The Craftsman’s Humility: The Inkleaf Leather Company’s Notebook Cover Giveaway

by A Manly Guest Contributor on October 12, 2010 · 1,384 comments

in Blog

Editor’s note: There are few things more manly than the independent craftsman. The Art of Manliness would like to support the independent craftsmen out there by featuring from time to time a man who’s trying to make a living working with his hands. Today we spotlight Jazeps Tenis, who started Inkleaf Leather Co., maker of leather covers for Moleskine and Rhodia notebooks. He has generously not only shared his thoughts on the philosophy of craftsmanship and the story of how he decided to become a craftsman himself, but is also giving away one of his handmade leather notebook covers to a lucky AoM reader. See below for details on the giveaway.

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The Craftsman’s Humility

The path to joy begins in humility.  The arrogant man may mistake power or influence for joy, but he is a builder of invisible empires, an illusion which is upheld only by a persistent act of the will.  The man who works with his hands, however, hasn’t any room for conceit.  The materials with which he works are unsympathetic towards his inflated self-image.  It responds only to skill born upon many hours of practice.  This is the craftsman’s humility.

Not only does this humility produce the foundation for joy and satisfaction in one’s work, but it also teaches us about the temporal nature of things. We begin to appreciate that what we create, even if made to last for a long time, will not last for all time. It is in some respects a reminder of our own mortality. This perspective on the material elements of life focuses us on the personal.

We create and pour our hearts into these things because they are a reflection of us. With everything the craftsman creates, he says, “Here I am.” If a flaw is noticed, is it fixed or hidden? Is proper care given to the details of the work, or is it hastily put together? All of these elements reveal something of the man that made them. They tell a piece of his story. They give him occasion to take pride in what he does, and from that pride comes satisfaction.

The act of working with the hands also makes us more present to ourselves and the world around us. Imagine a reality devoid of sensation. One which had neither sight, nor smell, nor sound, nor taste, nor touch. Now imagine that these sensations not only had been but now were not, but had never been at all. How would you know if you existed? There would be no basis for thought, no means of relating one thing to another. The very notion of existence would be irrelevant. Why is this important? Because we perceive through the mind what we experience through the body.

When our work is unnecessarily abstracted, we become divorced from it and from ourselves. The connections we maintain with our physical selves keep us bound to reality. It is therefore perhaps understandable that with work related depression also comes a lack of sense of self. These ideas of course apply to more than the craftsman. For example, the man in the gym engages with the weights so that he might feel a sense of self in his muscles. Were there no sensation either of tension during the act, nor growth afterwards, it would feel like a futile action.

I had often been told growing up that the surest path to a satisfying life (or at least a secure one) was through a college education. There was an unspoken assertion that to work with one’s hands implied a lack of ability in using one’s mind. While the mind is a wonderful thing, it has always struck me as misguided to separate it from, much less elevate it above, the body. The ideal ought to be cohesion. The craftsman draws upon the abstract capabilities of the mind in pursuit of the concrete realization of his craft. It fuels his creativity and aids him in solving problems. Without it he is an automaton. With it, he is an artisan.

The motives of the craftsman are also one of the primary causes of his joy. There is a Japanese concept called wabi sabi. It means beauty in imperfection. It means not just accepting, but cherishing what is and what will be. The act of recognizing this beauty is a joy unique to the craftsman. When you remove the craftsman from the equation, beauty and perfection look like mass production. You have consistency from one product to the next, but the concerns which motivate their creation are very different. Whereas the business man creates a product in order to maximize profit and is often divorced from its creation, the craftsman has the pleasure of creating something so that it might be excellent in its own right. It is not a means to an end, but an end in itself. The slight variations from one project to the next do not represent a failure on the part of the craftsman, but instead reveal that with each new project the pursuit of perfection begins anew.

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My Path to Becoming a Craftsman

My journey to becoming a craftsman began on the heels of a job loss.  I had been working as a video editor for a small production company.  I took the job right after college and though I began it with great enthusiasm, the tediousness of the work began to dull me inwardly.  It was essentially the same project over and over again with different PR people whose perfectly framed words couldn’t hide an underlying uneasiness and lack of genuine conviction.  Not to mention that sitting at the desk all day had adverse effects on my health and exacerbated an existing condition which though not life-threatening, had been quite severe.

At a certain point, due to a lack of work, my hours were reduced.  I was barely getting by and very much doubted they would return.  Several months later, the job was gone entirely.  Having evaluated the previous years, I knew first of all that I didn’t want a desk job again.  I don’t think humans were made to sit all day.  Second, I knew that I wanted some degree of autonomy.  I had read that at the start of the 20th century that 9 out of 10 men owned their own shop or business.  A man ought to be able to chart his course and follow it.  Lastly, I knew that I wanted to do something meaningful.  I’m sure someone, somewhere convinced themselves that the editing of PR people that I did was valuable, but I’ve never been able to see it.  My work always felt detached from my convictions.  We can only fragment ourselves so much before we are irreparably broken.

As my fiancée, Steffi, and I considered what we would do next, we reflected on how we had both always enjoyed working with our hands.  Had we been born 150 years ago, we might well have been farmers.  The notion of leather working came to us one day while discussing our books.  We threw ourselves into learning the trade, spending thousands of dollars and often working 16 hour days.  We were both delighted.  It felt real and substantial.  Our work mattered.  Just knowing that we were creating something which someone else would use, something which might very well come to be dear to them over time, it made all the difference in the world.

As our skills improved, we began selling our products and doing custom work.  Up until this point, the leather working had largely been a hobby.  Our journal covers started out not because we were looking to create a niche, but simply because I wanted to put some leather on my Moleskine’s.  In August of 2010, we decided to try our hand at doing leather full-time and started Inkleaf Leather Co. We saw an opportunity to reach a broader audience online and that brings us to where we are now, working with our hands and enjoying every minute of it.

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The Inkleaf Co. Leather Notebook Cover Giveaway

We’ve been talking a lot about the manliness of pocket notebooks here on AoM lately. If you’re fond of the Moleskine or Rhodia variety, then enter to win one of Inkleaf’s leather notebook covers. They come in a variety of sizes and colors and are hand cut, hand tooled, hand dyed, hand stitched and hand finished. These leather covers protect your notebook and look handsome. Mmmm, and they smell like leather.

How to Enter the Giveaway

Leave a comment telling us what you use your pocket notebook for.

We’ll randomly select one comment and that man will win a handmade leather notebook cover from Inkleaf Leather Co.

The deadline to enter is Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:00 CST.

1101 Justin October 13, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I have about six notepads at my desk. All boring all within an arms reach but all so unorganized…I work as a construction manager and have endless things come up each day. I have to write it down, as i can never remember what i was supposed to do minutes ago. Hence the numerous note pads….oh did i mention how boring they were, well this would certainly change that!

1102 Jordan October 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I use my notebook to notes for work. Sexy? No, but functional!

1103 Coleman Millar October 13, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I keep a pocket moleskin journal.
Part of my daily routine is as I first wakeup in the mornings I do my daily Bible reading. When I’ve finished that I jot down a passage that I found particularly interesting or moving and consider how I can personally apply it to my daily life.
After that I use my notebook for the usual things, taking notes, shopping lists, etc…
I love my notebook :)

1104 Bob October 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm

i’m a forester and use a pocket notebook to take notes on potential places to have logged, reforested, or some sort of Timber Stand Improvement. i’m also a hunter and jot down potential “sweet spots” the leather cover would give some protection to bad weather and wear and tear i go through

1105 Sam R October 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Notebooks for me have always been for writing. I love to write with my hands, on a real piece of paper, so notebooks have always been preferred to the computer. It’s always been a way for me to organize my thoughts, and to really make them real, material things, to make them more than just figments of my imagination. My current idea is some sort of Western along the lines of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, so that’s probably where this would go to work.

1106 Blaine October 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm

I’d actually hollow out one of my old moleskines and use it as a carrying case for my misc USB drives, p-38 can opener and other crap I insist on carrying around with me.

1107 Shane Parkey October 13, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I use my pocket notebook for about everything. From to do lists to keeping notes at my job, I always keep it handy. I read once that if you write soething down you’re more likely to remember it. I have a smartphone that could probably do all that stuff faster, but you never have to worry about batteries or a drive crashing in a notebook. Great site and keep up the good work.

1108 Chris King October 13, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Keeping track of those ideas — as Tom Clancy once said, if it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen.

1109 Stewart October 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Jot notes on the next Great American novel, advice for my six-month old son, drawings for my five-year-old daughter, and poems to my lovely wife…

1110 Tim October 13, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I use my pocket notebook for just about anything- writing songs, poems, journaling, or taking notes at church or other places.

1111 abram neel October 13, 2010 at 8:46 pm

i draw my woodworking projects in mine. i like to be able to have the idea drawn out and add things over time to it til i get it the way i want it

1112 Matthew Roese October 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm

What a product! I love leather, I dint k now why I never thought of this! As an Air Force officer, these kinds of notebooks are indispensable. So many things to remember all the time, I carry one with me everywhere I go! Needless to say, my notebooks take serious abuse. A leather cover would definitely help protect them and add some extra pizazz to my daily accoutrements :)

1113 Jeff October 13, 2010 at 9:14 pm

I use my note book to keep track of questions that my patient’s ask me so I can look up the answers and get back to them next time I see them. I also write down notes about interesting diseases I see in my clinic.

1114 Eric October 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm

I like to keep lists for multiple things in my life, mostly To-Do Lists, be it either for work projects, house projects, or random thoughts that pop into my head. I would use one of these great notebooks for that, instead of random receipts, old envelopes, etc.

This would be great, as I will be busier than ever, as I just became a new Dad two days ago!!

1115 John Wright October 13, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I use my pocket notebook to record my goals for each day. These can be related to work, spirituality, wellness, relationships, entertainment, etc. It doesn’t matter what, just what I want to get done that day. Then, whenever I complete each one. I cross it off. It gives a great feeling of satisfaction. I also take time to ask questions about my direction in life. I record these in my notebook as well.

1116 Alexander October 13, 2010 at 9:30 pm

My pocketbook is filled with poetry, and reasons to be happy.

1117 Trevor October 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I use a leather wallet that holds my important cards (driver’s license, credit cards) and it has a spot for my iPod. The best features are a couple of tabs designed to carry 3×5 note cards as well as a pen holder in the spine. I find that it is certainly more efficient to write my ideas, shopping lists, to dos, coaching line-ups, etc. than the iPod I have tucked in the other pocket. The biggest benefit for me, is that I tend to remember what I put down with pen and paper. As a person who embraces new technology, it is nice to have a little nostalgia with me wherever I go.

1118 scott aguayo October 13, 2010 at 9:39 pm

i’d love to use this just to write the beginnings of more songs or start the preliminary stages of a book.

1119 Matthew R. Jones October 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I use my notebook for, well taking notes, in class and in life. I like having a notebook on hand to jot down those thoughts that so often come and go in a flash. I like to fill any “white space” on old pages with goals set for myself. It’s a place to repeat those important reassurances I need to keep me on track. i value my notebooks and want them to be around for many years, to be stumbled upon by grandchildren. A sort of time capsule for future generations of Joneses to read, and get a feeling for the sort of person I was.

1120 Ashley October 13, 2010 at 9:47 pm

I use my notebook to write to-do lists. I usually write two of them a day because I end up losing the first one because it was not written in my journal. Super counterproductive isn’t it?

1121 Eric October 13, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I use my notebook to hammer out any thoughts that I would normally let simply pop into my head and flutter out quickly. It helps me feel like more of an intellectual and decide where I stand on certain issues a man should have a stance on.

1122 david October 13, 2010 at 10:00 pm

jeez, #1118 posts, that’s crazy.

Well I’m in college and don’t even have a laptop, this leather notebook would help me stay organized in style.

1123 Jay October 13, 2010 at 10:02 pm

My moleskines are great for logging ideas for my blog. I often find myself inspired with gentlemanly advice after observing people during my daily routine.

1124 Cynric October 13, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I’ve kept a journal for so long that it almost feels like an extra limb. It’s the place where I can capture the fireflies of ideas or inspirations out of the whirlwind of life and where I can rage or muse or promise or despair in a sanctuary outside my mind that’s still private. And because it’s so it’s a place for the truth and where the truth can come to the surface when I’m too stubborn/blind/foolish to see it. I don’t know what kind of man I’d be today if I’d never had this kind of outlet in my life. I’d like to give it a sheath worthy of its significance.

1125 Davey Morgan October 13, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Sketching and writing business ideas and goals.

1126 Dave Carson October 13, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Poetry and thoughts for writing projects.

1127 Corey October 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm

One is for school “to do” notes, and the other is for any other thoughts I want to keep.

1128 David October 13, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I think the better question is what DON’T I use my pocket notebook for! It houses my to do lists, project ideas, daily thoughts, and anything else I want to remember. I tired of using several different technologies for this purpose and returned to good ol pen and paper!

1129 Ryan Dallape October 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I own a liquor store in town that has bee around since the 1930′s. Every week I write down new business ideas in a cheap notebook and present them to my employees in our weekly meeting, I would love to add a nice leather look to my ordanary everyday notebook!

1130 michael October 13, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I generally use a plain, top seamed note journalists pad for just about any notes i need to take throughout the day

1131 Travis October 13, 2010 at 11:15 pm

I began to use my pocket note book to keep track of all the books I want to read and record sayings and passages and values I find important and read through them every couple days to help keep me motivated and lead a productive, integrity filled life.

1132 Warren G October 13, 2010 at 11:22 pm

I use my Moleskine everyday, at work and at home. A Inkleaf cover would the final touch of class to an already great notebook.

1133 Michael W Miller October 13, 2010 at 11:27 pm

I feel the author’s pain. My story is too of an office worker, grinding out something I had no connection to the end goal and I was not contributing to anyone or anything except the bottom line. My skills now allow me to help other businesses start out and grow, from the business plan to the website, and all of my notes are in my trusty Moleskine. This cover would bring some welcome brown that will age and develop battle scars in comparison to the somewhat stale black cover.

1134 David Neff October 13, 2010 at 11:28 pm

In my job as a social worker, I am constantly buying cheap yellow-paper notebooks for all varieties of uses. It would be great to have an Inkleaf cover to make my job just a little bit classier and enjoyable.

1135 Brandon K October 13, 2010 at 11:29 pm

I would use an Inkleaf cover to keep track of wine notes as I study to become a sommelier.

1136 Ben S. October 13, 2010 at 11:33 pm

I generally use it to keep track of things that need to be remembered later. Things like appointments, phone numbers, addresses, to do lists, grocery lists, etc.

1137 John October 13, 2010 at 11:44 pm

After reading an earlier post, I started keeping my thoughts in a moleskin. It was a great idea! I begin and end every day writing in it and I cannot imagine how I’ve gone this long without one! In the morning it is a great way for me to plan out my day while I sip my morning tea and read the paper. In the evenings it allows me to clear my head of the day’s troubles and reflect a bit, and I honestly think I sleep better nights because of it!

1138 Jared October 13, 2010 at 11:47 pm

I use my Moleskine as my portable computer. I get action items in meetings where I have to go to visit people: address and phone number into the book. If I get an idea, I write it down. If I see something I like, I record it and use the info later to compare against similar items.

Basically – I use it to record anything I need to have with me or want to keep with me when I don’t have any other means available.

I go through about one notebook every 2 months or so.

1139 J. Harrison Johnson October 13, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I have two moleskine notebooks. The first is a softcover, which I use for any notes I need to take, like driving directions, or anything else I need to remember. The other is a hardcover version that I use as a personal journal.

1140 Peter October 14, 2010 at 12:17 am

I use a pocket notebook with various fountain pens to right just about anything, from grocery lists to potential strokes of imagination that cross my mind. Its an extension of myself I’d like to think. I also keep a dream log in a separate Rhodia notebook.

1141 Aaron Ferguson October 14, 2010 at 12:20 am

I use my notebooks to keep a record of events and significant things that happen in my day to day life. I also use to it write down random musings that come to my head, also to compose music, and write lyrics. Also any information I find useful and/or want to remember I write it down in my notebook.

1142 Ken October 14, 2010 at 1:54 am

My notebook is my constant companion. It goes everywhere with me and records my thoughts, dreams, lists, observations, everything. I’ve used them since I was a kid and really can’t remember not having one with me. Give me my notebook with my drafting pencil, a shade tree, a nice cup of coffee, ah…

1143 Connor Milos October 14, 2010 at 2:07 am

Cocktail recipes. When I first became a bartender I new a very short list of drinks. Instead of carrying around a recipe book I purchased, I decided it would be more beneficial to write a cocktail book of my own. I purchased a pocket sized Moleskine and filled it nearly cover to cover with recipes I have scoured from everywhere possible. I still carry it every time I work, Though I look at it less and less, It has been known to come in handy.

1144 WEKM October 14, 2010 at 3:06 am

After looking at the Moleskine notebooks the other day at a book store, I was thinking, “This is what I need to start my own Indiana Jones style field journal.”
With the leather cover, even more so.

1145 Roque Carballo October 14, 2010 at 3:08 am

I have been using a pocket notebook since I was 18. I’m 59 now and I still use one. I reside in the Philippines. For a while I was buying some pocket notebooks made of leather from Italy and Spain. Now I just buy locally-made notebooks for my daily use: leather or otherwise. I use them for several purposes. Most importantly, to record my daily thoughts and inspirations that come to my mind during my daily moments of reflection. Some people in the USA call these moment “quiet time”. I also use the notebook when I find interesting ideas in my daily readings. I am a lecturer and give seminars on management topics to my clients. I read a lot. I need these ideas and insights to add to my lectures. And every night before I hit the sack I use my notebook to jot things down as I engage in a few minutes of “backward review”. I review what happened to me throughout the day and I jot down the thoughts that come to my consciousness. I use these jotted-down thoughts for further reflection. And a few times, I use the notebook to jot down some information about some friends: cell phone numbers, a new address, etc.

1146 Omer Mohammad October 14, 2010 at 3:12 am

I use my Moleskines for my classes. I have one that I use to take all my notes in all my classes. I have another that is still in the packaging. I’m saving that for next semester. And I have one that I jot down film ideas and random things in. I carry it around with me in my pocket. It’s all about inspiration.

1147 Sam Poynter October 14, 2010 at 3:38 am

I use a Livescribe for meetings but I really like having a ‘non-work’ notebook that I can jot down ideas, plans and thoughts in. A moleskine is the perfect companion!

1148 Rasmus Svane Jensen October 14, 2010 at 4:55 am

I have been using Moleskin notebooks since High-school. I don’t use my notebook every day, but I always carry it with me. I am not sure why. I tend to fill the pages with drawings, thoughts, new ideas, names and phone numbers – Random stuff I guess.
I study Computer Science and have been working with computers all my life, and as a result of this my handwriting is awful.
I love my Android phone and I use it every day. There is an app for every thing. Taking notes, drawing, brainstorming, keeping track of your weight, and the number of pull ups you are able to do this week. But for some reason I don’t like using these apps. They are draining the beauty of of taking notes. It is the same with a pipe. You could light it with a lighter, but it is more fun to do it with a mach… with your mustache, at your chess board, drinking scotch…
When working with programming languages and databases you have to be extremely precise and organized, and even though I wish I cold have a notebook for every class and a clever way to index them, I think there is a great deal of beauty in the chaos of the notebook.
I wish I could be as dedicated to my notebook as Allen Ginsberg or TR, but I use it when it feels natural. I almost never go through my notebooks or read them, but writing them helps me memorize things and clear my mind.

Now I know why I love my notebooks.

1149 Rich0116 October 14, 2010 at 6:40 am

I too have fallen prey to the plague of the Post-It. I’ve been toying with the notion of a pocket notebook and maybe it’s time to take the plunge. Certainly one could hardly do better than to begin with such a fine notebook and cover.

1150 David Felts October 14, 2010 at 7:45 am

I make notes all day long. I don’t seem to be organized if I don’t have notes written down.

1151 Garland King October 14, 2010 at 8:33 am

I use mine for notes at work. Sometimes there are little gems littered amongst the corporate speak I hear all day. Plus, there aren’t any in my circle of colleagues that use one, and I for one love to be unique in this fashion.

1152 Kevin The Crow October 14, 2010 at 8:47 am

I am in the process of studying Shamanism. In my studies I find I am constantly observing many behaviors of people, animals and nature. In my note book I would keep track of my observations and research their patterns and possible meanings.

1153 Guy Miller October 14, 2010 at 8:49 am

I use mine all the time to keep track of appointments, daily to-do’s and jot down notes. Your covers are awesome!

1154 David Short October 14, 2010 at 8:55 am

Thanks for sharing your journey and your passion. I have lived out a 30+ year career, working behind a desk, but doing it as a craftsman. Sometimes being a craftsman means working with our hands, our hearts, and our minds in a way that shapes those around us. I am now transitioning to using these years of experience and “shaping” to help in the rebuilding of Haiti. I have several journals that are all bound in leather. I carry the small Moleskine flip up notebook with me on every trip to Haiti to record my notes and thoughts so that when I get back to my desk after the trip I can continue my work.

1155 Roland October 14, 2010 at 9:13 am

I use it for notes at work.

1156 Paul October 14, 2010 at 9:18 am

Thanks for sharing your story. My notebook is planning central for work and personal. All of my planning thoughts, objectives, strategies, tasks, and much more finds its way into my notebook throughout the day … every day.

1157 J. M. J. West October 14, 2010 at 9:20 am

I use my pocket notebook to write down thoughts I want to pursue later, especially pertaining to my pursuit of my Ph.D in Philosophy, but also when something small and profound strikes me that I want to ponder later, or when somebody says something which is genius (or just hilarious!).

1158 Paco October 14, 2010 at 9:25 am

I just lost my job, and consequently, my blackberry that I used for notes, appointments, and everything else. I’m thinking about picking up a moleskin to fill the void.

1159 Matthew October 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

I use my Moleskine for a variety of things: brainstorms, lists, addresses and/or numbers I want to record somewhere else later, and (my favorite) poetry (you know, when I’m on the go, away from my computer where computational poetics and generators are among my favorite toys).

But man, there’s nothing like writing in a notebook with a physical implement.

1160 Juan V. October 14, 2010 at 9:59 am

I use my pocket notebook to write down ideas that come to mind during the day; and of course for to-do lists and as daily journal. It still beats the smartphone in that category.

1161 Gregor Curry October 14, 2010 at 10:01 am

I keep a notebook to jot down inventions and writing ideas, I just need to find a time genie so I can complete my projects.

1162 Steve October 14, 2010 at 10:02 am

I use a pocket notebook to record thoughts and insights that come to me when reading or listening to someone speak or when just walking in the mountains.

1163 Brian Maydwell October 14, 2010 at 10:19 am

I would keep drawings of my favorite things on it! I could not think a a more fitting way to apperciate a fine craftsman’s work then to fill it with my own art for all of my friends and familly to we able to see my works of art incased in a work of art!

1164 Ashley October 14, 2010 at 10:44 am

LIST, LIST, LIST. I am always making list. To-do list, shopping list, schedule list. LIST, LIST, LIST.

1165 Dave October 14, 2010 at 10:54 am

What do I use my pocket notebook for? Daily “to do” lists. Additions to daily “to do” lists. Reminders of daily “to do” tasks. Phone numbers. Addresses. E-mail addresses. Web sites. Blogs. Books I need to read. Books I loaned out. Books I’m trying to remember what happened to. Notes for upcoming lectures. Notes on other people’s lectures. Requests from students. “Tweaks” to assignments. “Tweaks” to grades. Ideas for writing projects. Outlines for writing projects. Status of writing projects. Places to go. People to see. E-mails to send. Events to arrange. Sketches of building projects. Plans for trips. Details of trips. Packing lists for trips. Status of plans for trips. Agendas for meetings. Notes for meetings. Minutes of meetings. Group lists. Grocery lists. Materials lists. Christmas lists. Events and obligations to add to calendar. Reminders of bills to be paid. Sermon notes. Reflections. Prayer requests. Responses to prayers. Other things I don’t want to forget.

1166 Sean October 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

I use my notebook to write down thoughts, impressions, lists, tasks…my left brain likes the organization; my right brain likes the free-flowing journaling of impressions and intuitions.

Beautiful leather notebook, Jazeps!

1167 Jonathan October 14, 2010 at 11:15 am

I live with women, I am surrounded by them. My wife, her mother, our two year old daughter and our newborn daughter. Even our dog is, you guessed it, female. I don’t know if all women are so different as my family, but I married into a strange and unique bloodline. I’ve learned to love the fact that they can switch from one subject to another in milliseconds, say things that would make Al Capone blush while looking as innocent as a summers day, and make extremely relivent observations while asking the dog to stop licking the baby’s toes. I have started to use my notebook to write down some of the unique things they say, just for posterity, however maybe one day I will write a book about learning to live with these wonderful and strange beings called women.

1168 Jim October 14, 2010 at 11:18 am

An old Chinese proverb says that “the faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.” I do my best to apply this proverb, and I find that as tech-oriented as I am sometimes a pocket notebook is just more convenient.

1169 Elijah October 14, 2010 at 11:26 am

As a college student, I find it kind of cool, that you found what really makes you happy for a career. I’m in the midst of that process myself. I’m sorry though, I may have to steal that quote: “There is a Japanese concept called wabi sabi. It means beauty in imperfection. It means not just accepting, but cherishing what is and what will be. The act of recognizing this beauty is a joy unique to the craftsman.” Its just such an awesome quote.

1170 Christian Plante October 14, 2010 at 11:35 am

I attend business meetings several times a day and I’m currently attending the meeting with an ugly spiral bound notebook.

Showing up with a touch of class will help sell me to the other attendees and help build my reputation.

1171 Matt Silvestri October 14, 2010 at 11:37 am

I’m a writer. When I’m not at home, and I get an idea, it’s crucial that I have SOMETHING to write on, otherwise the idea is likely to be lost.

1172 Connor October 14, 2010 at 11:45 am

I use mine for goals in my life, you could call it a bucket list. Its a lost of things i wan to do before i die. I Started it out in the back country of Colorado on a 10 day expedition. Its had things like attend the world cup, climb the 5 tallest mountains in the contental US as well as other small things with my family and short term goas.

1173 Johnny Emmons October 14, 2010 at 11:47 am

Doodles, poetry, sketches of ex and future girlfriends, grocery lists, phone numbers, and deadlines all make their way into my pocket notebook. I’m a slightly, nope extremely, forgetful person. If it doesn’t make its way into my notebook/journal/calendar book it will be forgotten.

1174 Isaac October 14, 2010 at 11:47 am

I’m not sure if the giveaway applies to someone living in Asia but I’d thought I’ll write a few lines anyway.

I use notebooks for just about anything: documenting observations, thoughts, things to do, places of interest etc.

What appeals to me about scribbling in a notebook is it really validates you as a human being. It allows you to actively participate and react to things that are happening day to day while allowing you to keep a record of it.

What we are is truly part and parcel of little experiences we go through and the notebook works as a great filter and a lasting record of the positive things: experiences that will help us grow, improve and perhaps connect with the rest of the world.

As we are often disillusioned, referring back to the scribbles seem to guide me back on track and having it adorned with something that is worked by the hands of a humble craftsman makes it all the more beautiful and keeps us rooted in the tangible, the virtue of hard work and man’s great strive to perfection despite being imperfect.

1175 Brian October 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

I have 3 notebooks with me at all times. The first is to keep track of my weight lifting regimen. The second is for business such as features of people I meet, sales ideas and a way to track my goals. The third is just for thoughts about God and life, I take it to church and such.

1176 John October 14, 2010 at 11:57 am

I track all the rounds of skeet, trap and sporting clays I shoot with a moleskine. I would use the leather cover to put my current notebook into.

1177 Michael October 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Notes, thoughts, ideas, gripes, lists, prayers, diet, and anything else that I may need. I have made it a goal to try and write down as much as possible to simply remember past days….maybe to reclaim a sense of existentialism for how my life is going and how to become a better man.

1178 mars s. October 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I first used a pocket notebook back in my ROTC days. We were required to always carry one in our back pockets. Nevertheless, it proved to be very useful. We used it mainly to take down instructions and notes. Now, I still carry one to track down expenses, make a to do list, note an idea and at times, doodle on.

1179 Jim N. October 14, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I will continue to use my Moleskine notebook for jotting down ideas both at work and personally, only in far greater style with such a manly and elegant cover. Great work, Inkleaf!

1180 Hal October 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm

A leather-covered notebook in the inside of my leather jacket. What a grand idea! I don’t have a cellphone, so keep phone numbers in a small accordion booklet. I find it funny how often friends ask for my phone number, again, because they lost/broke their cellphone. Pen & paper, I say. Plus, site surveys for signs always require jotting down measurements, notes, sketches. To pull out a custom leather-encased notebook? I mean business!

1181 Andrew October 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I use my pocket notebook for names or phone numbers that I might eventually need, shopping lists that I would inevitable forget otherwise, (what I think are) funny observations and witty musings throughout the day, and logging information about my car, like at what mileages I change the oil, how old the various tires are, and when I’ve had the alignment checked after disregarding curbs, potholes, and higher that normal manhole covers.

1182 Ian October 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I would definitely use that notebook cover for my school notebooks. With all the fivestar notebooks around these days it would be so much classier to have a nice leather bound one to take notes in.

1183 Rob Gutierrez October 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm

As a researcher, professor, and evlautor I always have a ton of projects going on all over the city and with all kinds of partners. While I thought a smart phone would be my salvation I have come to find that my pocket notebook is the only thing allowing me to hold everything together. My notbook is always in my breast or back left pocket and I rarely go more than 10 minutes without jotting down a research or manuscript idea or most importantly revising my to do list. This looks like a very fine product, thank you for your article and the give away opportunity.

1184 Jon Winslow October 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I keep a notebook in my backpocket everyday all day. I keep, observations, thoughts, sayings, reminders, and details in there. If not for little notebooks I might just go insane. They are my way to silence the voices in my head.

1185 Ryan Huber October 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Love my Moleskine pocket notebook. It goes everywhere I go to jot down business ideas, weight lifting programs, and mental inspirations I think are important.

1186 Aaron October 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I use my main Moleskine for a food and exercise journal. The other one is for anything else I need to write down to help me remember things.

1187 Shawn October 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I use my pocket notebook for anything I think I may want to reference later – client development notes, sermon notes, my Five Signature Strengths, or personal reflections. I also use it for more mundane things like to do lists, grocery lists, or even confirmation numbers for bills I pay while on the go.

1188 Ben October 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I would use it to record all the ideas I get get throughout the day and then forget by the time I want to write them down. Plus I could use it for recipes (manly meat filled recipes of course) and for a to do list.

1189 D.Y. October 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I use my pocket notebook for just about anything… I carry it with me everywhere, if I see something interesting I’ll note it, if I have an idea I’ll write it down and/or draw it out. But most times, my pocket notebook is a place for my inner thoughts, ideas and goals.

1190 Keith October 14, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I use notebooks to jot down ideas for books I’m working on, for musical scores I’m working on, and notes on life in general–those type can never be in short supply, so one can go through many a’ notebook. Not to mention keeping track of what needs to be done around the house and politically incorrect jokes.

1191 Josh October 14, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I’m a list-maker: To do; to buy; to read; to go! My notebook is full of lists.

1192 James October 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I keep a variety of notebooks for different purposes, scheduling, tracking, manuscripts, plays. The one I turn to most is the one that contains the lessons I’m learning and the focuses for my life at this point.

1193 Nathan October 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I use my pocket book to right down ideas I have or hear, good quotes and advice, and reminders to myself.

1194 Bryan October 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I will use it to keep design sketches and ideas

1195 John October 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Follow through!
The best way for me to follow through is to write it down.
I wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts racing through my mind. One night, my lovely wife placed a small notebook on the night stand. When I was sitting up, mind spinning, she softly said “write it down, then you can deal with it tomorrow”… “Then we can both go to sleep!”
Works like a charm.

1196 Cody October 14, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I use my pocket notebook to keep my observations in throughout the day.

1197 Nicholas October 14, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Entrepreneurial ideas & To-Do’s, mostly. When I run around town meeting with small business owners all day, I eventually amass a certain amount of little tweaks on different promotional projects I’m doing. Then, if I go out for drinks in the evening, I always end up getting ideas that will probably never make me any money. That and bad pickup lines. “Is that a mirror in your pants? Because I would like to have sexual intercourse with you.”

1198 Adam October 14, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Two books, one for work and one personal for just those key times when I need to have something forever.

1199 Keith October 14, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I use my pocket notebook to keep track of things I read or hear during that day that I don’t want to forget, such as books, songs, to-do’s, ideas, things I want, reminders, directions, etc. I don’t know how I lived without it for so long!

1200 Leon October 14, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I use my notebook for a variety of daily notes; to do lists, ideas for businesses, thoughts about life, etc. But most importantly, I tend to jot down questions i would like to ask certain people whether famous or not, since my major is journalism having a notebook around really helps me when brainstorming for an upcoming interview and be prepare for the future when I get the chance to interview somebody like the President of the US or Steve Jobs.

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