moleskine1I must have deliberated over what Moleskine I wanted to get yesterday more than anything in my life! I stood in Powell’s Bookstore for 30 minutes picking them up, putting them back, placing them next to each other, comparing line widths, making them kiss, checking features, until finally I decided on one that I thought I’d actually use. I’d then browsed Web pages for lists of ways in which people use Moleskines (is it really pronounced /mole-SKEEN/ and not /mole-SKIN/? That feels as pretentious as pronouncing it /nee-an-dur-TAL/), because I was already doubting if I’d ever want to actually use the thing more than my phone, which I am never without.

Interestingly (not really), just the day before, someone reminded me of Google Keep¬†as a note taking tool. I’d checked it out and saw I’d already used it a couple of years ago, once, putting in it a solitary gumbo recipe. I told myself I use Evernote!

So, I looked t my Evernote account. Sure, maybe a dozen notes . . . over a period of nearly 10 years.

Funny thing is (not really), I am all the time wanting to take a note down and looking at my phone ineffectually, willing it to read my mind and figure out how to store the bit of info, the reminder, address, gift idea, website, whatever that is hanging tenuously to the front of my mind. I’ll generally not think of what I want to do to take said note, lie to myself and say ah, I’ll remember it! And then one shiny object later, I’d forgotten I’d even had something I wanted to save much less what it was. And no improvement made in my note taking ability.

So yesterday, I made the effort to learn how to use Google Keep effectively (why Keep over Evernote? Well, Evernote charges for decent features, and since I already use the Google empire for everything in my life from email to photo storage, I figured why not give a hacker one more part of my life should they get my Google password?), set up a widget on my phone for easy note taking, and even converted all my Evernote notes to Google docs to import into Keep.

So, once I was all set up and ready to use Keep for all my note taking needs, what did I do? I excitedly went out at bought the Moleskine, because I love the idea of sitting somewhere to write incoherent thoughts longhand.

I did find a cool Molehack (I just made that up) about segmenting your Moleskin into sections (like using labels in Keep) and using the back few pages as an index (like using Keep’s excellent search function — including text in images!)

The idea of having my Keep available all the time, and highly searchable, is paramount to my needs. But I still can’t shake the desire I have had all my life to write notes, write thoughts, story ideas, snippets, character and dialog ideas, the price of a USB drive, in a notebook I can date and file away.

Obviously I needed a new pen.

A few years now my mostest favoritest pen has been the Pentel EnerGel 0.7mm pen. I will go out of my way to find them. I have had to order them online before. I love those pens! But, it seemed like it might not cut it for being the best pen for a Moleskine, which seem to be kind of finicky. To the Googles!

Found a website where someone reviews a bootyton of pens specifically for Moleskine use! Gawd love obsessive-compulsive people. My EnerGel was in the list, ranked not bad. But I wanted better! I searched and found their highly suggested Uni-Ball Signo Micro 207. Turns out, love it! I just finished numbering every 190 pages of the Moleskiene.

Oh, that little tab out the side of the notebook in my pic? That’s an adhesive pen holder attachment. What?! Yes!

Does it matter to me that most of the sites I found advocating for and providing hacks for Moleskine use were from before smartphones became ubiquitous pocket computers? No, why, should it?

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