July 26, 2005

The Moleskine Experiment

It was this page (a link from this blog) that sold me - a mystique around a pocket notebook? Sure, artists like Van Gogh and writers like Hemingway used this kind of notebook, but having a reputation - and living up to it - are two different things. (Especially since this is a very pricy item). Being a somewhat aspiring writer myself (if you consider this blog, a screenplay written for a college film study course, a Nanowrimo entry, and a series of short stories evidence of my career), I wanted to investigate. Especially since I love my planner a little too much, carrying the book-sized planner like Linus' security blanket. So a few weeks ago, before my job ended, with a credit slip from Left Bank Books, I engaged in a grand experiment.

I decided to enter the world of the Moleskine.

Consider its cover - obsidian oilskin. Smooth, glossy, and somewhat sturdy (unlike your regular spiral notebook), it's small enough to fit into a pants pocket. (Of course, it is a little difficult to sit on - however, it makes an excellent fit in a jacket pocket). A thin ribbon placeholder - just to make sure that I return to where I left off in my writing. (Mostly jotting down phone numbers, notes, even some snippets of speech). A thin elastic band to hold the book together - it helps keep the pages dry and keeps moisture out. Soggy paper = bad writing, kids.

Open up the Moleskine, and you get fine lined, acid free paper - not blindly white, but a nice, gentle color. Pages should be numbered, according to lore (and there are plenty of tips and tricks for your Moleskine). So far, I've used about seven pages - various observations, notes, journal/diary entries, and whatnot. There are two types of pen that seem to work best with the notebook - the Pilot G2 (my personal favorite pen), and a small, cheap foldable pen I snatched from a health fair. The last 14 pages are perforated - easy to write and remove for notes. (It even comes with labels so that, if I should choose to mail something off, I just jot down an address and mail it off). It's probably the closest I've come to portable heaven.

However, one real cool thing about the Moleskine is this pocket. Yes, a pocket in the back of the notebook - good for carrying a credit card, stamps, currently, or (in my case) business cards and really small sticky notes. In short, if it had a calendar in it (and I have a freebie credit-card sized calendar), it becomes my portable planner - a poor man's PDA. Even when I have my planner with me, I still carry my Moleskine - I never know when I might have to leave the planner in the car. Both planner and Moleskine have a "return to this address" form at the front - however, my Moleskine is more likely to be returned, due to its portability.

In short, the result of the Moleskine experiment - I like the notebook. I haven't become hardcore about it, (plus, the cost is a little prohibitive), but at the very least, it's helped me jump-start a few things creatively, keep slightly organized, handle information a little better, and capture some ideas - in the end, it's worth it.

BONUS JOB SEARCH REPORT: Went to a temp agency today - what I assumed was clerical support; what I received is feedback into what could be a whole new field. Also received an out-of-the-blue call from someone who pulled my resume from Monster.com. Let's just say a whole new professional area's opening up.

Can our hero become a non-profit guy in a for-profit world? Stay tuned.

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