In a comment on a recent blog post, reader Maria Tello mentioned that she would like to hear an update from me on how I use my Livescribe pen for genealogy.
The Livescribe pen is a smart pen with a voice recorder in it that links the recording with the notes you are taking. So you can touch an area of your notes (taken in its special notebook) and hear what was being said when you took the note.
I bought my Livescribe Echo in 2013 and enthusiastically used it to take notes at conferences. In my blog post about it, I mentioned the ways I could see using it for genealogy.
True confession: The Livescribe pen is gathering dust in my desk drawer. It’s lost its luster for me. I realized that I never took the time to go back and listen to the recorded notes, which made the notes I did take less valuable (since I took fewer notes, assuming I’d listen to them).
I really do think it could be a very valuable for doing oral history interviews. I just haven’t used it that way.
It’s worth noting that since I bought my Livescribe Echo, the company has the Livescribe 3, which links with an iPhone/iPad app (as well as Android devices). It uses your device’s voice recorder, which makes the pen smaller. And the notes you take in your notebook are transmitted to the device. They can even be transcribed easily. I won’t be rushing out to buy it, since it turns out its utility for me wasn’t quite what I anticipated, but for those taking a lot of notes, I think it’s worth checking out.