My love affair with reusable notebooks
Writing is how I think.
I can’t just leave the words and ideas whirling around up there in my noggin because:
a) It makes my head hurt
b) I’m scared I’ll forget the best bits
c) Great ideas become greater as I start writing them down - it’s a substitute for talking things through (since my cats, The Sons and Mr Worditude aren’t especially helpful for business-listening).
The downsides of this approach to life are numerous.
- The sacrifice of hundreds of innocent trees
- The extraordinary amount of space my notebook collection occupies
- The expense of new notebooks
- The complete inability to find or use any of these great ideas because they are lost in the sea off notebooks.
A couple of years ago, Jonathan Stewart (from Simplicity-Specialist.com) set me up with a Notion workspace which has completely changed my business and my life. Now the ideas worth keeping make it into Notion, and it’s 100% searchable, so I can retrieve, re-organize and re-plan with ease.
During the set-up I disposed of dozens of notebooks, saving just the best bits in Notion and binning the rest of that cathartic, but now purposeless writing.
I thought my notebook hoarding days would be behind me.
But I’ve since discovered that physically writing things down with a pen and paper helps me process my thoughts and plan my day.
I started researching reusable notebooks and nearly fainted when I saw the price of reMarkable.
Thankfully, through the magic of Facebook Ads, I found myself admiring the Rocketbook collection.
Rocketbooks are wipeable, reusable notebooks.
You can use an app to photography the pages, and save them to your preferred location, and if your handwriting is tidier than mine, it’ll even transform your words into typed text.
I didn’t need it for that - because 80% of what I write down is disposable waffle.
So instead I write down my brain-chunter (including notes during client calls), then read to see if I want to keep anything, type that up, and wipe out the rest.
The BEST thing about these books is they fill up quickly, and then I HAVE to choose what I’m going to type up in Notion and keep, and what gets obliterated forever.
With regular notebooks, I just open up another notebook and add the old one to the stack of paper that is never to be read or actioned.
But now I actually have to choose to DO something with the things I write down.
I have 3 Rocketbooks:
#1 The Panda Planner version
Helps me take my plans and to-do lists from Notion, and write them down into a plan for the day or week. The Fusion is a good alternative to this one.
#2 Lined A4 Core
Simple A4 spiralbound book with lined page. I use this for notes on clients, during calls or while editing/reviewing their copy.
#3 A5 Flip
Mixture of lined and dotted pages. I got this smaller book to keep by my bed for journaling and nocturnal inspiration.
Downsides / suggestions
#1 You have to use Frixion pens with these books.
I feel like I’m getting through a lot more pens than I do when using a regular notebook, but I have no proof of this. I’m using refill cartridges on the pens to try and cut down on the waste.
#2 I bought some Frixion fineliner pens.
They look so pretty in the packet, but some of the lighter colours are really hard to see on the page. The rollerballs are much better. The fineliners aren’t refillable, but the rollerballs are, so another score for rollerballs.
#3 My nail varnish gets everywhere.
I wear nail varnish all the time. If you ever see me without nail varnish, be very worried for me because it is the last thing that goes when my mental health starts to crumble. If I don’t have the strength to paint my nails then I am in a very dark place (this isn’t a joke, I’m being real here).
As a result my house and many of my worldly goods have bright red/pink streaks across them where the top side of my nail as crayoned a line of nail varnish across the surface (even though the varnish is 160% dry).
This includes my Rocketbooks.
Possibly, I could remove this with nail varnish remover….but I’m scared in case I disrupt the molecular integrity of the magic paper.
#4 Sometimes it’s tricky to get the ink to stick to the page.
This usually happens when I’ve used the eraser end of the pen to clear the paper - it seems to leave a residue. My skin has touched the paper and left moisturiser/sweat/unspecified-hand-goo on the paper. This is cured by wiping the paper with a damp cloth….it’s just a little annoying if I’m speed-writing the thoughts tumbling from my brain, or I’m in the middle of a client call.
OK - that’s as balanced as I can get because I basically love them.
Shopping for Rocketbooks
Your best bet is to check out the Rocketbook Store where they explain their products really well.
You should also have a look at the Rocketbook section on Amazon as sometimes the prices are better.
If you buy a Rockebook after reading this blog post, I would love it if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag me (laura.worditude).
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