The Evernote-Livescribe Connection

Posted by on 14 Oct 2010

Posted by on 14 Oct 2010

For the past couple of weeks, I have been doing the unexpected: writing all of my notes…with a pen…on paper. Guess what? I’m loving it. To be fair, this is no ordinary pen—it’s a Livescribe, the electronic pen that magically digitizes your handwritten notes.

Today, we have big news. All of those Livescribe notes can now get the Evernote treatment: cross-platform sync, text recognition and search. It’s all thanks to the new Evernote-Livescribe integration, part of their latest software update. If you don’t have a Livescribe pen, you can get one now from the Evernote Trunk.

Livescribe and Evernote

Livescribe pens are popular among students, doctors, lawyers, creative professionals, and just about anyone else that takes notes as part of their everyday lives. Coincidentally, Evernote is popular with the same types of people. So we thought, wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to choose between digital and analog note taking options? Now you don’t. Simply handwrite your notes, connect your Livescribe pen to your computer and those notes are sent into Evernote as high quality images. Next, Evernote processes the handwriting making it searchable, and synchronizes the notes so they’re accessible from every computer and phone you use.

And don’t forget, Evernote’s text recognition can be configured for handwriting in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, and Russian. You can set you preferred language in the Settings section of Evernote Web.

How LiveScribe pens work

The Livescribe digital pens use a built-in camera to track and record their position on special paper. You then connect the pen to your computer and upload all of your notes. It even lets you simultaneously record audio—perfect for classes, meeting and conferences.

We love this integration not just because it’s super cool, but also because Evernote and Livescribe users have been asking (read: begging) for the two companies to partner. It’s happened, and there’s a lot more to come.

Today and into the future

The Livescribe team used the Evernote API to build this integration into the Livescribe Desktop software (both Windows and Mac). The software can now be configured to send Livescribe notes directly into Evernote. Once set up, select the desired notes and audio recordings, right click and choose Save to > Evernote. They will then be sent into your default notebook, and synchronized across your Evernote-enabled devices.

This is only the first step in our partnership. In the near future, getting your handwritten notes from Livescribe into Evernote will become an entirely seamless process. Stay tuned.

Get your Livescribe Pen

Livescribe offers a variety of pens and notebooks to meet you needs. Check out the options by visiting the Evernote Trunk.

There’s an update to the Evernote/Livescribe integration. Find out more.


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88 Comments RSS

  • Andrew


    So awesome. Now I just need to upgrade by Pulse pen. I’ve used it so much it’s on its last leg.

  • JEP

    So, what do I need to do to get this to work?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      You’ll need to latest version of the Livescribe desktop software. The Windows version was released today, the Mac will be released next week. Once you have that installed, just follow the steps in the post.

      • Adam Norberg

        It doesn’t seem to actually be up yet; the most recent version doesn’t have this menu option. (I installed it minutes ago.) The release notes don’t mention Evernote integration either, so I’d say this version isn’t really up for download yet. Do y’all know when it will be?

  • Jen

    AGH! Do you know how incredibly awesome this would have been for music school? This pen and Evernote and an iPad would have made college soooo much easier. Sadly, that was 20 years ago. Sigh…guess I’ll just have to use it for my boring day to day life. 😉

  • PhilGreen

    Thank you for making this connection. I was a VERY early adopter of the LiveScribe in 2008. This will allow the tool to once again be part of my normal routine.

    Evernote, Evermore!!


  • Miriam


    Thank you, once again, blessed Evernote elephants for coming to my rescue. Now instead of rotting away in an unread notebook and on my hard drive, my class notes can also accumulate dust on your servers. And they’ll be searchable! Now if only I could get myself to study…

    Please let me know when Evernote integrates with some sort of electrical shock system that keeps one focused on studying.

    For now, I’m thrilled to bits about the Livescribe integration. Thank you!

  • scott

    It seems that Livescribe OCR works a lot differently than Evernote OCR. (I guess since Evernote OCR is not optimized just for handwriting)

    For example, Evernote OCR doesn’t seem to recognize unusual words or proper names when written in handwriting. Livescribe’s does.

    Because of this, it would be ideal if Livescribe OCR was imported into Evernote,

    • Sterling Zumbrunn

      This is a great point – I used to scan pages out of my notebooks, but I found Evernote’s OCR to be lacking, so I kind of gave up on it. Would be great if as part of this integration you could improve the OCR for handwriting.

      Cool integration – look forward to seeing the next gen implementation.

    • Jerry Spaeder

      I agree… I’m disappointed by the handwriting recognition performance of Evernote compared to Livescribe. The latter is amazing. Evernote? Not so much. Would sure be nice if Livescribe shared its ability to read my scratching!

  • Joseph R. Jones

    Excellent! This is a great first step, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Having these two tools integrated has been at the top of my wish list for some time now.

  • Miyasei

    I hope I can use audio and note together in evernote like pencast player 🙂 .

  • Joseph R. Jones

    Have been playing with it… very nice.

    Each individual page is uploaded to Evernote as a separate note entry. The only major issue is that the backlog of several hundred pages of notes that were just uploaded all have today’s date… which is going to be a pain to try and update.

    Good stuff– keep it coming!

  • RogueTess

    This makes me SO happy! Sadly, though, I’m on a Mac so I have to wait until next week 🙁

  • Ivan

    Has anyone tried to draw mind maps with this pen? This integration sounds cool, but I am trying to figure out what I can actually use this for. For the past few years I have completely switched to digital notes and I only use handwritten notes to place my signature. However, I do miss the pleasure of creating mind maps with a pen.

    How do you actually use your livescribe pen other than for class notes?

  • Simon

    Looks like a problem logging into Evernote from Livescribe Desktop.
    Doesn’t recognize username and/or password ?
    Anyone else having this problem ?
    Could it be firewall related ?

  • Adam Norberg

    Got it working now!

    Um. It’s complaining that it can’t upload my work meetings because of lack of quota, try again next month. But I have a Premium account out of which I’ve used 20 meg, so let’s see, my personal notes uploaded fine…

    Huh. It’s helpfully converting all the audio into .wav files. Gee. That’s efficient. That’ll work real well for people who actually use the pen to record lectures and meetings at a sane rate. 30 meg on the pen, well over 500MB in one recording session.

    Can you chaps get the people at Livescribe to use a more sane codec? Like, say, the AAC the pen already natively uses?

    • Corey Pudhorodsky

      Adam – any tips on getting the audio to come over to Evernote. Even though I’m sending it in the Livescribe desktop app, I’ not seeing the wav file in Evernote. Seems like a few other people are having the same problem.

  • Karen

    Well, now instead of rotting away in an unread notebook and on my hard drive.

  • Christopher Masiello

    I have been waiting for this since I saw the first Livescribe pen. I love Evernote, but I take a ton of handwritten notes in meetings. I can’t wait to hook this up.
    Now, if you could only do something about adding CALENDARING / To Do management, my world would be complete.

  • Evernote User

    Didn’t I read somewhere that Evernote was developing an app that would transcribe handwritten or recorded notes to typescript, like Dragon Naturally Speaking? My handwriting is awful. With text, I could clean up my notes if I needed to memorialize them, or use them as a basis for an email or memo.

  • Jason Rothbart

    Great news. However, I want to send the notes directly to Evernote and skip Livescribe’s software. It is an extra hop and step I don’t want to do since Evernote is my source of truth. Should make a pad with a check to send directly to Evernote instead of doing it from their software. My 2 cents.

  • Dustin Runnells

    This is fantastic! I would be very happy with my livescribe pen if they were a little more open. No Linux support and they refuse to release information needed to for opensource developers to create a Linux driver. Evernote lets me use my data however I want with their API, livescribe locks me to their proprietary software on an OS that I don’t have. Maybe they will learn a thing or two from Evernote!

  • Judy

    Wow ! It just keeps evolving and evolving. Great to see products integrating to increase the benefits to people in this digital age!! You never know how far it can go!!

  • XDash

    Wow!This is really so cool!

  • mcapehart

    This is so awesome. I got a Pulse Pen a few months ago, having been an EN user since it began. The first thing that came to my mind the first time I synced it to my desktop is, “What would make this more awesome is if it integrated with Evernote.” What I’ve been doing is copying the notes in LiveScribe DT and then pasting in a new EN note. I even Tweeted about it to @livescribe suggesting it (not saying I had anything to do with it of course), and lookie here…it has happened.

    Very happy about this.

  • Brad

    Is there the same integration for the MAC Livescribe app??

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Brad, the Mac version of Livescribe Desktop will be updated next week.

  • John (Sydney)

    You have just saved me a mountain of work.
    I have been printing my live scribe pages to PDF and uploading to evernote!
    Brilliant combo.

  • 72dg

    confused, I’ve got desktop version and when I check for a software update it says I have the latest available, can’t see Evernote in there anywhere?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      You may need to go to the Livescribe site to get the latest version.

  • David Bourke

    Hi Guys, This is absolutely fantastic, however it is saying that my livescribe software is up to date. I have a brand new echo. Have I missed something?

  • jim

    Is it just the written notes that are uploaded to evernote, or is it the recordings as well?

  • Chris

    Does it also transfer the audio from the note?

  • Allen Lacy

    I was very happy to see this feature. But I lost some of my enthusiasm when I picked 4 pages of a Livescribe notebook and expected to get one Evernote note, but instead got four separate notes that I had to combine by hand.

    • Mike D

      Exact same sentiments here. It kinda defeats the purpose of integration when it’s far easier for me to simply publish my notebooks as PDFs and upload them myself. Ah well, baby steps.

  • Mark

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I have used livescribe since they were first released and was integrating using PDFs, this is much better!!!

    Thank you!

  • Elma

    This is going to be an awesome experience. We will be slaves of technology.

  • Genifer Snipes

    This makes me incredibly happy. I have been using the Lightscribe Pulse for my grad school classes & meetings and it has been invaluable. The audio alone makes it worthwhile but the searching is incredible. Integrating into Evernote is a dream come true.

  • David Bourke

    Hi, I know have evernote and livescribe working well however when i transfer notes and audio to evernote there is no audio only the notes section is visible. Any suggestions to fix this. Thanks for your help.

  • Corey

    So excited to hear about this. I just tested it out and I’m seeing the written notes fine (each page as a separate Evernote, like others mentioned, would be nice to have in one), but the main problem that I’m having is that I don’t see the audio after it has been uploaded. Where does it appear in evernote? I checked both the web view and the Windows desktop app. No audio. Even double checked to make sure it was being sent from the livescribe app.

    Anyone else seen this issue?

    • David Bourke

      Hi Corey

      Mate I have the same problem as you.
      I sent a note on the 15th October.
      Still waiting for some options to fix this.

  • AG

    Just bought the Livescribe Pulse and have now been told about Evernote. If files upload to Evernote, will they also appear on Livescribe? Also does the replay of text/audio still work on Evernote?

  • Gregg

    I tried uploading from the livescribe desktop. It seems to hang, doesn’t upload. Beautiful new desktop improvements, however!

  • Gregg

    I should note that I’m using the MacOSX version

  • Dave Jaworski

    Love Loivescribe and love Evernote. Two of my favorite productivity tools together is even better! Looking forward to the Mac release this week.

    I agree with others who have said it would be best to get the notes to export to one Evernote versus one page per Evernote note. PDF export from Livescribe is one way to do this. Would be nice for the direct integration to offer this versus multiple steps using a PDF.

    Thank you for continuing to make the best better!


  • Erkka Piirainen

    @Jason Rothbart: I’m with you. The first picture of this post is kinda sad: after plugging the USB and uploading the notes from the pen you 1) select 2) right click & select from list 3) select again from list. I’m way too lazy for that even if I found the usb-cable.

    A (wireless BT-) pen that syncs directly with the Evernote client software would be perfect. Perhaps a Livescribe plugin for the Evernote? Plug the pen to the computer and that’s it. (Or better yet, just press “sync” on the client and it does everthing via Bluetooth).

    However, this is also a cool move. Keep it up 🙂

  • Michel

    Thanks, as a Evernote user this is a great add-on. For wireless and immediately transferring of your notes I’m using an Anoto solution.

  • Kawazoe

    Nice, and the iPad/iPhone app which had a touch screen and support for stylus (if you have one) from the start doesn’t even let you do that… Priority fail? I love Evernote. I really do. But I think the iOS apps needs to be taken more seriously.

  • Steven Banks

    Great! Ordered the Echo Fri 15th via Amazon (they now accept AmEx points!), got my pen today and found this blog about Evernote and LiveScribe too. I was going to figure out copy and paste techniques, but not needed now. It works like a charm, you get two notes… one for the audio and one for the handwritten note. Fantastic job, now I can’t wait for the Wacom Tablet app.

  • Digital Mirror Solution

    i think Evernote user this is a superb add-on.

  • Bryan U

    The only thing that is stopping me from getting a Livescribe pen is the fact that the first two digital pens I bought (Logitech io and the io2) are both no longer supported by Logitech and I worry about the same thing happening with Livescribe which is a smaller company than Logitech.

  • Gerald

    I have had a Livesribe since 2008 but this year I started to slowly use it less because it was sooo much easier to just focus on finding a way to get notes into evernote.

    Congratulations Livescribe on using the API to make such an awesome connection. And as always thank you Evernote for being my exo-Brain…if there was a fire in my house I wouldnt even have a list of 10 things I would grab…I would walk casually out the door to safety…knowing as soon as the insurance money comes through…whatever device I buy will have my precious memories back to me instantly – as safe as can be….

    Buying the echo right now…

  • Joshua Teng

    Can I disable automatic syncing between evernote and my livescribe pen? I don’t exactly want to sync all my private notes to the internet such as sensitive or important company informations…

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Joshua, the sync is not automatic. You need to manually select that notes that should be sent into Evernote.

  • Bob Walsh

    10/30 1pm-5pm PT – after their server maintenance this morning, the only LiveScribe Desktop you can get is not the current version, 2.3.0 (which supports evernote), but 2.2.3 (from August). Whoever was supposed to move 2.3.0 to the /current directory blew it. So, if you don’t feel like wasting several hours, when you do download the Mac version of LiveScribe Desktop, check the version number: if it’s not 2.3.0 or later, you will, like I did, be screwed.

    And do they have tech support, or even look at @livescribe over a weekend? Ha! BTW, I got my LiveScribe Echo 4GB as swag at the PayPal X Developer Conference. Along with oh, say about a thousand other developers…

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Bob, thanks for bringing this to our attention. It looks 2.3 is available again from the Livescribe site.

  • Mark Nethercott

    This is a great solution with some limitations. The limitations may or may not be a factor in your decision. In lots of ways, a typical v1.0
    – The pen is a bit fatter than a typical pen, but you do get used to it in time. I think LiveScribe need to work on this and redesign to drop the diameter be a couple of millimeters
    – The desktop software works well and has been stable so far (64 bit Winows 7)
    – You can get the paper in a Moleskine sized notebook, which seems to be about the most popular business size – you can ignore the thickness dimensions on Amazon that say it’s 1″ (25mm) thick as this is the thickness of the pack that contains 2 off notebooks..
    – The software works well across multiple notebooks as well. This means you can have two notebooks in use at the same time. I use a small one for ad-hoc notes and the Moleskine sized one for work.
    – The “share with Evernote” works with the following limitations:
    1) The software doesn’t cache your Evernote password between sessions, so it has to be typed in each time you start the software
    2) Although you can give the ‘pencast’ a name that is used as the title for the Evernote, livescribe doesn’t remember it, which makes keeping notes in sync/xRef difficult
    3) You can’t send multiple pages (e.g. Meeting/lecture notes) across as one ‘note’. Every note you send has the ‘name’ of the pencase as the note title with the page number (of the note book appended). This page number is limited use as it is independent of the notebook
    4) Merging multiple note pages in Evernote is made more complex because each of the sub-pages has the same time stamp.
    5) The ‘Author’ field isn’t completed in Evernote
    6) I’ve not found a simple way to complete the workflow of Writing in Notebook -> LiveScribe desktop -> OCR -> A single Evernote containing both note image and OCR text.
    – I had an elry issue where the ink cartridge was pused too far in to the pen – caused by the pen cap I think, which meant

  • Gary DePew

    I love the promise of the pen more than the current version of it, but that’s the fun of being an early adopter…watching the evolution of ideas into realities. I presume the following improvements are in development:
    1. Thinner form factor
    2. Redesign the need for a separate cap (too easy to lose)
    3. Bluetooth. Lose the wire.
    4. Checkboxes for: Send to Evernote; Append to previous page
    5. Improved OCR for handwriting
    6. Simplified workflow to Evernote.

    Keep Moving Forward…

  • Richard Nash

    Love the pen, own one and recommend to everyone, but the software is week.

    The most basic feature needed is … I dock the pen anywhere and everything is synced to the cloud. That’s all, simple … and so incredibly powerful.

    After that we can quibble about the dozens of other features that would be nice, but automatic cloud syncing is a billion times more crucial than all the other features.

  • Ed Glynn

    Bought the Echo Pen just to use with Evernote. Upgraded to premium. Downloaded pencasts. And…no audio. I can’t figure it out. None on Android. None on iPad, none on Windows PC. And…not sure where to turn. Livescribe was no help.

  • Philip

    I use Livescribe Desktop Version and Evernote Version (107812). I have a Premium Account.

    When I share Livescribe Pages & Audio with Evernote, I only get pages. No Audio that I can find.

    Here’s what I’m doing:
    1) Select a page that has audio files.
    2) Click the “Share” button and select “With Evernote…” from the fly-out menus.
    3) Verify that the “Include” box for audio files is checked in the “Select Data for Pencast” dialog box.
    4) Give the “Pencast” a name.
    5) Click the “Share” button.

    The .png file is small. It shows up as 62.4KB in Evernote. There should be two associated audio files: one is 3.61 MB and the other is 11.82 MB.

    Eventually I get a message that the files uploaded successfully. After sync-ing both the Evernote web site and my Evernote desktop client, I see the .png file but not the .wav. Am I doing something wrong?

    I see others are having the same problem. Has there been some resolution?

  • Jan


    I see the same problems.
    I tried three ways:

    1. Share the page only – WORKS – perfect
    2. Share the page and audio – FAILS – shows page only
    3. Share the audio only – FAILS – shows nothing

    I don’t see the audio show up anywhere….

    Is there a solution to this problem?



  • Kurt

    Same problem as Philip and Jan. Upload seems to work fine (massive file, made me go Premium to get it uploaded), yet not audio!

    Send a Tweet to LiveScribe Twitter account, so far no response. Hopefully more luck through this channel.

  • Ashley

    How can I get my audio files from my livescribe smart pen onto Evernote?

  • FiliP


  • RFP1999

    Same problem here. Any resolution yet?

  • Tim FitzGerald

    Same problem – no audio files

  • Reuben Halper

    Same problem as all the above. What’s the resolution?

  • Andrew Churchill

    Love the integration of Livescribe with evernote and the potential offered. However, while the handwriting recognition within the livescribe desktop application is excellent, the recognition rate in evernote for notes imported from livescribe (either as pdf’s or as images) is either non-existant (even after waiting a few days on a premium account) or very patchy with maybe only about 10% or less of words recognised and the note retrieved as part of a word search. If the handwriting recognition rate and related word search retrieval rate in Evernote came even as half as good as the recogntion rate in the livescribe desktop app, how fantastic would that be ! Is there an issue with handwritten note word recognition with the current version of evernote ?

  • Amir Masodu

    I really like to buy one. I’m trying to digitalized all my date.

  • Evernoter

    Why do all the selected pages in Livescribe get split into individual notes on Evernote?

    Pages shared within the same session should really be combined into one single note on Evernote, not spread across 50 new notes on Evernote, which is a nightmare to clean up (going into each and every note to cut and paste and then having to delete 49 blank notes).

    It would drive be very inconvenient if one had to transfer several hundred or thousand pages onto Evernote, just image having several thousand new notes created on your Evernote account?!!

    Are Evernote and Livescribe aware of this issue?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Thanks for the feedback.

      • Todd

        So – any updates? I’m thinking of getting a livescribe pen just to use with evernote, but I’m concerned since I’ve seen evernote promise and never deliver (by never I mean with things like sharing notes on the iphone app which if I’m right was promised almost 2 years ago).

    • Note

      Select the notes you want together, right click, merge notes.

  • Mike M

    I would pull the trigger on this but it doesn’t seem to have had the issues with audio resolved. Does anyone know if the titanium edition 4gig pen have these issues? what about the 69$ refurbed pens. Do they work with evernote?

  • William

    I’ve just been sent ‘spam’ from you guys trying to sell me a livescribe pen. All great, in theory until i saw the comments on this blog!

    I tried the Logitech IO pen (1 and 2 versions) years ago. It’s the same brain – from Anoto. Shame Logitech abandoned us and didnt update the software so we’re left with worthless hardware. Shame there’s no way to link this to you guys. Then again, if i get reassurances about the live scribe issues i may bite the bullet again..

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Stay tuned. Improvements are on the way.

      • Jen

        I also have a couple old logitech pens (with horribly limiting software). I’d love to be able to use them!

  • Tanya

    Was looking into one of these after your email about the pen, but I can’t pay so much money for something that only 1/2 works! I could really use this, too, as probably many who use Evernote.

  • Jen

    I was soooo excited when I got the e-mail from Evernote about this pen! I ordered my pen the same day. This is my missing link for going digital. I have to take notes at meetings. I don’t like to type them, but I need to be able to store and reference my notes digitally. The software works perfectly! Unfortunately I really need it to partner with my ipad (through evernote). This means I desperately need two things- 1. Files to transfer into Evernote in one chunk, not several, and 2. Handwriting to be searchable in Evernote. My hope is to take my notes at meetings, have them transfer to Evernote & reference them on my ipad, iphone, or computer. Only having livescribe desktop software is very limiting. The partnership with Evernote is only helpful if I can access my content in the same way. I’m hoping that updates are coming!

  • Rusty

    Unless you need to save the audio along with your handwritten notes, you’d probably be a lot better off to just scan the notes into Evernote with a ScanSnap scanner. Simple and fast.

    • Jen

      Seriously? It’s much easier to just plug your pen in. The problem with syncing to Evernote is that it breaks apart the files. A work around for this (still presuming you don’t need audio) would be to print to PDF first, and then drop it into Evernote.

  • Dirk

    Why are the livescribe notes becoming dead notes in evernote?

    You should tear the pages from your notebook when synced with evernote. Adding written comments on a formally written note is hard to manage and organize. I think it could be better.

    I use evernote to store and organize my stuff. I use dot paper pages that are put as notes in books. When I add something to the dot paper I want this to show up in evernote, without having to
    (1) send the updated page to evernote,
    (2) search for the old note and remember the notebook you put it in ,
    (3) delete the old evernote note, then
    (4) add the note to the right notebook in evernote.

    It would be great is to have a real synchronization of the handwritten pages to the right notebook in evernote. It would boost the synchronization between paper and cloud working.

  • Ted

    Using my Windows XP Pro system, I’ve found that when you select, then drag and drop multiple notes onto the Evernote connector the Evernote connector will merge the notes together on the Evernote website. If you drag and drop them seperately then they will upload as seperate files. So far, so good. Hand Written Recognition and Search work very well. Evernote and Livescribe have done an outstanding job of making this system seamless. But there’s still good work to do to make this product the invention of the decade.

  • John King

    I like the pen and Evernote is the strongest tool I use in my business. Evernote and Livescribe together is a slick idea but is missing one peace…synchronization. I would find it better if once a Livescribe ‘note’ was modified using livescribe itself it would update itself in Evernote. If I have a small project I will take notes at the beginning of the engagement and upload the Livescribe notes to Evernote. I draw check boxes in my written notes so I know it is an item to complete. If I check them on paper I want to see the completion on my computer or phone. I also add some typed notes, screen shots, etc. to the same EN note. When I meet back with the client I write notes on the same livescribe paper pages. Currently I have to remember to delete the original attachment and re-attach the new pdf. If only the two could identify that it is the same livescribe notebook and page and ask to replace the current one. I like the pen and live daily by Evernote.

  • office 2010 professioanl

    Amazing things here. I’m very happy to see your post. Thanks a lot and I’m taking a look ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  • Reggie Little

    It’s sad that the search by Evernote with Livescribe doesn’t work. It would have been nice.