Brilliantly Creative

How Moleskines Made Me a Happier Journaler

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.

And then I discovered the Moleskine . Oh, Moleskine, how do I love thee. Let me count the ways:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. 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:

What about you? What do you use for journaling? Do you use a Moleskine? What are your hacks for personalizing yours?


2 thoughts on “How Moleskines Made Me a Happier Journaler

  1. First off, thanks for the link love!

    Second, I just gotta agree. Some people seem to think that Moleskine lovers are snobs, since they’re relatively expensive and seem exclusive. But they deserve the respect they get. They are made well and the features you mentioned set them apart from the other journals on the market. Love ’em.

    Great post. Learned some things! 🙂

  2. Well, you were my inspiration for the post, sort of. Seriously, the day before you posted yours, I started to draft one but didn’t have time to flesh it out!

    And I think that compared to some really fancy journals, Moleskine’s are pretty affordable. People just think they’re expensive because they’re so cool (and Italian)!

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