January 26


Rocketbook Review

Rocketbooks Rock!

What if you could take the versatility of an erasable whiteboard, condense it to a size that fits in your hands or on a desk, write or draw or create a chart, and then, through your phone, transfer what is written or drawn to your laptop and/or The Cloud? You can.

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Two inventive fellows in Massachusetts have come up with the Rocketbook, a smart notebook that virtually eliminates the need for and use of traditional paper products. As the maker of Rocketbooks claims, “It’s a classic paper-and-pen experience built for the digital age.”

Key to this device is: NO PAPER is consumed. That is not to say it’s entirely without environmental impacts, but it enables users who like to rough out ideas with pen or pencil and paper to do so with zero paper waste.

This all comes with a caveat: their website is almost unusable. It assumes that the people who arrive there already know all there is to know about the products (more about those further down) and it does not effectively enlighten. Having said that, once you understand the Rocketbook concept and product, it’s a hands-down winner.

Environmental Impact of Notebooks and Paper

Pulp and paper mills represent the third largest industrial polluters on the planet. Paper is resplendent with inks dyes, polymers, bleaches and chlorine. That pristine sheet of white paper you want to draw or write on? Nasty stuff.

Trees cut down to make paper every year total 10.2 billion cubic feet. The process of making a tree into pulp and then paper uses fossil fuel and consumes more water than any other industry. At the other end, air pollution is caused, and tainted effluents leak into natural water systems.

As we have slowly moved into a paperless society — for example, e-mailed utility bills and on-line banking payment systems — there remains a paucity of options for scribes and designers, thinkers and idea-mongers. The Rocketbook smart reusable notebook is the perfect answer.

Rocketbook vs. Tablets or iPads — The Differences

The essential differences between the Rocketbook and typical electronic notebooks are:

  • the Rocketbook is not electronic and provides, instead, an experience just like making notes or doodles and sketches in a paper, bound notebook; tablets and iPads require input on a form of keyboard
  • traditional electronic notebooks allow for word input in a linear format; Rocketbooks enable users to draw or write, as though by hand, and by so doing allow for much greater creativity
  • one could write a document as long as a novel on an iPad, but that’s not the case for the Rocketbook, which, depending on the size, is roughly 32 pages
  •  you can erase copy from both products, but Rocketbooks’ content is literally removed with a damp cloth
  • tablets can take written material and store it on another device, print it, or upload it to alternative storage; Rocketbooks store to devices such as a laptop or The Cloud by way of sending the hand-written or -drawn items through a free app tied to a smart phone, utilizing Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

The Environmental Benefits of Rocketbook

We repeat: no paper. No trees taken down, no disgusting pulp and paper mills, no chemicals, no wasted paper, no paper recycling (not as bad as first-time produced paper, but still not good for the environment).

Cool Features Your Normal Notebook Doesn’t Have

The Rocketbook is a technological marvel, yet a grassroots form of taking notes and making drawings and graphs. Like a rough draft for ideas. Other features that distinguish the Rocketbook from a traditional electronic notebook or tablet are exciting and unique:

  • non-linear parameters enable free-force creativity; write or draw horizontally, vertically, diagonally, using lines, grids and other formats
  • use your phone and the free Rocketbook app to transfer what you have on your Rocketbook to other devices or a number of storage platforms
  • using a special Pilot FriXion pen in black or a range of colours, you can be as creative as you want
  • once your book is full, deletion is as simple as using a damp cloth to erase each page

How to Use the Rocketbook

It’s as easy as picking up a bound paper notebook, recording words or pictures, uploading them to storage through the Rocketbook app and using your Android or iPhone. Once you’ve made the transfer, erase and reuse over and over again.

Rocketbooks come in a range of sizes with spiral binding on the side, like a book, or at the top like an old stenographer’s pad so you can stand it up, perhaps for use in a presentation; they are available in mini (fits in a shirt pocket) to larger sizes, and in six colours. A wiping cloth is included. An average Rocketbook will run around $30.00 USD; the phone app is free.

What Others Say

Rocketbooks are a relatively new product and were crowd funding-sourced to get off the ground. The product range is overwhelming and many items are constantly sold out, indicating that it’s a really popular item. The special pens (not reusable long term) are required; one is included with the purchase of your Rocketbook.

“An item whose time has arrived, and gears us to a more truly paperless society,” says an architect who uses his Rocketbook to sketch preliminary designs and share them with clients before going to formal architectural drawings.

A writer likes the Rocketbook, but wishes for expansion: “On 32 pages, I can only outline a book to a limited extent; I look forward to the day when Rocketbooks come in 100-page or greater sizes.”

“I can be creative anywhere, capture my ideas on the fly,” says one creative mind. “But the pens could be better; looking forward to future improvements, but a fab idea!”

Rocketbooks are available (when in stock) in a range of sizes and colours with pen packs at bulk pricing, and in gift packs with a full set of accessories including a carry-folder. Rocketbooks fuel creativity!


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