GeekDad Skip Owens and I had the good fortune to receive some of the latest notebooks from Moleskine. While usually this would result in a winner-takes-all Magic: The Gathering duel, I quickly realized that Skip is an actual rocket scientist. Any battle of wits that involved math would be futile. Luckily, the division between the offerings was pretty clear – I’m an Evernote devotee, so I’ll be ruminating on the expanded Evernote Collection. Skip has a full breakdown of the swanky new Pro Collection.
First up, if you love taking physical notes; but wish they were more…digital, Moleskine’s Evernote edition notebooks are exactly what you need. When they first came out a few years back, the only options were small or medium, ruled or squared. If you wanted something funky, like an oversized artist’s sketchbook, you were out of luck. Not so anymore! Moleskine now offers over a dozen different varieties, in everything from hardcover ruled business planners to softcover artist sketchbooks. All of them come with smart stickers that automatically add categories to your notes. Even better, the scans you take of your notebooks are searchable. Still need convincing? Each comes with 1-3 months of Evernote Premium (which, at $5.99 a month, is a nice extra). Premium gives you 10GB of uploads per month, the ability to view previous versions of notes, and a lot more.
The notebooks themselves, even without all the Evernote trappings, are really nice. Honestly, I so prefer the lime-green accents that this line gets, I’d probably pick up the hardcover notebooks even if they didn’t have the digital component. Being a hardcover fan myself, I didn’t expect to like the softcover notebooks as much as I do. But then I found they’re easily shoved into whatever bag I’m carrying, and they fold nice and flat for when I’m digitizing pages. Essentially, the hardcovers are for when I have time to sit down and really long-form things; the softcovers are perfect for on-the-go note taking.
But what if you’re not an Evernote convert like me? What if all you want is a really nice, really useful notebook? Well GeekDad Skip Owens has some news for you that will pique your interest. Take it away, Skip!
Skip Owens – Today, Moleskine introduced a brand new product line of notebooks and products called the Moleskine Pro Collection. The new Pro Collection is a reboot of the classic Moleskine notebook with some new “productivity hacks” that will go over well with the “geeky professional” in all of us. I was thrilled when Moleskine provided me with the following products ahead of the release to run through the paces of everyday life in the work environment:
- Pad Bloc-Notes
- Professional Notebook
- Plain Workbook
- Ruled Workbook
- Squared Workbook
- Adhesive Stick Notes
Moleskine already has quite an impressive line of Notebook Collections, including some collections just for us geeks, like The Hobbit, LEGO, and Star Wars. What sets the Moleskine Pro Collection apart from everything else that Moleskine already has is the elegant simplicity of this new line. I work in a very professional yet extremely geeky workplace, so I could totally get away with carrying around a super-cool Star Wars notebook. But there is something to be said about having a touch of class in a product you are using as a professional tool. This new Moleskine Pro Collection fits this purpose perfectly. These new notebooks have a great sturdy feel to them and the entire line has this clean and professional look. Some of the features highlighted for this new Pro Collection are:
- Adhesive Stick Notes that come in an array of colors for leaving reminders and attaching to notebooks as temporary tabs
- Workbooks in an extra large format for those really large projects
- Portfolio with an accordion file to carry papers in a very sleek and compact form factor
- Tool Belt that attaches to the cover of a Moleskine Notebook for carrying writing instruments and small accessories (I didn’t get to review one of these, but this just sounds awesome… like having Chewbacca’s bandolier for your notebook!)
I’ve been using several of these new Moleskine Pro Collection notebooks and workbooks this week at work and really love them. Even being the tech geek that I am and having gone mostly paperless, I still find a constant need for having a tactile way to create and innovate. Digital tools are great, but they aren’t always the best way to be creative. Some of the “productivity hacks” included in this new collection are:
- Numbered pages correspond with a blank table of contents that can be updated as the notebook gets filled out
- Areas on each page to fill in with date of meetings, people in attendance, agenda, next steps, and in-depth notes
- Detachable to-do lists
- Adhesive tabs for identifying key sections of notebook
The verdict on this new Moleskine Pro Collection of products is that Moleskine has accomplished what they intended to do, which is to go back to their roots of the classic Moleskine notebook while adding in a professional touch with some new “productivity hacks.” I think even the most hardened gadget-carrying geek will find a place in their professional arsenal for these impressive new products… I know I have.
Update, 9/1/2015: Skip took a few extra pictures to show off some of the features of the Pro line that the Moleskine website doesn’t go into a lot of detail about, the Table of Contents and the Bloc-Notes sections.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received media samples for this review.