I used to be a huge fan of the hardcover pocket sized Moleskine’s, before I got hooked on Field Notes. And there are things I prefer about the former, and there are things that I prefer about the latter.
There are so many different designs and variants of Field Notes, and they release a new limited variant every four months or something. I have ordered two of the special editions: Night Sky and Arts and Sciences. They are cool, but I just go for the regular kind, blank.
The first thing I love about Field Notes is how fantastic their sense of design is. A regular Field Notes notebook look good straight out of the pack, and I think that the standard edition is the best looking, but they look even more fantastic the more worn out they are.
The second thing I love about Field Notes is the paper quality. You can use a regular ball point or a fountain pen, and they work great. The ink dries fast, and the bleed through isn’t a problem. It isn’t perfect, but I think they have the perfect balance between instant dry time and minimal bleed through.
The third thing I love about Field Notes is their sense of humor, like I wrote about here. Take a look at the inside of the back side of the cover in the Practical Applications section.
I have been running my life out of a combination of paper planners and Field Notes during the last couple of years. There is always at least one Field Notes notebook in my back pocket, and I use them to take short notes(I use a larger notebook if I’m going to take serious notes, like for example during a lecture, meeting or while studying / researching) and to manage tasks.
There are also some things that Field Notes aren’t that great at.
One of the things I loved about my hardcover Moleskine I used before Field Notes was how easy it was to write in it, when I wasn’t sitting by a table or other flat surface. But the great thing about not having it is that it is way easier to have in your back pocket. And I often use my iPhone as a writing surface to solve this problem.
Availability is my second problem with Field Notes, that Moleskine is much better at. One of the great things about Moleskine is that they are available everywhere, I think they are overrated and overpriced, but I love the fact that I have something reliable I get anywhere if I need it. The most annoying thing about Field Notes is the fact that I need to remember to always order a new batch of them when I have around 4 unused notebooks left. It takes a while to ship them from the US to Norway; around two to three weeks to be exact.
My last issue is the lack of options. There are times when I want something like a Field Notes, just larger than both the regular and the steno. For example a spiral bound A5 or A4 version. I love my huge book bind notebooks like for example from Leuchtturm1917. But there are times when you want something a little bit less fancy, and then you end up with either a crappy notebook or a overpriced Moleskine.
I wish Field Notes just would start to extend their standard product line.
They make one hell of a pocket sized notebook, and they are well worth the $9.99 per three pack.