I’ve been writing quite a bit about the Livescribe Pulse pen in recent days. It is a phenomenal device, and apparently there are many people who agree. I’ve received a number of private emails from people who have been using the pens or have just ordered them. (I’m pretty sure they’ll be happy the decision!)
I went to a seminar yesterday, and a friend who is not known for her technological prowess, proudly held up her Pulse pen and said “Have you seen this before? I love it.” I reached in my pocket and pulled mine out. We had a good laugh and then compared notes. We agreed, the Pulse pen is a keeper! A keeper… but not perfect.
One of the biggest downsides with the pen is the fact that it requires special paper in order for the pen to work its magic. Sure, you can print your own paper at home and use that, but that’s pain, and quite frankly, I really don’t bother with it. Fortunately, there are a variety of types of paper available from Livescribe. I’m using four different types of Livescribe Paper. The different types of paper each serves a different purpose, and there are different times when each is useful. I thought that we might take a quick look at each.
Each pad or notebook has the basic controls needed to use the Pulse pen, and the larger of the four have more controls than the smaller ones.
Single Subject Notebook
The spiral notebook is the most utilitarian of the pads I have tried. It is the size of a standard 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper and each 100 college-ruled sheets. The notebooks offer a huge amount of real estate on each page, and each pack comes with four spiral notebooks. They are familiar in feel to anyone who has ever been a student, and are as a result, quite easy to read and to write on.
They are perfect for students. They are, however, a bit it heavy. Frankly, if I want to carry something this large and this heavy, I’ll carry my MacBook or – prior to sending it to a friend last week – my TabletPC. This isn’t the type of paper I want to carry with me. The great thing is, I don’t have to. That’s where the benefits of the Livescribe Pen comes in. You see, I can leave one of these pads on my desk at work and write down everything I need to during the day. When I get home at night, I dock the pen and it transfers all of those notes to my computer for access and use anywhere. I get the contents of what I wrote without having to carry the notebooks. Nice!
Black Lined Journal
The second type of paper I’ve been using is the Black Lined Journal. It is similar to a moleskin notebook. It’s relatively light, much smaller than the spiral notebook, and it has a good number of sheets per notebook. It’s a little bit on the heavy side, but it has the nice benefit of having a hard cover and binding. It’s great to carry with me in my briefcase and pull out when needed.
One of the main downsides of the Black Lined Journal is the fact that it is a little bit smaller and, for a lefty like me, it’s not always comfortable writing a small pad. I actually have a rather difficult time writing on the left side page, but it isn’t enough to keep me from carrying it on a daily basis. I do, and am more than happy with them even with the size issue.
The Flip Notepad is great to throw in a pocket and pull out for a quick note. At 3″ x5″ it’s small and light, which makes it easy to carry all the time. Yes, it can at times be difficult to write on due to the small the size, but it is so very convenient that it more than makes up for the issue.
The Flip Notepad bundle comes with 4 pads, which provides enough note-taking for quite a while.
Mini Wrap Journal
The Mini Wrap Journal is probably the least cost effective of the four pad types, but it is also the most unusual and aesthetic of the bunch. The Journal has a hard cover that closes with a hidden magnet. The paper is a little bit larger than the Flip Notepad but is still small enough to carry easily. Personally I see this more as a bedside pad for quotes you read, or to use as a personal diary, but it cold also be thrown into a purse or backpack with ease. As noted, it is the least cost-effective but the classiest and best looking.
In all, each of these paper formats serves it’s own purpose. While more expensive than regular paper, the convenience they bring when used with the Pulse pen is immeasurable. I’m finding each of them useful in it’s own way, and it is for that reason that I would recommend any Pulse pen owner to take a good look at the growing number of choices available.