Helpful hints for starting out with and making the most of Carleton’s Smartpens.


In order to use the Smartpen, you will have to use special ‘dot’ paper which was provided to you in your Smartpen packet. Each packet contains four notebooks with 25 pages of paper each. It is recommended that you use each notebook’s pages in sequential order to make organizing your notes in the Livescribe software easier. However, the notebooks themselves may be used in any order.

Getting More Paper

If you run out of all four notebooks before the term is up, inform the AzTechs and we will print you more paper.

It is possible to print more notebooks using the Livescribe software. You will not be able to print from your personal computer to a Carleton printer, but if you have your own printer, you may print to that. You can also use the computer in the AzTech room (Libe 328) which has the Livescribe software installed on it and print more notebooks using your personal printing quota. However, as printing notebooks yourself may get expensive (the paper must be in color and double-sided), the AzTechs are happy to print out the paper for you.

If you do wish to print paper yourself, select ‘Tools’ in the menu bar of the Livescribe software. Then select ‘Printable Notepads’ and choose which notepad you would like to print.


Downloading Livescribe Software

For Livescribe Echo Smartpens: In order to transfer your notes onto your computer and organize them, you must download the Livescribe software, available for both Mac and PC.

For Livescribe 3 Smartpens: Livescribe 3 Smartpens are specifically designed to work with smartphones and tablets. In order to play back your notes, you will need to download the Livescribe app onto your mobile device. For Mac users, you can download Livescribe+ from the App Store. Android users can download Livescribe+ from the Google Play Store.

Plugging the Pen in the First Time


When you plug the Smartpen in for the first time you will get the following message:

Smartpen 1

The Smartpen will come pre-named, as in the example above. We recommend that you keep the Smartpen’s given name.

The Smartpen will then transfer any note pages onto your computer, if you have used the pen already.

You also may see the following screen asking you to authorize the Livescribe Desktop Software:

Select ‘Authorize Livescribe Desktop’. This will bring you to the following screen:

Type in the username and password information you received in your Smartpen folder and select ‘Authorize’.

Organizing and Archiving Notebooks

Every time you plug your Smartpen into your computer, it will transfer the new note pages you have taken into the Livescribe software. If you are having trouble with this transfer process, see our troubleshooting section. In addition to seeing your notes as you take them, you also have the options to Archive Notebooks and Create Custom Notebooks.

Archiving Notebooks

It is essential to archive a notebook when you have finished using all the pages. It is the only way to permanently store your notebooks on Livescribe Desktop. If, for example, you were to use up Notebook 1, then print out another copy of Notebook 1 and proceed to use that without having archived the first copy, both Notebook 1s would overlap with each other when you tried to next upload the notes. Archiving your notebooks ensures this will not happen.

Additionally, archiving a notebook erases it from your Smartpen internal memory. This is a good way to save space on your pen without also deleting your uploaded notes from the Livescribe software.

Creating Custom Notebooks

If you wish to view your notes in an order other than that in which you took them, you can create a custom notebook by selecting the appropriate option from the left-hand menu in Livescribe Desktop. Once a custom notebook is created, you can add pages from other notebooks in any order you wish. This may be useful for combining notebooks of several subject areas or organizing notes in a non-chronological fashion.

Miscellaneous Advice

While testing the Smartpens, the AzTechs discovered a few general tricks that might facilitate use of the pen.

The first is creating ‘bookmarks’ as you take notes. If you know your professor is about to talk about something important or noteworthy, you might want to put a star by that section of your notes. You can then go back to that section, select the star that you made, and hear everything that was said from that point in time onwards. Using bookmarks is a good supplement to ‘normal’ notetaking because it ensures that salient pieces of information have an easy access point in your notes.

In order to reduce background noise while writing with the pen, it is recommended that you put something behind the piece of dot paper on which you’re writing, such as other papers or a notebook. This will reduce writing noise in the audio recording.

You can also refer to the official guide for more tips.