Wipebook Review

Wipebook Review

WipebookAt 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.

Wipebook

Erasing

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.

Wipebook

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.

Markers

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.

Staedtler Lumocolor Correctable Marker

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.

Scanning

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.

Wishlist

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?

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 21 comments

Chris MacKechnie - January 23, 2018 Reply

The surface doesn’t work with markers. I spend most meetings drawing circles on the book trying to make my marker work on the page. Meetings pass me by

CW - May 26, 2016 Reply

Years ago i “invented” 2 variations to make a wide variety of sizes. First, i took differend sizes of foam core board and shrink wrapped them the way you do a poster to prevent wear. Shrink wrap fim, it turns out,does a great job mimicing whiteboaed. Second, i bought a 50 foot roll that had whiteboard coating on one side and stickum on the other. in both cases i could make just about any size i wanted. recently i found out you can also buy whiteboard paint, as well. cw ta

Jeff Knouse - July 22, 2014 Reply

Since there is a Wipebook 2.0, may I assume there is/was a Wipebook 1.0?

What is difference between the 2.0 version and the 1.0 version?

Is it possible to remove the spiral binding and
1. punch holes for a notebook?
2. use with a clipboard?

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - July 23, 2014 Reply

    Hi there Jeff, I believe the one I received through Kickstarter is the 2.0 version. I don’t have experience with 1.0. Guess I should have made that clear — apologies!

    In the comments to this post there are people doing all sorts of modifications to the pages so I suspect both of those would work, but I haven’t tried them myself. Clever idea.

Evernote Post-It Notes - Crazy Like A Fox? - July 22, 2014 Reply

[…] As I said earlier, I am not really a “post-it note guy”. I mostly make notes digitally or in my Wipebook. […]

Alison - June 8, 2014 Reply

Brooks- I meant to write a note ages ago when I saw your post. I bought the Wipebook too and I love it. I use it everyday. Although like you and the posters mentioned above, it was heavy. So I took out 8 pages and had the local printer cut them down to 5.5 x 11 and bind it. Very easy to carry around. Anyway great product. Cheers Alison

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - June 9, 2014 Reply

    Great tip about removing pages and getting someone to turn it into a portable version. Clever! I might have to do that. Thanks Alison.

Martin - May 1, 2014 Reply

And I forgot that the pages need not be scanned – just snapped.

Martin - April 30, 2014 Reply

Hi, Brooks. Wondering why a 25-(really 50-)page book would be needed if the pages are intended to be wiped. That would seem to be more than enough for taking notes at a full-page seminar without scanning/photographing and wiping, to pick a real-life example, but how often, if ever, will there be a need for that? It’s a “neat” idea (ho-ho), but it seems to me that perhaps it would be better packaged with, or for use with, a three-ring (or other configuration) binder and sold in smaller batches – at most 10 pages – so that customers could create the size of book they need, or even, more affordably, keep binders in multiple locations. That approach would also make single, loose pages ready to be used one at a time with a clipboard, and then scanned in a regular desktop ScanSnap.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - May 1, 2014 Reply

    Yeah, I thought about that too.

    I am not sure what the thinking behind needing 25 pages was, but one unexpected side benefit of that is I never need to “think” about wiping a page. If I want to jot something down, there’s always a blank page to be had, and then I can go back and wipe earlier ones later. I think it would become annoying if you had to keep wiping pages every time you wanted to write something down.

    I take your point though, and the 3 ring binder approach is a good suggestion too.

Andi - April 30, 2014 Reply

Thanks Brooks, like you, I haven’t quite been able to move to Penultimate from my notepad for quick notes. Wipebook seems to be the way to go.
This may appear off topic but I recently read KatieFloyd’s review of LiveScribe Pen
http://katiefloyd.me/blog/macworldiworld-livescribe-3-smart-pen in search of note taking optimisation and am wondering if you have a view. Cost-wise the wipebook wins of course.
cheers

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - April 30, 2014 Reply

    I’ve always thought the LiveScribe was interesting and have been tempted a few times to pick one up, but have never gotten around to it. At first I didn’t like the idea that you had to buy their paper for it to work, but then I found out that you can print your own so that’s not so bad.

    The concept is pretty cool though.

Mark - April 29, 2014 Reply

What is the difference between this and just running some small note cards through a laminator machine and then hole punching? Would that do a similar job or is the Wipebook coating different?

Cheers!

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - April 29, 2014 Reply

    You can always give it a try Mark and see how you like it. If you check out the Kickstarter page (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1470156778/wipebook) and go down to the “How is the Wipebook made?” section, they go into how they make it. It seems a little more involved than running a note card through a laminator.

    But… not sure! I’d be interested to hear how it works for you.

Katherine - April 29, 2014 Reply

Brooks, I ordered the blank wipebook and really enjoy using it. I also immediately started wishing for a smaller version, e.g. an 8.5×5.5 would fit nicely into my purse. I normally carry a few 3×5 notecards for jotting down quick notes and would also love to have a small one that size. I’ve wondered if it would hurt anything to simply take a few pages and cut them down to those sizes then rebind them into “tiny books.” Not sure if slicing the pages would create any issues with the laminate at cut edges.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - April 29, 2014 Reply

    Interesting idea Katherine! I reached out to them on Twitter and pointed them to your question, so let’s see if they have any thoughts.

    Annie - May 14, 2014 Reply

    Looks like the people at Wipebook have taken note of your wishes – I see that a Wipebook Mini has been added to their website ( http://www.wipebook.com/collections/frontpage/products/wipebook-mini )

    It measures 5.5 x 8 inches, has the usual 25 pages and at present appears to be available only in the lined version.

    Price is $24.99

    This Wipebook would be perfect for me, but unfortunately they don’t ship to the UK!

Mary Hodges - April 29, 2014 Reply

Brooks, I can now leave my tacky page sized white board at home when I go to the library doing genealogy research. My iPhone is my favorite way of “grabbing” the few paragraphs, or pages I want instead of standing in the copy machine line. I love using a small white board to quickly write the title of a book but more importantly, as a visual reminder I have started a new source. In a line of 100 images, the beginning of each new source is easily seen by all of the white space, even in thumbnail view.

I even wonder if I couldn’t make a reusable Source Form in Permanent ink on a Wipebook sheet and then fill in the necessary information in the removable ink. Hmm, I have to get a Wipebook to see if it might help me become more accurate in my passion of finding my missing ancestors.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - April 29, 2014 Reply

    That’s so clever Mary! Using a combination of permanent info to make a form and correctable marker to fill it out. Smart idea.

    Annie - May 14, 2014 Reply

    I also love the idea of using it as a visual break in amongst your scans. This would be a real time-saver for me.

    Jess - January 21, 2015 Reply

    If you use a laser printer you can print templates!

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