Livescribe 3 Smartpen Review

Livescribe 3 - Assistive Technology

What is a Livescribe Smartpen?

The LiveScribe Pen is a smart pen that allows you to take written notes, wherever you go, which then appear on your mobile device.

It is a potentially great tool for people with dyslexia or dyspraxia, but as with most assistive tech, it has some significant shortcomings when it comes to reliability.


Advantages of the Livescribe Smartpen

  • Easy to use, professional design
  • Integrates with a variety of applications and exports in a range of formats
  • Backs up your written notes

Disadvantages of the Livescribe Smartpen

  • You need to use LiveScribe’s notepads
  • The audio requires a phone to work
  • The smart pen is easy to lose

Livescribe Smartpen 3 video review



Our full review of the Livescribe Smartpen 3

In a professional setting, the vast majority of all your note-taking will most likely be on a computer; however, there may still be certain situations where using a computer is not appropriate. This is where the Livescribe comes in.

The Livescribe pen could be the game-changer some neurodivergent individuals have been looking for. It takes written notes on its dotted notepads and transfers them to the linked smart-device for later viewing. The device can protect your notes and even acts as a Dictaphone. Livescribe can be an ideal tool for professionals with dyslexia and dyspraxia.

What makes the pen a smartpen is how it connects with your smart-phone through the Livescribe+ application – available on Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

So how does it work? First, the app transforms the physical writing to digital. The transcription then can be seen in the application, shortly after the notes have synced, and most of the time, it displays the correct recorded copy. To gain a more reliable outcome it is advised to take your time when writing to ensure accurate conversion.

The application shows each digital pad that is written on and each page in the notepad is also individually shown. You can scroll through the entire notebook for an overview of everything that has been digitised. As well as converting physical to digital text, it is also possible to attach images to notes.

Livescribe can also manage complicated or uncommon sentences and styles by auto-transcribing each letter separately. Although, the smart-pen needs to use the provided dotted pads as this allows the sensor below the smart-pen to scan for written letters and words.

Another useful feature of the Livescribe is the ability to record a meeting. This is ideal for individuals who struggle note-taking, particularly if a person is speaking fast. However, this is done through your smart device as it is not possible to record audio on the smart-pen, a missed trick.

Can Livescribe Smartpens be used on any paper?

No, you have to use the dotted digital pad in conjunction with the pen. That’s how the system reads what you’ve written.

The drawback here, of course, is that Livescribe paper is significantly more expensive than regular paper. Livescribe paper comes in various sizes and formats, with the cheapest notebook paper starting at $8.95.

Is the Livescribe Smartpen easy to use?

It’s extremely easy to use the Livescribe Smartpen. It doesn’t take long to become accustomed to the system, which is intuitive. The system’s ability to separate each page of notes out is useful for when you need to review your notes later. 

As mentioned, however, audio recording is done with your smart device, not the pen. Even though recording through the pen itself would be more convenient, your transcribed audio will still end up in the same place as your written notes.


Livescribe is not a perfect dyslexic/dyspraxic hack. However, if it is inappropriate to use your laptop, you struggle with note-taking, or are prone to losing your notepad, then this could be a valuable tool.

Live scribe can be beneficial tool to any neurodivergent employee, providing they understand its strengths and limitations.

Score: 6/10

To test out a Livescribe pen for free, book a one-to-one with us. Alternatively, if you are employed, you may be eligible to grant for assistive technology through Access to Work. Contact us to find out more.