Moleskine Hacks

Latest Update: Added a link to a Moleskine Hard Drive.

Moleskine? Little black notebooks, with a bookmark, elastic closure, and a storage compartment in the back. Useful little things on their own, but some people feel the need to trick them out further.

Marking Up

Most people just use their Moleskines freeform, scribbling whatever and wherever they like. Some people prefer a little structure…

  • PigPogPDA – my very own Moleskine Hack – either a simplified GTD system for those without too much to do, or a slightly overcomplicated capture system to feed into GTD.
  • PlannerHack – Mike Rohde’s site, with his tricks for turning a Moleskine into a nice little planner to organise your days.

Add-in Cards and Sheets

Not quite the same as marking up your Moleskine pages, how about adding in pre-printed or formatted sheets or cards?

Pimp My Moleskine

  • Moleskine Hard Drive – increase the capacity of your Moleskine by cutting out all of the paper and stuffing a hard drive in there. As spotted by Merlin
  • Moleskine Cover – I love the style of the Moleskine cover, but if you prefer something a bit more colourful and personal, this link may be helpful.
  • Moleskine Reloaded – not so much “Pimp My Moleskine” more “Gut My Moleskine”. Via Craftzine.
  • Extra pocket – Hello Kitty pocket. Nice.
  • Ninth Wave Designs has (quite literally) hacked a Moleskine into Battlestar Galactica style, with chopped off corners.
  • Lined Card Insert – lets you write with lines in a plain notebook. (Via Moleskinerie.)
  • Tabbed Moleskine – using an X-Acto knife (craft knife) and a label maker. I’ve seen similar things done before, but this looks a bit neater, with the printed labels.
  • Home-made City Book – since the City Books aren’t out for a while yet, if you’re in a hurry, see Geoffrey Litwack’s guide to making your own. Could be quite handy for any other sort of project, not just a city visit. (Via Make:.)
  • Beribboned – via Moleskinerie. I prefer the simplicity of the clean lines, but if the plain black cover leaves you wishing for a bit of colour, this does look very smart.
  • There’s a Flickr set with a few different decorations and replacement closures from Bubi – really nice stuff.
  • Moleskine Portfolio – if you prefer using loose sheets, but you like Moleskine paper. (Via Moleskinerie.)
  • Tim’s Moleskine Hack – using Post-it Notes attached to the first two or so pages as a makeshift Hipster PDA. Stupidly simple, but not a bad idea. I’m trying out using pencil and just erasing and rewriting, but lots of people hate using pencil, so this could be a good alternative. (Via Moleskinner.)
  • 43 Folders on Moleskine Hacks – an excellent collection of tricks and hacks.
  • Tim Baynes’ Trick for Numbering Pages on Moleskinerie – using an automatic numbering stamp and making an index in Excel – by page and by subject.

Pen Holders

  • A nice simple elastic pen holder from Paul at Active Voice. Being elastic, it should be able to stretch to different notebooks, too, as long as you stick to almost the same size. One that fits a large Moleskine should work out ok with most A5 books.
  • How about a leather pen holder? Simple to do, and just takes an offcut – handy if you’ve worn out your leather trousers, and are looking for a way to reuse the scraps.
  • Nargalzius has seen all the pen holder hacks, but still put together their own design, using cardboard and duct tape.
  • A very classy twist for the Pocket Reporter from Sanctum mekkanicum, made with laminator sheets.
  • One that’s similar to the ones you get on Filofax binders and similar – step-by-step pics at Flickr – via Moleskinerie.
  • Pencil Storage and Sharpener – attach a pencil safely to your Moleskine, and be able to sharpen it on the go too.
  • Pencil Holder – an improved version, with a video of the process.



  • Kody’s Moleskine iPod Hack – needs a few fairly specific items, but might give you some good ideas if nothing else. A case that holds two Moleskines and an iPod video, with a bunch of pens and pencils and spares. (Via Moleskinerie.)
  • Knitted Moleskine Case – along with a few other knitted projects. Doesn’t include any instructions or pattern, but it doesn’t look too difficult. If you know how to knit, anyway, I doubt I’d get far with it.


  • Emberlexi has put together an excellent set on Flickr, showing how to do a proper job of repairing the spine. Spend a bit of time on her other crafty pics, whilst you’re there – there’s lots of stuff there. Via Moleskinerie.
  • Repairing a Loose Elastic Band – if the elastic that holds your Moleskine shut comes free from one of the holes, let Steve guide you through fixing it.

Alternative Uses

21 thoughts on “Moleskine Hacks

  1. Pingback: links for 2008-12-25 « copula’s weblog

  2. I’ve looked at several pen holders. I even bought one that got glued to the back. But I like my idea. You can use it for any book, not just a Mole. It just takes about a 12 x 2 inch piece of clear box tape. It’s simple, clean, and cheap. But don’t let that fool you. I doesn’t look bad either:

    Dave’s Moleskine Pen Holder


  3. Westwood: “Man, you bustin’ some angular moves on that elastic now man, you sharp in the bookmark, and your expandable back pocket is jammin’!”

    The Rest of the World: “What?”

    Sam Harris (Coming April ’06 – Re-branding!) Creative Wanderer and Wonderer You’ll have to excuse me, it’s the hormones.

  4. Just to explain for those outside the UK – the US version of Pimp My Ride is presented by Xzibit. Whilst I couldn’t call myself a fan, he’s funny and cool, and presents the show with some real style.

    Over in the UK we get the same show, but presented by some insufferable twunt called ‘Westwood’. He’s pretty fly, for a white guy. He talks constantly in what he probably thinks is real gangsta rap speak, but as far as I can tell, it’s just gibberish. I don’t claim to be any expert on such matters, but he seems to fall a long way short of cool. I’m so unhip it’s a wonder my bum doesn’t fall off (and I’m stealing jokes from Douglas Adams), but I still suspect I may be cooler than Westwood.

    Anyway, you don’t even have to take my word for it. There was even a petition to get MTV to change their minds, but I wouldn’t take the word of anyone who can’t spell the name of the person they do want presenting the show. Or any other words at all, for that matter – even such challenging ones as “maby”, “pleas”, and “whant”. Still, even people who can’t spell “ther” think he’s an idiot.

  5. Three words:

    Hammond. May. Clarkson.

    Sam Harris (Coming April ’06 – Re-branding!) Creative Wanderer and Wonderer You’ll have to excuse me, it’s the hormones.

  6. I decided to hook all of the fivers out of the Moleskines and treat myself to something. I fancied a Pelikan 205 clear bodied fountain pen, but Ray at told me that they are no longer available. It wasn’t long before I had talked myself up to a Pelikan Souveran 805 in black – oh yeah!!

    Well I don’t drink and don’t smoke anymore, and you can only eat so many Smarties each week, so tomorrow I will sit here awaiting the call of the post person with my Pelikan in hand. Then thrash them resoundingly for removing it from the packaging!

    The story gets even better as I had to pay using my debit card, which means that I might as well put all of the fivers back from whence they came until I have another insatiable pen urge!

  7. You buy the pen with the nib that you foolishly think will be right for you!! When you realise that it is wrong you get to try others then send back the ones that you don’t want. So it is in fact nib exchange in reality.

    I have just paid £200.20 for a flight from Shetland to Glasgow and that is with a 40% islander discount. If I had to fly down to London to see a Pelikan it would probably cost the same as a M1000. Suddenly it becomes obvious why I use mail order!!

  8. That’s certainly good service – letting you try before you buy. Most places can do a nib swap shortly after buying if you don’t like the nib size/shape you get, but you can’t beat trying a couple of different ones out and choosing your favourite. The nearest place to go and actually look at a Pelikan is probably London for both of us!

  9. The 800 certainly is a chunky pen, but in a stylish way. The silver on black is such a fantastic combination.

    I saw the Pelikans at CultPens and I have to say that the service has always been great. In the end it was a few quid cheaper elsewhere, but what really sealed the deal was getting to try out more than one nib. Ray sends them out in the post and you send back the one (or two) that you don’t want. Certainly a good bit of marketing, especially for those of us that have to take the plane to get to our nearest Pelikan dealer.

    Sorry, I shouldn’t be promoting the opposition here, but I am sure that you will see it as positive. CultPens is on the whole appealing to a different market and I was especially pleased when they started selling the Pilot C-Tec G4s in a range of colours – cool!!

  10. Hi Andy,

    We’ve just started selling Pelikans at work, and they are great. I have an M600 now – the M800 series were a little bit heavy for me. Beautifully smooth filling and writing. I actually think I like it more than the Lamy 2000, but it’s close.

  11. Cool – thanks, Dave, I’ve added that to the list. I like how the label maker not only makes the text nice and neat, but kind of plastic-coats the tabs at the same time.

  12. Here is a hack for iPod Shuffle 2G owners for adapting a Moleskine into a Shuffle ‘case’

  13. Every time I start a new Moleskine I unwrap it, open it up, write my name, phone number and reward in the front (I bet no-one else has Viking Biscuits as the bribe!!) and slip a five pound note (worth about 100,000 US$) in the pocket at the back.

    I suddenly realised that I have a great stack of Moleskines that have either been started or finished, so they all have a fiver in them – ho ho!! I should have enough to buy an iPod Shuffle and some change!

  14. The Royal Bank of Moleskine… :) The interest rate ain’t that hot, but you get a free moleskine with every transaction.

    Sam Randall
    Ain’t Life Grand?

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