DSC03050How’s your tech etiquette in meetings? Are you phone-away focused? Is it face down on the table, face up and vying for your attention, or always in your grip? Maybe you’re using it to take notes but how does it look to everyone else? When we appear like we’re elsewhere we can undermine others without even realizing it. After all, the point of a meeting is the meet, and the point of any truly useful technology is to stay out of the way.

The Livescribe Smartpen might just be the most convenient way to take organized notes while remaining present. The Moleskine edition in particular, with it’s fluid ability to record what someone is saying and tie it to the shorthand you jotted down while they said it, opens up a new level of note-taking. Tapping “buttons” on the corner of each Moleskine page as you write lets you record and pause audio, as well as star, flag and tag notes to your organizational desire. Each page also includes a row of to-be-determined buttons for future upgrades based on user feedback.

DSC03039Whatever your combination of hand-written and audio notes, all is synced to the Livescribe App where it enjoys every convenience of computer-driven workflow. (It can sync automatically later if your phone’s not around.) And the App gets it right, uncluttered with unnecessary features. Beyond an easy navigation through high res snapshots and their accompanying audio snippets, the App impresses with an ability to convert any decent penmanship into editable type with the swipe of a finger. From there it’s a quick step to throw it all in an email, or drop into the Evernote ecosystem (Livescribe’s Moleskine edition comes with a year of Evernote Premium.)

The nice thing about taking notes by hand is its distraction-free nature, in practice and perception. The nice thing about Livescribe is that it frees you up even further. Less hand scramble means more eye contact, and no fear of a moment forgotten means you can focus on the present one.