Environmentally-Friendly High-Tech (Paper) Notebook

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #315

When I first heard about Rocketbook, a line of “endlessly reusable digital notebooks,” I was sure that an environmentally friendly high-tech notebook was an oxymoron akin to “jumbo shrimp” or “exact estimate.” 

I was wrong. 

I’ve been testing several different Rocketbook notebooks for the past few weeks and I am now convinced they really are better — for both me and the environment—than the dozens of pads and notebooks I use every year (and have used every year for decades). 

I’ve been testing these Rocketbooks for weeks…

Let me explain the concept before I tell you about the notebooks and how they work. 

The Concept

You start by writing in your Rocketbook as you would any notebook or notepad. When you’re done, launch the Rocketbook iOS app and scan (i.e. take pictures of) your page(s). It begins by converting your handwritten note into a PDF file, then applies Optical Character Recognition to translate the hand-printed words into a searchable PDF. 

That would almost be enough for me, but there’s more. 

After converting and translating you can choose to send your note to any of nearly a dozen cloud-based destinations including four I use almost every day: Evernote, iMessage, Dropbox, and Email as well as others I use less often such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Slack, and Box.

It takes only one tap to send a scan to one of my favorite locations.
It takes only one tap to send a scan to one of my favorite locations.

The Coolest Part

Now for the coolest part: After you’ve scanned and uploaded your pages to the cloud you can erase and reuse the pages in most Rocketbook notebooks quickly and easily.

This is my favorite part. Until recently, whenever I wasn’t in front my computer I would be scribbling in a notebook. Then, when I was in front of my computer again, I’d laboriously type my notes into the appropriate app on my Mac, which was usually Evernote or Dropbox. Now, my notes are in Evernote or Dropbox (or an iMessage or Email) before I even get back to my office!

I showed Rocketbook to my son Jacob, who is better attuned to environmental issues than I am. He also knows just how many notebooks and notepads I burn through every year. 

His response: “That’s very cool… you’ve got to love a notebook that saves trees.”

There are several different reusable Rocketbook notebooks available at prices that start at just $16 for an Everlast Mini, a pocket-sized notebook and the one I use most. 

The notebooks are very cool, but what’s even cooler is you can do everything I just described without having to buy a reusable notebook (though you’ll probably want one). That’s because the Rocketbook iOS app is free and the Rocketbook website offers PDFs of Rocketbook pages you can download and print.

So, give it a try—I think you’ll like it. If you do, consider saving a tree or two and buying one of the infinitely reusable Rocketbook notebooks. 

Get Rocketbook notebooks (from $16).

Get the free Rocketbook app for iOS.

Get free downloadable Rocketbook printable PDF pages.

2 thoughts on “Environmentally-Friendly High-Tech (Paper) Notebook

  • Hi. I am interested in those kind of notebook because of the fact that it doesn’t use as much paper. However, you don’t seem to consider the fact that the rocket book has a plastic cover and the frixion pen that work with this notebook are also plastic and the refill (also plastic) never last very long imo…. Their is also the environmental cost of uploading data to the cloud to consider. With that said, would you still consider them as ecological? Don’t you think that it would be better to use a notebook with recycled paper?

    1. Hard to say… I used to toss a lot of notes in the trash. I toss a lot fewer since I started using Rocketbook. And I’m still using the same two Frixion pens I got with the notebook almost a year ago. Don’t know if it’s “ecological,” but it’s definitely convenient and I’m wasting less paper.

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