As someone who is constantly taking notes, sketching out ideas and regularly trying to sound witty and knowledgeable on such elusive topics as what socks to wear with white bucks, I pay attention to notebooks. Like any other personal accessory, the pedestrian notebook says as much about you as your shirt or watch. It s a telling detail, but a very personal one. Do you grab an anonymous spiral bound book from the supermarket shelf, along with your paper towels and milk? Or do you search for an exotic Florentine creation in bound in leather with marbled pages?
While I admit that I have a weak spot for nice blank books and handmade papers, I really love the elegant simplicity of Moleskine journals. These subversive little black books with the elastic band almost beg to be written in. While an admittedly elegant lambskin journal from Smythson will cost you $250, for under $20, you can get a large format Moleskine in your choice paper style (plain, lined or grid). There is even a handy expanding pocket in the back. Though this larger size is good enough for the office, most people recognize the small pocket size journals.
Where some journals look like they belong in a museum and elicit literal panic should you write down a mere “to do” list within those hand tooled covers, Moleksines encourage you to jot down your daily musings.
The Italian company that now owns Moleskine, Modo & Modo, recently expanded their product line to include a variety of elegantly simple diaries and cahiers. These thinner, lightweight versions of the traditional Moleskine are perfect for a shirt pocket or slipping inside a leather folio on the way to a meeting.
The latest and most exciting edition to the lineup are the newly launched city journals. On the outside they have the traditional black cover, but inside are filled with a combination of maps, city guides, tabbed sections for listing such vitals as restaurants and stores, and room for travel notes. I have the Washington, D.C., edition and find it a great tool for keeping track of the stores and local events I need to check on. City journals cover other locals including Paris, London, Seattle, and Rome. Each book has the city name discretely embossed on the spine.
Moleskine has an enormous cult following across the web and one of the best sites is the blog moleskinerie.com. Also stop by Moleskine City.com, an amazing blog dedicated to travel and urban exploration in all its forms. Of course, make sure to check out the official company website as well; it is a cool and informative resource for all things Moleskine.