I’ll write on just about anything but do have some favourites; spiral bound steno pads and small Post-It notes, the extra sticky kind, to name a few. Over the years I’ve developed a system of sorts. I make notes in my steno pad, many of them ToDo’s which got crossed off when completed. Anything left over got transferred to Evernote. When the last item on a page was crossed off or transferred, the page was ripped out and tossed.
And then there’s Moleskine…
A good friend swears by them, has old ones going back many years. To my untrained eye, it looks like a cheap, dollar store, kraft paper covered notebook. Upon closer inspection though, the paper was thick and sturdy, the pages stitched together into the heavy kraft paper cover – stitched!
My son has been using Moleskine notebooks for many years. He goes on and on about the quality. I try to pass on some fatherly advice about the ‘cost of things’. A spiral bound notebook cost less than a dollar while a Moleskine can set you back $10 – $20. I’m a parent, what the hell do I know? Like most young adults with a job, they have more disposable income than their parents.
One day while wandering through our local Chapters/Indigo bookstore I came across the Moleskine display, there was a sale on, not a big sale, but enough for me to swallow the bait. I bought the 5″ by 8.25″, kraft paper covered, ruled version. Got out to my car, ripped open the packaging and read the first few lines of “The History of Moleskine”, included with every notebook. I’m hoping someone, someday, will give me the short story, I wasn’t interested enough to read it.
At first I thought; “OK, I just spent $18 for three small notebooks, what a sucker.” That was quickly replaced by; “I better use them at that price, what a sucker.” So over the next few weeks I made a real effort to use them. I liked them! Paper was strong, took some abuse from my mechanical pencil and the odd pen stroke. It just felt different, somehow better and there was that stitching.
By now I’m really into my Moleskine and thought I should dress it up a bit, something custom, something Etsy. After a few days of searching the site, I noticed a fella down in the US who made custom leather covers for notebooks. Who doesn’t like leather? My size wasn’t in the catalog but Norm custom made one for me… it’s soft, supple and fits perfect. See Norman Cahn Leatherworks if curious.
Over the past several months, I’ve developed a new workflow. I make notes on the right hand page along with the date. If the item is a ‘ToDo’, I draw a little box on the left-hand page. If the item is informational, I write a little ‘i’ to the left. Later on, if I need to make more notes on the subject, there is plenty of room on the left-hand side. I write the beginning and end dates on the front of the notebook and file them someplace safe when full.
My son gave me the Evernote version for Christmas. It has these fancy stickers and integrates somehow into the application. Haven’t used one yet but will write about it some time in the future.