take over and move the content where it needs to be.

3. Integration to Outlook

This is really interesting – though it might be tough to solve. A lot of users have asked about integration to Outlook – can a user write on a page and have this create a calendar entry, or Task, or even a more dynamic email (than the current Pencast PDF).

My personal opinion is that as Livescribe Connect matures as a digital writing platform we’ll start to see this type of deep connectivity emerge – at this stage its a real wait-and-see.

Livescribe Business Ideas Handbook

One final point.

We’re developing a Livescribe for Business Ideas Handbook.

This spiral bound manual will help business users and internal resources understand how to (a) deploy Livescribe pens on a larger scale, and (b) how to ensure users get maximum value from their digital writing platform.

If you’ve got any ideas or suggestions as to what to include – feel free to include a comment here on the blog or connect to us via:

Smartpen on Google+  Smartpen on LinkedInSmartpen on Facebook


About Mark Parker

Mark Parker is the founder of Smart Selling International Pty Ltd. Smart Selling International is a niche technology market launch expert - helping technology companies launch and grow their brands in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia. Mark is focused on Augmented and Virtual Reality, IoT, and digital data capture devices. You can find him online at - Twitter (@smartselling or @smartpen), LinkedIn -
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7 Responses to Using Livescribe Smartpens in the Workplace

  1. John M says:

    Hi Mark,
    1st: Tags is a great Idea (one less thing to do when you import the file to evernote)
    2nd: Smart Email/Calendar/Task option also great (I had a tool that did this before and gave it up to move to livesribe)
    3rd: Love the idea of the business manual,

    TAGS – yes please:
    I currently put all my notes into Evernote using connect.
    While writing/reviewing notes I will write in the tags I think I want to use in the last two lines of the page and/or in the margin. To capture tags I write the hash symbol (#) and then the tag I will use. So on the last two lines of notes you find: #Meeting #Jerry #February #2012 #Proj_MMM (etc). I then replicate that in evernote.

    It would be great if Evernote could just add them to document as it imported the PDF.
    It would save me typing them in!

    ALSO –
    How about being able to file Note to a Note Book (especially handy for getting notes into the shared note book as soon as your back at your desk)

    SMART EMAIL/CALENDAR ENTRY – Also a big winner.

    Being able to write and email with Subject Line and Body that appears in you email system ready to send.
    Being able to write a Task with Subject line and body and due date that it appears in your electronic Task List.
    Being able to write new contacts details down and have it appear in you contacts on you phone.
    Being able to write a note for your reference file and it appears in your “journal file”/evernote file with the Subject & body already sorted.
    All without further action on my part is really fantastic.
    I know how good it is because I used to be able to do this using another digital pen.
    I would love to be able get this functionality back!

    Just in case you want to know:
    The tool I used before LiveScribe was PAPER IQ Digitial Pen for Blackberry.
    It used blue tooth to transfer everything from Pen to Blackberry. It is a fantastic tool.
    So if it was so fantastic why did I gave it all up for Livescribe?
    • it tied me to my employers Lotus Notes & Blackberry (with associated Approval’s required to run even a trial!)
    • you could not search the hand written notes posted in you Lotus Notes Database
    • it did not capture sound (so it did not free me up to engage in the discussion)

    • Mark Parker says:

      Hi mate,
      I was only talking about you guys yesterday at a TEC meeting – I trust you’re well – as an aside I’d love to catch up and talk to you re our business user pencast series.

      Anyway – great feedback as always – and interesting point re Evernote and Tags…I’ve started using Evernote a lot and I hadn’t thought about that option of having written tags being visible in Evernote – at the time I wrote the post I was very focused on enterprise KM like SharePoint.

      Another way for us to think about tags is – maybe they are the next iteration of how Livescribe Desktop indexes content? Do we imagine a future version of LD that has a dashboard that shows recent content, content we’ve shared out as pencasts or interactive PDF’s, or even a tag cloud..!

      Great suggestions re interoperability with Outlook or a time management system – I think I’ll keep a blog post series going where we run a top 10 enterprise functionality list!

      cheers Mark

  2. Pingback: Further Thoughts on Sharing Your Digital Notes | The Smartpen Blog

  3. Mark Penney says:

    Hi Mark, I have just started the process of working out how to get rid of all the paper in my home office, and to better manage handwritten notes. I like Evernote for personal management of information, but OneNote and Sharepoint are of special interest as (for better or worse) Office 365 is bringing a fantastic document collaboration and management system, that what was once only available to Enterprises, to the small business.

    The tags idea is fantastic; being able to markup the page or pages while you are writing your notes would save time and errors when importing. I would be keen to see if you get any traction and interest in this.

    • Mark Parker says:

      Hi Mark
      apologies for the delayed reply – Livescribe Connect does include OneNote – so I’d encourage you to check out either the 4GB Echo or 8GB Pro Pack – as they include Connect Premium which has OneNote

      Cheers Mark

  4. W.L. says:

    I just bought a Livescribe Echo 2GB. What drew me was the ability to “print my own dot paper – for free”.

    However, I wrongly assumed, I would be able to use Microsoft Word, to design my own documents / forms / templates and then print off as dot paper version of these. In my opinion, this is a major failing of the Livescribe desktop software.

    For instance, I am a big user of Filofax diary products ( Many of us still love paper. Many of still buy paper diaries, even in this digital age. I don’t know how well known Filofax are in Australia?. Essentially it is a diary in a ring binder. Filofax allows you to customise your own diary, you can add additional pages as needed. You can add different coloured paper and add in different re-fills e.g. adding a todo list or any other inserts. I want a A5 or A4 dot paper version of a Filofax diary. Including the ability to add re-fills as needed e.g. todo lists. Livescribe is limited a fixed “notebook” format.

    Livescribe seems to forget that many us are likely to be “paper lovers” in this age of tablets. If I was not a paper lover, I would be using the Samsung Note, has a stylus.

    Someone has producted Word and PDF version of diaries, would love to be able to turn to dot paper format.

    • Mark Parker says:

      Hi WL
      The documentation is clear that the print your own paper is lined options only. Unfortunately, the issue around design your own forms is not Livescribe’s – its actually the owner of the dot pattern IP (Anoto) who have put this restriction in place

      cheers Mark

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