For most of my life, I have journaled using the journals given to me on birthdays and at Christmas, and until recently, I was fine going to Barnes & Noble every 6-9 months and picking out a new journal that fit my personality. My journals have been spiral bound and saddle-stitched. They have been large and small. They have been lined and unlined. They have been flowery and retro.
But something inside me was wholly unsatisfied with the pile of journals I was accumulating. They didn’t sit pretty. Standing beside one another on a bookshelf they looked like misfits—unmatched and tacky.
- Gridded pages. Moleskine notebooks come lined, unlined, music staffed, and water-color ready, but I love them because I can have gridded pages. Ever since college algebra my senior year of high school, I have been addicted to gridded pages. It’s the obsessive-compulsive organizer in me, but I love using gridded pages to organize my note taking.
- Multiple sizes. I have several Moleskines in use right now, and I’m using two sizes: the large (5.5 x 8.25) and the pocket (3.5 x 5.5). The large is perfect for my daily journaling and note taking, and the pocket fits nicely in my purse and lets me take notes on the go. I also use a large lined notebook to track gifts I give; used mostly around Christmas, I keep track of the gifts I give and the money I spend so I can reference it in the future.
- Inner expandable pocket. Every Moleskine notebook has an inner expandable pocket in the back, which lets me keep little keepsakes like notes from my hubby, movie tickets, etc. I also put coupons in my pocket-sized notebook, and I never leave them behind!
- Elastic closure. Moleskine’s also have a bit of elastic to stretch around the notebooks to keep them closed. I always hated journals that flopped open in my bag, and now I don’t have to worry about pages getting torn up when I carry my journals around. No more floppage!
- Consistency. I no longer have to spend an afternoon at Barnes & Noble picking out a new journal; I have a go-to journal from now on. And when they stand together on my bookshelves, they look so pretty!
Have I convinced you to get your own? If so, you should customize your Moleskine right away. When I break open a new Moleskine, I first write my contact information inside the front cover and offer a cup of coffee at the Mudhouse as a reward if it’s found. Second, I number all the pages. Then, depending on the purpose of my Moleskine, I have a system of hacks to further customize it:
- Spine labeling. I use a silver Sharpie on the spine to label the title of the notebook. For most, it’s as simple as “Journal 2006-2007.”
- Date. For my personal journal, I date every page (13 May 2008, Tuesday), but for my gift journal, I date every page with the season (Christmas 2007).
- Levenger Page Points. I use the ribbon bookmark in my notebooks to mark the next new page, but sometimes I reference other pages in my notebooks, so I use Levenger Page Points to mark those pages. They are thinner than traditional paper clips, and do a dandy job marking my place.
- Binder Clips. Even though the notebooks come with an expandable pocket, I sometimes have more to keep with my Moleskine, so I put a small binder clip on the back cover to keep extra loose paper in place. I also use a binder clip to keep my cahiers (soft cover mini notebooks) closed.
Do you need more convincing? Besides beating you over the head with my own Moleskine, I don’t know what to tell you, but here are some additional posts you should read:
- More Moleskine Hacks (43Folders.com)
- Uniballs on Moleskine (100 Things That Make Me Happy Besides Money)
- The Complete Guide to Moleskine (Lifehacker.com)
- Pleasant Customer Service from Moleskine (Consumerist)
What about you? What do you use for journaling? Do you use a Moleskine? What are your hacks for personalizing yours?