I finished yet another blank notebook – huzzah! – this time a Peanuts themed Moleskine. I’ve used Moleskine journals way back in high school, so journaling in one really brought me back to the basics of putting pen to paper. Only I decided to really go old school and try writing with my soft-leaded Blackwing Palominos that I’d purchased last year. They were, for the most part, simply sitting prettily on my desk, so this was the perfect time to utilize them. There was something so tangibly simple and chic about the chicness of my Palomino pencils with the Moleskine.
After months of journaling in non-Traveler’s inserts and lately finishing a Moleskine notebook, here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- I love the wider space for journaling. While I love everything about Traveler’s Notebooks, I do appreciate the ample page width.
- While I didn’t mind so much the lined paper, I still prefer blank pages, if for anything – to be able to art journal freely without the interruption of lines.
- Without the setup of my TN’s zip pouches and such, the built-in back pocket of the M was very handy for carrying stickers, die cuts, and even my stencils fit.
- I forgot the paper shadows so easily. Every pen, marker, and even pencil I tested ended up shadowing through the paper. With paint samples, it dried quickly, but some pigments bled through, so it really limited art journaling.
- I did collage a lot more in this journal, but after just a few pages, it started bulking up quickly and noticeably. With this being a hard cover, it bulked up too much for my liking.
- Much like ink that has not yet dried completely, there was transfer from my soft-leaded pencil to the paper. I forgot how much pencil can smear! But it hardly bothered me, as it made my recordings more lived in and messy.
- I still love using Moleskine notebooks. Although in the future, I will focus my purchases on blank paged ones rather than lined.
As for supplies, I rotated between three pencils – so I would always have at least one sharpened tip to use at a time. I find I really don’t enjoy the erasers that come attached to the pencils – they always seem to smear the graphite. Instead, I stuck to using a retractable polymer eraser or the big block ones one can find in an affordable pack of six in stationery sections of stores. To sharpen these pencils, I chose to disregard the specialized two-step Palomino branded sharpener and use instead, a nicely weighted Maped sharpener. It was small enough to keep in my Muji pen box and the minimal design coordinated well with the Moleskine aesthetic. It also cleanly sharpened my pencils without eating away unnecessarily at the lead. One should never ‘just deal with it’ with a bad sharpener that breaks your lead or ruins your pencil.
It really was a back to basics journaling experience. Throughout the various non-TN notebooks I’ve used, it made me truly appreciate the craftsmanship put into all journals. The quality of paper, the design, the cover art or lack thereof, all speak to us in different ways. They also express our attitudes or perhaps our personalities, and I love to wonder about the different journals people choose.
I don’t resent or even feel like I am self-enforcing a hard rule of using what I don’t truly enjoy. That isn’t the case at all. I was set on using these notebooks because I love journaling as an overall hobbit and therapy device. And in doing so it made me appreciate Traveler’s Notebooks all the more. It sort of follows the saying of “distance makes the heart grow fonder.”
I had ones that I didn’t want to donate and since all my friends use specifically Hobonichi or Traveler’s Notebooks, giving them away was not an option. I may have been reluctant at first, but I thoroughly enjoyed the change. My stationery minimalism journey wasn’t about forcing myself to use something, it was to appreciate what I have and truly see that one’s creativity isn’t limited to one type of writing system. I discovered fun memory-keeping ideas along the way, I played around with collaged images and I got to test my different art mediums. In the end, it was a good way to refresh my journaling style and to re-discover my stash of supplies.
It’s always great to hit the refresh button on things we do daily. It helps to reset our minds and in this case, it helped to reset my creativity. Simplifying my journal and the setup made me realize that sometimes I really don’t need as much as I think to get memories down on paper. They are all fun extras, but in the end, it’s the words that matter to me.