Note taking has always been how we start to remember information. We take down a note, we study it, and maybe even typed up our notes when technology advanced and computers became more widespread. When computers and word processing programs became more popular, note taking evolved into something we didn’t have to waste paper to do. That being said, some people–myself included–prefer to put pen or pencil to paper before typing things up. For me, I’ve always wanted to write down my thoughts or stories on paper, allowing for more of the editing process to already be taken care of before I typed it up, which seems final compared to writing in a notebook. I also wanted to use less paper since, up until now, I’ve had stacks of notebooks just gathering dust. This turned out to be sort of difficult to change up until last Christmas when a friend of mine gifted me the Everlast Notebook.
What’s an Everlast?
The Everlast Notebook is a small book with a limited amount of pages. Each page is covered in a grid of dots, and at the bottom of each page, there are a series of symbols. You are able to write on the pages, then wash the ink away with a damp cloth when you’re done with it.
But what about the notes?
So, each symbol at the bottom of the page can be assigned to a different online storage system. To save your pages, you must first download the free application, “Rocketbook.” Rocketbook supports most emails, Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, Evernote, Slack, iCloud, and Microsoft Onenote. After you’ve created an account, you can assign a program to each symbol.
Then, after you’ve filled a page of the Everlast with notes, drawings, or whatever else you’d like to put on a page, all you have to do is circle which symbol (or choose which program) you’d like to send the page to, open the Rocketbook app, and snap a photo of the page, making sure that the QR code in the bottom left-hand corner and the circled symbol(s) are visible in the scope of the camera. After that, the app will read and remember what symbols mean what and then you’ve got a picture of your handwritten notes online in whatever program(s) you selected.
Obviously, one of the most obvious upsides of the Everlast is its reusability. The settings in the app make it extremely user-friendly, allowing for you to pick up the Everlast and take notes just as if it were a regular notebook. Everyone knows how to use the cameras on their phones, so using this notebook is very simple.
The best thing about this notebook is how versatile it is. You can reuse it as many times as you want or need to, which can’t be said for normal paper notebooks. If you leave it in a hot car, the ink may fade, but bringing it back to high readability is as easy as putting the notebook into the freezer for a little while. Your ink will never truly fade away until you’ve wiped it clean with a damp, microfiber cloth, though any paper or cloth towel will work.
With every new and exciting invention, there’s always a few drawbacks. The Everlast is no different. You can only use a specific pen with the notebook, and honestly, the pens aren’t that great and they’re pricey. You can only use the FriXion pens and markers with the Everlast.
Another drawback is the fact that you can’t just keep writing. After a line or two, the instruction sheet that comes with the notebook mentions that you should wait for fifteen or more seconds for the ink to dry on the pages to prevent smudging. That being said, the instructions also advise against pressing too hard with the pen, but if you don’t press just hard enough then the page won’t be readable enough on the picture the application takes. It’s very difficult to figure out the perfect pressure to use to ensure readability.
As I’ve used this notebook for school and leisure, I can admit that it is a bit annoying to have to write three or four pages, then to stop and take a picture of each page to upload them to my email or Dropbox. It’s a small inconvenience, but for those who are used to typing things up on a computer, it’s a drawback that would cause someone not to continue using the Everlast.
Lastly, the overall price of the Everlast notebook is arguably a bit high, which makes sense since it’s a rather new product, but it’s still a factor to consider when looking at it to purchase.
Overall, I really enjoyed using this product. It helped that I didn’t spend any money on it, but I found it exceedingly simple to use. The free application is straightforward and there are no mysteries to using it at all. I can change the symbols that I previously designated for one program to another if necessary. The application was free, and I like how sleek and small the design for the notebook is. Small notebooks that fit in any bag I might carry are nice to have in case of inspiration striking unexpectedly.
My least favorite thing about this product is how easily the ink smudges, sometimes even after I had waited a minute before continuing on with my scribbles. Not to mention how much money I’d have to spend if I wanted a few different colored inks to use in my notebook to personalize pages and notes. There are always ways to improve products, but overall this one is decent. It has a good purpose, and the design of the product’s size, usability and versatility were well thought out when being created. If you are patient enough to wait for the ink to dry and you know you would use this product a lot, then this is definitely something you should try out.