Notebook density: Moleskine vs. Miquelrius

A few days ago I wrote a post about the Miquelrius notebook, and a comparison of it to the Moleskine I’d found over on In the comparison, Jeremy’s friend was explaining that the Miquelrius held a lot longer of a record in less space. I was very intrigued by this idea of writing-space density, so I decided to investigate a bit. Of course, since I have an engineering background, it wasn’t enough to just notice that one was thicker 😉

First I picked up a Miquelrius “notepad”, which is what they call them on their miserable flash website at Barnes & Noble for $7 (thanks Jim!). I got the 4×6 square ruled jobby, and it seems to be a pretty nice binding. It’s very floppy and flexible, which may annoy, but also means you’ll never have a cracked or broken cover. One thing that is not right is the spacing of the gridlines – they are at that awkward size where they’re too big to use every other line, but too small to use every line. They are smaller than the Moleskine’s, but a nice shade of light blue instead of black.

Anyway, it’s 4.09″x5.90″ x .77″ thick, which is a total volume of 18.58 cubic inches. It has 200 leaves, each with 2 sides (i.e. pages) for a total of 400 sides to write on, or a pretty hefty 67 square feet of writing space.

The Moleskine, (pocket size, square ruled) on the other hand, is 3.6″ x 5.6″ x .52″ thick, which is a total volume of 10.48 cubic inches. It has 96 leaves, for a total of 192 sides to write on, which is a measly 27 square feet of space.

The Miquelrius has about 3.6 square feet per cubic inch, Moleskine has 2.6. If you are someone who’s looking for the greatest amount of writing space available for the space taken up in your bag or pocket, Jeremy’s friend Jim has it on the nose.

Now is there another, more dense notebook out there? If Moleskine made the pocket notebook exactly as it is, but two or three times as thick, would you buy it? How about if they used onion skin or bible stock paper?

Circa is Organizing Industry Product of the Year

Levenger’s Circa notebook system has been named 2005 Organizing Industry Product of the Year, according to their press release. If you don’t get a Levenger catalog, you’ll want to request one – while a lot of the stuff they have is quite expensive, and rather indulgent, they have some really nice products.

I am a little surprised both that there is an International Association of Professional Organizers, and that they awarded Circa the honor. While many people love the notebook system, it seemed awfully specialized (i.e. special punch, the rings, etc.) for what it is. Then again, I haven’t ever tested it in real-life use. Perhaps it’s time.

Another Moleskine Alternative

Jeremy Wagstaff over at has an interesting post about an alternative notebook to the Moleskine. What interests me specifically was the mention about how thin the Moleskines are – they don’t hold as much writing, and thus preserve a shorter record in a single book.

I took a look at the Miquelrius web site, which unfortunately is yet another idiotic European Flash site, and had trouble tracking down the various models. Actually I just ran out of patience. Still, it looks promising.

Getting things done -next actions

I just found a neat post over on Photoday where the author wrestles with all the various ways of dealing with David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. I empathize, as there are as many ways to implement the system both manually or via a computer as there are pages in the original book. Still, it’s always interesting to read about someone else’s efforts.

To answer the question about next actions, though, they are simply next actions – they aren’t today’s next actions, so if you don’t get them done today just move them to tomorrow. You shouldn’t be making new next actions unless you’ve finished the old one anyway.

As for the rest of it…it’s kind of like sex – once you get started each successive step becomes pretty obvious.

Recording Thoughts While Working Out?

I just saw a post over on Donnie Jeter’s blog, where he talks about taking his Moleskine journal into the gym to “improve productivity”. I think whether or not this is a good idea depends on the gym, and it’s inhabitants. I know I’ve been in a few where this would be the cause of mocking laughter.

But it raises the question – what is the proper tool for recording thoughts in a gym? Phones and voice recorders don’t seem right – there’s no privacy. Pen and paper would have to carried from machine to treadmill to weight bench, and would have to be sweat proof.

At my company’s gym they used to hand out clip boards, which at least lent a medically official air to things.