I recently decided to ditch my Tungsten E in favor of a lower tech solution. Paper and pen. I am not alone in this as there seems to be a movement toward a more simplistic way of management. To that end, there seems to be no more increasingly popular solution than the Moleskine notebooks. The users of this notebook are almost cultish in their zeal, but I have to say it is quite appealing. Just take a look over Moleskinerie and you will see what I mean.
So I ran down to my local bookstore and decide to see what all the fuss was about. To my pleasant surprise I found a nice array of models to choose from. I picked up on with an orange band (which turned out to be a large, ruled notebook). To my unpleasant surprise the sucker cost a whopping $14.95.
That is a lot of money for a 240 or so page notebook. But, I am a sucker for trends so I bought one anyway. I opened it up in the car as I usually do when I buy something that I am really excited about – why wait till I get back to the office? As I flip the book open and thumb through the crisp pages, I think to myself, "Wow, this is really nice!". The book is sewn bound like a high quality book would be, the cover is nice and firm but lays out nice and flat. The pages are not thick (although the Artists sketchbook is) and the inks don't smudge easily. It also has a handy elsatic snap band and an attached ribbon bookmark. In the back is a small, accordian pocket for storing various bits of paper or maybe a few photos.
Next thing you know, I am getting excited about it. Yes, excited about a notebook that is empty, set me back $15, and actually smaller than a standard piece of letter sized paper. I start by sketching some notes about a project I have been working on. I doodle some workflow diagrams. Make some mental notes that I want to make sure I don't forget while juggling back and forth between my emails, wordprocessing documents, spreadsheets, etc. It sits right next to me on my desk ready to take down anything I need. No boot up time. No hot syncing. No power outages and lost data.
So is it worth $15? Well, on its physical characteristics alone, I will say "no, not really". It is a fine quality notebook for sure, the absolute best I have ever used. But, I am using it much more than I ever used my Tungsten E. Jotting notes with my Palm was just never efficient for me. I can paste my weekly fortune cookie fortunes directly on the page, something that wouldn't quite work right on my Palm. I am actually enjoying owning the notebook and enjoying the flexibility that its simplicity lends to me. It is such a nice product that I am excited to use. That translates into me actually being more productive because I actually want to use it. So for that, it is fully worth its cost.