Five Reasons that Moleskine Notebooks > Cell Phones

26 Dec

As a teenager, I used to always clown my father for carrying around a black book. While I was always excited to head to RadioShack every couple years to cop a new pocket organizer or Palm Pilot, pops never left home without his black leather address book. But as with most things I misunderstood or disagreed with when I was younger, I now see that William E. Ketchum, Jr. had a point.

Any smartphone disciple can attest to the usefulness of his/her device’s notepad application. I’ve used it to draft business emails, take down interview questions, and more. But the homie Alvin Blanco of Slang Rap Democracy constantly raves about Moleskine notebooks, and Jay Electronica wrote a song entitled “Dear Moleskine.” So I figured I’d give one a shot. So far, it’s been paying off beautifully. After the jump, see five reasons why using a Moleskine notepad is better than using your cell phone.

1.) No worries about battery life.

If you’re like me, you already use your device for enough of its multitasking abilities: emails, texting, Internet browsing, music, and phone calls. That results in a low battery. I’ll be damned if I have an incredible idea that slips away because my battery died from the other things that I was doing. You’re out of luck if you run out of ink or lead, but look on the bright side – copping an extra pen or pencil is a lot easier and less costly than buying an extra battery or lugging around your wall charger everywhere.

2.) Notebooks don’t crash or freeze.
Nearly everyone has had prized possessions – whether it’s music, papers for school, phone numbers, or more – end up missing or deleted because of cell phone or computer mishaps. And if your device is low on memory, then the device can freeze and lag for minutes at a time, taking away your ability to chronicle that idea immediately. Even worse, your frustration from the device may take away your focus so much that the final version of your idea is diluted from the original. A notebook, on the other hand, gives you an immediate outlet without requiring excessive saves or boot-up time.

3.) Writing Creates A Strong Bond With Your Words and Ideas
Anyone that has used note cards or notebooks in college can attest to this. Writing things down makes your idea run a few extra laps in your head, helping you remember what you need to more readily. Plus, writing things down – whether it’s a to-do list, a creative idea, or a journal entry – creates a bond with whatever you’re documenting. Writing is a more laborious process, so putting the pen to pad gives more of a sense of obligation to fulfill what you conceptualized. These past few weeks have been super productive with me jotting down ideas for my producer Hir-O’s The Voyage Home instrumental album (click HERE to check it out) and JYoung The General’s upcoming Black History Year: Installment Two project. By comparison, I’ve tried using the Tasks application on my Blackberry for years, and I haven’t noticed any changes in my results. I realized that this is the case because my tasks are lumped in with all the sms messages, emails, and other countless info that’s entered by keystrokes. Writing sets ideas apart and makes them more valuable.

4.) Notebooks are fly.
Remember when a smartphone was a fashion statement? A Blackberry was a sign of a no-nonsense businessman on the go,  while the iPhone was emblematic of the young, trendy guy or gal in the city. Those days are gone. Now, smartphones are so ubiquitous that unless you own a customized device or an over-priced designer phone, you’re no different from everybody else. But my Moleskine is as much of an accessory as my watch or my necklace. It’s a conversation starter every time I unsheath the soft leather notebook from my back pocket, and when you feel fly, you work fly. I find myself taking it out to appear productive as much as I do to be productive, and those two things perpetuate each other.

5.) Archives.
One of my favorite things to do is visit home and dig through my bedroom closets, because it’s virtually a walkthrough scrapbook for my life. Seeing the polo shirt with all my classmates’ signatures on it when I graduated eighth grade, the box from my first pair of namebrand sneakers,  and the stack of hip-hop magazines that inspired my current livelihood are great memory joggers. I hope for these notebooks to have the same effect – to work as a time capsule for whatever I was working on or going through at that stage of my life. Plus, I know that I can look at my handwriting in different situations and remember how I felt or what was happening at the time. A cursive letter “L” that drags down the page may mean that I was falling asleep, choppy spacing may mean that I was sitting in a car or on a train down on a memorable trip, and crystal clear print means that I was relaxed after a soothing situation. And that happens naturally – a cell phone’s text fonts stay the same, unless you change them manually.

Of course, my notebook doesn’t give me the ability to email or call my clients, or to work with other people. So from now, my Blackberry and my Moleskine have different uses. My Blackberry is going to help me communicate with the world, and my Moleskine helps me communicate with myself.

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5 Responses to “Five Reasons that Moleskine Notebooks > Cell Phones”

  1. Ced December 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Thats real. I didn’t start using moleskines for writing thoughts/work until the summer of 2008 but now I cannot imagine not using them. I just wish they had more colors.

  2. Razakh December 27, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Too bad their on the Expensive side. I’ll stick to my Composition Books

  3. lova January 4, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    i couldn’t agree more. while i haven’t graduated to the moleskine yet (too cheap), i am a fan of its more moderately-priced cousin, the picadilly. (LMAO!)

    seriously…there is much value to writing down ‘things’. i ALWAYS forget to refer back to my bb’s memopad. it’s just not the same.

    i believe you captured it best with this => “My Blackberry is going to help me communicate with the world, and my Moleskine helps me communicate with myself.”

    good post. (~;

  4. Naidra January 13, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    I love this post! Moleskines are my absolute favorite notebooks! I’m starting a collection. I wrote a post on them on my blog, so check it out when you get a chance! http://naidranaidra.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/moleskine-moleskine/ Oh, and you can get them for cheap if you order them on Ebay or half.com. Barnes and Noble robs people blind on the Moleskine front.

  5. Quest MCODY January 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    Msn I fee; the same way about writing raps. I hardly ever use my Blackberry for it….nor do I “freestyle” my verse as much as some claim. Writing things creats a great bond

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