The Surprise Christmas Gift I Now Use Every Day

This semester is in full gear, and I’m scrambling to keep up with various deadlines while also prepping for a couple of conferences I’m presenting at in March and May. Lately, it’s begun to feel like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. I get one thing done, breathe a sigh of relief, and then realize the house is metaphorically burning down. That being said, after a first semester of just adapting to CU Boulder, this semester I have been able to dig back into my own research, which is very joy-inducing. I’ve been exploring the history of cultural studies and media studies in South Africa, reading extensively about the ethics of going to Mars, and formulating an upcoming project that involves WestworldSo I may be exhausted, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been this happy.

Research aside, I want to dedicate this post to something less intellectual but certainly useful–my new favorite “gadget.” If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you probably know I’m a huge fan of technology that supports analog practices. My mom knows that especially and snagged me an amazing Christmas present this past December. I’ve been holding off on posting about it to check and see if my infatuation would last longer than a few weeks. Well I am no longer infatuated; this is true love.

The Rocketbook Wave looks deceptively like just a regular notebook, but it’s so much more. It’s an erasable and reusable notebook and a digitally archivable notebook. What does that mean? Well to begin, the notebook is designed to be used with Pilot Frixion pens. Under regular circumstances, these pens can be erased like you would erase a pencil marking–with an eraser on the end. When used with the Rocketbook Wave, instead of rubbing out text, once you have filled out the entire notebook, you simply place the notebook in the microwave and after a few minutes, the ink fades and the notebook is good as new. Reusable.

The notebook is also compatible with an app that can quickly capture each page and send it directly to the cloud storage of your choice. Each page is outlined with a thick black border that helps the app pick up the edges of each page no matter the surface beneath. The QR code registers the page number so you don’t have to snap the pages in order. And the symbols at the bottom of the page, when checked off in pen, correlate to distinct cloud storage locations of your own designation. For myself personally, each symbol is associated with a different Evernote notebook. All I need to do is hold my phone over a page when I’m finished writing, and in a second it’s duplicated online. Digitally archived.

There are some notes that I like to keep permanent analog copies of. (You should never trust digital alone. It is not without flaw.) For instance, all of my class notes are stored in Moleskines and carefully archived according to semester, in addition to being digitally duplicated on Evernote. However, I also attend a lot of meetings and events, and for those types of scenarios, I am fine with just a digital record. Ten years from now, I won’t be too perturbed if I can’t find the notes from that department meeting I had to attend. But in the short-term, those notes are valuable and they take up space. The Rocketbook Wave ends up being the perfect solution for all those miscellaneous note-taking needs.

I know I sound like somebody paid me to write this review. I promise they didn’t. I’m just passionately obsessed with this notebook. It’s already somewhat battered because I take it everywhere with me. My cohort members have had to hear me yak on about it, as have many others.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that apparently they’re releasing an even more impressive option later this year–I’ll keep you updated on that front. But in the meantime, you can order one through Amazon, and if you want to learn more about it, PCMag did a pretty comprehensive review of it. Just a reminder that Amazon gives me kickbacks whenever you purchase something on their site after entering the site through a link on my page. You don’t even have to buy the thing that I linked to; I get kickbacks simply because you followed the link and bought something. The kickbacks aren’t much, but I do use what little I get to help maintain this site. 

Most importantly though, I want to hear from y’all if you try the notebook out. How do you use it? Do you like it? Are there other similar tools that you prefer? For instance, someone mentioned to me that there’s a whiteboard notebook on the market too. Let me know in the comments!

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