Recording your fitness endeavors and training efforts have many well-documented benefits and there are a ton of online places to do so, but many of those have a “social” component and let’s be honest, sometimes we may not want to document for the masses that we had to stop 5 times for bathroom breaks or what we ate before/during a run. That’s where a personal log or journal can come into play. I received a Rocketbook Everlast and it got me thinking about all the ways it can be used to support a healthy life.
(disclosure: I received one free notebook for the purpose of review. Also, the links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links)
But first, let me explain what it is. Rocketbook makes a series of reusable notebooks. There is one that can be put in the microwave to erase the pages. But the Everlast, the one I have, can erase just by using some water on a cloth. You have to use a specific brand of pen on them, the Pilot Frixion series. Those pens are actually erasable on regular paper just by using the eraser on the back of the pen. But you’re probably going to get tired of rubbing it all over an entire page or notebook if you want to clear it out. Wiping it down with a slightly damp cloth is way faster/easier.
But beyond the erasability of the pages, the pages inside the Rocketbooks have little in icons at the bottom and this is where it becomes a “smart notebook” when combined with their app and your phone’s camera. You are able to set several “destinations” in the app that correlate with the icons at the bottom of each page in the notebook. So draw/write whatever you need on a notebook page, check one of the icons at the bottom then scan it with your phone’s camera and it will send off to your storage destination of choice. It will even use OCR to recognize your handwriting and convert it into searchable text.
So how does this translate into fitness and health? Well, bullet journaling is gaining in popularity and people are using those to track all kinds of things. From moods to training to sleep… there are a lot of examples floating around out there. But instead of having a ton of notebooks for your bullet journals, you could use a Rocketbook to capture and digitize your journaling. Then erase it and start a new training cycle, year, quarter, week… however you break down your records.
Some of the ways I thought I could “bullet journal” training for myself would be for yearly mileage, yearly elevation gain, or even to lay out an entire plan for a big event and tracking the whole process there. My penmanship has gone downhill over the years of computing use, so there is no way my training journals would look as “cute” as some of the examples out there. I’m not going to be starting my own Instagram feed of these bullet journal creations, but that’s not the point. I’m just saying, there’s opportunity here!
I actually now have two Everlast notebooks now, I am so impressed with it. I use one for work. I used to buy a yearly calendar for my desk and I would write down my meetings and tasks, plus little notes on phone calls I received. Yes, most of those tasks and meetings are in my calendar, it is just nice to check things off. I can take the notebook with me to meetings and write down chicken scratch notes on things said without having the clickety-clack of a keyboard interrupting. Plus sometimes when you work in web, you end up drawing little ideas of how a page would be laid out. (The faint dot-grid on the pages helps to keep lines straighter!) But every year different calendars would have different layouts, not enough space for making notes on calls/meetings. So this year I’ve adapted all the different layouts I’ve used over the years to make my own grid for work notes. I send them all up into a Trello board to long-term keeping. (FYI, I’ve been keeping track of my daily work for over a decade now, ever since I began telecommuting.)
I’m seriously considering buying another notebook for my daughter. At 6, she’s really into writing stories right now so she’ll often go grab a stack of papers, fold them in half, and start drawing and writing. But we now have tons of these messy paper books all over the house and I feel like if I could get her to use one of these, it would cut down on the paper waste, plus I could easily scan them and save them away for later reminiscing… or embarrassing.
Rocketbook recently had a crowdfunding campaign which I backed for what they’re calling “Beacons“. Basically, you can put these beacons on a whiteboard and it gives the scanner inside the app a boundary to work with, so you can capture and digitize whatever is on the whiteboard. I’m going to turn them over to my employees so they can brainstorm on the whiteboard, then capture it and send it directly into our Slack for the entire team to have and for record keeping. (Also, to include me because I work remotely and I hate missing out on that stuff!)
My only real complaints so far have been:
- I like fine-point pens, but I don’t really care for the really fine-tip Frixion pens, they seem to need a “warm up” scribble to get the ink flowing and that needs to be on regular paper. Plus, the fine tip pens tend to leave an indentation mark more permanently in the pages.
- I tried making my grid lines more permanent on a page using a pen, and I guess the pen I chose wasn’t the best option, because when I tried to wipe the page clear a week after I drew the lines, the ink from that pen kind of smeared. And it’s a permanent smear. Since the book is already a little messed up from that on the first few pages, I may try it again on subsequent pages with a Sharpie and see how that works out.
- You only have one set of destinations. I guess I’m not really going to have a whole complete set of destinations for each notebook, but I can see maxing out if I end up adding another notebook for my daughter’s stories to the collection I already have. Personal destinations, work destinations, kiddo destinations… it adds up. It would be nice to be able to “switch notebooks” when you open the app and then scan to the correct destinations associated with that specific notebook.
You can buy Rocketbooks in a wide range of sizes. I have the “Executive” size, which is smaller than a normal college-ruled notebook. But they have one in that full size as well as a smaller pocket size, as well as regular paper versions that aren’t erasable but still compatible with the app/destinations. You can purchase directly from Rocketbook, or you can find them on Amazon. And I’ve even seen them show up on Zulily a few times.