Care and Feeding

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From BBCi:

"Tips for Using the Moleskine Notebook

      Although the book will fit in a back trouser pocket, if you’re going to carry it on your person, it’s less damaging to the book to put it in your jacket pocket. (Although the book is light, placing it in a shirt pocket is not recommended.)

      Always use the elastic to keep the pages closed. The pages may be acid-free, but they are not waterproof. Keeping the book closed tightly with the elastic will limit any rain damage to the page edges.

      The ideal writing instrument for the standard size notebook will have a fine point (ie a maximum of 0.7mm). Either pen or pencil will work nicely.
 
      If you’re using the notebook as a creative writing aid, Bruce Chatwin recommended numbering each page for use as a reference guide.
 
      Chatwin also suggested placing your mailing address in the inside cover, along with notice of a reward for recovery in the event the book gets lost. (The Modo and Modo version provides a space in the inside front cover for this information.)"

Burning sands, reticulated pythons, coffee grounds and crayons often take their toll on our little black books. What to do? Martha is busy taking notes from her courtroom seat so let’s take the cudgels.

- I keep mine in Ziploc® when traveling.

[BBCi excerpt added 3.4.04]

Update 5.12.06

Alexia has a photoset on FLICKR about Moleskine repair.

Print it in Moleskine MSK format
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145 Responses to Care and Feeding

  1. Jillian Adona says:

    I just got my first Moleskine (2007 planner)! It just arrived in the Philippines this year so this is the first time I heard about it. Any tips on which pens to use? I’m left-handed, so blotting is not exactly a fun task. I don’t want to start using mechanical pencils.

  2. Jaron Shaddix says:

    the micron works pretty well if you dont write rocket fast

  3. carolina says:

    I am a just qualified vet that would be totally lost without my moleskines!!!!
    I have a pocket plain one allways with me to write down everything worthy to be remember and important enought so I could check it in a hurry(normal parameters, dosages…)and a big one that I called it “the modern wich manual” where I am writing the basics and important thing….like anatomical references, Xray views…and I am filling it with anatomical drawings and ultrasounds images!
    So I can have a survival book (the pocket) and a literate one….
    I could feel totally empty without them!!!
    I am considering to use the adress one as a drugs directory…..
    I am totally freak!

  4. Jillian Adona says:

    Thanks, Jaron Shaddix
    I’ve found Sakura Micron pens at this scrapbooking store (bookstores don’t have them) and they work quite well. I like the 04 Micron the best–works well with the thin pages of my Moleskine weekly planner.

  5. Laura Blough says:

    Hi all. I too am a lover of Moleskeins. I’ve decorated the covers of my Moleskein journals. Has anyone else?

  6. dan mcelwee says:

    i just purchased my first moleskin note book (cahiers) and simple fell in love with it. i choose the cahier because of the front cover stock.. What is the stock (paper) it reminds me of a brown paper bag.

  7. heavdog says:

    It’s so nice to find others like me…I bought my first Moleskines a few years back before a bike tour. Took a pocket cahier with me, perfect size for a lightweight journal. At the time, I also bought a Japanese folding book. Since then, I sort of forgot about the little gems, and then while trying to get organized with GTD (Getting Things Done), picked up a pocket squared Moleskine. Hacked that to be my paper pda/brain…then I bought a sketch version, and a couple of regular-sized in both squares and blank – use the squared version for a daily writing book…and a small memo pocket…Now I have a regular ruled one that I use in my classroom to keep notes on the classes I teach, hacked with some calendar pages from DIYPlanner…and most recently, the XL cahiers, which I’m using to write my morning pages (in lieu of the boring spiral notebooks which most people probably use for disposable writing). Whew!
    Yeah, I need a support group. Guess I’ve found it!
    I’m going to try to get some photos up of my various hacks on my flickr page:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/heavdog/
    I’ll see if I can figure out how to add it to the moleskinerie photo pool as well.

  8. ST says:

    Moleskines are very useful

  9. Martin says:

    I am a big fan of cahier type moleskins. I’ve been using moleskines for over 3 years now. Its really great! greetings from Martin, http://www.ausmusterung.biz

  10. Karen says:

    For the bookmark ribbons to prevent fraying: when you first purchase the book, paint a dash of clear nail varnish along the bottom that will fray. Voila, no fraying. This could also be used around the edges of the covers to prevent tearing if you wanted to. Otherwise talk to someone who does rubber stamp art and ask them to clear (or if you like -colour) emboss the edges of the book. This will make it last an age. To reinforce the threads down the spine, a PVA glue very finely applied will help. The PVA glue is malleable and will therefore move with the threads opening and closing, but will preserve them from wearing/fraying.

    I know this from other things, because I only got my first moleskins today, three really cute, sweet cashiers with green wrappers.

    Thanks for all the other hints and tips.

    cheers
    Karen

  11. Bill Corkin says:

    I don’t actually own a Moleskine just yet, But reading this had made me just order one. I will check back in a few days, after I’ve recieved it and let you know what I think.

  12. Fred Berktin says:

    I am getting more and more hooked on these notebooks! I recently ordered the art books to draw my cartoons. I like drawing cartoons (amateur) as a hobby and find it very relaxing. I also ordered the New York City Book. Wow!. It came just in the nick of time before i left for New York. I can hardly wait for my next trip to use it again. I find the clear acetate sheets very useful to plot my cours without writing on the maps. One of the girls in my office hwas been dying to go to New York. Here is my chance to introduce her to the Moleskine, so I ordered her a New York City Book as a present. This is like an addiction.

  13. Erik says:

    I’m thinking about getting one of these moleskin notebooks

  14. I’ve been using a Moleskine since 2003 with extensive travel (I use the small one).

    The ideal pen for me is the Fischer Bullet Pen. Be sure to get one with a clip.

    I keep the pen attached to the top of the notebook with the clip through the elastic. I pull the bookmark up a little, and stick the other end of the pen under it, and that keeps it all snug until I need it. A nice compact package.

    Here’s detail on the model I use (I use black to match the notebook of course, model 400BCL):

    http://www.spacepen.com/Public/Products/BulletPen/index.cfm

    As a bonus, I can write all I want non-horizontally without worrying about the pen going dry due to lack of gravity. The ink is waterproof after it dries. It does not have a ballpoint pen feel to it but feels much easier due, I think, to the pressurization.

    I’m left-handed, and this works just fine.

    The default ink cartridge is medium, but fine can be ordered as a replacement.

  15. dc says:

    same here hmm… I remove the wrappers and tend to replace them with varieties of tape

  16. Lorna says:

    Wow, who would’ve known so many people were in love with the little black phenomena =] I’m currently 15, and I own the small and large sketchbooks, and a Pilot G2 pro to go with them.

    Have any of you felt like you couldn’t think of anything worthy enough to put in the notebook, but felt this HUGE urge to write something in it anyway, and it just flows? There MUST be something special in Moleskine.

  17. Jaron Shaddix says:

    lorna i feel the same way. By the way i am also 15. i actually want to be a writer. I feel good that i am not the only 15 year old that cares about keeping paper and pencil alive.

  18. Lorna says:

    Jason – well, I feel good that I’m not the only one that feels that way. What notebooks do you use? I suppose either one of the ruled ones?

  19. ceviri says:

    So glad I’m not alone in my obsession. I can’t wait to get my Moleskine’s filled as I love the look of a slightly used, dog-eared Mlskn, as opposed to a pristine one.

  20. TomN says:

    I’ve used the Molskine for a few years, I recently tried the small lined reporters notebook. I do have a tendency to keep my notebook in my back pocket and the reporters notebook suffers MUCH less from this abuse. The smaller spine and the fact that it sits horizontal in my pocket account for this I believe.
    Of course, and maybe this is obvious but it wasn’t to me ; ), there is no bookmark.
    One frustration, the paper used for Moleskines is NOT Fountain Pen friendly, the ink bleeds and takes considerable time to dry. Blotting should not have to be an option. So my vote is for a new notebook that is specifically aimed at FP’s. I would easily pay a premium for this type of book, even if the number of pages is cut down considerably.
    One more thing, I ordered a very nice leather cover for my larger Moleskine from Renaissance Art. Not only do they have beautiful covers, but really good prices on Moleskines if you are a customer.

  21. Theo says:

    I was given the Moleskine City – Paris book as a birthday gift. I love it and can’t wait to write in it (November!). Ordered Hi Tec C pens to try… I use a fountain pen for the diary but have problems with smearing. Maybe it’s the way I hold the pen. I also use the sketch books for design ideas and drawings, and the small blank notebooks for a) notes and list, and b)list of shortcuts for AutoCAD which I keep next to my computer. So glad to find some many other Moleskine devotees. I, too, have left the reward line blank – and wrote my name in the Paris book with a less than wonderful pen, so now I want to cover it up and write it again.

  22. J says:

    ‘lo all,

    I’m a fairly recent convert to the Church of the Moleskine; with National Novel Writing Month coming in November, I decided that I could really use a portable notebook sturdy enough to carry around with me everywhere. I was lucky enough to find some here in Dubai, and now I’m the proud owner of both ruled and squared pocket size notebooks for notes/journaling/everything else, as well as two ruled large Moleskines for writing. My pen of choice right now is a Fisher Space Pen (the large size, as opposed to the Bullet – my Bullet Space Pen’s ink is quite faded, not sure how that happened). In the reward space I simply put $25, but I do like the ‘Pint of Guinness’ suggestion. Cheers,

  23. kim says:

    hi all
    i make journals (still love my mlskn the most though), as well as covers, and i recently went through a phase of making all my friends handy personalised covers out of plain cotton and canvas materials, that suit all of them. they loved the surprise.
    that’s how i protect my mlskns, they’re fairly old, and still in great condition.
    also, i type up my details (“if found, please return to”) on my type writer on sticker labels, and stick it in the inside. it adds a really nice touch to an already awesome notebook.

  24. Tony says:

    I have always been obsessed with notebooks, or more specifically legal pads. Especially those with squared grids. I must have filled one weekly with everything I could imagine.

    Now comes the Moleskine and a new obsession. Last night I picked up a squared pocket sized Reporter, came home and sat there deciding just what was important enough to go inside. Nice book, big step. Hmm, maybe a smaller, less flashy start…….back to to the bookstore today for pocket size Cahiers, tan of course, a 3 pack……..better get the medium ones too, lined this time. Yeah, that’s better, less flashy, less pressure, a simple book for simple thoughts…….yeah, that’s it….now,…what to write.

    Maybe a diary…a book with a purpose, There was one at the store, that should narrow down the possibilities, columns, lines, a book almost telling me what it expects. The bookstore is open tomorrow afterall, and there is a Starbucks there too, a table, a Latte, time to ponder, time to write….maybe plan a trip, a trip to New York perhaps, I could fill one book with my plans, another with the trip itself, hmm, I think I saw a book like that, a city journal, might be just what I need…….

    Neat little books

  25. Dot Hage says:

    How to add a ribbon bookmark to a book that doesn’t have one — purchase some 1/4″ ribbon at a crafts store. Cut a length three times the height of the book, plus 2 inches. Open both covers and starting 1″ from one end of the ribbon, wrap it in a loop around the entire group of pages, near the spine. Tie a knot. The remaining long end will be the bookmark. Trim ribbon ends to desired length. To keep from fraying, some liquid fray-stop product, also available in craft stores, can be applied to the ends.

  26. bryan says:

    i like the armour all idea!

  27. Jaron Shaddix says:

    well I have been writing off and on and have finnally gotten around to writing a good length story and i am quite proud. i also have joined a writing club at my school called the inklings in memory of J.R.R Tolkien and C.S Lewis. we have alot of fun and i have made a few writing friends through that. off to write more things instead of what i am supposed to do.

  28. Tom says:

    in my current moleskine, i write my thoughts on the left page, and on the right page, i add diagrams, lists, ect. in my second one, i plan to ahve a completely seperate moleskine for the diagrams and lists. this will let me journal on both sides of each page in my moleskine. the ruled, pocket notebook is my personal favorite. i also love the pilot g2 07 black. on my second, i plan to use Tul pens, 05, black. they don’t smear like the g2’s. in my current journal, i have to write sideways, which is a slight nuisance. i have gotten good at it though, being a compulsive journal writer. =)

  29. AND... says:

    I was converted to moleskines from my usual ‘any old notebook’ i have been using the natural cahier pocket sized plain ones and have discovered i have an alarming array of habits.
    *i only ever use the righthand page yet i have no idea why
    *i start at the 2nd page every time
    *i always start a new page at the start of a new day, even if i only wrote 1 thing in the last page
    *i always write contact details for my imediate family in the back page
    *i only ever write in pencil
    *i write recipies in the back, (i like to cook alot)

    all of these habits have only come about since using moleskines, all my other noteboooks are just jumbled up mess. i think the moleskine has a lifeforce of its own that just makes us love them more but makes us all a bit geeky about them in the proccess.

    i have fo the new year gone all the way and upgraded. i will still use the cahier’s for work but i am compiling all my food recipies in a large lined notebook, and i have got a red weekly planner & notrbook for day to day life and for jotting down the random stuff that my imagination and deep thought throw into my head from time to time.

  30. ahdlm says:

    I’ve been using Moleskine grid notebooks for a while. my only problem is that they run out too fast.
    I love the small ones, but I do tend to pocket them which eventually destroys the spine. Ideally, I’d like to get one of the larger sized books, but about 4 or 5 times the number of pages. that would be a stout book that would last me about a year.

  31. Dave says:

    Like many users of Moleskine notebooks, I am thoroughly pleased with the quality and utility of the product. I use mine on a daily while traveling internationally on business. As a result, they endure some significant abuse and end up fairly tattered by the time they get labeled and filed for reference. Many months ago, I began considering the potential of buying a cover for the notebook with a preference for leather if it could be found. Sure enough, I found several suppliers of leather covers ranging in price from reasonable, to pretty expensive.

    During this search, I ran across a site that mentioned a “prototype” cover that had been made by a firm located in Idaho – Gfeller Casemakers. Gfeller is a manufacturer of very high quality leather cases for geologist, and other field-carried instruments. I had worked with a scientist in Nevada many years ago, and he had a Gfeller belt case that was his pride and joy. I dug a little deeper and eventually called Steve Dericott @ Gfeller and he filled me in on the details (you can read about the Moleskine covers at their website: gfellercasemakers.com).

    Well, by this time I was hooked. Knowing the quality of the products they produced, I ordered a cover for my large Moleskine notebook. They offer the covers in three leather variations: Natural English Kip, Chocolate Cow (dark brown) and Black. I chose the Kip, as I determined that this would be the thinest and probably the longest wearing. It takes a little while to receive your cover after ordering (each one is handmade and numbered) – I had mine in about three weeks. However, the wait was well worth every day! The cover is an incredible piece of workmanship. The leather is beautiful, the stitching is fine and uniform, and the feature which allows the use of the Moleskine elastic is ingenious.

    If you are truly interested in keeping your notebook in good condition throughout constant use, you might seriously consider one of these covers.

  32. Matthew Bodycombe says:

    Hallo,

    Love the site but unfortunately my comments are negative. I have started using a Moleskine Diary and as a user of a fountain pen have been appalled by the amount of seepage through and feathering there is with the paper. For a supposedly quality and premium priced product, one would think that certain users would use a fountain pen rather than a ball/roller point. I think the fountain pen test is a good judge of paper quality and Moleskine fails. CIAK notebooks and journals are also from Italy are bound in lovely supple leather and have much better quaity paper. The only thing they don’t have is the marketing. I can live with that for a better quaity product though and have jus ordered a CIAK jounal. Will still return to this site though as it is interesting!

  33. Weird, I use a fountain pen all the time on my moleskine and have had no problem so far. I use a very inexpensive pen by INOXCROM and use their ink as well. I love this pen because it is little and fits in any pocket. I am planning on buying another pen, something better than my inoxcrom and I am looking into inks, what pen and ink do you use? by the way I use reporter and scketch moleskines, the reporter has thin pages while the scketch has very thick pages, on this last one I draw with my fountain pen all the time…

  34. Rufus says:

    I bought a small moleskine plain notebook about 2 years ago and put it in a envelope for safekeeping. Just found out recently that the endpapers have some slight mould-like stuff, and the side of the journal plus endpapers also have a few splotches of brownish ‘age spots’ :( I’m really upset as I thought Moleskine should be higher quality than that, given the exhorbitant price tag. Does anyone know whether I can remove the mould and age spots? Sorry I had to ask here as I couldn’t find anywhere else to post this. Thanks.

  35. Bill says:

    What you have there is mildew, Rufus, and the quality of the Moleskine has nothing to do with it. Storing the envelope in a humid area is the culprit. You’ll look far and wide to find paper that’s got mildewcide in it, although the military might have some — or one of those all-weather notebooks you get at the wannabee military and birdwatching sites.

    Most of us call that “character,” and tend to think it adds to the charm of our notebooks. You could try putting it in bright sun for a while, but that probably won’t work. Dabbing the spots with a weak bleach solution might work, too, but test it someplace inconspicuous first.

  36. Rufus says:

    Bill, thank you! I didn’t know it’s mildew and I’m a little paranoid about it spreading or having some kind of health effects :p Will rubbing alcohol work as well? I’m not very fond of bleach.

  37. Johnny says:

    Rubbing alcohol will probably kill the mildew, but watch your ink! It dissolves some, like ballpoint:)

    A hair-dryer might work for killing the mildew also, but don’t heat the PVC/vinyl (“moleskin”) cover! That stuff is mad toxic when it’s burned.

    I don’t mean to be so negative :^)

  38. Rufus says:

    Thanks, Johnny! I’m not worried about dissolving ink because I haven’t used the notebook yet! :)

  39. Jo-Ann says:

    I would like to put some photographs in my Moleskines. What is the best way to attach them — tape? Glue? And if you’ve done this, please give your recommendations for the type of tape or glue.

  40. erisraven says:

    As far as calendaring goes, I don’t have a lot of daily appointments to track, just travel days or specific stuff. So, I got a medium sized square ruled, and did something most folks think is… odd.
    Instead of ruling it off into weekly sets, I just squared off the top
    of the left-hand page into a monthly calendar, with each day being 4
    squares. I penned in the dates tiny in each corner, added holidays,
    and then I have the remainder of the left page and all of the right-
    hand page for notes. This works perfectly for me, since it’s not too
    structured, but gives me a vague structure that makes it all easier to
    reference later. I also set aside 4 pages at the end of this section,
    the first facing pair are 2009 advance planning, the second two are
    2010 advance planning. This gives me a space to drop things that I
    might need later without taking up a huge chunk of pages to do it in.

    The rest of the notebook is then free for data capture, with sections
    for each of my major projects tabbed off with adhesive tabs and the
    largest part simply open. I started this back in March, and I’ve
    absolutely adored it.

    I also did a few other things that I’ve figured out are good tricks
    over the years. Since the sections are permananetly tabbed, I’ve
    numbered each page. The first four pages of my Moleskine are left
    blank. The first two are sticky-note capture, the second two are
    indexed using the page numbers above. The last ten pages of the
    Moleskine are set aside for important specific or repeating
    information. I went thru the pages of my last moleskine before I
    archived it, typed in all the bits I needed to keep, and printed that
    on labels, which I pasted inside that section. So not only do I still
    have it on computer and at hand, I can add to it and paste it in the
    next.
    The page numbering is also useful to refer to other pages simply by
    number, to advance tasks from one page to the next without recopying
    (by for example listing 12A as a task, and the unfinished tasks on my lists are given letter designations, so the first undone task in page 12 is the one I would refer to as 12A), and for indicating preceding and following pages
    when things get scattered (14|23|71 – 14 is the last page I’ve used
    for this, 23 is the current page, and 71 is the next page).

    Other lists I keep are things like gift ideas (both to give and
    receive – I’m a terrible person to ask what I want. I stare at you and
    stammer, and give no useful ideas if I haven’t sat down and thought
    about it.), movies I want to see, cool ideas on how to spend time,
    pretty much anything you’d think of as a good list. Maybe we should
    start a thread on lists?

    I also use page darts on important pages to make them easy to find.

    I add an adhesive CD holder in the back cover, and inside the front
    cover I have a small self-adhesive pack of dispensing post-its, a self-
    adhesive pack of page flags, and two self-adhesive business card holders. The
    business card holders function as catchalls for the random loose bits
    that I need to keep around. On the facing page under the reward blank,
    there is a note that in the back pocket there is a shipping label with
    postage enough to get my ‘secondary brain’ home should it ever get
    lost. (My reward offer is a dozen homemade cookies of any type you
    choose.) The front usually gets a cool sticker of some kind or a embossed leather stamp design, and I sometimes have to reinforce the spine with black duct tape. Works like a charm.

    Since as you can guess by all this, I keep my used ‘skines close at
    hand for reference, I also spine and front label them, with a code for
    type (Blank is an open box, lined is a box with lines, etc), and a
    Color. That way if I really need to refer to something in a prior
    ‘skine that I don’t photocopy and stick in the pocket :) I can refer
    to the book and page as yellow 13.

    I’m diabetic, so I also have to be concerned with my medications. Part
    of the capture section in the back catches prescription labels off the
    bottles as they’re finished, and I note any changes beneath. My family
    and friends know where this is in the event of an emergency, so they
    can hand it to a doctor. Other important health info here are recent
    test results, and of course the contact information for my doctor,
    nutritionist, etc.

    I sat down one day when a friend’s apartment caught fire, and realized
    how heartbroken I’d be if they all disappeared. So I have a new
    fidget. When I travel for work, my portable scanner (Canon N1240U –
    thin, portable, powers off its USB cable, works like a breeze) goes in
    my suitcase, and an older Moleskine or two go in my briefcase. When
    I’m bored and surfing the web in the hotel, I scan them in and zip
    them. I burn all the files, zipped and unzipped, to DVD and vault it,
    and upload the zips to my backup site on the web. I leave the zips on
    my hard drive, passworded just-in-case. This has saved my bacon once
    or twice when I needed some obscure bit from a few years back (like
    the VIN of a car I no longer have… )

    All right, that’s enough nattering on. I’ve picked up these ideas all
    over the web, so most aren’t original. I’m pretty sure the calandaring
    system and the health info tracking are my bits. Hope you’ve enjoyed
    this edition of Pimp my Write! :D

    erisraven
    -who puts too much thought into simple stuff. :)

  41. joey says:

    in the reward bit i put ill send fair trade chocolate

  42. audiofreedom says:

    i’ve been reading these comments for a while now and i suppose i should write one too! :)
    i’ve noticed that everyone here uses the traditional back Moleskines. however i use the cahiers.
    i have a large squared one that i use a journal and a pocketsized one that i use to write down anything that comes to mind. I love the Cahiers because i can draw on the covers.
    in the pocket sized i used a regular ball pen but in the larger notebook i use a Pilot Precise V5 rolling ball pen. These are my favorite pens ever!! :-D
    i intend to upgrade to the Moleskine with the elastic next. so far i love them though!
    i’ve had lots of notebooks over the years and these dont compare to any of them. they’re definitely worth the cost.
    my ultimate goal is to buy a whole bunch and use them for class notes…we’ll see!
    btw i’m so glad that other people are obsessed with these notebooks too!!

  43. For some unknown reason I also keep my sleeves in the back pocket, maybe to remind me of the typ of paper. And I also keep the information pamphlet that comes with each book! How silly is that. Check out a post on my blog regarding my Moleskine addiction : http://afrikastreetjewelry.blogspot.com/2009/04/my-moleskine-and-parker-addiction.html

    Regards to all

    Maree

  44. I don’t use sleeves for my Moleskines, for one simple reason: it’s too much of a tactile pleasure to get the Moleskine out of the bag.

    Just make sure that your Moleskine is in a safe place in your bag (if you don’t carry it in your pockets).

  45. are the moleskine pocketbooks refillable?

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