Macworld’s Jeffery Battersby took the Livescribe 3 smartpen for a spin and had this to say: “…the ability to capture what I listen to as I write notes and then play that back to update and correct my notes makes Livescribe 3 an excellent alternative to basic pencil and pad note taking.”
Whether you’re back in school, preparing for exams, or in the boardroom, brainstorming new strategies, one thing in certain: taking handwritten notes helps you retain more information. Inspired by this helpful post from Lifehacker, we’ve compiled a few best practices for taking good notes.
1. Use a smartpen and have a backup
Using a Livescribe smartpen has a wealth of benefits. You can transfer your notes to a digital device, record what you’re hearing as you write, index your notes, transcribe them and more. Having a quality writing tool that you enjoy using is paramount when taking notes you can reference time and again. Make sure, in the case of using a smartpen, that you have backup ink cartridges. If you have a Livescribe 3, you can even use select cartridges from companies like Cross or Monteverde. In the instance you’re using a regular ballpoint pen or pencil, have a few on hand in case the ink runs dry, the pencil breaks (or you don’t have time to sharpen it).
2. Invest in a quality notebook
A high-quality notebook that’s durable and comes with thick-stock paper, where the ink won’t bleed through pages, is another important tool for note taking. We recently partnered with Moleskine, the quality Italian notebook makers, for our own version of smartpen-compatible notebooks. Having a few bookmarks in place to pick up where you left off (plus pockets to carry business cards or other loose-leaf papers) is an added bonus to keep everything important in one place.
3. Make your words count
Even if you’re using a smartpen and recording what’s being said, it still helps to have a quick and efficient process when it comes to taking notes. Besides identifying the crucial points of a talk, focusing on keywords and keeping thoughts short and on-point is ideal for referencing at a later point. Also, when writing, make an effort to slow down if you’re struggling with handwriting. Listen to what is being said but make sure to use your own words and stick to your unique style.
4. Keep a backup
Whether you want to transfer your notes to your iPad/iPhone, Evernote, or Microsoft OneNote, having a digital copy that can be accessed anywhere, anytime is ideal – especially if you lose your notebook (it happens).
5. Create a system to keep your notes organized
Whether it’s numbering your pages and listing them in an index at the front of your notebook, using bookmarks, or even dividers, keeping your notes organized and easy accessible will save a lot of time and headaches in the long term. If you’re writing down to-do lists to stay on top of different tasks, you’ll find our interview with Bullet Journal creator Ryder Carroll especially useful.
Hopefully these tips will help you take your best notes yet. Do you have any recommendations to add to this list?
In the spirit of back to school season, we asked you to tell us about your favorite teacher and why they inspired you. We received many incredibly thoughtful submissions. Thank you to everyone that participated and shared stories of that one person who impacted their life in a positive, constructive way. Moleskine even contributed to our prize package.
The 1.3 version of Livescribe+ available now introduces new ways to send and share Livescribe 3 notes to OneNote. The introduction of Auto-Send builds on the earlier Send feature, and gives you the ability to send any snippets, pages, pencasts and even entire notebooks from Livescribe+ directly to your OneNote account. Now you can continue working with your notes on your Windows PC or Mac, your Android device or any one of the many platforms supported by OneNote.
Using Send, you can select whatever content you want and choose the specific OneNote notebook you’d like to send your notes to. Send is all about giving you more control over what gets sent and where it goes. Auto-Send lets you put things on ‘Automatic.’ Auto-Send allows you to select any notebook in Livescribe+ and automatically send all notes and any updates directly to your OneNote account.
To start, you’ll need to connect Livescribe+ to your OneNote account. Once you’ve updated to the latest version of Livescribe+, open it up and go to Settings (from the Left Menu Panel) and tap “Cloud Services.”
- Tap on the OneNote icon and then tap “Sign In” to login to your account.
- You’ll see the Microsoft Account Sign In screen. Enter your Microsoft username and password.
- Use any email account you have linked to your OneNote account.
- You’ll be returned to Livescribe+ and will now see your OneNote username under “Account,” with the option to Sign Out.
SENDING NOTES TO ONENOTE
The Send feature in Livescribe+ is the best way to send snippets, pages or pencasts to a specified notebook in OneNote. For example, you can use Send to place a list of ideas in your ‘Big Ideas’ notebook.
Once your account is linked, it’s easy to Send notes to OneNote. In Livescribe+, navigate to the page or snippet that you want to send.
- Select the page or snippet you want to Send. Access Share by tapping the Share icon from Page view or the Menu icon (the chevron icon in the bottom border) from the Feed view.
- Tip: If you want to send multiple pages or snippets, you can tap the “Select” button in the top right corner.
- Tap Send and then select OneNote
- Choose the OneNote notebook you’d like to send your notes to.
All done! Your selected notes have been sent to OneNote and will appear in your selected OneNote notebook almost immediately, depending on the number of pages and the speed of your Internet connection.
You can also send pencasts to OneNote. Simply use the same process as described above, making sure that you are in Pencast view before you tap “Share.” You can even send multiple pencasts by hitting the Select option, then highlighting all the pencasts you’d like to upload to OneNote. Because of the audio and other information needed to play back pencasts, they will be sent to OneNote as PDFs. Keep in mind that the pencast files can run 12-15 MB per hour of audio, so balance this with the limits of your mobile data plan if you are uploading over a cellular connection.
The Send feature is great if you want to push selections of notes to OneNote. If you want to send an entire notebook, then Auto-Send is the right way to go. You can setup any Livescribe+ notebook to Auto-Send so that its entire written contents are delivered to OneNote and any new notes or pages that are added will automatically go to OneNote.
- From any page in the notebook you wish to Auto-Send, just tap the Share icon.
- Tip: You can also access Auto-Send by long-holding on the notebook cover and selecting “Share.”
- In the Share panel, tap on Auto-Send.
- Tap on OneNote and your notebook’s contents will start uploading to OneNote.
In Livescribe+, you’ll be able to tell that your notebook is setup to Auto-Send because you’ll see an Auto-Send icon on the notebook cover and in the top border in Page view when you’re viewing any page of that notebook. Anytime you add new notes to the notebook, they will be sent to OneNote. Due to file sizes, pencasts are not automatically uploaded, but you can use the Send feature to store pencasts in OneNote.
In OneNote, the Livescribe notebook will be created using the same name it has in Livescribe+ (eg. “Livescribe 3 Journal 1”). If you change the name, or move the notebook into a Stack, Livescribe+ will still send updates to the notebook.
USING OPEN IN
If you’d like to open and access your Livescribe+ notes in an app other than OneNote or Evernote, then use the Open In feature. When you tap Open In, you’ll see a panel that includes the option to share a note via AirDrop, or by any external application that can work with PDF files. You can tap on these icons to open your file in these other applications, and store or edit your notes there. However you cannot automatically send your notes to those applications at this time.
The new Send and Auto-Send features bring an easy way to save your notes in a cloud service, and access them on almost any device and platform. This news builds on our initial announcement with OneNote and is designed to give our Livescribe 3 customers more ways to make their notes even more useful.
We hope you’ll enjoy this feature, and let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions around additional ways to integrate with OneNote.