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A few years back, I read an article that talked about how writing by hand stimulates pressure points that inspire creativity. I was searching for the perfect journal in which to  inscribe my thoughts and dreams, and I heard of a “legendary notebook” that was used by Van Gogh, Chatwin, and Hemingway. Upon some further investigation, I knew I had to have one.

Moleskine notebooks hail from Italy. They have had a unique history since Van Gogh, but their quality and craftsmanship have set them far above the multitude of journals available at your local bookstore. A fine oilskin, water-resistant cover clothes the journal. It incorporates the class and elegance of leather and with the functionality of synthetics. The inside rear cover contains a small pocket that’s great for storing those little things that tend to get lost or wrinkled (think stamps, business cards, etc). Moleskine uses high quality, acid-free paper that will last a lifetime. An elastic band is affixed to the outer cover to ensure the journal stays closed, and there is also a cloth ribbon bookmark sewn into the binding to keep your place.

I picked up my first Moleskine, a large ruled notebook, about five years ago as a medium to chronicle my rants and travels. I fell in love with it quickly and found most other journals to be utter rubbish by comparison. My Moleskine accompanied me while I backpacked through Europe, toured Canada, and even on my travels here in the U.S. When I read back through it, I realize it has been so much more than bound paper. It is a vessel that has carried my memories. The thought of keeping a journal that contains my actual writings, done by hand, in ink, means so much more intrinsically than a digital collection of files.

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Moleskine makes a variety of different notebooks ranging from small, “back pocket” sized planners and journals to larger sizes suited to lengthier entries. Moleskine also offers their journals with different format options on the inside from standard ruled, blank, graphed, and even with lines for music. Additionally, there are special Moleskines geared toward sketching, storyboarding, and watercolors. Moleskine has also recently launched “city journals,” which contain maps, points of interest, and other goodies for a host of cities from Los Angeles to Zurich. It is also worth noting that Moleskin covers look exceptionally amazing with custom laser engraving.

Moleskines are affordably priced and will give you a boost of class and creativity. There is a Moleskine for every need and you should not leave home without one.

Cost: $12 (Large Ruled Notebook) | All Moleskine Journals

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Also See: Waterman Hemisphere Pen | HermanMiller Sense | Paperwork Recycled Storage Basket