The Reason For This Blog

I have been scouring the internet for what people are calling 'hacks', bassically modifications, for my notebook so i could turn it into a functional and organized paper version of a pocket pc type thingy. i have for the past one and a half years been using small notebooks, bits of paper and parts of my mobile phone to accomodate my many needs so this year i decided to try and fit it all into one thing, a moleskine notebook. only one problem. none of the hacks i found were exactly what i needed, so i decided that i would take the best ideas and put them to the test and see what i came up with for the final version. the outcome of this is what the blog follows, The Evolution Of My Moleskine.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

books fine, but what pen?

The evolved or 'hacked' moleskine works as it should, The problem is the pen! I have always loved the cross atx that I use (i ma on my second in 3 years) but it has a drawback that eventually is bugging me too much, The Lid! I really really need a retractable rollerball.
Oh lo and behold the Mighty Pilot G2! a pen which I have used on the odd occasion along with many other gel ink pens when I have borrowed one when my atx went dry on me. I have even taken to using the cross rolling ball refill in the G2, it fits like a glove, nothing against the G2's own ink but why buy a pilot refill if I already have some cross refills hanging about waiting to be used, once I get through the cross refills ill be ordering a pile of pilot G2 refils and a new G2 to go with them. I am considering getting the 'purple' or 'hunter green' pen and using black ink in it just so I can tell it apart from everyone else's at work. if your gonna get a G2 or any other pen for that matter i suggest checking out
they stock a massive range of reasonably priced products. its where ill be buying mine from 
all i need to do now is find a cheap supply of moleskine cahiers and i will be happier than a very happy man,

Friday, 2 May 2008

So Has It Worked Or Not

Okay then, Has my hacked moleskine been doing its job? 
Well yes it has. I have a record of where to be and when, It goes pretty much everywhere with me, And it still looks cool as. 
But, Ah a but, I noticed a couple of days a go that the problem I had with the front of the book where the cover came away from the pages is happening on the back as well. What have i done about it? Ill tell you shall I? 
Simple really I got some sticky tape and strengthened the joint between the last ruled page and the card piece that is the last page, It looks like it will hold up well but we shall see.
Along with this slight deterioration I also split the bottom of the pocket in the back so I have resorted to not putting a couple of credit cards in it which is what I think caused the split, I still use it to carry a spare paper moneys for emergency's and any notes passed on to me during the day, I fixed the split with a groovy red strip of electrical tape that look the business.
I do have a sense of foreboding that this little book will not last the 12 months I have designated for it, I am thinking that i may just use the book as a planner and a place too put all my important thoughts and ideas and go back to using cahiers for day to day note taking, By doing this my hacked moleskine would survive longer as it would be in my bag safe and sound not in my pocket or in my hand getting battered about. I have previously used cahiers for this exact use and they have held up very well for the month to a month and a half i have had them in service for.

i shall keep you informed of progress in another months time, for know bye bye.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

is it ready?

Hell Yeah! I think. okay lets have a quick look back at the hack project. one softcover ruled pocket moleskine. one big need for a mini organizer and somewhere to put notes. end result pictured below. Note the new red elastic? i couldn't help it, more butchery of the red planner and i have a completely unique moleskine notebook wich doubles as my planner for work and contacts book! How Cool!

i also added a well known hack of a pile of post-its inside the front cover.

i also found that when i stuck the contacts pages in i made a neat little pocket for the sticky label things that came with my red planner.

and does/will it work? will this be the little balck book that can sort me out and become a irreplacable part of my lif? ill let you know. i am also going to post mini tutorials for the riibon replacement and how i did the elastic replacement thing. but this morning i just dont have time!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

the new ribbon

Today I took a brave step, I destroyed my red weekly planner to save my new moleskine, "NO" I hear you shout "you just cannot do that to a moleskine" but wait the red planner stays at home and never goes out so therefore I dont need the ribbon in it. So I gave it a hard pull..... and then another because the first one did nothing, So I have one red ribbon in my hand and a my new moleskine less its accidentally removed ribbon in the other. Now to join them to gether in holy unison to create the ultimate custom moleskine. As you can tell I am enjoying this, Any how with a bit of superglue and some sticky fingers they became one and thus I took a picture and posted it below.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

the planner

So how do I put in a small 12 month planner? Simple. I work week by week and I dont need that much space so I have gone for 14 days a page. The planner has been put at the rear of the book. So look to your left and check out the planner arrangement.

I have also slipped in a page for me to mark off the use of my holiday days (just so I dont forget how many I have left.) This has been slapped behind the planner and is shown on your right.

There has been a catastrophe though! Whilst doing all the modifications I have accidentally pulled the ribbon off! And lost it! So to combat this I have purchased some nifty post-it page tabs, Not the cheap paper ones, Little plastic ones with a choice of red, blue, yellow or green ends on them. They should work well and stand up to bieng battered by the inside of my pocket as long as I dont have them sticking out too far.)

Oh well onto the next phase, see you soon

Friday, 14 March 2008

whats in your pocket?

this is whats in mine. these are the 4 things that always go with me, some things may get added to my pockets, like money or bank cards, but these are the things i cannot do without.

Apple iPod 80gb in a hand stitched slip case from Wrappers.
Cross ATX rollerball, i consider this pen to be perfect.
SonyEricsson W880i, nice phone, slim and shiny.
and last but not least a moleskine notebook of some kind.

The first step.

After much deliberation I decided to perform some butchery on the moleskine, This involved the removal of the first set of pages! Whoa you cant do that! Yes I can, Or I thought I could. I removed the pages by carefully pulling them from the stitching, This seemed easily done but I accidentely pulled out one page too many and the cover fell away from the front of the main pages!

The book still held itself together quite well so I went to the next step, Attaching the contacts book I got with my red diary. This was quite simply done by using sticky tape round the edges and wacking it straight in behind the front cover.

I also find with every moleskine with a pocket at the back they tend to tear at the fold on the fasbric so i simply put some tape on it. Simple!
next is the adding of a planner somehow, but thats for the next post.

Monday, 10 March 2008

The Others

I currently use 2 moleskines other than the one I am butchering for this project. These have given me some ideas.

I have and still use the pocket cahiers for general notes and reminders for work, I started with the plain ones but found the lack of lines made my writing go all over the place. these gave me the idea for one of the modifications for the new one, the perforated pages at the back, very use full. I have no idea how I am going to do this but Ill figure it out.

The other one is the limited edition red weekly planer + notebook I got for Christmas, This had many uses, It started off life as what I hoped to be the all in one but as I have discovered it doesn't work like that, I now use it to log what I have done day to day, Like where I went what I did, The note page is used as a place to put my private thoughts.

This moleskine came with a neat little mini notebook with info book style tabs in it, This is also going to be used in conjunction with my new project as a phone/address/personal details book. So lets see what happens when they get put to use.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

The Big Decision

Which moleskine to use for my new all in one planner thing?
There were 3 things that made this decision easier.

1. It had to fit in my pocket therefore it has to be a pocket sized moleskine.
2. I had got a red weekly planner/notebook for Christmas which has ripped along the spine from 2 months of being in and out of my pockets therefore I have chosen to go for a softcover moleskine.
3. It has to be ruled, not sure why but it has to be, probably some personal issue with blank pages for writing on and I cant stand the grid paper.

so the decision was made. one softcover, ruled, pocket moleskine.
bought online just before I posted this and should arrive within 3 days! I am now one happy human being.

just for your information i got it here,

just spooted that they are selling the volant range too, might have to get me some of them for hell of it, they look so nice.

Previously in the world of notebooks

Lets just say that over the years I have used different notebooks, bits of paper and mobile phones to organise and keep track of the important stuff in my life. None of these have really worked all that well. The only things that have been constant throughout is the need to take notes and write things down which was always done via notebooks or paper scraps I found lying about and then transfer them to the notebook, this would have worked apart from the fact that I always bought A5 notebooks which dont fit in your pockets, the other constant things were the need to keep track of the when and where's of my days so I knew where to be and a what time I had made appointements and the like. there is also the storing information like phone numbers and e-mail's. These were always done via my mobile phone (always a sony ericsson.)

So to solve the problem of pocket storage I got hold of an A6 spiral bound notebook with a plastic cover on front and back, this new notebook also came with an elastic closure which I came to see as one of life's little ingenious inventions, I basically used it to hold the list of tasks I had set out for the day on the front of the notebook (occasionally it held shopping lists too.) Another little nifty idea in this notebook was that all the pages were perforated so I could use them if I had to write something down for someone and hey presto give them a little note! There was bad points though. Yhe metal spiral that held the pages, yes it could hold a pen in there, but they alwaqys get squashed and bent out of place which then stops the pages turning properly and it got way too irritating after a bit so it had to go. And then there was the garish bold colored plastic covers, always red, blue or green!

This is when I discovered the (big fanfare here) Moleskine! What a dream of a notebook, elastic enclosure, thread bound pages, acid free unbleached paper, pocket in the back, nice hard cover and damn sexy too.

This is where the journey truly began.