Moleskine produce some of the most loved notebooks on the planet. The traditional black hardcover book with band is a firm favourite, as is the evernote collection, but there’s a much larger stable of notebook awesomeness produced by Moleskine. A new release in 2015 has been the Moleskine Chapters Journals series, which is quite innovative. So we thought you’d like a Moleskine Chapters Journal review to help decide if this style of notebook might suit you!
So what’s different about the Moleskine Chapters Journals?
Moleskine has produced soft cover notebooks before, but these are quite different. The key difference: They’re more than just a notebook.
They’re really a mini-organisational system. The notebook is divided into seven chapters and a ‘to do list’ section. So you can categorise the notes you take into your own themed chapters and easily create and check off, lists of actions.
A few other differences of the Chapters Journals include:
The size is unique to the range – they’re slim-line and slim-form. In other words, they’re only about 100 pages (number of pages vary by which of the three sizes) and are taller and thinner than Moleskine’s other notebooks.
There’s nothing else in the Moleskine range in these colours. They’re a really nice palette combination of dusky pastels and vibrant contrast.
The Moleskine Chapters Journals have an exposed, coptic bound spine – in a cool contrasting colour. Beyond looking great, it means the books lay completely flat when open, without you needing to weight down a side to hold a new book open.
Moleskine Chapters Journal Review: How do you actually use it?
To make the Chapters Journal work for you, you’d first need to decide how you want to classify your notes – aka what ‘chapters’ would work for you. These notebooks would work best if you developed your own system – and then KEPT using it. That way you’d be more likely to follow your own format and it would be simpler to go back to previous books and access information you might need.
I had a think about how I could use it in my daily job as the Milligram Marketing Manager: What “regular” notes I might take or tasks I might do. What sort of regular things I write down. My first attempt is below-and it’s a combination of my personal and professional life. (If I was to do it again, I’d move the ‘personal’ chapters to the end, but you get the idea.)
You can create your chapters “index” in the rear and then label each corresponding chapter throughout the book.
The “to do” list section at the rear of the Chapters Journal
The rear of every Chapters Journal has 13 ‘to do’ lists. If I was going to suggest an improvement to Moleskine for this notebook, it would be to put the to do lists at the end of each chapter instead.
A pen/ink test drive in the Moleskine Chapters Journal
I love pens with free-flowing inks. So I love fountain pens and I love rollerballs. However, like most Moleskine notebooks, the paper isn’t fountain pen friendly. (I did try so you could see it below – it feathers.) I also found with the rollerball – the Tombow pen pictured – there was some show through, but not so much you couldn’t use it. However, hand on heart, the best pen for this notebook would be a ballpoint.
A little extra: Page flags
At first I missed these – usually a notebook wrap is something you immediately toss in the rubbish. But this wrap has a little useful tool on the back – page flags you can cut out and use to mark your chapters. If you were carrying this book around in a bag, these wouldn’t be useful and would fall out. However, if you keep your notebooks on your desk, this could be handy for easy flicking to key chapters.
Once I had a chance to open and play with this, it’s a resounding yes from me. It’s pretty clever. It’s not expensive. And it looks good! Oh, and the books have either standard ruling or dot grid. I’m a huge fan of dot grid, so that’s a big plus for me!
I’d want to really use them as a ‘system’ though. That is, think properly about how I’d use it to be the most organised and then follow my system. Which is a bit of a commitment – but really how to make the most of these notebooks. I think it would be worth it. The challenge with most notebooks is that we use them rather ‘willy nilly’ and so can’t easily use them as a reference point. So I think the Chapters Journal would work well alongside a ‘day to day’ notebook for transient note-taking. Things you don’t need to refer back to can go into the ‘day to day’ notebook and everything else could go into your Chapters Journal.
Oh, and I’d have to be prepared to write with ballpoint. But hey, that just sounds like the perfect excuse to go pen shopping to someone like me!