Discussion: What is in your Moleskine?

Notes of all types, I use my Moleskine primarily as an analog alternative to my BlackBerry and ThinkPad tools. It’s a method of capturing thoughts and ideas which are important to me going forward.

I find it rather relaxing to use, and a great way to recover my hand writing. After years of laptop use, my handwriting was going away. Now I’m able to read what I write (how novel…) and I find the intrinsic experience of putting pen to paper very satisfying. Another method that I now employ is to start at the front with my calendar, and then begin from the last page, after flipping it over and write towards the center. My goal is to use all the pages, and I keep a table of contents in the front (for the front) and the same applies to the back. Previously I was finding myself with random unused pages, as every time I wanted to start a "fresh page" I would skip a few, to allow continued note taking for the prior topic , but ended up with wasted pages, disorganized due to the jumps.

Finally I did try tabs but did not like the way that worked (or didn’t) for me.  Numbering the pages and having a table of contents works for me.


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10 thoughts on “Discussion: What is in your Moleskine?

  1. The table of contents works for me also. I have a few pages in the back, keep track of the numbered pages and then write in the back whats on every couple of pages. Really easy to find things too. And simple. You have to keep those things simple or else you cant use them.

  2. I’m currently working on a novel hoping to get it published, and I’ve found out that I had so many notes and documents about the various parts of the book, including world building, that I need a single place to store them all in.

    So I bought a Squared Notebook just for the occasion; I’m going to fill it up with all the notes and memos I have lying around and keep it in a tabbed and indexed format.

    I have other Moleskines lying around; enough to admitting that I’m a Moleskine addict (not that it’s a bad thing.) Usually I keep a pocket ruled notebook with me at all times so I can put ideas from my head to paper. I later switched to the unused pages of a Daily Planner now that I’ve started to use Datebooks. I also use the larger Moleskines and Cahiers for more specified books, such as maintaining of other book projects and checking progress after I publish them.

  3. In my weekly notebook I have a table of contents just so I can figure out what page any certain date was on so I can check back if I ever need to, but I tend to paperclip the pages between where I am and the ToC together so I can just flip open to where I left off easily, since I don’t have to check back too often.

    In my other personal moleskine, I opted for not organizing at all, mostly because it’s a journal rather than any sort of helpful work or planning tool, so I figured if I can’t see myself ever needing to refer to a specific date to find for a reference, if I ever need to look at it again. If I need to find something, I can just skim through and have a good laugh.

  4. “and then begin from the last page, after flipping it over and write towards the center.”

    Ah, great idea! Kind of like multi-language instruction manuals. I use my pocket grid Moleskine as a weekly calendar from the front, outlining a few weeks out at a time. Working from the end I’ve segmented off 6-10 pages at a time for project notes, wish lists, etc. Flipping the notebook over and journaling/note-taking from the back forwards is definitely something I’ll embrace when this one fills up.

  5. Another ThinkPad+Blackberry+Moleskine user? IMHO, when combined with a nice hot cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage), it’s the perfect experience. With as much as I love ThinkPads, it’s not surprising I took a liking to Moleskines right off the bat. They both have that simple and understated complexity about them.

  6. One thing I would suggest (I don’t do this anymore)–I used to use different colored pens for different things, so if I were writing about money (green) and goals (blue) and prayers (red) and journalling (black). I was able to keep only one notebook that way–the right person might like it.

  7. I use both, tabs and index. It all depends on how and where I use that particular M. If it’s one I will always take with me or just push in every tiny space that opens in my bag without further thinking I use numbered pages and index. For my xlarge desktop cahier I obviously use tabs (Avery-Zweckform) and also for those Ms (mostly cahiers) that go with other stuff like binders.

  8. My moleskine is generally not indexed at all, but used as a journal and ideas store. I come up with a large number of ideas and content for stories that I am working on and use it a lot for brainstorming. I may be on the train and a great idea pops in to my head – into my moleskin it goes!

    If I need inspiration, looking back through my old moleskins can really help out. I may have had an idea a year ago that I didn’t run with, but which now would really work.

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