Home :: Paper and Notebooks

Latest Update: Added a link to a history of yellow legal pads, and a link to Notebooksim. We may be doing a bit more on notebooks soon – we’ve got a few more to play with here.

There’s lots of different types of paper out there. At the moment, though, our Moleskine obsession is colouring our judgement badly. We’ll try to get through it, but until we do, it’s mostly about the black books…

Moleskine Logo Close-up

Moleskine Notebooks

They’re just little black notebooks, so why are they so popular? Why have they reached the hallowed status of Interweb Meme? Well, there’s a few things to love…

  • Quality: Despite some reports of falling quality, they’re still much better than your average notebooks.
  • Looks: There’s nothing flashy about a Moleskine, but there’s a certain classy simplicity to the styling. And everything goes with black.
  • Elastic Closure: We all need closure on things. Notebooks are no exception. If you drop it, it stays neatly together. Even if you drop it down the stairs. If you’ve shoved some loose bits of paper in there, they’ll stay in place.
  • Bookmark: There are those who disagree, and just become irritated by them, and there’s even those who cut them off (ouch!), but the bookmark can be very handy for letting you get to the first blank page, or jump back to where you were adding notes.
  • Back Pocket: They have an expandable pocket in the back. You won’t be able to keep a couple of novels in there, but it’s a safe place to keep tickets, a couple of sheets of money, and maybe even your cards so you can leave the wallet behind.


  • Moleskine Notebooks: A bit more about these little black books.
  • Moleskine Hacks: tricks to pimp your Moleskine.
  • New Moleskine Performance Anxiety: Some sad, sad people actually feel bad about starting a new Moleskine, in case they mess it up. Yes, me.
  • PigPogPDA: A way of hacking a Moleskine into a complete system. Could be done with any notebook, but the Moleskine Pocket Reporter works really well for this.

Other Notebooks

ASDA Suede Notebooks - Stacked with Moleskine

  • Asda Notebooks: Trying to find cheaper alternatives, we picked up a whole bunch of notebooks from a local supermarket. Most weren’t great, but there were some real suede covered notebooks for very little money.
  • Yellow Legal Pads – very popular in the US, but I’ve never seen one over here in the UK. Legal Affairs has a history of the legal pad which is an interesting read, if a bit inconclusive (found via Notebookism.)


  • Filofax Sizes and Styles: A bit of an introduction to the types of Filofaxes you can get. I’ve spent hours obsessing over these things, so I might as well write about it and try to pretend it was work.
  • Moleskine Notebooks v Filofax – Cost Comparison: Which works out cheaper in the long run? Moleskines are cheaper, but you have to buy a new one each time you fill one up. A Filofax (or Day Runner, or similar binder) will set you back more to buy, but the paper can be cheap.


  • The Paper Test: Our group test of various types of paper, with various different mediums. See which performed best with which tools.



  • If ring binder style organisers are your thing, you’ll love D*I*Y Planner – they make PDF files you can download, and print out exactly the forms you want – cheaper than buying them pre-printed, and you get what you need.
  • Ninth Wave Designs are actually an online shop who sell Moleskines, but they also have a blog where they share their love of the little books, and it makes a great read.
  • Moleskinerie is the place for the latest news about Moleskines. New products, sightings in the ‘wild’, and featured artists.
  • If it’s not just Moleskines that fascinate you, their sister site Notebookism should have you covered.

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