Economy of Effort

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Stuff I Like That You Should Too: Moleskine Notebooks

Yes, I know they’re the hipster’s notebook and that they have a cultish following. Yes, I know that their posturing as the notebook of Hemingway and Picasso is a healthy dose of creative license. Yes, I know that they’re overpriced and that for all the talk of Italian design and French paper, they’re bound together by cheap┬áChinese labor.

But frankly, none of that speaks to the quality of the notebook. And as I nearly fill my first one with a year’s worth of work notes, I must say that mine has been a durable, reliable tool.

I’ve never been completely happy with computer-based note-taking solutions (though I have come closer with Evernote on the iPad and iPhone). And like many geek brains - constantly preoccupied with the last technical problem it was trying to solve - mine is a forgetful one.

So, a year ago, I invested in my first Moleskine notebook. I had, of course, heard all of the praise from the true believers. I decided to give them a shot myself.

My writing needs are not like those of, say, actual writers. But I needed a good, compact notebook that I could take everywhere, and one that would be able to hold its own on the inside of a laptop bag, being smashed up against larger and heavier objects.

The Moleskine is beautifully and simply designed. The importance of the little strap that holds the book closed cannot be easily overstated. Unlike every other paper-based thing that is subjected to the interior of my laptop bag, the Moleskine pages stay intact and unmolested, locked away behind an impenetrable shell held closed by that handy little strap.

As much as I like the idea of going completely paperless (as I am with magazines and books), the “best tool for the job” mindset wins out. I will continue to use Evernote for certain things, but for my daily work notes, I will keep reaching for my Moleskine.

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