this thing's incredible

This Endlessly Reusable Notebook Turns My Doodles Into Emails

Automatically share your work by snapping a picture — then wipe it clean and start again. Photo: Courtesy of the retailer

I’m a professional gadget person, but there are times when I prefer the lo-fi. I like to hold a book in my hands and feel the turn of the pages. I have a soft spot for film cameras. And when it comes to taking notes, I much prefer pen and paper over a note typed into my phone. Problem is, I also tend to misplace papers, and all those notebooks and journals pile up over time. So when a colleague turned me on this summer to the Rocketbook Everlast — i.e., the coolest notebook I’d ever seen — I knew it was the last one I’d ever need.

It’s called the Everlast because, of course, it’s reusable forever. The pages feel like paper, but they’re made of a polyester composite that’s fully erasable with a damp cloth when you write on it with the right kind of ink (Pilot FriXions are what Rocketbook suggests). Scrawl notes as you usually do, and once you’re done, wipe them off and start over — ad infinitum. (Rocketbook makes a notebook that you can erase five times via the microwave, but this is so much better.)

Before you erase your work, the Everlast has something of a digital filing system, too. Each page of the notebook has its own unique QR code — snap a photo with the Everlast app on your phone and it’ll keep track of what was written on what page (in case you’re scrambling to find what the boss said on Wednesday morning). At the bottom of each notebook page, there are also seven different icons — a diamond, a bell, a star, etc. — that you can preassign to specific destinations via the app, like a folder on your Google Drive (think “Super Long Love Letter” or “Great American Novel Ideas”), or a Dropbox or email account, and so on. Once you’ve finished scribbling on a page, cross an X on the appropriate icon, snap an image, and off goes a PDF or JPG to your chosen destination. So, yes, it’s your typical notebook, with all the pleasures of analogue note-taking — only it’s usable forever and works as a digital document backup system. It does everything I want, in other words, only better.

More Strat-approved notebooks

Writer Molly Young discovered a notebook unlike any other: “Each of the 144 pages is printed with a variable grid design. This pattern is simultaneously a constraint (because grid) and a mild creative prompt (because variable). You progress through the notebook not knowing which grid design will greet you on the next page. Will it be the gray lines? The blue boxes? The tessellated triangles? The evenly spaced dots? The grids are all bold enough to provide structure but faint enough to foreground your writing.”

Little Fires Everywhere author Celeste Ng can’t travel without her Leuchtturm: “I keep a writer’s notebook and also put all my daily schedules and to-do lists in it. Leuchtturms are my favorites — they come in beautiful colors, have page numbers, and are just the right size to fit in my purse. I prefer the dotted pages, because they’re helpful when I need straight lines and easy to ignore when I don’t. Compared to a Moleskine, the paper is thicker, there are two ribbon bookmarks, and they come with stickers for labeling and archiving afterward (nerd bonus).”

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This Endlessly Reusable Notebook Turns Doodles Into Emails