Rocketbook has a high degree of fun associated with the product – that, alone, merits mention, but it’s also a genuinely great product.

Rocketbook – Started as a KickStarter, and just wrapped up another KickStarter Campaign for their new Orbit product (and yes, I jumped on that one, too).   This platform has several physical options (including single-use paper, decals, and whiteboard configurations), but I’m going to focus on the Core (known as Everlast when I purchased the system), which is a reusable notebook.

Rocketbook uses digital technology via an app on your smart device.  When you take a picture, the software transcribes (certain features) and sends the image to a designation of your choice (including Google Drive, Evernote, and other popular platforms). Because the “important part” is the app, not necessarily what you write on, the developers have used their extensive imagination to create a huge variety of uses that directly relate to the business (and student) world.

The notebook interface I use (Core) is an erasable platform and can be used over and over (I still have and use the original notebooks I purchased, and I also use a decal affixed to a clipboard for specific projects that need to be portable or “notes on the go” or notes posted for general view).

The pen is any Pilot Frixion writing instrument (widely available at any office supply store)

PROS

  • The notebook is easy to write on
  • Minimal smearing (dries very quickly)
  • Can use colored pens for emphasis
  • Almost paperless – reusable paper-like interface, but nearly endless reuse
  • Can specify file names on page (uploads to the specified filename)
  • Secure physical device – once you erase the pages, the information is gone
  • Does not require a battery or separate equipment to capture and transfer the data
  • Cost – Fairly inexpensive.  Letter-sized notebook bundles start at around $32.00, plus the cost of the Frixion pen system of your choice.  Products go on sale from time to time, and I have taken advantage of sales to purchase the decal system.

CONS

  • Minimal handwriting-to-text conversion
  • Pages must be erased to reuse (requires some time – and sometimes I forget to erase the pages before I’m out of room in a notebook)
  • Pages uploaded as individual files – it would be nice to be able to specify collections of pages in one file
  • Pages can be damaged (creased) – need to take a little care when cleaning
  • Sometimes the ink does not lay well on the paper (a little like writing on plastic – sometimes requires a little patience), especially for notebooks pages that have been used many times

Rating:  9 out of 10.  Overall, this is a great system.  There are a LOT of uses of the software beyond just the notebook, and the team is continuously developing new uses of the software. My expectation is that the team will eventually develop more robust handwriting recognition and improve file management and handling.

If you are interested in this technology, you should check out the website for great videos and suggestions for using the product.

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