The first time I heard or rather read about the mighty Moleskine was with some reference to Hemingway. And Picasso. I received my first from an aunt or cousin visiting from abroad at a time when my thirst for penmanship seemed unquenched. The smell of the paper combined with the almost naughtiness of the bound leather. It was surely one of a kind. More than 25 years later, I have penned through more Moleskine’s that I can remember and every time time, my pen nib touched that first line, on that first page, a flash of images always seemed to find their way in my reverie. Me writing a book of some sort and fulfilling the ultimate goal of any writer…right? Wrong.
According to the Moleskin website, “the legendary notebook” as they call it (and I don’t disagree!) “is the heir of the legendary notebook used for the past two centuries by artists and thinkers, from Vincent Van Gogh to Pablo Picasso from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin. The anonymous and essential little black notebook, with its unique rounded corners, elastic closure, and expandable inner pocket, was originally produced for more than a century by a small French bookbinder that supplied Parisian stationery shops frequented by the international literary and artistic avant‐garde. This trusty, pocket‐sized travel companion held their sketches, notes, stories, and ideas before they became famous images or beloved books”.
The site continues to tell the tale of little notebook that could citing that it seemed to disappear in the mid-1980’s and enjoying a quasi-renaissance as if to follow the path of some of its earliest users, in 1997 by a Milanese publisher. Today, Moleskine is just a must have for the artsy, creative and curious. Wine. Food. Words. Art. Doodles. Lines. No lines. Colours. Paper. Leather. Large. Small. Those who just value where they write what needs to be written.
Moleskine also represents a convergence between the old and new. By new, I obviously mean technology and by extension the smart phone, table, touchscreen tapnology…I mean technology 9See what I did there?). Looking at the spaces the smartphone, the tablet and the stylus have warned for themselves in today’s market, one would think a notebook would be headed toward the best seller’s shelf in a Vintage Shop somewhere in East London. Not true. Not true at all.
The Moleskine App Suite certainly appeals to those who appreciate the old and crave the new. The app brings all you’d expect from a journal to your tablet or your smartphone. Here are some of the features:
- Moleskine paper selection—plain, ruled, squared—plus templates from the popular Weekly Planner, Passion Recipe Journal and Storyboard Notebook.
- Artist toolset (paintbrush, Moleskine pencil, Moleskine pen, highlighter), all with size control and full-spectrum color picker available on-the-fly.
- Fully-featured color picker gives full artistic control, with value slide, opacity slide, custom swatch library and Moleskine’s ivory-color paper background for easier color selection.
- Moleskine ribbon bookmark.
- Easy image import from your photo library or take new photos with the built-in camera.
- Easy project sharing via email, Facebook and Twitter.
- Easy sync to Evernote and backup to Dropbox.
The sync capability with mega-app, Evernote is also a megaplus as there are now Moleskin notebooks specifically for this app, allowing you to take a snap with the camera on your smartphone or tablet of your notes and/or sketches, which then is uploaded straight into the Evernote app ready for you to share with the rest of your project team, study group or just to be stored and ready for you to access with a simple tap. The app also allows you to have many notebooks at a time with several in-app purchases should the native options not be enough to satisfy your Moleskine addiction.
My next Moleskine is going to be a red one. Like this!