Getting the Most from your Rocketbook Notebook

The Rocketbook Everlast is a fantastic gift for the wired high school or college student. It puts a new twist on taking notes in the more traditional way with pen and paper, while at the same time not being as onerous as using a tablet computer to take handwritten notes.

There are two parts to understanding the value of this system:

  1. The notebook is made of paper-like plastic, rather than regular paper. This is great because it means that if you use the readily available Pilot Frixion Pens or Markers, anything written on the pages can be easily wiped away clean with a damp paper towel. So basically it means you can reuse the notebook over and over again.I love the feel of the special Pilot pens on this surface. It is smooth and fluid. I also appreciate the fact that the notebooks use dots instead of lines on the pages. This makes it easier to use the paper for a wide-variety of notes including drawings and landscape notes (as opposed to portrait) which definitely has come in handy.
  2. Before you wipe away your notes, you can use the Rocketbook app to photograph your work and automatically file it up to one of several services including Google Drive, DropBox, and Evernote, or just email the notes to yourself or a designated email address (perhaps use Gmails “+ addressing” as part of a filing system). The notebook’s pages have a 7 symbols at the bottom of the page that when checked tell the system where to send your notes.

The two together mean freedom for people like me who need to take lots of notes and actually keep track of the resulting work for future reference. Here are a few points that may help you understand the way you can make use of the Rocketbook system:

  • The Rocketbook system let’s you work in a nonlinear way–since the notes will be sent to the cloud, you don’t necessarily have to use contiguous pages to track the same topic–you just have to send the right pages to the right place in the cloud and then possibly further organize them from there.
  • If you don’t plan to fill the notebook before you photograph it, or if you need to erase some notes but aren’t ready to erase others, you’ll need some sort of system to identify which notes have already been photographed. I keep it simple–I just use the upper right hand corner of the page to put the date and circle it after I capture the page so I will know it’s safe to erase.
  • There are a wide variety of Pilot Frixion pens and markers available from retailers including Amazon.com. They come in different colors, sizes, and tips.
  • I learned from the “A Life of Productivity” blog, that it’s better to use the Pilot Frixion 0.5 tipped pens–they dry faster and obviously don’t make your writing as thick. This solves a problem that I have also noticed: it takes a few seconds for the ink to dry on the page–I’ve definitely smudged a few notes with the default 0.7 pen that ships with the Rocketbook. I haven’t tried this yet, but I will.
  • Rename your files when they reach the cloud. For instance with Google Drive, you would want to rename them and possibly move them into a more precise folder. You will want give the files some kind of descriptive name to help you to know the contents of the notes and the order that they’re meant to be read.
  • The Rocketbook people also have another notebook that is possibly more well-known than this one called “The Rocketbook Wave.” It is cool in that you erase the notebook by microwaving it, however it may only be able to be used a few times. Aside from that, the idea behind the notebook is basically the same as the Rocketbook Everlast.
  • Unfortunately, there isn’t a handwriting recognition system at this time. Based on the fact that some tablets are able to read my scrawl and convert it to typed text, I think this is a definite possibility in the future.

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