My first contact with a Moleskine happened several years ago. I saw a
stash of them at a bookstore and thought that it’s a quite neat idea.
But I didn’t had enough spare money on me at that time, so I didn’t buy

I never used notebooks. I had no idea that such blank books
exist and I wouldn’t see any use for it, anyway. I either jotted down
small notes on little pieces of paper that I stuck in my wallet or I
noted stuff on my large college block for later learning. Neither of
both types of notes would last longer than a month at most.

few weeks ago, I found the moleskines again. I still found them neat
and I bought one for my girlfriend which, I thought, would appreciate a
nice, classic notebook. She *loved* it from day one and keeps many,
many day-to-day notes in it. Telephone numbers, addresses, shopping
lists, little to-dos and just plain notes wander into the moleskine and
are always at hand. She’s pretty grumpy when she accidentally forgets
it at home.

That made me look at the way that I treat notes. I
still jotted on small pieces of paper, but since I started working, I
became flooded with little paper notes. I needed quite some time
searching for specific notes, I was always short of one crucial note
and many notes just disappeared. I was more  than ready for a notebook.

bought myself a pocket moleskine for private stuff and a large,
A4-sized non-moleskine for work. I can’t understand how I could live
without them for so long. My favorite is the pocket size memo
pockets moleskine. Finally a good place for coupons, tickets, cards,
receips and other pieces of paper. At work, with my A4 notebook, I
have all the important information at my hand and due to the size, the small notes become small logs with which I can trace my work better.
Outside of work, I can keep my infos together in my pocket moleskine
and, first of all, have a place to put my infos in.

That pocket-size Moleskine became my lifesaver in Egypt! My
Girlfriend and I have just arrived in Egypt and waited in the Airport
for our luggage – which would not appear. A friendly travel agent
researched a little bit and found out that most of our luggage was
still in Frankfurt! A few minutes later, an airport employee told us
that the luggage would arrive with the next flight later that day.

Let me give you a little bit of background:
were planning a diving cruise on the Red Sea. Flight and Cruise were
booked seperately, so the cruise organiser would not stand up for us.
The cruise people had send the travel agent to make the arrival
smoother, but that’s as much as they would do. Our ship was scheduled
to leave the harbour during the following night – and the harbour was
located 300km southbound in the middle of nowhere. Two out of three
bags were missing, so we had no diving equipment whatsoever. If the
equipment won’t arrive in the evening, there will be no time left to
rent a replacement. If we rent now, without any approval from the air
carrier, we’ll be destined to pay for it ourselves. If we rent and our
bags do arrive, that’ll be lots of money down the drain. We were at an
egyptian airport – more or less a place were planes can land with no
service desks at all. I do not speak arabian. I had little money (the
cruise was all-inclusive). All I had was my carry-on luggage: hardly more than a book, a toothbrush, a cell phone … and my moleskine.

The travel agent was about leave me. Time to take action: I flipped open my moleskine and started to act:
noted flight numbers and plans, passport numbers (just in case – they
were wandering through many hands at this time), luggage numbers,
telephone numbers of the agent and someone at the airport. Names,
locatons, notes on formulars. Notes about which information I gave to
whom. I took a small Euro-Bill out of the moleskine’s back pocket
and handed it to the travel agent and got, in return, the promise that
he would take good care of our luggage as soon as it will arrive. Then
I phoned my carrier – I bombed the people back in Germany with infos
about my desperate situation and, since they would not pay for
replacement rent, pressured them  to a clear affirmation that our
luggage will, definitively, arrive. I could name enough details in
order to tell with subtlety: "I am documenting everything – and if this
goes wrong, I have everything at hand to kick several asses!"

think it made a change. And, most of all, it gave me the feeling that I
was in control. I was not an idiot who stuttered when asked for luggage
numbers and flight plans. I was prepared.

When I phoned the
airport later (which I could, ’cause I had the number), I found out
that the luggage is on the right plane.  Still later, I phoned the
travel agent, who had picked up our luggage and send it on it’s way to
the harbour. Everything went just fine, thanks to my moleskine, my
cell phone … and a little bit of bakshish money that I kept in the
moleskine back pocket.

"A Helper in Need"
By Jens Schäfer

Image: "An Affair" by Diong @ Moleskinerie/FLICKR
© All rights reserved. Used with permission

– Discover and join the Moleskine Communities at MYSPACE, FLICKR, ORKUT, LIVEJOURNAL & GOOGLEGROUPS.
– If you’re in Taipei, check out Workingunit’s "MyMoleskine" exhibit.
– I’m moving to a new place this weekend so comments will take a little longer to screen and approve.  I may not be able to respond to emails until Tuesday next week so please be patient.

Get out, have a life – and write about it! See you on Monday.