Moleskine vs Field Notes – 5 GREAT Options! Many people nowadays who have finally realized the benefits of having a pocket notebook at all times are torn between the Moleskine vs Field Notes options. Should you go with Moleskine (just pronounce it as moleskin), with its wide range of sizes, colors, and other options? Or should they go with the no-nonsense 3-pack of Field Notes? This post, it’s photos and table include links to products on other websites. If you purchase something through these links we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. CLICK To Our FULL Product Reviews Actually, both are terrific choices—whichever way you’re leaning towards, you’re going in the right direction. Why Not Stick to Smartphones and Apps? That’s a question that more than one millennial has asked when encountering the Moleskine vs. Field Notes discussion. If someone asks you that question, here are some answers you can furnish: Too Much Smartphone Use Isn’t Really Good Lots of health experts recommend that you don’t use your smartphone too much, and that you put away your phone periodically during the day. Too much smartphone use is associated with issues like lower productivity, increased anxiety, and sleep issues. So, you can use an actual notebook while staying away from the smartphone when you need to take notes. You can still use the smartphone for stuff that you can’t do with the notebook. Affordable and Durable Sure, apps can be affordable, and some are even free. But notebooks aren’t necessarily expensive. In fact, drop your notebook and it’s no big deal. Drop your iPhone and see what happens. Versatile A notebook is also much more versatile, as this one thing can do tasks for which you’d need a bunch of different apps. You can write down notes, create drawings, draw up a schedule, create a custom calendar, and make tables and graphs. You can doodle with a notebook, which isn’t easily done with a smartphone. Also, battery power isn’t an issue with pocket notebooks. Super Quick It takes time to turn on your smartphone and then get the app ready. It’s much easier and faster with a notebook and pen. You should be able to record quickly enough a great idea, a terrific line for a poem, or a sudden image for a logo. That’s a problem with the smartphone app, especially when you’re trying to put an image or music notes to paper. Writing by Hand is Better for You When you type on your PC or smartphone, you actually don’t use parts of the brain that are activated when you’re writing by hand. Plenty of studies have indicated the following for those who do more writing by hand: It becomes easier to process information.You’re able to remember more stuff (even without the notes to read beside you).You can think more quickly. It’s Great for Your Mental Health Quite a few doctors recommend that you keep some sort of diary or journal when you have issues concerning depression and anxiety. You’re able to track your symptoms and identify your negative thought patterns. Even if you’re reasonably healthy when it comes to your mental and emotional health, keeping a journal lets you clarify your thoughts and feelings. You’re able to know yourself more each day. Moleskine vs. Field Notes: Top 5 Reviews In this paper notebook showdown, we went with 3 pocket notebooks from Moleskine, since we really like it. But we also feature a Field Notes journal here. In fact, we made sure we got the quintessential Field Notes, with the features that made the brand uber-popular in the first place. Of course, just because we’re focusing on the Moleskine vs. Field Notes showdown doesn’t mean there’s no room for an upstart to join in the melee. Pick any of these choices in this notebook showdown and get yourself a great notebook where you can jot your reminders, ideas, and drawings at any time. 1. Moleskine Classic Notebook, Ruled, 5″ x 8.25″ “Terrific Journal” Our Rating: 5.0 Buy From Amazon The Classic line of notebooks from Moleskine is named so due to a reason. It was designed after the notebooks used by artists, writers, and thinkers over the last 200 hundred years. Let’s first get the “vital stats” listed here, so you know what you’re getting. Size This is the Large size, meaning it’s 8.25 inches long from top to bottom while 5 inches wide. Cover We went with the black color, which is very simple while also looks good. We also opted for the hard cover, which is quite durable. It may not bend all that easily, but that’s a good thing because we’re not really putting this inside a pocket anyway. This does come with rounded corners, for extra safety. The flyleaf does come with a notice for “In case of loss”, where you can write your name and contact info. The inner back cover also offers an expandable inner pocket, where you can put in calling cards, receipts, and other notes. Paper This has 240 pages, with 70-gsm ivory-colored paper that is also acid-free, so your words and drawings won’t fade too easily from the paper. The pages are also ruled, so you can write down sentences and paragraphs with reasonably straight lines. The lines aren’t very obvious, so when you put in drawings these lines won’t distract from what you’ve drawn. Basically, you end up not noticing the lines after a while when you’ve drawn on the pages. You may want to practice writing lightly on the paper, as it’s not really very thick. If you write too heavily, you may have bleed-through issues, which can be annoying if you write on both sides of your pages. Opening and Closing This can open 180 degrees, so the notebook lies flat over your table. With the large size and the flat set of the notebook, you have lots of space for larger drawings. You’re able to write on the pages without having to use your other hand or another prop as paperweight to keep the other side down. This also features a bookmark ribbon, which you can use without worrying that your bookmark might get lost when you open the notebook. This also comes with an elastic closure, so that the notebook won’t open accidentally. That’s great when you have bits of paper tucked within the pages, or you want to maintain a bit of privacy for your notes. Overall Quality This exudes a rather premium quality, and it doesn’t look or feel like a cheap notebook at all. That encourages you to treat this right, while you value whatever notes or drawings you put inside. These are good enough as gifts to close friends, or you may want to keep them as your journals through the years. What We LikePremium qualityLines on papers aren’t obnoxiously obviousNotebook lies flat 180 degreesComes with bookmark ribbonFeatures an elastic enclosureHas an inner pocketDurable coverNot So GoodPaper may be too thin for some types of pensSome inks bleed throughNo page numbering 2. Moleskine Classic Notebook, Ruled, 3.5″ x 5.5″ “Quick Notes on the Go” Our Rating: 4.5 Buy From Amazon We stick to the Classic line from Moleskine, and we also kept with the lined paper. Notebook Size This time, we went with a smaller size, with a length of 5.5 inches and a width of 3.5 inches. That may be able to fit in some pockets in jackets or cargo pants. White Cover While we still opted for the hard cover, we went with the white color for the cover this time. This makes it really eye-catching, and it’s great for those who want to draw on the cover themselves. On the other hand, the white cover does make it harder to keep clean, so you may not want to use it on dusty tables. At least the hard cover is quite durable, and you still get the rounded corners. Also, you have the inner pocket at the back cover for various small bits of paper. Pages We opted for 192 pages, with lines on each page. Again, the lines help with keeping the sentences straight, but they’re not too obvious to distract from drawings. These pages are ivory-colored and acid-free, with a thickness of 70 GSM. That may not be thick enough for some fountain pens, but it works fine for ballpoints and most gel pens. The notebook also lies flat at 180 degrees, for larger drawings and easier use with one hand. Other Features Here you find the other features that define the Moleskine Classic line of notebooks. It features a bookmark ribbon, along with an elastic enclosure to prevent accidental openings. Moleskine also manufactures notebooks that are FSC-certified, as these notebooks meet the requirements set by the Forest Stewardship Council. That means the wood used to make the notebooks comes from responsibly managed forests. What We LikeFits in some pocketsEye-catching white colorSubtle lines on paperNotebook lies flatComes with bookmark ribbon, elastic enclosure, and expandable inner pocketNot So GoodMay be too thin for some fountain pensA bit expensiveNo page numbering 3. Moleskine Classic Notebook, Soft Cover, Large (5″ x 8.25″) Dotted, Black, 240 Pages “For Graphs, Tables, and Calendars” Our Rating: 4.5 Buy From Amazon This is another variation of the Moleskine Classic, though that may not be obvious at first glance. Familiar Features Like the first Moleskine on this list, we went with the regular features we liked: We opted for the black cover, which is easy enough to keep clean and which features rounded corners.We got 240 pages, so we don’t have to buy another notebook for a while.We also wanted the large version, which measures 8.5 inches long and 5 inches wide (which is great for larger drawings).This also features the ivory-colored paper with 70-gsm thickness.You also get the usual Classic features like the bookmark, elastic enclosure, and expandable inner pocket. So, what’s different here? Soft Cover The cover here is more flexible, and some people actually prefer this over the hard cover version. It bends more easily, which is great if you’re putting this inside a stuffed bag or a large pocket. You’re able to bend or fold the notebook over itself, which works nicely when you’re trying to write on the notebook without a table for support. This does come with a more “casual feel”, compared to the hard cover. Dotted Lines True, the lined pages in the previous Moleskine Classics aren’t at all obtrusive. But the dotted lines here are even subtler and are hardly noticeable. When you’re making drawings, the dots don’t distract at all. The dotted lines still help you make sure your sentences are straight. But you can also do straight vertical lines more easily with the dots here. If you’re into making lots of calendars, tables, and graphs, then these dots will make things a lot neater. What We LikeLots of pagesLarge sizeEasier to write on without a tableDotted lines are hardly obtrusiveGreat for calendars, tables, and graphsNot So GoodPaper isn’t thick for some fountain pensSoft cover leads to bendingPages are not numbered 4. Field Notes, Ruled, Kraft 3-Pack “The Everyday Carry Notebook” Our Rating: 5.0 Buy From Amazon Right away, you’ll notice that this Field Notes is very different from the Moleskine Classic notebooks we listed. What you’ll also notice is the overall simplicity of the notebook design. This is a no-fuss notebook, which seems to say that what you write inside matters more than the cute features you’d find in more expensive journals. That’s certainly true, but it’s also true that a bad notebook can ruin the writing and drawing experience. The good news is that Field Notes notebooks can hardly be considered bad. They even offer special edition options, such as more waterproof notebooks similar to Rite in the Rain. Affordable In today’s world, a lot of us are counting pennies and making sure we got the best bang for the buck. That’s certainly what you get with this purchase. This 3-pack notebook is really affordable. You get 3 notebooks, and the total price is still less than half the price of some of the Moleskine notebooks. Plain Looks This comes with a kraft brown cardboard cover with rounded corners. That’s actually a basic Field Notes feature—most of their notebooks generally have the same cover color as what you’d get with a paper bag. Floppy Cover With Field Notes covers, you get the soft version as the standard. That’s a good thing for plenty of people, especially those who like to stick their notebooks in their jacket pockets or at the back of their jeans. Still, the cover is actually more durable than what you’d expect, as the cardboard holds up nicely. Size of 3.5 x 5.5 Inches This memo book measures 3.5 inches wide and 5.5 inches long (top to bottom). A lot of people like this size, which is probably why most Field Notes journals come with these dimensions. Number of Pages These come with 48 pages, which is a nice size for specific projects or time frames. You can fill it up with a month’s worth of notes, or put in data regarding a particular company plan. Besides, you have 3 of these notebooks, so you can think of it as having 144 pages all in all. Paper Quality The paper thickness is also nice, as it seems like Field Notes upgraded the paper on the Kraft-cover notebooks. This time, they use 60#T paper, which is comparable to 90 GSM. The switch makes the paper a lot better for plenty of fountain pen users out there. The lines are quite prominent, so you should have straight sentences on each page. However, these lines may be a bit obtrusive for drawings. If that’s a problem for you, the good news is that there’s a version of this notebook that offers dot grids instead of lines. What We LikeExtremely affordableMore durable than it seemsVery compact and easy to carryGreat for many fountain pensNot So GoodHard cover notebooks are generally more durableNo extras (like bookmarks, elastic cover, or inner pocket)More prominent lines 5. Elan Field Notebook, Ruled, 3.5″x5.5″, 5 Pack “Terrific Bang for the Buck” Our Rating: 4.5 Buy From Amazon Okay, we know that in the pocket notebook industry, it’s mostly about the Moleskine vs. Field Notes faceoff. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for contenders for your money. This time, you get a really affordable set, as you get 5 notebooks for the same price as the 3-pack Field Notes. It’s basically a Field Notes homage, considering how many features it has that are the same. Also, it’s not as if Elan is a brash newcomer that simply mimics the Field Notes features. After all, they’ve been around for the last 50 years or so. What’s the Same? The size is the same as with the Field Notes, as each notebook here measures 3.5 inches wide and 5.5 inches long. Each paper notebook also has 48 pages, with acid-free paper. We tried the lined version, which comes with rather prominent lines to keep our sentences straight. That’s not a problem, really, as you can also go with the dotted version. There’s even a graph version, for those who like to draw graphs (duh) or for accurate maps and recreations. The soft cover allows for flat use or for folding onto itself. Different Cover The cover is black, but you can actually pick a different color if you want. Other color options are orange, yellow, green, wood grain, or even kraft (if you’re really into mimicking Field Notes). In fact, you can get a 5-pack with different colors for each notebook. You still get the familiar cover, though this time the cover says FIELD BOOK prominently (instead of FIELD NOTES). Quality of Paper With 5 notebooks here, you get 240 pages all in all. The pages are thick enough for lots of different pen types. It works well enough for ballpoints and fine point felt tip pens. The pages do seem smooth, unlike the rougher paper in the Field Notes. That means you need to be careful about smearing. What We LikeExtremely affordableLots of different pens work nice with theseDotted and graph pages are availableAlso available in different colorsNot So GoodHas an unmistakable “cheap” qualitySeems like a Field Notes imitationNo bookmark or elastic closure Moleskine vs Field Notes: Conclusion Sure, in this day and age we all have smartphones and apps for jotting notes. But they still don’t offer the same convenience and versatility that you’d get with a pocket notebook and a cheap pen. That’s why the Moleskine vs. Field Notes debate is so relevant. Both offer terrific options for quick note-taking on the go, or even when you’re at home. They offer attractive and durable options for journals, and at the same time the price is very right. Whichever you pick in the Moleskine vs Field Notes showdown, you’re putting your money to good use!