Initial experience with the Erasable Rocketbook in 2019

I picked up an erasable Rocketbook letter size and some additional .7mm Pilot FriXion retractable gel pins in assorted color inks. Previously, I’ve tried out the Rocketbook that was microwavable. This version allows you to just wipe the page.

Rocketbook package

The notebook comes in some interesting packaging with the pen to one side, and the notebook in the other. As I read the instructions, I realized that I had missed that there was also a cloth in the main packaging. Make sure that you don’t throw that or the pen away!

Don't forget the cleaning cloth

Opening the package there is a slight smell. There was smudging on the cover that made it look like the notebook wasn’t new but it seems more like a packaging issue.

Unknown white substance on Rocketbook cover

I was surprised at the size; it feels pretty small and that’s because it only has 32 pages. This might seem like the optimum page count with reusable notebooks. The notebook paper feels waxy.

The included FriXion pen is solid, but reasonably light. The ink in the included FriXion writes pretty smoothly, and looks wet for about 20 seconds. This doesn’t seem optimum for live sketchnotes.

Picture of the writing in the notebook

The additional Pilot FriXions don’t flow as smoothly. It’s not clear if the ink is slightly different or if the pen tips are smaller.

Using the “eraser” tips on the pens smudged the ink so don’t use those. The enclosed cloth wet worked perfectly to wipe off all the ink.

Rocketbook wiped clean

One thing I did notice is that I could see the imprint of my writing on the page from an angle. I’m not sure if this is expected behavior or if I just write harder than normal. That makes me think that I’m scratching the surface and that over time the notebook won’t wipe clean.

Angle shows writing indentations

In addition to the notebook being wipeable, there is an app that allows you to scan the pages, and associate different actions with the 6 different symbols. There is also Handwriting Recognition that you can enable within the app to have filenames based on hashtagged notation on the scan, searchable handwritten text, and emailed transcription.

I managed to lose a page of scanned text because I wiped the page clean before checking to make sure that I had successfully emailed the page. I recommend testing the app workflow to make sure you understand how the app works! I hadn’t realized that I needed to click “Next” after the scan!

For the email action, it shows up with the pdf and transcription attached (if transcription is enabled with that specific option).

Email action

Here’s a screenshot of the scanned image:

Screenshot of the content

and here’s the transcription for the writing:

Page 1
Test Page

included pen . thispaper feelsvery wary.Probably needs
a hack for Lefties to use. Lookswet for quite sometime.

.7mm gel purple
7rum gel aqua
o7mm gel red
o7mm ael kolve
.7mm gel pink
.7mm gee green
.7mm gel black

The included pon feelsdifferent towritewith

justcheckingagain. More pressure works.

lustatest,inkissworth butwayy papeis

Overall the handwriting detection didn’t work out too perfectly, but I’ll try again when I’m not rushing my writing to see if that works out more cleanly. I don’t understand why the scanned figure didn’t get included, or at least the text within the figure.

I did try writing landscape, as landscape mode actually feels more comfortable to write with this notebook.

Here’s the scan of the landscape note:

Screenshot of the landscape content

and here’s the transcription for the writing:

Trying
Landscape
mode

tryingtounitemorelightlytonotleaveancraprint

Firstfewscanswentnoutore,Lostpageoftext!

holsurewhereitsintheappsosomethingtotestandfigure

outpriortowipingclean!i

It doesn’t have a “translate emoticon” option and it just lumps everything together even though it mostly detects the letters correctly.

I’ll try the pens out separately on different paper later. Overall, I’ll need to do more testing before I would move over my current pen/paper for sketchnoting/note taking. I’m somewhat interested in this possibility for a better workflow of automating scanning sketchnotes in from conferences though! The feel of the ink/paper isn’t something I’d enjoy for writing for general use cases especially for longer writing periods like all day meetings.