My search for the perfect notebook

Ever since I was a kid, I have this predilection for nice, clean, and smooth writing surface. My mother would scold me for being wasteful and disorganized, because I would tend to write on a new, perfectly smooth and fresh page.  I would skip writing at the back and the following page which would have dents and traces from the heavy pencil writing. Growing up, I have changed, to be not wasteful of precious pages that is. In fact, I have the tiniest handwriting that would fill every empty surface of a page. I’d even divide the note page into two columns to maximize the space. However, my fancy for smooth and clean (with a nice scent is a plus) writing surface is still there. In fact, it has become quite a bad habit. I would buy nice stationeries, diaries and journal notebooks, sketch pads, and tiny notepads. I really fancy those clean-looking Japanese and Korean notebooks that has dainty cartoon drawings, regardless of the tag lines that do not make sense at all. I’d probably write on the first few pages, and then nothing more. They would just lie there in my plastic stationery box. I haven’t been really a diligent scribe that writes a daily journal. I do write lists however in bullet form, on important events or things of the day. And supposedly, I would transcribe these bulleted summaries to a journal entry, into those nice crispy pages… but I haven’t really.

Given an extremely generous opportunity to tour Europe, I promised myself to be diligent. I would take notes, draw some sketches and finish a travel journal. I was so excited about documenting a great upcoming episode of my life that before the day of our flight, me and my mother went to National Bookstore. I was looking so hard for the perfect notebook that would deserve to be The Tavel Notebook. Unfortunately I found none, and instead just bought a regular notebook for general note-taking.

When I went to Vienna for a conference, I found just the perfect one. It was The Moleskine. I saw it at the bookstore of Vienna International Center when I was browsing for postcards. I bought a soft-covered plain pocket-size notebook and some cahiers and volant notebooks. The plain pocket-size notebook has 240 thread bound pages, soft leather cover with rounded corners, acid free paper, a bookmark, an elastic closure and an expandable inner pocket. Enclosed in the pocket is a leaflet in multi-language, much like a manual when you buy an appliance. It contains the history of Moleskine, the quality assurance, and product catalogue.  It says in its history that “Moleskine is the legendary notebook used by European artists and thinkers for the past two centuries, from Van Gogh to Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin. This trusty, pocket-size travel companion held sketches, notes, stories and ideas before they were turned into famous images or pages of beloved books”. I was very delighted upon reading this, the perfect notebook indeed. I felt some sort of relief and satisfaction, my search for the perfect notebook is over. And because it’s a Moleskine, it’s just a natural thing to be diligent with it. It’s a notebook that’s an inspiration by itself.

Here are few pages of my travel journal entries and sketches.

A journal entry on our trip to Salzburg. Despite being pocket-size, a whole spread would provide a sufficient area for drawing.

Ink pen sketches of an arc of the Eiffel Tower and a portion of Notre Dame de Paris. My favorite ink pen that I’ve been using since high school is the Pilot-G-Tec-C4. It’s the perfect pen for the Moleskine paper, it absorbs relatively quicker than any other pens that I’ve tried.

Colored pens and paper do well with the surface. Careful with the centerfold pages, they tend to tear quickly from the stitches.

An activity grid I made of our Paris tour. The paper is sturdy enough for watercolor. Surprisingly, the paper didn’t buckle despite being lightweight. Also, the watercolor glides gently on the paper.

Visit, be inspired and get your own legendary notebook. 🙂 Available at Powerbooks Philippines.


1 Comment

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One response to “My search for the perfect notebook

  1. Pingback: My search for the perfect notebook (via Doses of vitamins…) « "Hop on, hop off."

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