As anyone tried Rocketbook? The Reusable Notebook

I’m not sure where to categorize this so I’ll start with software. Has anyone tried Rocketbook? Looks intriguing except my handwriting has gotten progressively worse over the years. I saw this from a WSJ article.

I have heard good and bad things about it. A college student highly touted its benefits for note-taking and homework assignments in her classes. OTOH, someone else said it has no advantage compared to a well-designed e-notebook (e.g. iPad Pro with Apple Pencil).


JJW

That’s what I suspected. I use the iPad Pro 10.5 with Notability or Goodnotes. My handwriting has gotten so bad after so many years of touch typing that I’m finding it less than optimal to handwrite any notes.

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I’ve been using one for the past few months. It works reasonably well as a low cost, low tech way of digitizing notes. If you have a tablet and pencil, i don’t see any advantage.

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It mostly just makes me really really want a Mini-sized iPad that supports Apple Pencil.

i love my rocketbook: and NOTE there are a couple versions the one you microwave [WAVE] to clear all the written notes and the one where you can use water & cloth to re-use and clean each page [Everlast] & comes in Mini form which i picked up to keep as capture device for my purse/tote.

I liked this product because in my work/personal life I’m a physical notetaker (carry a personal planner)- I have a ipad pro/pencil but for some reason i’m partial to taking notes analog vice the device.

This product has helped me as most as it combined to reduce the amount of time I need to process my inboxes [GTD] essentially I was queen of the loose papers; Having this notebook has stopped that issue and save a bit of time having the notebook sending my notes to the right cloud service

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@digeratti Have you tried both? If so, any difference between the microwave vs water-wipe versions?

Heard one of them was slightly less reusable over time, but cannot recall which version it supposedly was.

It looks wonderful. Makes me wish I did more handwriting just to try it out.

I was an ‘early investor’ with this product on Indiegogo. It was a nightmare, delays followed by delays with lots of excuses in between as they developed the product.

I bought the microwave version which eventually arrived but to be honest it took so long that in the meantime I had discovered how great it was taking notes on the ipad using the pencil and have not looked back since.

So my humble opinion is that this is yesterday’s product and paper free note taking is the way to go!

What advantages does this give over just scanning in a page of handwritten notes? I use Pilot Frixion pens and it’s possible to erase most of a notebook by leaving it on the front seat of the car on a very hot day (ask me how I know that first hand)…

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I have the everlast. The microwave version doesn’t last as long.

For the microwave version, you have to well, throw the book into the microwave with a cup of water on top, microwave (1 min or something), flip to the other side of the book, then microwave again.

For everlast, it’s supposed to be reusable forever… You wipe off your writing with water. However some ghosting can still be seen, especially when the page is held at an angle. Probably it’s from the pen scratching the surface of the paper?

For both books you can only use it with the pilot frixion pens

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Well they have a special app, with all that cloud features. And the page is specially designed with a ring of black at the edges that makes it easier for the app to detect the full page.

But compared with erm just using a scanner app on your phone, or an actual scanner? I don’t know… If you have a good workflow with another scanner app… That’s probably a better choice for digitizing your notes. The rocket book app isn’t the most developed, and the image resolution isn’t always ideal - you have have to retake the photo to get sharper images.

Other than that? Well the everlast pages are more like plastic… So they last longer than flimsy cheap paper. But since it’s plastic, it also means there’s not much friction/feedback from writing. Your pen just glides over the paper all too unnaturally. Makes it harder to write actually!

Opps. Sorry for the multiple posts… But those two were comment replies and this is a general answer to the OP’s question so…?

Ok. I have the rocket book everlast. That’s the newer product, and the one that supposedly can be used an infinite number of times. I backed the letter sized on kickstarter, then backed the rocket book mini on indigogo… Then bought an executive sis one for my sis.

With the rocket book, you can only use the pilot frixion line of pens, “pencils”, and markers. And probably whatever new frixion things pilot comes up with. Loads of colors to choose from, but of you like fountain pens like I’ve recently gotten into, or prefer a different type of pen… You’re out of luck. Also do get thicker pens… Thin lines don’t show up well after scanning.

The greatest issues I have with the notebook is that the plastic surface is just too smooth. It feels strange writing on the paper… And there are still slight ghosting marks left behind after wiping, particularly obvious when the paper is held at an angle. The app also isn’t the smoothest running, and sometimes the image captured is blurred.

If you already have an iPad and apple pencil, forget about this. If not, it is indeed an interesting product, but probably getting a scanner app with a regular notebook might give a better result. I for one am a bit of a OCD and those ghosting distract me so much! I want my pages to be fresh and completely clean! The rocket book app is also rather basic… Perhaps a good scanner app coupled with some workflows can do better.

I believe they have test pages online so you can print them out, write on them, then test out the app before you commit!

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I had it for awhile but ended up throwing it away. I love the idea. it’s great if you take handwritten notes and want to automatically process them differently, depending which icon you circle at the bottom. But I don’t really have that much need for it.
Also, the reusablity was a fun idea, but didn’t feel worth it in reality. I never liked writing on a page that had been “erased” by microwaving. The ink was still on the page, just turned clear. I kept feeling like, “I make an okay living, i’ll just buy another notebook when I’m done!”
:slight_smile:

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it cuts down to me that step of ok i took a picture/scanned in my page now you have to either still manually send to gmail/cloud/evernote/ – unless you have some automation built in

the rocketbook everlast combines that step scan picture and the document goes directly to whatever service you provide via the rocketbook app which also saves what you scan so kinda cool have a back up just in case

Rocketbook was mentioned in the latest MPU episode #440: Workflows with Thom Zahler. Utilized as a reusable signup sheet.

Great thread. Mentioned again by Thom Zahler in recent MPU episode, hence thread resurrection. The Rocket website touts this product as being like writing on paper, which would be the only advantage over writing on glass with the Apple Pencil. But its pretty clear from the posts above that this is nothing like writing on paper, so I may as well hang on to my $$. Unless the product has somehow improved…

Thanks for your feedback… As a lefty, who in the days of being compelled to write with a fountain pen – would frequently end up smudging the still-drying ink – your pointing to the “plastic-like” surface has all but convinced me not to take the plunge…

I enjoy the large Moleskine/Moleskine [ :wink: ] notebooks, and if I really want to digitize any of those, using a scanner app with OCR back on the Mac, will leave me no-worse off than using the Rocketbooks, from what I can tell.