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August 11, 2011

Echo Smart Pen: Handy Tool for Genealogists

Echo Smart Pen
This is my new Livescribe 8 GB Echo Smartpen which I bought from

I've been looking at them for over a year and finally took the plunge to buy one last month.

The Echo Smart Pen allows me to record anything I want from my pen to special notebooks, and then transfer the recordings to my computer.

Special Noteboo
How great would that be at a family reunion? I could go from person to person and record a few minutes of their thoughts on the reunion, or their memories of past reunions, or I could ask them to give one memory of their childhood.  Then it would be a simple matter to transfer the recordings to my computer, turn them into text and create booklets for the next family reunion!

I can also visit my 88 year old auntie and have her reminisce about the past while my pen is recording and I make quick jot notes in the special notebooks.

The notebooks have controls at the bottom of the pages. You press on Start with your pen to begin recording and Stop when you are done. There are other controls - pause, rewind, scroll ahead for example. You can fast forward and do other functions directly in the notebook.

The jot notes are great because while you are recording the person, you make point form or jot notes. Then you can touch your pen to any point in your jot notes to replay just that portion of the recording.

I bought a set of 4 notebooks and my SmartPen came with one so I'm pretty set for recording family histories. For a limited time a purchase of the 8GB SmartPen also includes a one year premium subscription to Evernote  I already use the free version daily so I'm a happy camper)

Next week I will be visiting my auntie to start recording her memories. I'm really excited! 

Here's what came in the box:
  • The Echo smartpen with 8GB of memory
  • Livescribe Connect Premium: Includes Connect Basic (Facebook, Evernote, MyLivescribe, your mobile device, and your computer) plus additional connectors for Email and Google Docs
  • Livescribe Desktop software for Mac or Windows (download)
  • 500 MB of personal online storage
  • Starter dot paper notebook
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Interactive Getting Started Guide
  • Smartpen Tips and Tricks
  • 2 smartpen caps
  • 2 ink cartridges
 If you don't think you need anything as big as the 8GB, there is also the Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen Starter Pack or the Livescribe 4 GB Echo Smartpen  available.


    The Grandmother Here said...

    You never cease to amaze me with your techno-savvy!

    Genealogy Blogger said...

    Diana - I'm not so savvy, I just love technological toys!

    Susi's Quarter said...

    I want to find this pen it sounds so neat to use.
    Thanks for the great post.

    Valerie said...

    I have been thinking about getting one too. Thanks for making the decision easier!