a blog from CenturyLink

How smart notebooks are paving the way to a zero-waste office

by | Sep 8, 2022


Imagine being able pop your notebook in the microwave to erase your notes and reuse the page again and again… Well, this isn’t a dream or even science fiction, not since smart notebooks have changed the notetaking game. With a reusable smart notebook, you can simply microwave your notes or wipe them with a damp cloth to use the page again and again.

The average U.S. household throws away 13,000 individual pieces of paper every year. And together, Americans use 85 million tons of paper per year, which is about 680 pounds per person. With a smart notebook, you can help reduce your paper waste and live more sustainably.

What is a smart notebook?

Woman using laptop and paper when she could be using a smart notebook

It’s commonly believed taking notes by hand helps with information retention and critical thinking. Some teachers and college professors even require students to take notes with a pen and paper instead of typing them on a laptop. On the other hand, many companies and offices have gone completely digital to save paper. But for those who want the best of both worlds, that’s where smart notebooks come in.

Smart notebooks allow users to write their notes by hand and then upload them to the cloud or a digital device. Many smart notebooks require a smart pen that detects your writing, while others let you take a picture of the page with your phone to upload your notes. From there, you can organize your notes in whatever way you choose. Keep in mind that not all smart notebooks come with a smart pen or stylus, so this may be an additional cost. If you’re trying to be more sustainable on a budget, a smart notebook that lets you upload from your phone might be the best option for you.

How are smart notebooks sustainable?

Person using laptop instead of a smart notebook

Another amazing feature is that some smart notebooks are reusable. After uploading your notes to the cloud, you can wipe the page with a damp cloth or microwave the page to erase your notes. Then, you can reuse the page over and over again. For example, the HOMESTEC Reusable Smart Notebook claims it can be used over 600 times with just a damp cloth to erase marks on the page.

Not all smart notebooks are reusable, but they are still an eco-friendly alternative to traditional paper. They reduce the amount of paper that needs to be recycled, which helps cut down on carbon emissions. Plus, you can always buy more pages if you run out. If you want to be extra eco-friendly, you can pick a smart notebook that has a long-lasting battery.

Smart notebooks and the zero-waste office

When it comes to sustainability, for many people, the ultimate goal is a zero-waste smart office that reduces waste and carbon emissions while still running efficiently. Going digital can be a great way to cut down on waste. Smart notebooks combine the best features of traditional notetaking with modern technology and sustainability efforts. For more information about sustainable business practices, check out our article on companies doing sustainability right.

Additional smart notebook features

Person using a smart notebook to take class notes

Some smart notebooks come with a corresponding app that has additional features. For example, the app for the Moleskin Smart Writing Set offers text-recognition, the ability to virtually change the color of your smart pen (this only shows in the digitized version of your notes, not on the paper), and the ability to see an animation of your writing.

The Rocketbook Core comes with a series of symbols listed on the bottom of each page. When you mark a symbol, this tells your smart notebook which digital location you want your notes sent to. For example, you could send notes to your email or Google Drive, or even in Slack. From there, you can rename, organize, and update your notes.

Of course, smart notebooks can also come in different formats, such as planners. The Evo Planner is a personalized 90-day planner and journal that uses a brain type assessment to customize your pages. It’s made with eco-friendly materials and tracks your progress as you go. And if your productivity and gratitude don’t increase after use, they’ll give you an instant refund with no questions asked.

More ways you can reduce waste

You can only do so much about junk mail and packaging. But with smart notebooks, you can make a difference and move towards a zero-waste future. Along with using smart notebooks to reduce waste, there are other ways to use smart technology to live more sustainably.

With smart gardening tools, you can save water and electricity while also growing the garden of your dreams. Smart pet technology can help us take better care of our furry friends. Creating a smart home hub helps save electricity and gives us more time to spend with loves ones or on passion projects. No matter what your goals are, smart technology can help you achieve them.

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<a href="https://discover.centurylink.com/author/emilyr" target="_self">Emily Richey</a>

Emily Richey


Emily Richey is the Content Manager for the CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber blogs. A recent graduate of Pace University NYC, she's an avid reader and writer. She spends most of her free time in bookstores and cafes, seeking the perfect cup of coffee.