At the end of 2013, I did a post about an interesting looking Kickstarter project. The product I funded (I have a Kickstarter weakness) is called the Wipebook, and I have been using it for the past month.
If you want to skip the rest of this post, I will save you time and just say that I love the Wipebook and use it every day.
What It Is
I spent many years doing and running software support, and my not-so-secret weapon was a pad of paper I kept beside my desk. For jotting down information, there is nothing (for me) as fast as scrawling quick notes.
I have found iPad apps like Penultimate or typing into Evernote an acceptable substitute, but it was never quite the same.
When I saw the Wipebook, I knew right away it was what I was looking for – a way to quickly jot down information, but it is erasable and reusable so I don’t waste paper.
The book is 25 pages (50 sides) and you can get it in blank, lined, grid, or a mix thereof. I ordered the blank version.
The first time I went to erase something, I used a whiteboard eraser I had lying around and – nothing erased (unless I put a lot of elbow grease in). I thought “oh no, another Kickstarter disaster.”
I quickly realized that was a function of the pen I was using (more on that in a moment). I’ve found that if I put a few drops of water on a paper towel, the page erases quickly and perfectly.
If you are using standard dry erase markers, erasing is easy. You can even erase it with your finger. If you are using correctable markers (again, more on this below), they recommend erasing the page within a week.
If you don’t erase weekly or if you are having any other eraser trouble, it’s not a big deal. Just put a bit of isopropyl alcohol (available in any drug store) on a paper towel and it will come right off good as new.
The Wipebook will work with standard dry erase markers, but you will find the ink will smudge off quite easily.
The manufacturers recommend that you use a correctable marker, and when you buy the Wipebook they’ll offer to tack one on to your order. I highly recommend picking one up. I find writing on the Wipebook with a Staedtler Lumocolor Fine Correctable marker great. You can either buy it from the Wipebook folks, or you can buy a pack of four on Amazon.
Once you start delving into the world of Staedtler markers, you will see that there are Non-Permanent markers as well. You don’t want to use these – they will cause ghosting. Stick with Correctables.
Now Feel The Wrath Of The Left Hand Of Brooks!
Being a lefty, I fully expected the Wipebook to not work out for me. If you are left-handed you will know what I am talking about.
For those not in our secret club, imagine writing on a whiteboard and finding that half of what you wrote is smudged onto your hand.
I have found that smudging isn’t nearly as much of an issue as I had expected. Using the aforementioned Correctable markers, there has been very little smudging. It occasionally happens, but the eraser on these markers is very good and it is quick to fix if desired.
Your use may vary, but for me, I want to keep many of these notes that I am taking.
What I do is write away in the Wipebook and then when I am done, I use a scanning app (usually Genius Scan) to capture the page and send it to Evernote.
Believe it or not, the Wipebook folks have a video where they show scanning the Wipebook pages with a ScanSnap, but I have not tried that, and don’t really expect to be taking my binding off.
There isn’t much I would change about the Wipebook. I’ve seen some complaints online about the binding not being sturdy, but I have not experienced any issues at all.
The main thing I wish is that they would make smaller versions. A 25 page 8.5×11" book is hefty to carry around. I’d love a smaller version that I can throw in a bag with my iPad.
The Wipebook is $29.99, so it is not drugstore-notebook cheap, but for me it is worth it.
What do you think of the Wipebook or the concept of a “reusable book”? Do you have any use for it?