What It Is
This gizmo is a reusable notebook that allows you to handwrite notes and easily add them to your electronic world. With this notebook, you can write or draw whatever you want and store it in a variety of online services. As of this writing, you can store your pages into Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, OneNote, OneDrive, #Slack, Box, Google Photos or send to your email account.
What Caught My Eye
I’m always on the lookout for productivity-enhancing gizmos. Even though I’m retired, I still love efficiency. After all, the time we have on Earth is limited. I want to make the most of it.
What I Found
- When you open the box, you find just the notebook and the pen. There is a one-page instruction sheet that directs you to the mobile app you need to get going. Simple.
- There are 36 blank pages (18 physical pages, front and back) with faint dotted lines on each page. There’s a small QR code on the bottom left of each page which is used by the app. At the bottom of the page, you will find seven icons that allow you to determine where that particular page will be stored online. More about that later.
- I followed directions and downloaded the app to my Samsung Android device. The install was clean, fast and easy. When you open the app, it prompts you to create your Evernote account. Once I did that, I was directed to start setting up my connections from the notebook to my digital world.
- The pages are constructed so that they won’t easily tear. To be fair, I didn’t go out of my way to try to tear them since I do want to use this thing! But they are clearly not as fragile as actual paper.
- As for price, I think this is a good value. You should consider that this notebook could replace your need for buying future notebooks for a very long time. Unless you take more than 36 pages of notes a day, you could literally use this for all of your notes. Heck, if you upload your notes more than once a day, you could take even more pages of notes daily.
- There was one pen included in the package. You must use ONLY Frixion pens manufactured by Pilot. You can find them everywhere. When I ordered my Everlast notebook on Amazon, I ordered a set of multi-color Frixion pens at the same time (7 pens for about $10.) But you could get them at your local Target, grocery store, etc.
- The pens have erasers making it easy to get your notes just the way you want them before you save them.
- To use the notebook, you write your notes on the page with the Frixion pen. Be sure to mark an icon at the bottom of the page to tell Rocketbook where you want to keep your note. Then you need to wait about 15 seconds to ensure the ink doesn’t smear. After that, on to the next page until you are done taking notes. At some point that is convenient for you, pull out your mobile device (probably your phone), click on the app, hover over the page(s) and click Send. Your notes will then go directly to wherever you want to keep them.
- I want to make an observation based on other reviews I’ve read about the product. Apparently, some people thought that the notebook was able to send the notes to your storage services all by itself. You do need to use your mobile device to snap an image of the page.
- Of course, reuse of the pages is an important feature of the Everlast notebook. Once you’ve uploaded your pages, you just use a damp cloth to wipe off all the ink. It takes a few seconds to dry and you are ready to start using the pages again. It’s quick and easy. There is a microfiber cloth included in the package which works well. But you can use any soft cloth to do the work.
What Ways I Will/Could Use It
- You could use this in any way you currently use a notebook.
- I specifically will keep it in my purse so that I always have a quick and easy way to take notes. While I can do this via Evernote on my phone or tablet, I find that taking handwritten notes on those devices doesn’t feel as natural as using a standard pen and paper. Saving text notes takes longer and I have to rely on my swipe keyboard and/or auto-correct to get the notes down. It’s often not very quick. I also find using such a small screen difficult for longer notes. So whipping out my Everlast notebook and writing is much better. And I still have the ability to save them into my beloved Evernote.
- I’m taking a statistics course for fun. (I know, crazy!) I will start doing all of my notetaking and working through my problems on this notebook. Up until now, I’ve been using paper or my whiteboard, then taking a picture and then uploading where I want it. Now it will be easier to keep all of these notes more organized. Could I do this another way? Sure. But this will be easier and cleaner. (See notes about what I like below.)
- When I was working full time, I had a system I used for keeping track of my to-dos. Despite being a Gizmo Girl, I used paper and pen because I wanted to be able to easily make my notes, scratch through things, check things, and use different colors to make stuff stand out. Everlast notebook will do what I need without using actual paper plus I’ll easily be able to keep it electronically so that I can search for things from long before.
- If you are thinking of using this for school, you will like that you can set up your class notes in separate notebooks online, yet just carry one notebook with you to your classes. By using the various connection icons, you can send each page to its proper place, no matter in what order you use them.
What I Like
- I’m a big Evernote fan. So I was curious about how the Rocketbook Everlast Notebook would connect to Evernote. It was seamless. Plus, by using multiple icons, it allows me to save to different notebooks within Evernote.
- You can mark a single note to go to more than one place at a time. For example, I can have a page to go my statistics notebook in Evernote and also to a file in Google Drive while sending it to myself in an email, all with one click.
- I opted for the smaller of the Everlast notebooks. Mine is the 8.5 X 6-inch book. I chose that so that I could easily keep it in my purse. There is an 8.5 x 11 version that I would probably have gotten if I was in a more typical work environment. In any case, the format of the notebook is nice because it’s light. You can easily carry it from meeting to meeting.
- Speaking of meetings, I personally don’t appreciate someone taking notes on a laptop during a meeting. The key clacking is distracting. I like that meeting notes can be taken more discreetly with the Everlast notebook.
- As mentioned above, you could accomplish the storage work of the Everlast without an Everlast. I could take a picture of a regular piece of paper and then upload it to Evernote (or Drive, Box, OneDrive, etc.) But what I like about Everlast is that it doesn’t throw a picture in my phone’s Gallery. Yes, it’s stored in the Rocketbook app and I must delete it there if I want to keep it tidy. But those notes are not all mingled with my other photos. I think I’ll be much better about deleting these notes off my phone because they’ll be all in one place not forcing me to go through every picture I have to find those notes I want to delete.
- I saw online that several people complained about the fact that the cover is not of high quality. It is a plastic cover. I’m sure some people would like a nice leather or fabric-like cover. I, however, love that it is light. I’m happy with the current cover. It’s pretty durable and I’m not as interested in making a fashion statement.
What I Would Change
- I found that, while the app supports multi-color pens, the translation of those colors is quite poor. To demonstrate, I wrote sentences in different colors on a page and then uploaded to Evernote. I also took a picture from my phone (using my camera app, not Rocketbook) as a comparison. I’ve included those pictures below. For my purposes, I can work with what it does. But I would really like to see them do a better job. Clearly, my camera is able to provide better pictures. So the problem is in how Rocketbook does the translation during a scan. This is particularly interesting to me since Rocketbook has a new project in Kickstarter called The Color Notebook. Its purpose is to allow people to store pages of drawings, artwork. If they can make that work, I’m hopeful they will use that technology to upgrade the Everlast product’s color capability.
- I’m old. So a few of my wishes are related to that. For example, my older eyes have a hard time seeing the icons at the bottom of the page where you mark where you want it stored. I’m sure I’ll soon have their positions memorized. But it wouldn’t hurt to have them be just a tad easier to see. That could be done via either a darker icon or maybe make it a bit larger.
- Another old person issue is that my skin is dry. (In my defense, it doesn’t help that it’s about 6 degrees Fahrenheit and the air is very dry.) Turning the pages is annoying. It’s hard to separate them. I tend to pick up 3 pages at a time. I would suggest making the pages just a tad bigger and building in small tabs with page numbers on the side. I would guess that the cost would be more because of the increased manufacturing work. Maybe it could be an upgraded option? I’d be willing to pay more for that feature.
- I have a small worry that Pilot might stop manufacturing Frixion pens. If so, the notebook will die when my last pen dies. Maybe Rocketbook has some inside knowledge about Pilot’s commitment to the Frixion. Or, maybe they have an alternative in mind should Frixion go the way of BetaMax. Some word from Rocketbook on this would be reassuring. In any case, I’ve only invested about $30 for the notebook so I’m willing to take the risk.
- One last item on the wish list is to develop a product like this one that has it’s own wifi connection built in with a SEND button at the bottom of the page. In other words, build the app into the book and by-pass the need to take a snapshot. OK, I know that really jacks up the price. But it’s apparent from reviews that people want this. And it would make the Everlast notebook an outstanding, amazing Gizmo!
I’m glad I bought the Everlast notebook. There are two family members I plan to buy them for as well. It’s easy, practical, green and the price is right. I’m looking forward to The Color Notebook too.
Color Comparison Rocketbook App vs Picture Taken by Phone
A picture of the Everlast notebook taken from my phone using my camera app.
What the Rocketbook App saved into Evernote.