When a startup called Rocketbook went on the US version of Dragons’ Den last year with a reusable notebook called Wave, it was laughed off the show. I completely understand the potential funders’ lack of interest. The idea seemed nutty. You make notes in your Wave (the pages are a papery-style polyester composite), but only using specific pens from the Pilot FriXion range. Using the QR codes on each page you then scan them to a phone app, which sends them to a Cloud service of your choice (Evernote, Google Drive and more) – the codes ensure the pages are stored in the right order. When your book is full, you erase it in a microwave. Yep. With a mug of water. You literally cook the books. When I tried this palaver, my written notes did magically erase, but the book ended up warped and damaged.
Yet Rocketbook’s device has, well, rocketed, starting with $2.5m in pre-orders before becoming a near-cult in the US. People love them so much that companies like Pepsi and Accenture have bought them for staff. There is, however, now a more viable version, the 32-page Everlast, whose pages can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Much better. On a recent work trip, I used it and appreciated it. It’s durable, well made and will have a permanent place in my travel kit.