I just spent a half hour wandering through the Moleskin website. This is a very clever company, which has found a way to reframe a a tried and true product and turn it into a modern brand, and is now doing quite well with all sorts of minor updates, none of which veer far from the original. I’m not a business blogger, but if I were, I’d spend some time with this product.
My pleasure in Moleskins is purely as a consumer. I’m a lifelong journaler and a compulsive notebook collector. Despite iPads and laptops and phones and all the other wonders of modern technology, I still have an actual paper notebook with me at all times. I still keep my journals in notebooks (even if that means I print out pages I’ve written on the computer and glue them in), and I travel with notebooks. I like to keep one for each book I work on, a place to write out the tidbits I need to remember to look up, a place to write lists of things I know about a character or plot thread or backstory.
As notebooks go, it’s very hard to beat Moleskins. I have been a big fan of Clairefontaine papers since a trip to France some years ago with my friend Sonia. The joy in Clairefontaine is the smoothness of the paper, which is hard to describe unless you’ve felt your pen sailing over the surface, unimpeded, like a swimmer slicing through water. I see that they are offering a notebook similar to Moleskin now, but there are some details that are not quite right.
Moleskins are a writer’s notebook. They bend right. You can turn them inside out and they don’t fall apart. I can glue dozens of things to dozens and dozens of pages and the elastic band will still hold it all together. The paper is good quality, and I can buy them in blank or graphs or lines (graph paper is surprisingly satisfying), a plus when I’m using them for different purposes. Blank pages are best for travel, since I like to sketch sometimes in a travel journal. Lined is best for journals. I love graphs for the freedom of adaptation, but almost never choose them.
I love the stitched pages. The sturdiness of the covers. The pocket in the back. Even those last few pages that can be torn out easily if you so desire. It’s as if someone knew how a person journals and designed a notebook just for her.
Do you have a preference or love for a particular journal or brand of notebook? Do you have different notebooks for different purposes?