Why You Should Try a Moleskine Notebook

Where do you capture your notes?

On a legal pad?  In a notebook?  Or your computer?

Having a good method and tool for capturing notes is essential to any time management system.

As I have written previously, I use my iPad extensively.  This is especially true for calendar and contacts.  However, when it comes to taking notes, I use a Moleskine notebook. (affiliate link)

If you have been reading around the time management circles, you have probably heard of these notebooks.  Most of the people who use them are very devoted to them.

Today, I wanted to share a few reasons why you should try one.

Moleskine: The Best Notebooks?

So, what makes a notebook stand out from the rest?  After all, you can go into your local office supply store or bookstore and find dozens of different brands.

Moleskine notebooks stand out due to their quality and design.

They are simple really.  A small bound notebook with an elastic closure and a ribbon bookmark tied into the spine.  They are available with many different page types: ruled, blank, grid, and more.  There are many sizes, as well, from pocket to X-Large.  I prefer the 5.4″ by 8.4″ size.

When you crack one open for the first time, you will understand why people have come to love them.  They just feel right.

I often say, “Choose tools you’ll use.” If the tools are suited to the task and you enjoy them, you are more likely to continue using them on a regular basis.

Here are some of the reasons and uses for my Moleskine notebook:

  • Durability – Moleskines are extremely durable.  I have driven off with one on the roof of my car and it survived.
  • Keeps It All Together – I prefer one journal to multiple notebooks, even for work.  For me, the benefit of having all my notes in one known place outweighs the use of 2 or 3 notebooks.  Simplicity is key.
  • Variety – There is a Moleskine to fit everyone’s need and purpose.  From really big to pocket-sized.  From hard-bound to softcover.  You can find a Moleskine to suit you.  I have tried many different types over the years.
  • Notes – I love the Moleskine notebook for note taking.  It is just the right size.  The paper is thick enough that it tends not to bleed through.  And it is very inconspicuous in a meeting environment.  Taking notes on a PDA or computer still stands out in a group setting.
  • Brainstorming – Besides notes, I love taking a full two-page spread in my Moleskine to brainstorm a new project.  It gives you room to write, draw, and layout the miscellaneous ideas of a new project.
  • Journaling – Some people love Moleskines for journaling.  I do this sometimes, but tend to do my journaling on my home computer.
  • Eliminates Lose Paper – I resist the temptation to write things down in multiple places.  Whether it is a voicemail message or a quick note, it goes in my Moleskine notebook.  No more searching for lost Post-Its or scraps of paper.  What was that number from that VM two weeks ago?  No problem, flip back a few pages in your Moleskine and there it is.  (BTW, Moleskines also have a small pocket in the back cover.  Great for capturing business cards or receipts until they can be processed.)

One Place To Capture It All

A Moleskine notebook is a great tool to have “One Place to Capture It All.”  Notes.  Miscellaneous info.  Messages.

As a capture notebook, the Moleskine is second to none.  It outshines my iPad for note taking and is better suited to the task.  I also enjoy the design and durability of the Moleskine, so I always have it at my side.

Moleskines used to be difficult to find, but now you can find them in most bookstores.  I get mine from Amazon.  (In the standard black, or the bolder red.)

Try one for yourself and let me know what you think.

Do you use a Moleskine notebook?  Which is your favorite?

Photo credit seanmcgrath

 

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Andhika

    I never once use notebook, but I’ll give it a try with this Moleskine notebook :)

  • Anonymous

    I love using my moleskine notebooks. I currently have a black, use as my blogging journal and red one to keep info about an organization I am part of.

  • http://twitter.com/OnSiteStudios OnSiteStudios

    The LiveScribe Pulse pen records what you write and if you turn on audio recording captures the audio of the meeting and it’s synced to your pen strokes – want to know what was being said the moment you wrote that word, tap the word with the pen and the audio plays from that point in the meeting. When the pen is synced to your computer the notes can even be exported to PDFs. They can also be put online available to the public (like a lecture) or private.
    http://www.livescribe.com/store/store.html?vid=20070723002&cid=101&pcid=101
    The Black Moroccan Mini Wrap Journal is very similar to the moleskin notebooks:
    http://www.livescribe.com/store/20070723002/p-202.htm

    • Dantong

      Totally use the livescribe moleskin notebook. Best of all worlds!

  • http://twitter.com/RoyaleScuderi Royale Scuderi

    Just can’t go back to paper. I’m so thrilled with Evernote – constantly typing on my iPhone!

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

    Royale – I too am a big fan of Evernote. However, I still use my Moleskine for note taking.

    Use Evernote for clipping articles, websites, emails, etc. that are better suited to the digital format.

    It is a very powerful app.

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

    I have not had the opportunity to try the LiveScribe product.

    Seems like a neat concept. Could be a cool solution for students.

  • http://twitter.com/mrohde mrohde

    I have avoided the Moleskin in favor of a note template I print on standard printer paper and a hold in a binder. Even the analog copy has become rare since I carry my laptop with me everywhere at work. I have found that my hard copy notes usually translate into action items or meeting agendas anyway so most of what is written gets translated to digital very quickly and the notes that are left get scanned so having them in a 3 ring binder is much more effective for my workflow.

    This process has worked well for me over the years.

    http://marc.rohde-net.us/2008/04/my-ubiquitious-capture-system/

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

      Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

      I tried the printed template thing, once upon a time. Great for customization. Love it!

      For me, I prefer the single notebook that I know has everything in it. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191498132 Kerrie McLaughlin

      Marc, I’d love to see your template but your link results in a ‘forbidden’ message.

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  • http://solutions4living.blogspot.com/ TyAnn Robinson

    I’ve been using the pocket-sized Moleskine notebooks for years and absolutely love them! To make it even better, I attach the self-adhesive pen loop to the back cover and that way my pen is always attached: http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10026885&N=&Ntt=pen+loop

    Best notebook on the market, hands down.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

      TyAnn,

      Great tip on the adhesive pen loop! Lots of people would like to attach their pen to their Moleskine. :)

      Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/davebaldwin Dave Baldwin

    I have 1/2 dozen Moleskine notebooks. I use them for different things. I like the ones that have the graph paper grids.
    Thanks so much for the post.
    Blessings,
    Dave

  • http://www.bobsoltys.com BlkWhiteFilmPix

    A bright red pocket notebook – just like the one in the photo.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

      I too have a red one around here.

      I traditionally stick to the black. Red is nice, but stood out a little too much for me. :)

  • http://khurtwilliams.com/ khurt

    I love my iPad but my Moleskine is where I keep my important notes and lists.

    The DODOcase for iPad is designed to imitate the look of the Moleskine notebook.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/khurt/4776481691/in/set-72157624456079652/

  • http://www.jennalanger.com jennalanger

    I have the smallest Moleskine notebook, and I love it. Something about writing in it makes my thoughts seem more meaningful. I love going back through my notes – random product ideas, to do lists, memories from my time in Australia. Next time I think I’ll get one a bit larger so I can have more room to play, and maybe with lines or grids for sketching.

  • AndrewDavies

    I use the miniture (very slim) version because it’s the only one I’ve found with recycled paper.

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  • margauxg1

    Even though I work at a technology start-up, we all use Moleskine notebooks to keep notes and to-do lists. I also make sure that I write the date at the top of the page… it makes it a lot easier to refer back to old notes!

    • TMNinja

      @margauxg1 I am a big tech fan, yet when it comes to notes, I still use my trusty notebook and pen.

      Still think it will be a while before my Moleskine gets replaced by my iPad. :)

  • margauxg1

    Even though I work at a technology start-up, we all use Moleskine notebooks to keep notes and to-do lists. I also make sure that I write the date at the top of the page… it makes it a lot easier to refer back to old notes!

  • TMNinja

    @margauxg1 I am a big tech fan, yet when it comes to notes, I still use my trusty notebook and pen.

    Still think it will be a while before my Moleskine gets replaced by my iPad. :)

  • Pennyspy

    I have used a Moleskine for about four years now and go through a 250 page ‘large’ hardback every two or three months. They’re incredibly useful, sturdy and versatile notebooks and as the article says it’s perfect for keeping all thoughts, lists and random flotsam together on a daily basis. I carry it with me everywhere as it’s vital for notes, ideas, and endless lists. And it’s nice to see the rows of them on the shelf and to raid them for ideas!

  • Pennyspy

    I have used a Moleskine for about four years now and go through a 250 page ‘large’ hardback every two or three months. They’re incredibly useful, sturdy and versatile notebooks and as the article says it’s perfect for keeping all thoughts, lists and random flotsam together on a daily basis. I carry it with me everywhere as it’s vital for notes, ideas, and endless lists. And it’s nice to see the rows of them on the shelf and to raid them for ideas!

    • TMNinja

      @Pennyspy Ironically, I am rocking the “Star Wars” limited edition Moleskine right now.

      I thought people would chuckle… but it is a real conversation starter at work. People love it!

  • TMNinja

    @Pennyspy Ironically, I am rocking the “Star Wars” limited edition Moleskine right now.

    I thought people would chuckle… but it is a real conversation starter at work. People love it!

  • ArchiMark

    @TMNinja
    Great website and articles…lots of reading to do here…. :)

    Could you please share a bit more as to how you use/organize your Moleskine ?
    For example:
    – Do you use an index to be able to find specific notes ?

    – Do you divide up Moleskine by subjects into sections using tabs or ?

    – Any other tips on using it ?

    Thanks,

    Mark

  • ArchiMark

    @TMNinja
    Great website and articles…lots of reading to do here…. :)

    Could you please share a bit more as to how you use/organize your Moleskine ?
    For example:
    – Do you use an index to be able to find specific notes ?

    – Do you divide up Moleskine by subjects into sections using tabs or ?

    – Any other tips on using it ?

    Thanks,

    Mark

  • http://allthedoors.wordpress.com/ September Kuromi

    I have a moleskine daytimer and three little notebooks – one for each focus in my life (ala http://www.renaissancesouls.com/) – and I echo all your sentiments about these lovely little books.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Love it…

      What’s better than one Moleskine? Three Moleskines. :)

  • Subodh

    While having a single place to capture is a great idea, it is not practical in all situations.

    What is more important than “capturing in a single place”, is “capturing” itself.

    As long as inputs are captured, they can be processed and organized and later executed.

  • thewhippet

    Craig, I highly recommend you try the Leuchtterm1917 notebooks. They are German-made, and of superior quality to Moleskines. I started with Moleskines but switched to Leuchtterm. The Leuchtterm is a slightly larger book, with page numbering, a table of contents—and, importantly, the paper is thicker. You can write with a fountain pen and there is no bleeding through the paper. Even highlighters don’t soak through. Fantastic. It’s German quality, through and through. I wouldn’t go back to Moleskine now. I own Leuchtterms in every size, and just bought the 2013 weekly planner from an online store in Sweden, because I cannot get it in Canada. Now THAT is a sign of a committed fan!

    Finally, I can’t put my finger on it but I feel Moleskine has slipped a little since they were bought. Now they make their notebooks in China, not Italy. Moleskine is still the second-best: behind Leuchtterm1917. http://www.leuchtturm1917.com

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Thanks for the recommendation.

      Had not seen those before. :)

  • http://www.betterblogimages.com/ Joseph Michael

    Craig, like you I use my iPad extensively but I’ve always been sort of a paper guy when it comes to notes and brainstorming. I keep hearing about these Moleskine books and how much everyone loves them. I’ve never actually tried them for myself though. Your post just convinced me to take the plunge and finally give one a try. I bought one through your affiliate link. Love your reviews on products and apps. Thanks man.

  • Kris C

    I just bought my first Moleskines today. The Mickey Mouse limited edition for my meeting notes and the 2013-2014 weekly planner for the daily tasks and to-do’s. I’m totally excited to use them!

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Nice!

  • http://www.vegetarianzen.com/ Vickie

    I do have a Moleskine and LOVE it for brainstorming. I feel creative just holding it :-)