Everything you need to know about rewritable notebooks.
A reusable notebook: yes, it really exists (and it really works!)
You may have heard of it: a reusable notebook, also known as an erasable notebook. A reusable notebook – you guessed it – can be used more than once. This has to do with the fact that reusable notebooks are made of materials other than pulp paper. For example: whiteboard material, plastic or stone paper (as is the case with our MOYU notebooks).
But… how exactly does such a reusable notebook work? What are the advantages and are there any disadvantages of a reusable notebook? And, which reusable notebook is the right choice for you? We'll explain it step by step below!
What is a reusable notebook made of?
There are different materials available to make a reusable notebook. The most common material is whiteboard, which mainly consists of plastic. Just think of a whiteboard as you know it from school or work, on which you write with a marker. Companies like Bambook and Correctbook sell notebooks made from this material, in which you can also write with a marker. You simply erase the ink with a sponge or cloth.
Another relatively new material is stone paper. Stone paper consists of crushed limestone and a small amount of HDPE. This paper is free from trees, water and bleach. Stone paper is also water-repellent: a property that makes it possible to use stone paper more than once.
MOYU founder Roel Schatorjé discovered that Frixion ink dries completely on the stone paper, and can be erased with a little water. A stone paper notebook will therefore last you 500 writing turns.
This is how a reusable notebook works
Regardless of the material, the principle behind a reusable notebook is the same. It works as follows:
Step 1: Write in the notebook with the appropriate pen or marker.
Step 2: On average, it takes between 10 and 12 seconds for the ink to dry.
Step 3: If you want to save your notes, you can scan and digitize them using a scan app. Some brands offer a special self-designed scan app, but there are also plenty of (free) scan apps available in the Play Store or Apple Store.
Step 4: Want to erase your notes? Then erase them with the supplied sponge, eraser or cloth (in combination with some water). A good reusable notebook leaves no stains or haze.
The advantages of a reusable notebook
A reusable notebook has many advantages. We'll list the most important ones for you below:
Advantage 1: A reusable notebook is cheaper
In purchase, a reusable notebook is more expensive than the average pulp paper notebook (with the exception of eg a Moleskine notebook). In the long run, however, a reusable notebook is much cheaper. Depending on the brand you buy, a reusable notebook replaces an average of 15 pulp paper notebooks.
In the end, a reusable notebook will therefore be a cheaper option.
Advantage 2: A reusable notebook gives you more structure and overview
You probably know all about it: you make notes in your notebook, you write to-do's on a sticky note, you quickly scribble a telephone-conversation-note on the back of a paper document and you make your shopping list on a loose sheet lying somewhere on your desk.
Result… you have no idea where you left which note and you simply lost the overview.
In a reusable notebook (which often has a multifunctional content) you can store all your notes, scribbles and to do's without losing the overview. Is a to-do finished? Then you just erase it and you have a brand new page again.
You can easily keep a reusable notebook clean and organized, resulting in a better overview.
Advantage 3: A reusable notebook is more sustainable
Because a reusable notebook lasts many times longer than a paper notebook, it's much more durable in use. Where you would normally need an average of 15 pulp paper notebooks over a period of 2-5 years, now you only need one.
In addition, with many reusable notebooks, the material is also a lot more sustainable than pulp paper. Making pulp paper costs a lot of energy and requires of course two precious raw materials: water and trees. On average, about 10,000 liters of water are needed to produce just one pack of A4 sheets. So (unfortunately) pulp paper is not really that sustainable...
Stone paper, on the other hand, consists only of limestone and a small part of HDPE. No trees are needed to make it. Also, no bleaching agents are needed, because limestone is naturally white as snow. All this together ensures that the CO2 emissions from the production of stone paper are around 67% lower than those associated with creating pulp paper. Add to that the fact that not a single tree has to be felled and not a drop of water is touched… so: stone paper is more sustainable in use, AND in production.
The disadvantages of a reusable notebook
Does a reusable notebook have disadvantages too? It depends. Let's list the most frequently heard disadvantages below.
Disadvantage 1: The writing experience is different from what you're used to
If you opt for a plastic or whiteboard notebook, you must be okay with writing with a marker instead of a pen. Also, the writing experience of such a notebook is very different from a pulp paper notebook, since you'd be writing on smooth and hard plastic. Compare it to writing on a whiteboard.
If you choose stone paper, you'll write with a pen on the paper like you're used to and the writing experience comes very close to writing on pulp paper. It's almost the same, though stone paper feels a bit smoother, and you'll feel that while writing. However, some people find that this is a lot nicer to write on than pulp paper, so it depends on your personal preference.
Disadvantage 2: The purchase price is higher
As we mentioned earlier, purchasing a reusable notebook is more expensive than purchasing a pulp paper notebook. But: if you regularly use your reusable notebook, you will more than make up for this difference in the longer term!
Disadvantage 3: It's not always perfect for those who are left-handed
As a left-hander, it can happen that you erase the written ink with your hand, because the ink of reusable notebooks needs a little more drying time. However, it completely depends on where you place your arm and hand ,and how you hold the pen, as there are plenty of left-handed users who don't experience any problem.
This is where you can buy a reusable notebook
There are several providers of reusable notebooks, such as Bambook, Correctbook and of course MOYU. Which brand and which notebook suits you best, depends on your own preference and needs.
In our blog Comparing Sustainable Notebooks: Which Sustainable Notebook Fits You Best? we have listed and explained all Dutch providers for you, with the associated advantages and disadvantages. After reading this blog, you can make an informed choice for your favorite reusable notebook.