Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Best Tool You've Never Used

Or at least, I never used it. But things are going to change.

For those of you who follow me on Google+, you may have noticed the status update last week where I said I got to expense a Moleskine* for the job I was doing. It really was important for the work we were doing, and the customer wanted me to have a notebook to write stuff down (as I was using my computer).

$12 might seem like a lot to pay for a 80 page (40 double sided pages) notebook that fits in your back pocket. But the truth is, I have never felt that I got so much value from a purchase like this.

For those of you not in the know, Moleskine is a throwback to the olden-style notebooks used by all the greatest artist, inventors, and writers. You can learn all about it in the pamplet they give you with your book. It's a very basic design. It's got a black leather cover, an elastic band for keeping the book closed, a ribbon bookmark, and a pocket in the back. Simple enough, right?

I really wrote everything I could down in this notebook. It's going to make my life a lot easier when I compile my report. And it was highly portable (I had the 5.5" x 3.5" book). And I find myself thinking how useful of a tool this would be for my character.

But more importantly, how useful it would be for running plot.

I've always had problems remembering names, what people were doing, and keeping track of the things that happen at the event. Despite my best efforts, I seem to always forget something that happened or let player's inquiry go unanswered. But with a book like this, I wouldn't have those problems anymore.

And for those of you who are unwilling to shell out $13 for the book (which I completely understand), you should try hitting up a local Borders to see if you can get their off brand (Picadilly) for a steal.

As an aside to the writers out there, I highly suggest Moleskine. The durability and ability for those pages to take ink is unmatched. I spilled coffee all over this thing and you can hardly tell.

*If you do decide to purchase a Moleskine from Amazon, I highly suggest you drop by the LARPcast website and use the affiliate link. It costs you nothing and it helps us maintain the hosting for the podcast.


  1. I've always just used a spiral notebook and binders. Binders are actually nicer because you can put stuff into them that would fall out of a paper notebook (letters, print-outs, etc). I'm not sure what the more expensive notebook does that a spiral notebook doesn't? I guess you have a bookmark and can close it with the band?

    Writing things down is excellent - just don't forget to share with your fellow staff people so the knowledge is spread around and the PC can ask any member of the team and get an answer :) I know I probably forget to do this, but a digital group like Yahoo (yes, I like Yahoo) or Google is fantastic for sharing info.

  2. I love moleskines too. . . the hard cover makes it easy to write in on the go, and its small enough to fit in a pouch for running around at events :)

  3. The big sell of the Moleskine is that it's compact and you can carry it on you at all times. It's easy to write on in the field, it has a pocket for small things (like folded notes or tags), and it's very durable.

    I do still think that having a plot binder/notebook is important and a Moleskine is not a replacement for that.

  4. I used the generic version of the Moleskine this weekend, and I can confirm that having the schedule for the event in my pocket along with basic info for each module was very nice.