This guide will cover how to use your Smartpen and Smartpen notebooks, how to use your Smartpen with Livescribe desktop software, charging and maintenance, and additional resources.

Using your Smartpen

Smartpens allow you to record lectures as you take notes, linking the two. When you review notes taken in a Smartpen notebook, the corresponding audio recording of the lecture is synchronized for playback.

  • To use the pen, press the power button on it to turn it on. All of the pages in the Smartpen notebooks have Record, Pause, and Stop controls at the bottom.
  • Tap the pen tip on “Record,” and then pen starts recording your writing and the audio.
  • You can pause by tapping Pause or end the recording entirely by tapping Stop. You unpause by tapping Record again.
    • Using Pause instead of Stop means that the audio recording will stay all one file. Pressing Stop and then Record again will separate the audio recordings from before and after the stop.
  • When you are ready to listen to audio that was recorded, tap on the words you wrote on the dot paper that are associated with the audio. The pen will begin playing back the audio.
  • If you did not write notes in a Smartpen notebook during a recorded session, you can still listen to the audio notes by using the Nav Plus icon.
    • Go to the Main Menu and continue scrolling until you locate the Paper Replay menu.
    • Scroll inside of this menu until you locate Play Session. Find the session you would like to listen to (it will be date and time stamped).

Smartpen Notebooks

  • The Student Wellness Center will provide you with notebooks that are synced with the Smartpen. You can pick up notebooks for free at the Student Wellness Center. Contact the Access Center to arrange for pick up.
  • All notebooks are numbered from 1 to 8.
  • You must use only notebook number at a time, and a different number for each class. The dot paper in the notebooks is the same, and it will cause double recordings if you use, for instance, a number 4 notebook in two different classes.
  • You will need to archive the current notebook in Echo Desktop before you can use another one with the same number. You can do this by tapping the pen tip to the front cover of the notebook where it says "Tap Here to Archive".
    • Archived notebooks are moved to a different section on Echo Desktop. You can verify there that a notebook has been archived, and then start using a new notebook of the same number.

Battery, charging and ink

  • Each pen has a built-in rechargeable battery that has 9 to 10 hours of battery life.
    • It takes about 2.5 hours to charge the pen.
    • You can charge your pen with the cable provided or plug it into your laptop or computer.
  • It is highly recommended you connect the pen to your laptop often so your notes are backed up.
  • The display shows the battery level and current time.
  • There is an infrared camera below the ink cartridge.
    • This camera interacts with the dot paper in the notebook.
    • The pen records what you write, along with audio.
    • Clean the infrared camera lens with an alcohol wipe if needed.
  • The ballpoint tip can be pulled out and popped back in.
    • Check to make sure your case has an extra ink cartridge. The pen goes through ink quickly.
    • If you notice the ink is starting to get faint, replace the cartridge. Otherwise, playback quality will be affected.
    • You can pick up replacement cartridges for free at the Student Wellness Center. Contact the Access Center to arrange for pick up.

Smartpen features

Inside cover of notebook:

  • Time and Date section: Set the date and time by tapping on the correct buttons.
  • Display section: You can change the setting from right to left hand. You can adjust the display brightness and scroll speed.
  • Advanced Audio section: The audio quality by default is set to medium. If you change this to high, it will use more storage space on the pen.
  • Playback latency: This controls the gap between when the audio was recorded and when it was written down. The default is off.
  • Playback speed: You can slow down or speed up the playback speed.
  • Playback volume: You can raise or lower the playback volume, and you can mute the pen sounds while in class.
  • Nav Plus section: You can delete recordings from here. Double-tap the middle point of the four arrows to reach the menu options. To delete recordings:
    • Scroll through the menu options until you find Paper Replay.
    • Within this menu, find the option called Delete Session.
    • Locate the session you would like to delete and use the arrows to delete it.

Other buttons:

  • Jump: allows you to jump backward or forward in the audio approximately 10 seconds.
  • Bookmark (Some notebooks don’t have this option): This button allows you to bookmark important info (example: midterm date).
  • Jump to position: Allows you to jump to whatever part of the audio you need.

Tips and tricks

  • Leave some space when you write notes so when you go back and listen to the recording, you can add notes you missed (Note: You don’t need to write everything down in class).
  • The closer you sit to the presenter, the better the sound quality will be when you play the recording back.
  • If you forget your notebook, you can hold down the power button for a few seconds until “REC” displays. This allows you to record the class session. When you’re done recording, turn off the pen.
    • To play back the audio, use the Nav Plus icon to go to the Smartpen’s Main Menu and select Paper Replay. Then select Play Session.
    • While you’re playing back the audio, you can write down notes on dot paper and the audio will automatically link to your notes.

Transferring Smartpen notes to your computer

Use the Echo Desktop application onto your computer to transfer files: plug the pen into the computer, and it will upload the pages into Echo Desktop. In addition to audio recording, the Smartpen camera has visually records notes. Once you take notes in your notebook and have recordings on the pen, they are automatically transferred to the Livescribe program whenever you connect the pen to your PC or Mac and launch the program.

Download and set up Echo Desktop

  • Visit Livescribe Echo Set-up
  • Scroll down until you find "Echo Desktop"
  • Select the download button for Windows or Mac, depending on the computer you're using.
    • Mac only: If you get an error message when you try to download, go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences, Security and Privacy. Select Anywhere.
  • Connect your pen to the computer with the included USB cable and turn it on.
  • You can select one page, or multiple pages.
    • Right click to download either just the pages, or the pages with the audio.
    • Double-clicking on a page enlarges it.
    • You can click on the writing to start the audio from the point where you wrote what you clicked on.
  • Any notes that have audio associated with them are green. Any notes in black indicate the pen was on, but no recording was done.

Livescribe software features

  • You can backup and view your notes.
  • You can create custom notebooks to organize your notes.
    • Go to the File menu and select Custom Notebooks, Create.
  • You can archive a notebook:
    • Select on the notebook name in the software while the pen is connected.
    • Go to File menu and select Archive Notebook.
  • You can also search for particular notes. Go to the search bar and type in the word you need to locate. All the pages in your notebook containing that word will pop up.
    • Type the word you would like to search for in the Search All box. Any pages containing the word you searched for will appear on the left side of the Livescribe window. You can double-click on a page to make it larger.

Official Livescribe Smartpen user guides

For further assistance with the Livescribe Smartpen, please contact