In April, I backed the Rocketbook Wave notebook on Kickstarter. The Wave is a specialized notebook that allows you to take notes with pen and paper, upload those notes to your favorite cloud-based storage platforms with your smartphone, and then erase and reuse the notebook with your microwave. Rocketbook was successful on Kickstarter, raising over $575,000 from nearly 11,000 backers around the world.
I’ll be honest. At first, I was a little skeptical about the Rocketbook Wave. When my Wave arrived in July I was eager to test it out for myself and review it here on Hoducts. Fortunately, it has exceeded my expectations and has become my go-to notebook for meetings. I’ve reviewed it below and have provided information for readers who have not yet heard of the Rocketbook Wave.
In April, I pledged $27 and chose to receive the executive size Wave notebook. For a few extra dollars I also ask to have a pack of FriXion pens sent to me. The FriXion pens must be used if you want this notebook to be reusable. The ink in FriXion pens turns clear at 140+ degrees Fahrenheit, which makes the notebook reusable after it takes a spin in your microwave as the ink dries clear.
The notebook arrived well packaged. It was wrapped in cellophane with a one-page set of instructions printed on card-stock paper neatly place inside. The notebook measured 5.8 by 8.9 inches and had 80 pages inside with a dot-grid pattern on each. I wasn’t expecting the pages to be dot-grid, but I hardly mind it now after having used the Wave regularly. I will explain the benefit of the dot-grid pages later.
After unwrapping the Wave and flipping through it, I couldn’t help but notice how durable the notebook felt in my hand. The cover was tough and the pages were firm, not like the flimsy pages you find in a spiral notebook. The plastic bindings holding it together were also durable.
So what did I do next? You can probably guess. I opened the pack of FriXion pens I ordered and picked up the black one. Then, I started scribbling down stuff on the first page. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like FriXion pens at first as I had never used them before. They are made by Pilot and were fairly comfortable to hold. They wouldn’t be my first choice of pen if I was writing a novel, but they are pretty comfortable for intermittent note taking. After I finished marking up the first page, it was time to scan it to the cloud.
Besides the dot-grid pattern on each page, you will also find seven symbols and a QR codeon the bottom of each. These seven symbols are the magic behind Wave. You can assign each icon to an online destination of your choice, such as a folder in Dropbox, Evernote, Google Docs, OneNote or your email address. When you mark the icon on the page, and then scan it with the Rocketbook smartphone application, your scanned page is automatically sent to the right destination in the cloud. The QR codes help keep the scanned pages in order my page number.
I opened up the Wave application, available on both iOS and Android, and configured the first icon to send scanned pages to my Evernote account. It was really easy to do and only required my Evernote email account. The app itself was really simple and minimal in design. When you open it up it automatically starts looking for a page to scan. A second tab gives you the option to configure the icon destinations and a third stores a history of all your all scanned pages, which you can clear at any time.
I put my phone over the first page of my notebook and it scanned almost instantly. I barely had time to blink. This is likely thanks to the dot-grid pages that I mentioned earlier, as well as the dark border around them, and of the course the technology behind the app. The ink showed up clearly on the white background of the page and no part of the dot-grid was visible. The next thing I had to do was see if the scan made it to my Evernote account. I opened the Evernote app on my phone, synced my notebooks, and was excited to see page one of my notebook there. The scan come through nicely.
Could I clear that page with a little time in the microwave? That was my next question. I referred back to the directions to ensure I did this right. The only requirement is that your microwave contain a rotating glass turntable. You are not at a loss without one, as really an heat source will work. I tried a hairdryer a few weeks after, for science, and it worked fine.
Before putting your Wave in the microwave, you need to fill a coffee mug with 3/4 liquid. You then place your Wave in the microwave with the front facing up, and then set the mug on top so it overlaps blue circles designed on the cover. After that, you simply microwave your Wave notebook until the logo on the front turns from dark to white. It’s recommend to microwave it in thirty second intervals to prevent overdoing it. When see that the logo has changed color, stop the microwave. Flip your notebook over and repeat the process. When it’s time to take the Wave out again, be careful! The Rocketbook Wave and mug will be hot to the touch. I would let it cool for a minute or two at least. The water in my mug had started to boil.
After a minute or two, I pulled out my Wave and set it on my kitchen counter. I opened it up and like expected, the ink had turned clear. You could still see faint outlines of my writing, “faint ghost images” as the folks at Rocketbook call it. This is because the ink doesn’t truly evaporate. I was a bit concerned about this, but fortunately FriXion pens write perfectly over the clear ink and the Rocketbook app didn’t pick up any of the ghost writing on the first page when I went to scan it again.
The mug I used did leave a small indentation on the cover in the shape of a ring. Unfortunately, it has stayed that way. I would recommend putting something between your Wave and the mug, like a folded paper towel, to displace some of the pressure a full mug puts on the cover. I’ve done this since and no further wear has shown on the cover. It’s also important to make sure your microwave is clean of any grease or other residue that could stain the notebook. Over the last few months, I have only left some dings on the corners. It is nothing like what I would have expected over that period of time.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the Rocketbook Wave. It is a durable notebook that I have found handy in my everyday life. As I mentioned before, it has been a great companion in meetings. The cover and eighty pages inside have stayed intact and in remarkably good condition. I scan pages to Evernote and Dropbox all the time and have yet to experience any functionality problems on that front, with the notebook or the app. The Rocketbook app has worked great as well. The faint “ghost writing” can be distracting at times but it has never been visible on scanned pages. Overall, I am happy enough to have placed a standard size Wave notebook on my Christmas list for the holiday season. It will be the perfect companion to my current executive model.
What did you think of this review? Have you heard of the Rocketbook Wave? Are you planning to buy your own Wave notebook? Let us know what you think in the comments.
You can purchased the Rocketbook here.