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Why "moleskines"?

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  • Why "moleskines"?

    Since starting on my GTD journey I have discovered although my PDA is a wonderful piece of kit there are times when paper would be better - for example in strong sunlight! So I did a bit of reading and came across these legendary notebooks.
    I want one. They look lovely. All sort of nice and "stationery"-ry.
    Is that really why they are so popular? Are they really nothing more than a gadget in the analogue world?
    I already have a filofax (well, actually, 2) gathering dust. It's about A5 size with a zip around it and a couple of great big pockets. The interchangeability of sheets would appear to make it great for analogue GTD.
    So: Moleskine as an essential or moleskine as a NBOK? ("Nice Bit Of Kit"!)

  • #2
    The legend.

    If you believe the legend that Hemingway was using Moleskine you would buy this notebook. But you have to believe. And I do not know if this legend is true.

    Moleskines are very high quality notebooks but I do not know if this quality is as high as the price.

    I am using Pocket Weekly Diary as my fitness/running/windsurfing journal. And I really like to write something every day so Moleskine makes me healthier.


    • #3
      Good quality & useful

      I use a Pocket Notebook and Pocket Weekly Calendar, and I find them to be unusually rugged with high quality paper that takes ink well. For the calendar, I also find that pencil erases from the paper well. I also like the fact that they are compact enough to be put in my back pocket or breast pocket and that the elastic strap helps keep them in good condition when I do.

      Since I travel a lot and use a "all-paper" GTD system, I must have a good calendar, address book (part of the calendar) and place to capture notes. Thus for me their high-quality makes them essential. For someone who uses a PDA or rarely leaves their office, they would be a "Nice-bit-of-kit."



      • #4
        I take a Moleskine with me everywhere, though mostly just to write down notes to myself; it's not an integral part of my GTD system except as an input to my inbox.

        The most important attribute to me about Moleskines is their size. They're small enough to fit in my pockets, but large enough that I can fit thoughts on each page comfortably. They also hold up very well; I've been using one Moleskine for years and it's in perfect condition. The pages are also sturdy enough that the ink doesn't bleed through.

        In my opinion, Moleskine's aren't magical; they just fit my requirements perfectly.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Brent
          They're small enough to fit in my pockets ...I've been using one Moleskine for years
          How big are your pockets?
          One book and years of notes?
          Still. I think I'll give it a miss for now. I have ordered my own copy of The Book (GTD!) as mine has to go back to the library soon. Birthday is out of the question ... I already have Bladerunner: Director's Cut on DVD earmarked for then.
          Still, that's never stopped me buying something!
          Thanks peeps!


          • #6
            Originally posted by Zippy
            How big are your pockets?
            I normally wear khakis, but my Moleskine also fits into my jeans pockets. And I'm about average height/weight (about 5'10", 150 pounds).

            One book and years of notes?
            I don't use my Moleskine for all of my notes. I use it when I'm standing in line, or otherwise waiting for something, and I have nothing else to occupy my time.

            I have a friend who does use his Moleskines for most of his note-taking, and he goes through one in a couple of months, if I recall correctly.


            • #7
              I'm using my new one as a collection tool when away from the computer (which sometimes just means in the living room!). I use the bookmark tassel to mark my current note page, and a little sticky note marker for trip-specific information. It's not magical, but I really, really like its compact shape and the elastic that keeps it closed. I have a small one and it fits in the outside pocket of my bag or in my waist pack when I'm traveling.

              I could probably make do with a cheaper little notebook, but I find that using tools I love helps me to keep current with my system, so yay! I love getting out my Moleskine to write something in it!

              Do Mi


              • #8
                I've transitioned to using a small notebook as my ubiquitous capture tool. I've tried the Moleskines, but they fail for me because:

                - I often capture notes "on the go", while standing and without a suitable writing surface. A notebook that opens from the side (which most of the Moleskines, except for the Reporter's notebook, do) is a pain to use without a table.

                - At the end of the day, I rip out the pages and put them in my inbox for processing; I have no desire to save the actual piece of paper for posterity. The Moleskines that have perforations have them on only half the sheets, which means it's only half useful for me.

                - The paper isn't terribly good; I use a fountain pen, and Moleskines bleed horribly and aren't all that smooth. (Spend some time on the Fountain Pen Networks, where there is almost always a thread about bleeding Moleskines.)

                - Finally, they are too expensive for a consumable tool - by my criteria a substandard one, at that.

                I'm still looking for the "perfect" notepad, but the small Rhodia pads are darned close.

                -=[ Grant ]=-


                • #9
                  Which just goes to show that there is neither one tool that is useful for everybody, nor one tool that is useless for everybody.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GrantC
                    - Finally, they are too expensive for a consumable tool - by my criteria a substandard one, at that.
                    I amuse myself with this kind of thinking. $14.95 for a nice notebook seems too expensive. In fact, I'll sit down and discuss how expensive it is with you over a beer or three. I'll spend more on those three beers than I would have on that notebook.

                    I finally got over it, skipped a couple of drinks, and got some Moleskines and I love them.

                    Personally, I dislike fountain pens.


                    • #11
                      I believe... that Hemingway probably never owned one

                      That being said, I use one of these pretty religiously in my workplace. I take the moleskine (I actually prefer the soft cover ones) and use the little band that holds it closed to hold on one of the thinner moleskine notebooks. In the moleskine is everything that has been captured and processed into action items. I separate the book with 3M plastic tabs by location and can process most things in my world into this book in real time. I hand-draw my calendar in the second book with blank pages between each week for notes to remember for next year. Between the two items (and a pen of course), I always have everything I need to attend a meeting, take notes from my employees or my boss, make notes of my own, or create projects. It does fit into my back pocket in my dockers that I generally wear to work.

                      I keep a blog on how I use the notebook, you can check it out here: GTD Retail feel free to browse and give me feedback on what would/wouldn't work for you...



                      • #12
                        Old and New Technology

                        I bet Hemingway used a fountain pen! Even Shakespeare used one. They are the opposite extreme of technology. Carry your fountain pen and your Ipad and you have the absolute oldest and the absolute newest technology!