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.

1201 Marcelo October 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I carry my pocket notebook in my backpack to be able to do some drawing whenever I get a chance! Mostly I carry it my backpack :)

1202 Martin S. October 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I am a Brewer by profession and I find it very helpfull to take notes during the day, especially when trying out my own new recipies!

i would really love to have one of the leather note book covers.

1203 Ben October 14, 2010 at 4:53 pm

I’m a philosopher and a rather forgetful one at that. So as my thoughts cone and go, I basically depend on scribbling notes into my Moleskine wherever I am. I also like to scetch my surroundings whenever I have a moment at disposal. Unfortunately, I have quite clumsy hands, so the results mostly are well-meant at best.

1204 Christopher Bearden October 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm

To write in.

1205 Farmer Dan October 14, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I use mine for reminders. I am notorious for forgetting what someone told me five minutes later. However, when I write it down I have a memory helper.

1206 Justin Powers October 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I love carrying around a moleskin and a pen (although this notebook would be awesomer by a scale of magnitude). Keeping track of ideas, thoughts, and tasks helps me to clear my mind so I can concentrate on what’s important.

1207 Ken October 14, 2010 at 6:04 pm

My notebook is a vault for the pieces of my mind that that would otherwise get lost. It includes my favorite poems, quotes, scriptures, and inspirational thoughts. I like to read and reflect from my notebook while riding the bus, having lunch by myself, or whenever and where ever I want to be alone. Opening my notebook is like an entrance to another world with limitless possibilities.

1208 Andrew October 14, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Strictly speaking I don’t use a notebook, but I do use a small loose-leaf binder (allowing me to re-order pages) to keep track of things I need to remember after talking to people and am prone to forget (like names). Also for sketches.

1209 Tim October 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I use mine to jot down random thoughts, to-do lists and to document the never ending hilarity of fatherhood.

1210 John T October 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I use my notebook for various things, such as when I go to the library for research (I’m a student), writing down interesting things I hear, et cetera. I love just going out and writing down all the things that I experience in my life.

1211 Kevin October 14, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I use my notebook for personal reflections, lists, mental exercises, you name it. My Moleskine always travels with me, ready to be written on whenever an idea pops in my head, or I need to write something of importance down.

1212 Kevin Imai October 14, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I use my notebook when I travel to jot down thoughts, experiences, places to recommend. Beats a pile of post its and loose paper everywhere!

1213 Dave October 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm

As unmanly as it sounds, I’d give this as a gift to my sister. She is an artist; she burns through Moleskines like nobody I’ve ever met, but hers aren’t filled with to-do lists and silly poetry. She draws out whatever comes to her, and they have become as much a part of her life as the pencil, brush, or the kiln (she loves sculpture).

Not to mention that such a cover is a fine display of craft, and that I think it would take an artist to appreciate it most.

1214 Neil October 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I started using a notebook about a year and a half ago in my last year of college. I have used it for everything from Fantasy Baseball notes and random songs to DL but most commonly I used it to jot down businesses that I heard were hiring and low and behold I wrote one down applied online and 2 weeks ago landed myself a J-O-B! Thanks pocket notebook from CVS!

1215 Andrew October 14, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I write observations from self reflection, or quick poems with the most artful diction I can come up with (work emails & texts don’t generally lend themselves to being an example-setting man in the written language).

1216 Codi October 14, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I write down benchmarks at structure fires that I am working. It is nice to have a notebook at emergency scenes to keep track of everything that is going on. It also keeps my firefighters safe by logging everything that happens.

1217 MATTI October 14, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I am 20 now in my junior year at college , I think I have been using some form of pocket notebook since the sixth grade, I have a passion with the Strathmore 400 series 5.5-8.5 sketch books and have a small few that chronicle my thoughts and ideas, comics, building plans, class notes, lyrics for new songs, ect. throughout that time. I find it so nostalgic to look back through them and observe my thoughts at different points. A true moleskin is in my future I think, but it would be hard to break with my stand-by’s that have come around the world with me and I have built such a connection with.

1218 Bennett October 14, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I am a student and I use my pocket notebook to take notes on and record my unclassrelated thoughts.

1219 maxh October 14, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I’ve all sorts of things in my notebook. I have random story ideas, some poems and prose, things I need to look up, phone numbers and email addresses, quotes, and a part of a holiday bus schedule.

1220 Ryan October 14, 2010 at 9:26 pm

I am a mathematics graduate student working in logic and set theory. Research is central to what I do. However, for me research isn’t done in a lab or restricted to when I’m at school, ideas and thoughts worth revisiting can come anytime and anywhere. For this purpose I keep a small booklet in which I keep all my most important notes.

1221 Dayne October 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I use a pocket notebook for general journaling. That generally means reflections on my reading of scripture for the day, but sometimes other things make it in there as well.

1222 Chris Harrison October 14, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I’m a student who uses my notebook during seminars and lectures here on campus.

1223 Gary October 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I report to various bosses, depending on the project. I use mine to keep my projects/bosses straight, with phone #’s and cell #’s.

1224 John October 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I carry a pocket notebook to write down names of people in need of visits at home, hospital; insurance quotes for the roof that got hailed out; date and name of the latest baby born; blood-pressure readings….Lipitor?; interesting quote at babershop; jokes–the good, the bad, the ugly; reminder to buy elk and deer tags; mileage; kids’ college addresses; price of skins for the rig; stuff wife wants from Walmart; words I need to look up in Webster’s 3rd; title of Sebastian Junger’s latest….that kind of stuff.

1225 Enrique Sandoval October 14, 2010 at 11:22 pm

I use it for anything and everything. I scribble my journal entries which I tear out and glue to my journal. I scribble to do lists. I write love notes to my wife. And have even torn out pages to make origami ninja stars with my nephews. I never leave home without it.

1226 Walter October 14, 2010 at 11:48 pm

I live in Kuwait working as a contractor for the U.S army. I use my notebook to jot down quick thoughts and observations about life in the middle east,sketch and doodle, work on my cartoon, write down why women carry huge purses…etc…Mainly to humor myself but who knows?

1227 Philip October 14, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Awesome Craftsmanship! Not something easily found these days.

1228 Kyle October 15, 2010 at 12:16 am

I use mine to take notes on everything. Textbook I’m reading, meeting, conference, presentation… anything I need to write down.

1229 Dan October 15, 2010 at 12:50 am

I use a pocket note book to write down inspirational quotes, poems and events that stood out to me in my own and the lives of other people.

1230 DavidReed October 15, 2010 at 1:05 am

I use my pocket notebooks for recording my outdoor adventures from backpack wilderness trips to my hunting adventures in the fall.

1231 Brennan October 15, 2010 at 1:10 am

I use my pocket notebook to keep track of anything interesting that happens throughout the day. It’s a useful tool to have.

1232 Philip October 15, 2010 at 1:25 am

I use my pocket notebook to write down ideas for my writing. I picked up the habit from a friend that does stand up comedy and it has been an essential tool this year in which I have had published over a dozen articles on various websites.

1233 Geo October 15, 2010 at 1:26 am

I record the events of my kids achievements in anticipation that I will hand these to them in the future when they can look back on their childhood and appreciate this time in their lives.

1234 Chris October 15, 2010 at 1:55 am

I work in sales and take notes all day long about the prospects I meet, the receptionists I run into, and the appointments I run. The notes I take are what make me successful.

1235 Asim October 15, 2010 at 1:56 am

my notebook is the best thing to happen to me. as an EMT I use it to keep track of medications I am not familiar with and new changes in protocol or new manners of of medical technique I would be allowed to perform.

1236 Steve I. October 15, 2010 at 2:11 am

I use my notebook to write down notes and tips from the Art of Manliness so I can refer to them later and live like a man should!

1237 TallPaul October 15, 2010 at 3:22 am

I write thoughts for my young son to read when he grows up…things to help him understand the sort of man I was when I was younger, hints and tips for life.

1238 Joseph October 15, 2010 at 3:42 am

My pocket notebook is used for writing down daily insights. The “ah ha” moments- like when the poem I read earlier takes a new spin in my head.I also write down any clever thought I come up with that I would like to write about later. The thoughts that come during the day, that are lost by dinner time unless written down.

1239 Mr. Blather October 15, 2010 at 4:04 am

I use my pocket Moleskine as a kind of universal inbox. It collects writing ideas, writing notes, phone numbers and quick sketches of ridiculous inventions that never seem to get made. I like the pocket sized because it’s easy to carry, even in summer when the number of pockets I have to choose from decreases.

1240 Matthew October 15, 2010 at 4:05 am

I read this article while sitting in the OB/GYN’s office with my wife awaiting our first appointment to confirm I’ll be a Dad. If I win I thought it would be great to keep a journal of all the thoughts and feelings that have been racing through my head regarding the prospect of bringing a life into the world.

1241 Brad October 15, 2010 at 8:49 am

I find comfort in reading Jazeps’ story, as I just passed the one year anniversary of a very similar story, if you were to swap out ‘Ad Agency’ for ‘Production Company’. I know exactly where he is coming from, and heading. I promised myself that once laid off (as it was inevitable) I would never return to the world of advertising. And so begins my cabinet making business. Though in it’s infant stages it brings me far more pleasure than anything in the world of advertising, and the people that you meet, who help you, who buy your craft, build you up more than you can imagine.
Being a designer, I admit I have a bit of an addiction to sketch books and notebooks, and this one is a true beauty.
Whoever gets Jazeps’ notebook cover, hold it, squeeze it, bend it, feel the warmth of the leather. It will become even more unique as time passes and the leather darkens from the oil in your hands. And most important, when people compliment you on your notebook, tell the of the craftsman who made it, and point the to his business.

1242 ilee07 October 15, 2010 at 9:45 am

I usually try to jot down things I hear, see and learn and the notebook is the best place to keep all these together. I often share what I learn with my students.

1243 Daniel October 15, 2010 at 10:04 am

I use pocket notebooks to keep track of everything. From appointments, to gym workouts, to words I come across while reading which I need to look up. It was something my grandfather always did and keeping my own reminds me of him.

1244 Daniel October 15, 2010 at 10:28 am

I use it mainly for taking notes in external meetings, and as my inbox for complex
Ideas and structures that would be impractical to enter in my phone. I usually take pictures of all pages afterwards to always have them with me and accessible on my phone.

1245 Moose October 15, 2010 at 10:36 am

all my lists….daily ideas of what to print next on my printing press, it is endless!

1246 Josh Howell October 15, 2010 at 10:55 am

I carry a notebook in my jacket pocket to write down information from people or clients I run into troughout the day.

1247 Rob Martin October 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

I use a notebook for ideas & words that need to be looked up or researched. I also feel it is more elegant to draw a well bound notebook and a quality pen to take notes in meetings rather than the modern electronic equivalents.

1248 Dave October 15, 2010 at 11:02 am

I use my personal note books for everything from noting my thoughts, to my prayers – to the things I need to do or the things I need to say. Everything from soup to nuts, as they say.

1249 Ben Brassart October 15, 2010 at 11:13 am

I love notebooks for jotting down ideas for my fiction, as well as interview notes and random ideas.

1250 Bill October 15, 2010 at 11:15 am

I have carried a pocket notebook for 35 years now – I find they are invaluable for memory jogs. I use it for lists, to dos, jotting down names and address and impressions of clients and contacts that I ve just met, ideas for transfer to my journal later in the evening, noting the title of a song that I just heard or a book that was just suggested to me – I would be lost without mine!

1251 Michael October 15, 2010 at 11:41 am

I also use my Moleskine to jot down business ideas. I’m a young accountant and I consider myself entrepreneurial-minded and kind of a muse. I’m great at seeing the big picture, so I look at businesses all the time to see what they could be doing better. I learn from other businesses mistakes and I jot these things down so that I can one day incorporate them into my business and have one of the best ones around.

1252 Mike P. October 15, 2010 at 11:43 am

I also have multiple notebooks. I use one for work to track action items that come from meetings or topics I need to do further research on. I also have one by my bed to write down anything that comes to mind those moments before I fall asleep or in the middle of the night. Finally, I have one in my car because that always seems to be the place I remember something that needs to be done or that I see something I want to remember.

1253 Jason October 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I use mine for notetaking when I’m out and about to remind me of things I need to take care of at home or in the office.

1254 Dan October 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I use my notebook constantly. Sometimes I can barely keep up with the flow of ideas and I scribble page after page of sketches and thoughts. Then the inevitable drought comes. My notebook sits on my table, mocking me.

My notebook is the shield for my sanity when the ideas come like a painful torrent. It’s also the smug reminder of how little I have done when the well runs dry.

1255 Robd October 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I use my notebook for keeping track of my many manly conquests and accomplishments: buyouts, takeovers, women, wars, golf scores… that sort of thing. Did I say, I like the smell of leather?
Good luck to you all! (all said with a healthy dose of sarcasm …except the “good luck” part)

1256 Jeremy October 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I use mine to keep track of those things of which track must be kept.

1257 Christian W. October 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I use a notebook to record details of terrain and signs of game before I go hunting.

1258 Eric B October 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I use a pocket Notebook to jot down things I want to research and also keep track of my reading list. I find if I don’t have a notebook on me I will always forget what I wanted to look up.

1259 Ed Halpaus October 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I have carried a shirt pocket notebook since my junior high school days; a very long time ago now. I first began to do this because my Dad carried one. He taught me the value of it. Later in high school my Agriculture teacher told our class about them and then passed out one to each of us with more ideas on how to use a pocket notebook effectively, which reinforced my resolve to continue to use it. After completing all my schooling and then entering business I continued to carry and use pocket notebooks, which I still do today. Over the years I have used them to help my memory by writing down what I needed to recall and act on. At first was a good live-list for items to do and remember, later I would prioritize and transfer to my planner / calendar. Now that I’m retired I still use one for the same reasons; I still prioritize and transfer my notebook items to my Planner Pad and computer for various projects I’m involved with in my volunteer and family activities so I can be effective and not forget what I need to do. One of the problems with a shirt pocket notebook is that it is very easy to just accumulate notes and not refer to them regularly to take action on them. I find using it in conjunction with a planner and calendar makes the best use of a small notebook to carry along.
Regards,
Ed

1260 Trevor October 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I am applying to the Peace Corps and I use my pocket notebook to list everything I will miss when I’m gone, so that I will remember to enjoy them while I can.

1261 Gregg October 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I use my notebooks on an almost daily basis to record construction notes, create architectural detail drawings, reminders from my wife, and for anything else that pops into my mind. They are much faster for me than using some type of electronic device ( I don’t have a “smart phone’) This leather cover is perfect for me as my notebooks tend to get pretty beat up on construction and inspection sites!

These covers look like rugged protection…..exactly what I need!

1262 Bill Brown October 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm

I use a notepad for anything from grocery lists to notes on ballistic firing solutions for long range target shooting to sketching a mechanical idea down for later pondering. The crappy paperbacked notepads get skanky and I lose millions of dollars for lost ideas (or at least the idea itself).

1263 Henry October 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I would carry said notebook on my upcoming cross-country trip

1264 Conor October 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I’ve had lots and lots of Moleskins in the past. Some for drawing, some for notes in class and some for sketching. I even had one to write down music and stuff I loved and wanted to buy. Right now, my wife and I use one for our journal. I can’t remember half the things I did yesterday and we want to share everything with our children. It’s been a good way to keep track of our goals and how we are learning and growing together. Not to mention the completely random and hilarious things that happen in our home. It also doubles as a score sheet when we play cards together.

1265 David Murray October 15, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I use a small moleskine notebook to record phone conversations and daily information; a larger one for interviews, notes on books I’m reading, story lists for my publication, and notes on conferences. (I’m fortunate to write for possibly the last family-owned weekly trade journal in America, The Waterways Journal; we’ve covered the inland waterways towing and barge industry continuously since 1887.)

And I love leather; my saddle-bag-style shoulder bag is made of llama-hide.

1266 Edmundo October 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I use my moleskine daily and it would look great with this cover.

1267 Derrick October 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I’m a computer programmer, but I use my notebook to sketch out user interfaces and outline my code. Even though a programmer creates a product, it is tangible only to the digital world. Taking that time to step away from the screen and physically write out my work brings me a joy with which I suspect traditional craftsman are very familiar.

1268 John Mitchel October 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

As a writer, you can never have too many pads of paper. I frequently find myself saving to my phones notepad which is quite restricting. I’d use it to keep my ideas for stories and scraps of verse.

1269 Joel October 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I use my molskine almost every day. Mostly for personal notes, thoughts and reminders. Cute girl’s phone numbers…okay that has never happened. But maybe it would if by journal was bound in leather.

1270 John October 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I use a moleskin pocket notebook as a pomyanik, or memorial book at our icon corner. A pomyanik has the names of the living and the reposed written within it.

1271 Taylor Norwood October 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm

As a teacher, I use my pocket notebook for everything from writing down the names of students I see misbehaving in the hallways to lesson plan outlines. I write notes of that nature going front to back on the right side of the notebook. I keep track of what I read everyday and any general thoughts on life or writing ideas that come to me on the left hand side, back to front.

1272 Carey October 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm

I use my moleskin to track my travels around the world, all along sketching out places and taping polaroids in to it. I hope to compile my notebooks one day into a book.

1273 Luke Humphrey October 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I use a pocket moleskine to journal down any random thoughts that come into my head. It is rarely a long entry, only a paragraph or so, but it allows for me to get my random, abstract thoughts out into concrete form. Usually it takes place during a literature class in which I disagree with what the professor is saying and write it out into my moleskine in order to formulate why I disagree.

1274 Jay Wingard October 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm

To jot some theological musings and to simply doodle on in style. :-)

1275 Ruvane October 15, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I carry a notebook with in case I ever need to write down anything. It comes especially helpful if I’m in a meeting or just need some scrap paper. I have one on me almost all of the time.

1276 Ian October 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I’m a writer, so I always have a notebook on me to jot down ideas and pieces of conversation I overhear. I’d love to have one this gorgeous.

1277 Rudy Hernandez October 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm

As a grad student in political science, you never know when a great insight into politics will come to you and you’ll need just such a notebook to get it down.

1278 Charlie Drury October 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I use my notebook daily to record funny things I’ve overheard, interesting thoughts that I’d like to remember, to draw sketches of things that make me laugh and to keep a loose journal of my daily activities. When I need a cheering up I just flip back though the pages and I am sure to come across something that will make me smile. I will carry a notebook always because no electronic gadget could ever replace the feel of paper and leather and the gratifying heft of a pencil stub.

1279 Aaron October 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm

My pocket notebook has a calender on one side and paper on the other, which comes in handy a lot. I’ve used it to keep track of scores in a putting tournament my friend and I spontaneously started while at the driving range, as well as write down business appointments in the calender.

1280 Nathan October 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm

I use my notebook for all of the side projects and inventions that pop into my head.

1281 Chris October 15, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Ah, the joys of all day meetings. This would be a great place to record all my notes.

1282 Kirk October 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I doodle, a lot. Some of these doodles make it into more detailed works or are used for reference. I’d add this to my tool chest of record keeping.

1283 Chris October 15, 2010 at 8:28 pm

I keep my pocket notebook with me to jot down ideas for my dissertation. There are many times when I’m having lunch or coffee with a professor, and he/she says something that’s too important to let slide away.

1284 Kristopher Larsen October 15, 2010 at 9:57 pm

As a writer I would clearly use it to write!

1285 Nick October 15, 2010 at 10:13 pm

The quality of these looks amazing, I would use it as journal, just a way to get my feelings out

1286 Jimmy King October 16, 2010 at 12:13 am

I use my notebook to mock-up fresh ideas, for projects, products, and artwork, and sometimes for philosophizing.

1287 Tim Mitchell October 16, 2010 at 1:08 am

I started carrying a pocket notebook when I was first promoted to SGT in the Army. Now, 15 yrs later, I’m a MSG and I have been carrying a notebook then entire time. There’s not telling now many I’ve gone through over the years and as an afterthought I wish I would have saved them, I’m sure that they could tell their own story of my career. Most of the notebooks that I’ve carried have been available through the military suply system, and over the years the PX and other stores have carried covers in various materials and patterns, usually the current uniform pattern. My current cover is coyote brown with a zipper and with two slots for pens. I’ve been carrying these notebooks for so long because they are an invaluable tool for me to do my job, which is to accomplish my mission and to take care of my Soldiers.

1288 Ben October 16, 2010 at 1:24 am

I use my notebook to keep track of ideas for my honors project experiment I need to do for graduation and song lyrics as they come to me during the day.

1289 Nate October 16, 2010 at 1:55 am

The last few months of my life have been a crash course in organizational skills; I filed my bills for the first time in my 30+ year life in June. As many have posted, I have started to make lists and notes on scraps of paper and post-its (a positive!) that get lost and/or kerfuffled in my pockets or wallet. Having a centralized location where all my thoughts is a great idea and a pocket notebook is in my near future (my to my wife’s liking). I would love to do it with a little bit of manly style, though…there is nothing like the smell of leather.

1290 Jonathan Cowles October 16, 2010 at 2:25 am

I use my old battered journal to keep all my important notes in, you can never trust your memory too much!

1291 Alex October 16, 2010 at 2:40 am

i use my moleskine for ideas and for day-to-day tasks that I want to get done. this cover seems like the ind that I might enjoy packing the next time I do the John Muir Trail. Maybe even the Pacific Crest Trail. On my way, I’d take photos and write about the people and things i might see and experience.

1292 Roy October 16, 2010 at 4:52 am

I’ve become a bit of a notebook geek as of late. I work in museum education and carry 2 moleskines with me at all times – 1 large for meeting notes, action points and research and 1 cahier for to-do notes, questions from children that I need to go away and check the answers to and for recording visitor figures. Just add a nice mechanical pencil and I’m golden!

1293 Scott Swann October 16, 2010 at 8:53 am

I use mine for purchase estmates for my business (furniture store) and for thoughts on daily devotionals or inspirational quotes that help me.

1294 Jeff October 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

Absolutely everything- notes, thoughts, musings, everything that I want to remember, but will likely forget. I’ve tried the electronic route- Blackberries, Palms- but nothing works as well or feels as good as a real notebook in your hand or pocket…

1295 Aaron October 16, 2010 at 9:53 am

I have the short-term memory of a piece of furniture, which means if I do not write it down it will not get done. I keep a notepad with me at all times for every little thing that comes up. I’ve never been able to keep a planner or anything that is specifically designed for the purpose of telling me where to be or what i had agreed to do. But a simple notepad i can leaf through has never let me down.

1296 Matt Z October 16, 2010 at 9:57 am

I use a notebook as a journal. Helps me to reflect and gather my thoughts. This cover would make it much classier.

1297 Esquire October 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

I use pocketbooks for a plethora of tasks. As a fledgling author, a pocketbook is crucial for developing characters and plot when inspiration strikes. But, when I feel grave injustices have been perpetrated in any form, my pocketbook allows me to purge my feelings and collect them for later.

1298 Richard October 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

I’m a social services manager, with around 60 staff, and the headaches/scheduling/commitments that come with those 60 staff.
More than that, I use old notepads for reflection to keep me on task, and for my contiuned effort for personal growth. It would be nice to have something that doesn’t come from the back of the office stock room and easily thrown to the side as another misplaced note.

1299 Grant Muller October 16, 2010 at 10:29 am

Oooh, I’d love to win one of these. I keep one of the small Moleskine’s with me for jotting down ideas (songs, melodies, drum beats, code snippets, etc). I have a tendency to wreck these little notebooks because I throw them in my pocket, I’d love to have one of these covers.

1300 Andy Hartz October 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I use my notebook out in the field while hunting. I use it to jot down my memories of the hunt. The sights, smells, textures. One of my favorite entries speaks to my love of the smell of a muddy farm field while lying in it waiting for geese to come to our decoys. You can almost smell its texture, earthy, slippery with a hint of clay, but very loamy. You can almost guess how it feels by lying it and smelling it.

I came across the entry years later, after I had started to use a new book and iyt took right back to that morning when i wrote it down. complete with muddy finger smears along the margins…..Andy

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