Are Moleskine Notebooks Overrated?

I heard about the Moleskine notebooks years ago. I stumbled upon them while looking for programs for my tablet pc for taking notes while at university. The software choice was not huge and trying to find some templates I kept ending up on pages selling notebooks like Moleskine or similar single page templates for custom binders.

Back then I looked at it and wondered to myself, why the hell would I pay extra for this not-even-so-fancy notebook? Every now and again I used to keep diaries, and just wrote my thoughts down in simple little notebooks kids use in primary school. Paper is paper, I thought.

And then recently I got one for my birthday… Oh how wrong was I. There really is something special about these notebooks. The texture of the leathery cover – hard but flexible, and the smooth papyrus feel of the inside sheets have something inspiring about them. The tactile experience does in a way help me feel creative.

It really is not the same as typing away or even writing on your usual paper. The thin, soft pages with there yellowish tint do make you feel like an old-school artists doing your sketches or taking notes. The story goes that these notebooks were used by some famous names like: “Van Gogh, Chatwin, Hemingway, Matisse and Céline”, to quote the official website.

There are two extra features a Moleskine notebook comes with – a little string for bookmarking and, at least in my version, a pocket at the back. It’s a great way to put away small things like business cards or other little scraps you need saved quickly for later and/or kept together with your notebook.

Finally this leads to a quick mention of the Moleskine variety. The notebooks come in many styles, the flexible cover being just one of many options. Also the inside pages can be be blank, ruled or squared, just to mention some of the types.

Maybe just having one makes you a snob that tries to give them more meaning than they have. But maybe they really are a great experience for any kind of notetaking. I definitely prefer to think it is the later.