Do you Moleskine?

Moleskine.jpgA few years ago I discovered the ruled Moleskine:  Moleskine Ruled Notebook Large

and Moleskine Ruled Notebook Pocket
. They have a cool elastic string that keeps it closed and a fantastic pocket at the back for storage. For two years I have kept all my notes and sermon outlines in such a notebook, and I carry the little pocket Moleskine to jot down ideas and books to read and posts to write and anything else that comes to mind. Now Lukas wants the pocket sized one for his baseball scouting notes.

Now an open thread: What do you think of Moleskines? Or, how do you take notes?

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  • Daniel S

    I like moleskines and use them mainly for journalling. I use the brown cahier style, mainly because with exchange rates the notebooks that you use are far too expensive in Australia to justify for daily use.

  • E.G.

    I love my reporter (large) Moleskine. I tend to use it as a journal. But, for day-to-day notes (etc.) I use a Rhodia spriral-bound notebook. The paper is probably better than that in the Moleskine, but it’s not quite as stylish (though, equally distinctive in orange).
    And, of course, you can’t write in a fine notebook without a fine pen. I use Zebra Sarasa gel pens in whatever color happens to suit my fancy at the time.

  • I don’t use a brand-name Moleskin, but something very similar to it. It is indispensable to me; the content inside my notebook ranges from notable quotes, to road-trip fuel mileage records, to outlines for papers, to friends’ phone numbers. I’ve thought for quite some time that everyone should have a little notebook to carry around. You never know when you’re going to have to (or want to) write something down.

  • I have bought a few moleskines in my time, though they’ve never taken off with any tenacity. There are so beautifully made I also feel too nervous to start the first page. for note taking means I normally stick to a pad of A4. As EG has mentioned I dare say I would be encouraged to use my moleskines more had I a nice pen, there is nothing better! I am hoping that a new iPod Touch may even fill the above gap, I think I have always been more of a PDA man even though I accept the niche that moleskines fill.

  • Intern in Israel

    My husband and I used to use moleskines, but that was before they were (at least to our knowledge) printed and bound in China. In 2006, the label changed to read “Printed and bound in China” and “Designed and assembled in Italy.” We miss them, and have yet to find a happy replacement, but we choose to no longer buy the product. The quality of the product also went downhill at this time a few notches. Currently we buy handmade journals from Etsy (

  • Use them all the time, mostly the pocket sized version. They last and hold together. And with what my notebooks go through, this is job #1.

  • I have a moleskin city edition (Berlin). It’s one of the best pieces of kit I have next to my wallet, keys and phone. The pocket at the back is the best little storage place ever invented.
    They make great Christmas presents too. . .

  • Scot McKnight

    Now you’ve got me started … “gel” pen? Here’s the question:
    How can one use a Moleskine and not be tempted to use, and indeed use, a fountain pen? Right now I’m using a Pelikan Northern Lights. Moleskine’s were made for fountain pens.
    (Is there any other real pen?)

  • RJS

    Pen – Bic (but only click pens, not stick or cap pens).
    I have a Moleskine, but it is nice enough that I fear to write. Can’t bear the idea of erasing or a line-out.
    Computers with their editability have spoiled paper notes for me.

  • I was introduced to Moleskine by a fellow seminary student at Northwest Nazarene. I wasn’t sure how much I would like them, being geared to computers and electronic devices and all, but it’s quickly become my favorite way to journal. I buy the kind with the faint grid on the pages, which is a big plus for someone who’s a messy writer.

  • Pen–the Precise V5 (the ONLY pen that should be used with the moleskine) in my opinion.
    Moleskine, notebook, pocket size. The point of carrying the pocket size is that it goes anywhere with you. When I was a grad student in biology, my advisor once told me that an academic goes nowhere without something to write on and with. At the time, he was pushing the “hipster PDA” (3×5 notecards clipped together). He moved on to the moleskine and brought me along with him, and I’ve never looked back.

  • I began using moleskine for taking notes in my Greek class for my MDiv program last year. This year I continued the ‘tradition’ in my Hebrew class. They are PERFECT for that sort of thing! Now I use the, for all sorts of personal journaling and note taking. I especially like the small tiny pocket-sized ones. They are perfect for scribbling on-the-fly thoughts.
    Speaking of Hebrew…off to review my moleskine notes for my final!

  • Mike Hickerson

    I don’t like ruled notebooks for journaling or taking notes, and I found the small Moleskines weren’t comfortable. I have usually used spiral-bound sketchbooks (which can be found for $6-7 at hobby or art stores), and especially liked the sketchbook I just filled – the pages were perforated and measured 8.5×5.5, so I could replicate a full-size page layout on the rare occasions that I needed to. However, I just purchased the large, unruled Moleskine, and I really love it. It lays perfectly flat, and the paper is very high quality. A little expensive, though, so I’ll be looking for bargains.
    I tend to use my computer for real journalling or intensive notetaking, but I use my notebook for notetaking during conversations, notes when I’m not with my computer, for poetry, and for more general brainstorming when a computer and keyboard are too constricting. I prefer using a single notebook for everything so that I don’t have to remember where all I left my note. 🙂 (On my computer, I use DEVONthink for all of my journalling and notetaking.)

  • (Unrelated aside: Hey, the site remembered my name this time. Still no url, though.)
    Notebook? Uh-uh. PDA. Smaller, and you can back it up in case, heaven forbid, you lose it. As RJS said, it’s editable, and if you’re tired of writing, you can play solitaire or bejeweled 🙂

  • RJS

    I prefer Mahjong. Can’t do that in a notebook.

  • I like them.
    Use the paperback 80 pages for my spiritual journal AND the weekly calendar with the ruled blank page on the right side for a daily log and to do book.

  • I use the pocket size and the larger soft cover Moleskins. In addition to a commonplace book, I take sermon notes, prayer requests, and journal in the smaller ones (separate one for each) and have my kitchen and household notes in the larger size.
    I also use a fountain pen, but only in my journal. I don’t usually carry it around with me.

  • Dan

    I’ve found these cheaper versions of the moleskine that suit me just fine.

  • jestrfyl

    I use the Moleskin Calendars. This year they have a month on two page version with lined pages after each month. These work well for the brief notes I need to carry and they never run out of a charge and I can use it anywhere.. The bendy covers are a great feature, as is the pouch in the back for carrying business cards. The time zone calendar has come in handy a few times, as have the other information pages. I also keep a sketch book and graph paper book handy for moments of whimsy or planning a project. I am a devotee of these products – I hope they last a while.

  • Too expensive. Most of my notes end up on post-its. I basically write on whatever I can find (not the most efficient, but even when I buy notebooks I lose them). I sometimes send emails to myself or write private blogs with ideas on them. But you’re reminded me to maybe consider buying a few notebooks for ideas – something that I’ve neglected for awhile.

  • Dan Masshardt

    I looked at these but like Levenger products much better. Their circa system allows me to take notes in a small notebook and transfer them to a bigger notebook later.

  • I use a Moleskine Squared Notebook Large for all my pre-writing and note taking. I label each entry with a category, title, and date; number every other page (odd numbers only); and put an index in the back. I’ve tried the pocket size and the soft cover, but find the large hard cover best fits my needs.
    My Moleskine is more critical than my Treo and that’s saying something.

  • Mike


  • Yeah – these are great. I journal all the time, take notes during sermons and other conferences/talks – and moleskines are great for this purpose. They have a great feel, are similar size to a small bible or other book, fit into a bag well, and come in lined or unlined. As far as the “too expensive” comment, I couldn’t disagree more – I buy the 3 packs for $10 at Barnes and Noble. Lasts me for about a year, and they are easy to store away for future reference. Perfect for traveling too – one month in Europe = one moleskine. Such a great product

  • I love Moleskins… I use a big one with graphing layout for notes, sermons, etc. and a smaller, pocket sized one with graphing layout for jotting down things while i’m on the go… I also have a pocketsized weekly planner by Moleskin…
    On top of that, Crossway puts out an ESV journaling bible with space for margin notes that is similar to a Moleskin and is stinkin amazing… if you’ve seen the small, pocket-sized ESV’s its basically the same typeset and everything with thicker pages and about 2 inch lined margins on the side…
    the thing I love about moleskins more than other notebooks is their sturdiness… I carry the small one in my pack pocket and sit on it all the time. Although it is slightly bowed now, its still in one piece and none of the pages get even close to being damaged…

  • Yup, seriously. My moleskine contains ideas in the rough–ideas captured from the clutches of forgetfulness. I’ve moleskined through two degrees, one thesis, and tons of blog posts. I plan on using it for my PhD as well.
    The feel of the journal is great, the workmanship means it can be kept in the archive for reference (which I do), and if you shop around the price is fine.

  • Pat

    How do you keep your notes organized? I’m usually working on eight or nine things at once, and have tried keeping a separate notebook for each, but always have the wrong notebook to hand. So every notebook becomes a mess of bits and pieces, and about once a year I tear them all apart and sort them into folders.
    I think I’m going to try using post-it-notes and a small notebook with topics pages. That way I can write my note on the post-it and put it directly on the appropriate page, until I get home and can file it properly.

  • Scot McKnight

    It seems everyone works out a system tailored for that person’s work. But, I take all notes from reading in my Moleskine … the large one. Every now and then I take notes in the pocket size.
    If I’m doing research for something more technical, I use 8×11 graph paper and punch holes or just put in a folder.
    My desk used to be covered with notes and slips of paper but this Moleskine solved all that for me.

  • sorry laura, my question above (“seriously?”) wasn’t aimed at you. i was just a little surprised when i checked in and saw a post about notebooks that garnered a couple dozen responses lol. but, i’ve been blogging about football and turkey, so i guess i better not throw stones, amen?

  • Tim

    I have been using the small Moleskin for daily devotions and lectio divina for almost a year now. It really is the perfect size to take around anywhere, from Church to class to coffee houses. In particular, I like being able to use it when I go for spiritual direction.

  • I’ve lost count of how many moleskine’s i own! They are without doubt the coolest, classiest notebooks ever! i’m a songwriter and use them to record on the go inspirations etc. what’s great about the binding is that unlike most notebooks, i can lay an opened moleskine on a table without fear of the pages turning or the notebook closing. great for playing guitar whilst reading/singing through song ideas.

  • Stan Friedman

    I have used moleskines for a couple of years now. Especially use the pocket size for journaling as well catching the very occasional thought as it passes through.
    An essential pen for me is the “bookmark pen.” It’s flat and fits nice in the cover.
    Used to be able to get at Barnes & Noble but now available on ebay: Don’t know what’s so Feng-Shui about them.
    There are some at B&N but they have hearts on them. Yeech!
    Fans of the Getting Things Done (GTD) time management system rave about moleskines when they’re not trying to find the next best time-management system.
    Here’s a site where you can rate your addiction to moleskines and has links to other fan sites:

  • The Moleskine pocket sized is the ultimate for capturing short thoughts. I carry one with me everywhere. The pocket sized one is perfect for off the cuff, short thoughts. I have a bigger moleskine that I use for longer thoughts…often based on my shorter thoughts.

  • What a surprise to find a blog entry about Moleskin. Yes, I use the often and have a dozen of them for different projects and subjects.