Move over Moleskine – Welcome, Midori

I used to be obsessed with the Moleskine line of notebooks. Ten years ago, I was spending my first summer in California and learned of the simple notebooks with a ribbon bookmark and high quality paper. They only came in a few basic types then – lined, blank, blank thicker paper, and grid/graph paper in one of two sizes and a standard opening or reporter-style that flipped open along the short edge. Of course, they’ve now expanded into all sorts of sizes and paper options and even have their own bags and pens. Basically, they’ve sold out.

I wasn’t looking to give them up, however. I regularly use other notebooks, mostly cheaper ones that didn’t intimidate me as much as my Moleskines did. The ‘skines were pretty and expensive and had a great history that they give you in the little print out tucked into the back cover. The sort of notebook that is just begging for art and excellent writing and everything I thought I wasn’t capable of producing on an average day. In short, I was intimidated by them. I buy a new one and spend weeks or months carrying it around, rarely actually using it. Just this morning, I found four of them among my things in my office, mostly empty.

But then I found Midori. These are more expensive notebooks, with even higher quality paper. They’re still handmade, even. And, yet, somehow, I don’t have that same intimidation factor. Maybe it’s becuase they’re not that old – only haven gotten started in the last 5 years. Maybe it’s because they aren’t that popular. Maybe because they are refillable rather than leaving the user stuck with the default paper type and 200 or so pages.

Whatever convinced me, I am very happy.

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I got the notebook a little over a week ago and have faithfully spent twenty minutes writing in it each day. Eventually, I’m hoping to get up the nerve to draw in my notebook or remember to collect more ephemera from my daily life. But, for now, I’m really liking what the notebook has lead to. I’m writing. Daily. I’m inspired and excited. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.

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