Okay, so one of my many quirks is that I write just about everything by hand before transcribing it into the computer. This causes issues, primarily with blog posts and texts not being transcribed because they’re usually long, and usually take time to transcribe and sometimes I just go “meh” instead of transcribing them, so they never see the light of day.

Thus, as the gadget loving freak that I am, I took a look around the ever expanding market of gadgets to see if there was a pen that could help me transcribe the texts that I write, automatically. First I found IRIS, but she wasn’t as highly rated as Livescribe 3, or Sweetie, as I call her. This is written with Sweetie. Hello Sweetie.

Anyway, out of the roughly 300-400 words in this blog post, only a few were misspelled, and only a few missing. The only drawback to this lovely instrument is the size of the pen (I normally use thin pens) and the ink cartridge, which is a regular ballpoint pen style cartridge with a large point. I prefer gel pens, as that suits my handwriting better than ballpoint pens. It also took about a page and a half before my hand started cramping due to the updated grip I need to use when writing.

Another issue is the English only transcription language. That’s actually not a huge problem, but it does affect the general experience of this gadget. I can’t write my 20KTP adventures using Sweetie. Which, on reflection, is a good thing, because I have a bunch of notebooks I won’t be able to use with Sweetie, since she requires a specific paper with dots to work.

My biggest, burning question right now is “how the hell did the pen know I started on page 2 in the notebook” and that, I think, will haunt me way longer than any other issue that might pop up in relation to Livescribe 3. As far as I understand it, it has to do with the dots on the pages.

I’m not sure if I recommend a purchase. I think you should either really need it for some reason, or you should be a gadget freak like me. I should point out that I do own a Wacom Inkling as well that I use for sketching.

This is just another one of those weird gadgets I buy because I’m curious. And I am curious. Also, I need to practice my handwriting. I’m used to all caps. It shows. My handwriting is terrible. That said, Sweetie shaves off about 20 – 30 minutes of transcription per page. Considering I usually write blog posts that are 2 – 5 pages long, that’s quite a bit of time.

+ I can write a blog post by hand and totally bypass transcription
+ It’s a cool gadget!
+ It’s very easy to use-not much startup time needed (with a caveat!)
+ It has a very high accuracy when it interprets handwriting and transforms it to digital text

– It requires special paper
– English only transcription
– It’s expensive
– The ink cartridge is fairly low quality ink and the cartridges from Livescribe only come in one size point and ink type
– The pen is big and bulky – my hand cramps after a while
– Transferring digital text is a bit messy

I am however blown away by Sweetie. This blog post is written completely by hand, transcribed by Livescribe + and then copy pasted into the web browser. With some minor fixes and additions.