Not a Moleskine fan, other suggestions?

Does anyone know of a product similar to a large Moleskine Cahier?

My favorite pen, Pilot Precise V5 retractable, is occasionally scratchy on moleskine paper (occasionally forgivable)and doesn't dry quick enough (never forgivable).

I'm getting very close to making my own notebook to save my sanity, but I don't know how to pick the right paper if I go down that road. In the past, I've just considered paper based on size, line width, and texture -- never really thought about absorbency.

My other pen of choice is the Pilot G2 - I almost need a blotter paper to use one of those in a moleskine, though.

I couldn't think of a way to search for similar topics that wouldn't yield a gazillion responses (moleskine? paper? even "wet ink" seemed likely to give a load of posts), so I apologize in advance if this has been covered before.

My pens seem happy on CR Gibson journals from Staples, Franklin Covey planner paper, and Levenger Circa Agenda filler.

Not to slight Levenger, but they don't have very many planner options. After 3 weeks with an Agenda, it's not meeting my needs -- if it were and if the paper were cheaper, I'd consider just getting plain Levenger paper to make an all-in-one system. If I'm going to go the DIY route and print my own, I'd rather not have to get a punch, etc.

I guess it's obvious that I still don't really know what I want -- I'm hoping y'all can help me figure that out.

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Moleskine alternative

I hate giving 'search here' responses, but you might be able to find something you like by looking for 'moleskine alternative' or 'moleskine cahier alternative' on google. A quick look and I found some nice looking alternatives for the pocket sized moleskines, some with flexible covers. Nothing clear though for the large cahier. Some places you might want to look at: - they make small sized books with flexible covers, but I couldn't find anything larger that didn't have a hard cover. - probably too thin for what you are looking for, but it might be worth keeping an eye to see if they come out with anything new.

If you don't mind a hard cover, black and red make very nice notebooks of varying sizes with nice paper too. Oh.. I just checked their site and they do flexible covers too (plastic though): - click on the second picture to see the non-reporter style.

I hope that gives you some ideas and things to take a look at.

Thanks for the suggestions

Thanks for the suggestions -- I'll google around.

The Field Notes are too small. Black 'n Red items have caught my eye, but the paper feels so much like moleskine that I'm afraid my pens will rub. My next purchase of "yet another journal" will be one of that line.

One of my stumbling blocks is that I want to sample the paper -- are there places that let you do that? Staples and places like that put out tester pens on occasion: I've never see tester fancy paper.

I think I need to go with one notebook for everything: work notes, life notes, lists, etc., so it needs to be something that I'll enjoy writing in AND that I'll be willing to take everywhere.

why not switch pens?

Would seem to be a better solution to me. Quality pens are a lot easier to find than quality notebooks.

Switching pens would be

Switching pens would be starting the whole process over, plus it depends on the writer.... I've seen folks that like how the G2s write in the moleskine, but they smudge on me. I know people do it, but I can't imagine using a fountain pen in a moleskine.

I'm trying to encourage myself to write down everything instead of attempting to remember it all. That's going to take finding a system that is both painless AND enjoyable.

what kind of G2 are you using?

if you use the 10, it will probably smudge. i use the .05 and don't have any problems. There is a .07 also.

G2-Mini !!

No smudges !!
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Must not be a leftie...

I can't imagine using such a short pen, and not smudging.... As I said the other day, I tend to let my hand creep up the barrell of the pen as I write across the page--no room to do that with these things! You are right over what you've just written--yuck.


you would have to try em out

I have seen moleskine-ish notebooks at Hobby Lobby and Target ... office max/depot had some too I believe. You would have to ask to sample the paper in them though...

if you were to want to put together your own notebook - you would just need to visit a paper seller and ask to see their samples... or maybe take a few home to try out.

I made a mock-skine : Linkie and I adore it... :)

my artwork | my blog


I like the Rhodia products. I really like their small 5x5 bloc #11. I have this coupled with a retro 51 tornado pencil.
Where as I am new to the DIY site I have carried the Levenger pocket briefcase thing for a long while now. I am also a long time fan of the Small Book (8 pages from one by folding and one cut). Many thanks to everyone who makes this place happen.

Tools first?

Which is more important to you, the tools (eg pens) or what you do with them (eg. plan & journal)? It appears from your post that the pen is the most important thing for you.

If that's the case (and there's nothing wrong with that if it's what you want), then I think you've already answered your own question

My pens seem happy on CR Gibson journals from Staples, Franklin Covey planner paper, and Levenger Circa Agenda filler.

I'd suggest you either find which of those 3 systems you want to use. Or find loose paper of the same type and make your own planner. Perhaps you could canabilise a CR Gibson journal