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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

More Moleskine Hacks

Everytime I pick up a new Moleskine, I’m reminded how much I freaking love these things. I got a fresh one the other day at Flax, so why not mention a few new Moleskine hacks?

  • Moleskine Metadata - Use the upper right corner of a page to make a small note of what that page is about. Could be the name of the project or whatever helps you jog your memory when flipping through, looking for a specific item.
  • Work the accordion - Since I mentioned the Amazon wish list hack, I’ve started toting other stuff around in my primary notebook’s accordion folder:
    • Extra $20 bill for emergencies
    • Index cards (no need to rip out pages when you wanna share music tips or phone numbers)
    • Photos of family and friends
    • Spare BART card with a few bucks on it
    • CD or DVD  (Pros only.) This is a very tight fit, but a handy way to protect a disc you don’t want shaking loose in your bag.
  • Spine Icons - I know some of you, like me, are multiple-Moleskine nerds. It’s sad, but this is how God’s made us. So, this means you might have a lined notebook, a sketch book, a music notebook, or even a storyboard notebook—all of the same size and outward appearance. Using a silver Sharpie or the like, make a small icon or letter at the same place on each spine to remind you which is which.
  • New Datebooks - Although I primarily live by an electronic calendar, I couldn’t resist picking up the new Moleskine Diary for 2005. If you need a sexy, low-key diary and love the Moleskine feel, give it a spin
  • Dream Journal - I keep a Mini-Moleskine on the night stand for jotting down dreams in the morning. Also handy if you’re dozing off to sleep and remember something you need to do tomorrow.
  • Img_3929Moleskine Smoking Journal - I’ve recently resumed the terrible habit of smoking cigars. I’ve used a Moleskine Heavy Sketchbook to paste in the labels and make notes on each smoke. You could do the same with your own guilty pleasure, whether it’s wine, candy from East Asia, or—I don’t know—labels from beef brisket, I suppose.
  • The Plume - Although I still swear by my Fisher Space Pen when I’m on the road, I’ve become a recent convert to the Pilot G2 gel pen. It feels great on a Moleskine’s silky  pages. Nice sharp line that’s more even than the Space Pen’s, I must admit. Sits well in your hand, too.

Got a novel use for your Moleskine?

Jan's picture

My hack, I have used large...

My hack, I have used large diary/planners for a couple of years now, just blows my PDA efforts away with ease. Currently the a 2005 Moleskine Large Daily Desk Planner (see http://www.moleskineus.com/largediary.html) is doing the job (regret many of the changes from 2004 version but still good). I carry it compulsively in my hand all day at work and in bag the rest of the time. My problem was availability of free form pages to mind dump, idea catch, project plan, to do lists etc etc. I have now solved this with a pack of the soft cover Volants (see http://www.moleskineus.com/volant-notebooks.html) which are exactly the same size as the diary. I use a blood pressure elastic strap on the back cover which allows me to 'piggy back' the volant onto the diary where it is instantly accesible. I have cut a letter-box slot into the cover of the volant which then stores my handful of tools (0.5 pencil, gel ball, penform eraser and fountain pen) securely and ready for instant access. The body of the tool inside the volant and clipped through the slot as though in a pocket. The blood pressure ligature positioned close to the diary spine also hold the accordian pocket securely closed so I can store valuables with confidence but is instantly accessible if I rip the velcro join of the ligature (rather than just using the elastic to slip the volant back in place in normal use. The disadvantages are those arising from the tools making the diary sit up unless the volant is removed (fixed in a single wrist flick if more than jotting into diary) and the need to remove the tools if you want to write on the left hand page in the volant (not a real problem in my experience at all). Hope all this makes sense. I have a hand-sized tool with all the implements I need at any moment that I am away from my desk to capture anything I need and the Moleskine combined with quality writing tools on its 'back'(and a good quality decal to make it 'mine'on the front) gets admiring comments everywhere I go. Whole set up, including a good fountain pen is less than $300 and I've never had a PDA for 4 times that which worked as well, drew as much positive comment and gave me as much pleasure to use.




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