I kickstarted Tesla Amazing's Magnetic Notes a while ago, and they arrived really soon after the Kickstarter campaign ended. They sat on my desk for a while because, here's the thing: they're actually kind of nice, and I don't have that many of them. I didn't want to waste them on things like 'Get milk' when, let's face it, I never write notes like that anyway. Manufacturing reasons to use them just seemed like double wastage.
Yesterday, I decided that I really should get the plan sorted for the book I've been working on. It's been an idea for about three months now, one which directly relates to a post I did a while ago. I got everything down on a piece of A3 paper which quickly became a cramped, grubby, slightly creased, mess. And also, I ran into a plothole right in the middle of the paper, and not enough room to expand on it.
So, this morning, I decided it was time.
I kickstarted at a level which gave me a book of white 20cm Notes, a book of clear 10cm Notes and a book of yellow 7cm notes, which are the ones I've used. Each book has maybe 100 Notes in it, and the sheets themselves are extremely thin.
First, some pros!
- Magnetic Notes work using a static charge. They stick to my kitchen wall no problem, but they'll stick to just about any surface. Or the cat. As long as there's a solid connection between the Note and whatever you're connecting it to.
- Writing on them is pretty much like writing on paper. I've tried with pencil, ball-point, fountain pen and Sharpie marker, and the effect is good either way.
- They don't peel off like Post-it notes do. I'm not sure I've come across a traditional Post-it note that doesn't peel off the surface after about ten minutes. I get the feeling I'll come down tomorrow morning and these things will still be stuck there.
- I can move them around easily. This was initially a con; taking them off the wall is very difficult because they're so thin. But putting my finger flat onto them and just dragging does work quite effectively. It's even easier if I use the eraser end of a rubber.
- They cut easily. The labels at the left of the picture were one of the large white Notes that I cut into 6. Because the static charge is consistent over the whole back surface, each piece sticks separately.
- They can be stuck either side down; the reverse of the Notes is apparently a dry-wipe surface, which I can see being incredibly useful in teaching. Maybe I should be getting these for use in lessons?
- You can recharge the static, same way you'd stick a balloon to the ceiling. Or to a cat. Simply rub it on something like hair or fabric to build up the charge.
And a couple of cons:
- I wrote the labels on the white Note at about 10am this morning, and they're still wet. Still smudging. I used a Sharpie, so I'm not sure what I've done wrong; it's possible I've used the dry-erase side by mistake, but I wrote the labels before I took the Note out of the book, so they're all that way round if so. It's a shame, because pencil works great on them. And that's also a shame, because...
- ...erasing anything on these is a little bit of a nightmare. Several times I made mistakes and had to erase the pencil. The Notes crease very easily, much like a paper note. However, often the eraser seemed to leave a rubbery residue. Even worse, when I went to write over the area I'd erased, the pencil didn't make a mark as well as on the virgin surface.
EDIT: I've been in touch with Tesla Amazing and they suggested that it might be because I'm using an alcohol-based pen. I don't have any water-based pens to test it on, but apparently they dry much faster and do away with the smudging issue.
Those are all the grumps I have about the notes; they've served me very well today, and I look forward to finding things to use the other ones for! I'm particularly interested in the transparent ones, because I think that's a really interesting concept. I'll definitely look out for other Tesla Amazing products.