Top Tools for Creative (and Working) Writers


“Reporters’ notepads are necessary but obvious. The classic upgrade is the Moleskine, an infamous exercise in clever marketing. The ad copy is ghastly and pretentious, and so are we when we buy them, but they are the best money can buy. They’d better be, too, at a stunning $10 or so per notepad.

Instead, try the Xonex Ru notebooks, available at stationers or direct from a representative. They’re similar to the Moleskine, with an elastic strap, rear-cover pocket, durable covers and plenty of style (both pictured here: snap!). But at half the price, it’s a much easier sell.

Alternatively, of course, just grab a stack of index cards and a bulldog clip.”

WIRED Gadget Lab

[Thanks Chris and Ioannis in Greece]

4 thoughts on “Top Tools for Creative (and Working) Writers

  1. Miamoto Musashi, the Japanese swordsman and author of Go Rin No Sho (The Book of Five Rings), wrote that a Samurai should never get too attached to any one sword. In combat, swords break often. A good Samurai will train with new swords all the time so his ability to fight does not depend upon the blade but his own skill.

    I feel the same way about pens and notebooks. I’d like to know that I could write a short story with nothing but a pencil and a pad of sticky notes if I had to. I prefer Moleskines and Pilot Vanishing Points, but I don’t want to get too tied to any single tool.

    This is a long and pretentious way of saying “I agree with the first post, competition is good”.

  2. Although Competition is a good thing in principle, I am always amazed that when a quality product comes into competition with a cheaper model, it is usually the quality product that drops in quality and value, not the cheaper one that elevates itself in quality. In a sense, I guess the averages always are less than what the best was alone.

    I will stick with Moleskine since I buy two boxes (crates of 12) at a time. I give away about half of them as gifts, and would not give LESS than a Moleskine to someone as a gift. Why? Touch of class!!!

  3. ***I know this comment is a little long, but I felt the need to give my own personal Moleskine testimony.***

    Not only do I lovingly refer to my Moleskine as my “pretentious diary,” it also does double duty as my wallet. However, I was not totally loyal to the brand until I had flirted with a “prettier” competitor.

    While at the Getty Museum here in LA one afternoon, I came across the Paperblanks line of journals. They’re great looking on the outside with their tapestry covers and they also include the rear pocket we all cherish. Now I did notice the book had fewer pages (176 vs. 192) and fewer usable lines (19 vs. 22), so it wasn’t an easy decision. However, I figured I could get by on the Paperblanks’ looks alone. That’s where I was wrong.

    Not only was I longing for a greater number of pages and lines (had I been thinking logically, I would have realized that the few papers multiplied by the fewer usable lines per page means the Moleskine gives me 880 lines or 40 more pages to work with), the Paperblanks journal also seemed much less sturdy to me. And within a few weeks, my perception proved correct when my elastic band snapped away from the book due to the rear pocket being too full as well as the wear and tear I was putting on my journal from slipping it in and out of my rear pants pocket.

    Needless to say, I quickly returned to the Moleskine family. So, while the Xonex Ru journals may possibly be less expensive and come in pretty colors, a trip to their site tells me they have fewer pages (128) and they don’t look as sturdy either.

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