This was originally posted on my personal blog: hjertnes.me on the 29th of June 2015.
Moleskine is a brand that does many different things, and they have a huge collection of different notebooks. Some of them are better than others. But there are three things they are good at in general:
- Marketing. Most people that either care or don’t care about notebooks have heard about Moleskine.
- Available. You can find a basic collection of their products in most stationary and book stores.
- Consistent. You know what you get.
Many pen and paper geeks are critical, and aren’t that fund of Moleskine, including myself, even though many, if not most of us started out or notebook addiction with a Moleskine of some sort.
I get why people get annoyed, when someone could get the same product, without the Moleskine brand for less money. Or get something way better for the same amount. People pay for the brand.
Moleskine is more or less the same as other global brands, like: Heineken, Burger King, Starbucks or PizzaHut. You know that the product is the same mediocre thing no matter where in world you buy it. It is true for Burger King, Heineken and Moleskine.
I order close to all of my pocked sized notebooks from Field Notes, and I usually spend some time in local stores to find a pile of new A4/Letter sized notebooks when I’m about to run out.
But there are times when I buy Moleskine, even though I know that I could get something cheaper, or something better. The situations when I go for a Moleskine notebook of some sort, either pocked sized or a large notebook is quite simple. It is either when I’m in a hurry, and need it for something, or when I’m somewhere I don’t know where to look for a store that stocks good notebooks. And sometimes it is a combination of the two.
The reason I go for Moleskine in those situations are just as simple:
- I know what I get. I have pens that I know works good enough with the paper quality.
- I know I can get it. There are not many books stores I have been to in a long time where I could not find Moleskine products.
I don’t recommend Moleskine products, except for the Sketchbooks, but it is the kind of thing I buy when I forget my notebook, didn’t expect to need one or run out. You can find them more or less anywhere, no matter if it is in your home town, or more or less everywhere else in the world. And that is worth a lot in certain situations.
There are a place for brands like Field Notes, Rhodia or Leuchtturm1917, because they really care about the quality aspect, like that really good burger place in your town. But there is also a place for the “good enough” brands like Moleskine, which is more like Burger King or McDonalds. It works.