Please note that this post may contain affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you.
First, right off the bat, I want to say that I wasn’t paid for this post, nor was I supplied with any free materials. I spent my own money (far too much money…) on everything I’m going to be discussing, and my opinions are one-hundred percent my own.
When I bought my first Rocketbook, I had heard already about alternatives. I couldn’t have named any, but I knew that there were reusable notebooks that you could throw in the microwave, and then, if using a Pilot Frixion pen, the ink would magically disappear! But there were problems. Are problems.
The biggest is, that while the ink is temperature-sensitive, I live in Detroit. When the ink gets cold again, it all reappears again! And it’s Detroit! It’s going to get cold again, and I just didn’t think it was worth the hassle.
But then I found out about the Everlast, and I couldn’t help thinking that it seemed like a good investment. A permanently reusable notebook that wipes off with water? Even if the coating isn’t eco-friendly, and I don’t know that it isn’t… well, cutting down from a hundred notebooks to one really cuts down on the waste!
Now… here’s my top 5 reasons to buy a Rocketbook (or other reusable notebook).
1. You don’t want clutter
I think by now, everyone’s read Marie Kondo’s excellent The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and even the sloppiest want to live a cleaner, simpler, more minimalist life. Not to say that it always works out that way!
One of the things that I have constantly struggled with is that I think better on paper, writing long-hand, instead of typing. But then I have to have a notebook! And for reference, of course, I have to keep them separated by subject! And then I have two pages used in a notebook, but I need a new notebook, to have a new subject, and it ends up being a constant waste of paper, waste of space, waste of time. With a reusable notebook, I can think on paper, I can write scrap notes, I can do all those things, and I never need to worry that I’m going to run out of notebook space and need a new notebook, or that what I’m writing isn’t important enough to have its own space on the page. It’s all going to get erased anyways!
2. The only thing more useful than organized is searchable.
I love my computer. I’ve been on them since I was little, and I don’t know if I could go back to a world where everything is done by hand, even if I love antiques and I love analog. Analog is fun, it’s sexy, it’s charming… but for usability, digital is king. Computers take all the hassle out of searching for that specific note you wrote, because as long as it’s in plain text, in a searchable system like OneNote or Evernote, it will find it for you! Digitizing your notes takes the hassle out of referencing them, and my Rocketbook took the hassle out of digitizing my notes.
3. What’s the opposite of analysis paralysis?
I have a confession. I’m a fountain pen addict. I have dozens of the things! I have an actual, honest-to-God dozen Hero 616s. I have a Lamy 2000. I have a TWSBI Mini. I have a Pilot Vanishing Point. I have a ton of other Chinese pens, too. And when I was using them, I had to decide which one I felt like using. Do I want to have the convenient size of the Mini? The comfortable, smooth feeling of the Lamy? Do I want the cool, clicky feeling of the Vanishing Point? Do I want to buy a pen case and carry way too many pens with me, considering the amount of writing I do on an average day? And that’s not even getting started on the pens that I have that aren’t fountain pens!
I still have a pencil case, and it still has tons in it. I’ve got nearly every color of Pilot Frixion available. I pick every day which one actually goes in my pocket, and the case goes in my purse. I got it at the dollar store and it’s great. But I don’t have to worry about it, now. Instead of choosing between a ton of expensive pens, and a ton of expensive inks, I can leave them at home, not worry about it, and bring with me all of $20 of felt-tip pens. It’s backwards. I love choice. But what I’m finding that I love even more, is having someone else pick something good for me.
4. Where did I leave that note?
I have another confession. You know when I said that everyone wants a cleaner life? And I said even very sloppy people do, too? I have to tell you, that’s from personal experience. In spite of my best efforts at handling everything, and trying to be clean and make good decisions, I’m actually a huge mess! I used to carry three notebooks around, for pete’s sake! I had a traveler’s notebook for jotting things down, a disk notebook for stuff I intended to keep, and an A5 spiral notebook because I wanted something in between. But then, at home, I have another 10 composition books at any given time, in a filing cabinet. I like composition books, something about them just makes me feel confident in my writing.
But that means that I’m constantly writing stuff and then losing it! I might as well not write it down, or write it in my breath on a window! Search is great. Lack of clutter is great. But more than anything, knowing that everything I have and everything I need is in one place is great. If I know I’m going to be referencing a note again (rather than, say, a grocery list), I scan it into Evernote. Everything. Goes. Into. Evernote. (There are some issues with Evernote, I know. People are worried that it’s going downhill. They have been for years. I’m not sure they’re wrong, but at this point I’m not happy enough with any of the alternatives to switch.)
5. What mistakes?
When I write, I have three things that I like to bear in mind at all times. First, that real adults use cursive (or shorthand!). I’m from one of the last classes that they bothered to teach cursive to, but for all of elementary school and middle school and high school, they kept assuring me that the next big jump, they were going to require cursive! Real, serious people use cursive.
Second, real, serious adults write in pen. Nobody, apparently, makes mistakes in the real world, and if they do, they scratch it out and own up to it. I guess!
Third, if you ignore the first two, erasers ruin your page anyways. I just bought a Sudoku collection (same dollar store trip that got me my pencil pouch, but I left the book on the shelf for three weeks) and started on it. I am not exceptionally good at Sudoku, but I was excited to try blackout, where one of the cells in each row, box and column is blacked out and doesn’t represent a number at all. It’s a great variation. Total distraction from the point.
Anyways, I try to pencil in notes, and what I found was, when I erase them, the ink on the page gets erased along with it! This is with pencil, folks! And it’s erasing the black box for the blackout! That looks awful and I hate it.
Well, it’s the exact same with erasable pens and in my experience always has been. Pen, pencil, whatever. You’re going to see it for the rest of your life, every time you look at that page, you’re going to see smudges and smears and it’s the worst.
My Rocketbook has one stain on it. I marked an “X” on one of the scanner marks and it only halfway erased and I couldn’t begin to tell you why. That said, I only ever use that scanner bubble anyways. Everything else? Erases like it was never there. That makes me feel good. I can write in pen, in cursive, on paper, like I never actually had to in any classroom (including college) but everyone kept telling me I would. I can make mistakes. And then, I can erase them, and not have to look at that unsightly thing the rest of my life!
All that has made my life the past two months, while I’ve carried my Rocketbook (and now my second Rocketbook!) around a little strange. I go into stores, I check out the notebooks like I always did, and then I remember… oh yeah! I already have one! I don’t need another. And if I’m lucky… I never will again!