I feel like I'm missing something about the Moleskine MSK format

Moleskine is pushing a new "MSK" format for designing your own custom pages on your computer to be printed and attached to one of their famous notebooks. But I'm confused. While I understand the utility of custom pages, especially some of the pre-formated variants that let you print out a list of Plaxo or Vcard contacts or iCal events, I don't understand how you physically attach them to your notebook. I suppose you can just fold them and slot them in, but that's not very elegant—and certainly not as swish as the idea I had first imagined, in which Moleskine sold a new notebook with a little clip or binder that made it easy to couple custom pages to blank. It's enough to make me want to simply print out the blank pages, fold them in quarters, and sew them roughly inside two flaps of cardboard.
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17 Responses to I feel like I'm missing something about the Moleskine MSK format

  1. retrojoe says:

    AJ: Agreed. They also have poor quality paper and the “Moleskine” brand has only been around for 13 years, despite what they claim about Hemingway, et al.

  2. Tensegrity says:

    Aj and retrojoe: It’s not something that I would have purchased for myself, but I received a moleskine as a present and I have to say that in terms of durability it kicks the ass out of the cheap notebooks (cardboard covers and spiral binding) I normally use. I bought a pen with a slim metal clip that slides right into the spine and is the perfect length for the 5-1/2″ pocket notebook (for you moleskiners it’s a marvy “le pen”).

    I don’t know if I’ll buy another Moleskine brand notebook when this one is done, but I will definitely eschew cheapo notebooks from now on.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m a Moleskine user from way back. I have too many to talk about.

    Some people like to paste things onto or into their Moleskines, and I think that may be where this whole MSK thing comes from.

    I agree, though, that if you’re going to print crap out and paste it in, Moleskines are way too expensive for that.

    And isn’t the whole point to use something you create with your hands?

    I use the books because I like the physical act of writing as much as I do the creation part.

  4. Felix Mitchell says:

    FYI, Rhodia is a cheaper but equivilant brand to Moleskine.

    I have a Moleskine right now. To be honest, the thing I like most about it is how it makes your sketches look. The curved corners and off-white paper gives your work some extra coolness.

  5. Elliott C. 'Eeyore' Evans says:

    You could print out onto “full-sheet labels” for big pages, or 3″x5″ labels for smaller. Labels are pricey, but they are easily available at office supply stores and are worth it if the information is that important to carry around.

  6. aj says:

    This is interesting – #11 vs. #14 describe very different use-cases re pens and notebooks.

    For me the pen always goes with the notebook, because if I am not writing in the notebook, chances are I’m either using a sharpie on Post-Its or Ziploc bags or something, or I’m typing. So I normally use spiral notebooks. But like a lot of people I have a Moleskine given to me as a gift, so when the current spiral runs out, I’ll look for a pen that can attach to it and see how it goes.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I, for one, am utterly unschocked that the demo computer is a very, very thinly debranded iMac. The only thing missing is the very thinly debranded starbucks cup…

  8. hohum says:

    @12, Rhodia is actually a cheaper but far superior brand to Moleskine. Moleskines feather like mad with any of my fountain pens, but the ink just sits on Rhodia paper beautifully, like it’s supposed to.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Where do we put the pen? In my pocket, where it always is.

    Why would I keep in with the Moleskine? I write on other things during my day.

  10. Anonymous says:

    In the States, Rhodia has yet to produce q comparable form factor. Their webnotebook keeps getting delayed.
    Hit blackcover.com for a thorough examination of almost every pocketable notebook with an elastic closure made in the world. There is plenty of competition for Moleskine.

    I had no idea how pervasive notebooks had become till I put “moleskine” into google. The discourse on paper quality,writing instruments, binding, decoration, and uses is endless and far more varied and individualistic than one might imagine.

    david boise ID

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think you might use the elastic that is on the outside to hold the pages. The picture kind of looks that way.

  12. James says:

    I think what you’re looking for is a filofax. Go on, try and make them cool again.

  13. Colman says:

    I do the pasting-in thing for some stuff – reference materials – in moleskines I’m using as organisers. A couple of pages down the back, at most.

    I can’t imagine wanting to do it for my diary every week!

  14. JuliANSR says:

    I think you should use double sided tape and layer the pages at the spine side by taping another in between the last existing page and the rear cover.

    obviously the binding will split if you overfill it, so eventually you could remove and re-attach the rear cover to the last pages (with a bunch of blanks pre-inserteed.

    and at that rate you really should just get some cardboard, binding clue, a piece of whale bone and print the whole mess out, glue it together, and toss the moleskin.

    and now i feel your pain.

  15. Halloween Jack says:

    If you’re going to print your own pages, then just get a Circa leather binder/cover from Levenger.

  16. aj says:

    I’ve never understood the appeal of Moleskine. Where do you put the pen?

  17. w000t says:

    #8 / aj:

    One of my favorite notebooks was a generic Moleskine copy with a pen loop and a elastic band to keep it closed. I got it at Sam Flax in NY, but that was years ago.

    But for actual Moleskines, a very popular modification is to attach a pen loop. Ways to do so are legion.

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