Writer’s Toolkit:

The Livescribe Smart Pen

Going to that writer’s conference or comic convention? Want to catch all the juicy pieces of advice that writers, artists, screenwriters, licensors, and other professionals will be doling out? Do you suddenly have an idea out of the blue and don’t want to forget it? Well, darlin’, the SmartPen has what you’re lookin’ for. Here’s why:

1. As you write with the SmartPen, you can also record a lecture, meeting, panel, or class session and it will SYNC and LINK your note-writing with the audio recording. This feature is the best because it allows you to connect your written notes with that exact moment in the lecture that applies to those notes. Can’t remember what that screenwriter said about collaboration? Were you only able to get scanty notes on that part? No worries. All you have to do with the SmartPen is tap the tip of it on your written notes, and it will play back that part of the lecture for you! (This includes drawings too, folks! You can draw, and tap your pen on your drawing to get the playback.) Hot.

2. Computer storage, access, and interaction with your notes is where it’s at. You can upload your notes to your PC where the written and the audio notes can be stored. Livescribe will create an interactive notes file, where you can read over your handwritten notes on your computer and click on different sections of your notes to start the synced audio playback. Here’s a screenshot to give you a gander of how it works! (You may also notice my sloppy handwriting. There’s an app that will recognize your handwritten and transform it into neatly typed letters. YES.)

3. You can also send and share your notes with your mobile devices (and those of other people) via “pencasts” and Livescribe’s online interface. Sending your notes to email addresses, Facebook, EverNote, GoogleDocs, etc, just got worlds easier. You can send your notes from your actual notebook (by using some short simple commands), or you can send notes from your computer once you’ve uploaded them. The Livescribe interface makes it incredibly easy to do this. It also just looks sexy. I mean, sending an email from your notebook? Awesome!

4. The add-on apps for the pen are killer. There are apps for translation (where the Livescribe pen translates text you write), scientific calculator apps, timers and stopwatches, wikipedia look-up apps, game apps, and more!

5. The SmartPen is extremely easy to use. So easy, in fact, I don’t even remember how I set it up. I think I just downloaded their software for my Mac (it’s compatible with both Mac OSX and Windows), and all was well from there. To upload your notes from your SmartPen to your computer, all you do is plug it in. Yeah, that’s it. To use the SmartPen with your notebook, you just sort of touch it to the book. Yes, folks, that is it. Real talk.

You get all of this for around $120.00 bucks. An amazing investment that starts paying for itself, in my opinion. And no, I am not an affiliate! I’m just a girl in love with the SmartPen. But you don’t have to take my word for it! Check out the Livescribe SmartPen here: http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/, and see how valuable it can be for your Writer’s Toolkit!

I use the SmartPen for grad school lectures, but most importantly, I use the SmartPen for writing, taking written-audio notes for my scifi / fantasy novels, and for taking notes at conventions and conferences. While at the Association for Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference this March, I used the Livescribe SmartPen to take notes and record those panels that were the most interesting to me. As a result, I have tons of insightful notes to share with you all on writing, the business of screenwriting, applying for funding through the National Endowment of the Arts, and much more!

I will also be going to future conferences, such as WisCon, the only feminist scifi & fantasy writers conference in the world! And yes, the almighty SmartPen will be coming with me! Tons of exciting info coming up for you guys, all thanks to the Livescribe SmartPen! Whether you’re a scifi & fantasy writer, blogger, or both, you should strongly consider adding it to your arsenal. You won’t be disappointed.

Keep it indie!

<3 Colby