The 6 Best Smart Reusable Notebooks of 2023

Reduce your paper usage with a smart notebook.

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Best Smart Reusable Notebooks

Treehugger / Chloe Jeong

The United States generated 67.4 million tons of paper waste annually. That means reducing how much paper you use is a great way to help the environment. Writing on both sides of every sheet is a simple way to limit your usage, as is opting for eco-friendly notebooks with recycled or sustainable pages. But paper-free, digital notebook options are becoming more widely available and less expensive.

Many “smart” notebooks offer a reusable, erasable solution for those who like the experience of putting pen to paper but prefer to keep trees in the forest. They also reduce the amount of paper that needs to be recycled, which cuts carbon emissions. Other types of smart pads allow you to use both sides of your favorite paper or notebook to make lists or drawings and then digitize them. Most smart notebooks allow you to save your work to cloud storage using a compatible app.

Here, the best smart reusable notebooks to consider.

Best Overall

Rocketbook Core Smart Reusable Notebook

Rocketbook Core Smart Reusable Notebook


Available in multiple colors, the Rocketbook Core offers a classic analog writing experience designed for the digital age. Using any erasable and refillable Pilot FriXion pen, simply write, doodle, or create lists on lined or dot-grid pages that are made from a special polyester composite (no trees necessary). The ink bonds to the pages in about 15 seconds to prevent smudging.

Ready to save your work? Select the correct symbol at the bottom of each page and use the Rocketbook app to send your notes to your favorite cloud-based service like Dropbox, Evernote, or Google Drive. When you’re done, gently wipe the erasable pages (up to 500 times), and you’ve got a new notebook ready for your next meeting or assignment. There are several different cover color options to choose from, including black, gray, green, orange, red, and teal.

The Rocketbook Core is our top choice because the user experience is the most like an analog paper notebook.

Price at time of publish: $22

Best for Organization

Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook

Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook


Looking for a reusable notebook to reduce back-to-school waste or a more sustainable take on an annual planner? The Rocketbook Fusion could be your new, super-organized best friend.

It’s got all the features of a Rocketbook Core—erasable pages and the ability to upload content to cloud storage—combined with new page styles like a task list page, two weekly planner pages, and a monthly calendar. When you’re ready to work on a new idea or to turn the page to a new year, just erase your old work with a damp cloth and start fresh.

Price at time of publish: $22

Best for Kids

Boogie Board Blackboard Letter Paperless Notepad

Boogie Board Blackboard Paperless Notepad

Courtesy of Amazon 

This paperless LCD notepad is great for all ages, but especially for young ones who might not be as careful with a more expensive tablet. This modern-day bulletin board offers a sturdy, hard surface to write on even when you aren’t near a desk or table.

No stylus is necessary, so it’s super easy for little ones to grab the Boogie Board and write or doodle with the touch of a finger. It works best to use the stylus included, but almost any object with a slightly pointed tip will work.

Line and grid templates and a magnetic pen holder are an added bonus. The long-lasting five-year battery is an eco-friendly feature. Capture your creations using the free app compatible with iOS and Android, then erase instantly using a one-touch button.

Price at time of publish: $45

Best Pocket-Sized

Rocketbook Everlast Mini Smart Reusable Notebook

Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook Mini


It may be small (3.5 x 5.5 inches) in stature, but the Rocketbook mini is packed with 48 reusable pages. It’s a great travel companion, but it’s also handy for anyone—like medical personnel and journalists—who need to record info on the go.

Like the larger Rocketbook family members, this smart notebook comes in a variety of colors and requires a Pilot FriXion or specialized pen in order to write on the pages. But it fits in your pocket instead of your backpack. The Rocketbook app lets you scan, share, and save your work for accessing later. Simply wipe the pages clean with a damp cloth anytime you need a clean slate.

Price at time of publish: $16

Best Spiral

Elfinbook 2.0 Smart Reusable Notebook

Elfinbook 2.0 Smart Reusable Notebook

 Courtesy oof Elfinbook

Elfinbook’s ring-bound option looks like a traditional notebook, but its double-sided pages are reusable and erasable up to about 500 times with a damp cloth, microwave, or hairdryer. They can also be removed from the binding for easy sharing on collaborative projects.

Available in two sizes, the pages are big enough to be used by architects, designers, and anyone with a creative streak. It comes with one Pilot FriXion Pen. Use the Elfinbook app to send all of your completed drawings and illustrations to a handful of cloud storage services. Later you can manipulate, organize, share, rename, or delete the stored files.

Price at time of publish: $29

Best Reusable Paper Notebook

Paper Saver Classic Paper Saver

Paper Saver

Paper Saver

If you’re not ready for a digital notebook, the Paper Saver is a fresh take on an old-school paper writing pad. Its faux leather cover is the perfect place way to reuse any one-sided scrap paper all that paper you have lying around.

Simply collect all that any letter-sized paper that's blank on one side (between 40 and 50 sheets fit) and insert them into the stainless-steel binding. Fold the other half over and you’ve got a notebook of pages ready for writing or scribbling on. When you’re at the end of the book, pull the stack out, flip it around, and start again. Free downloads of printable lines and grid patterns are available for those who prefer writing on something other than blank sheets.

Price at time of publish: $20

Final Verdict

Treehugger's top pick for a reusable notebook is the Rocketbook Core. If you’re looking for something good for kids and is an alternative to an expensive tablet like an iPad, then the Boogie Board Blackboard Letter Paperless Notepad might be right for you. 

What to Look For in a Smart Reusable Notebook


Since you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, check to see how many times, if any, each page can be erased and reused.


Does it require a battery to operate? If so, how long it will last? If not, is the device charged with a USB cable or something else?

The “Write” Implement

Most smart notebooks require a special pen or stylus. Prior to purchasing, confirm how many pens are included and how often they need to be replaced or if they can be refilled.


Does the device sync to your favorite cloud services? Or does it store your information on the device? Decide how important these factors are to you.


Some reusable notebooks are larger and more portable than others. A5 (5.8 x 8.6 inches) tends to be cheaper and great for note-taking, writing, and simple sketches. If you’re looking to design or illustrate, B5 (6.9 x 9.8 inches) might be worth spending a bit of extra money on. There are also A6 (6.7 x 4.2 inches) options available.

Page Style

Most smart notebooks utilize dot grid patterns so smart phones easily capture the content. Dotted pages are also handy for engineers and architects, while students and writers might prefer a lined option. Artists and illustrators might opt for blank pages.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I clean a reusable notebook?

    It depends on the notebook. To clear your Rocketbook reusable notebook, for example, you simply need a damp cloth. Other models, like Elfinbook, let you use your microwave or a hairdryer to get a clean slate. LCD-style notepads are often erased with the touch of a single built-in button.

  • Can I use regular pens on a reusable notebook?

    You will want to keep that pen you swiped from the resort you visited in Maui away from your reusable notebook.

    Most reusable notebooks require a stylus or special pen. They’re often erasable gel-style pens like Pilot’s FriXion model. LCD-style notebooks may let your finger do the talking. That makes them great options for kids.

    Often the necessary pen or stylus will be included with your purchase. But before you buy, read the fine print about the exact kind of stylus or pen you’ll need to use.

  • Can I write or draw in different colors on a reusable notebook?

    If the specific pen you are required to use on your reusable notebook is available in different colors, you can absolutely color inside or outside the lines in as many hues as you want.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Heidi Wachter is a writer and journalist who has been covering climate and sustainability issues for about a decade.

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