Rhodia notes

July 17, 2007

So I promised I’d report back after some heavy use of the new Classic Rhodia Stapled 3 X 4 3/4 notebooks. I’ve been using Rhodia’s orange pocket notebook, pictured here, for about 2 weeks straight now. I can safely say that after a solid fortnight in my pocket, this little Rhodia is not only a convenience but also a workhorse. It travels in my front pants pocket with my Blackberry, and it currently shows no signs of wear other than some creasing near the top staple (these notebooks are bound with two stables along the spine).

The distinctive orange color helps me keep track of where I left my notebook laying around. The small pocket size isn’t noticeable until you need it, like I did the other day when I was wandering around in Ikea. It beats the bulk of a pocket Moleskine by a mile. The plastic cover holds up well even in sweaty basketball shorts in the middle of a Texas heatwave. That’s something I can’t say for my grubby (kinda dampened) Moleskine cahier.

I still use pocket Moleskines for journaling and poetry. I think I would be willing to switch to Rhodia entirely if I could get my hands on a svelte Rhodia ePure notebook, a promising soft cover replacement for my Moleskine journals.

Moleskine sighting: Jennifer Morrison

July 16, 2007

From TVGuide.com:

House’s Jennifer Morrison has been tapped to star in The Murder of Princess Diana, a Lifetime movie based on the Noel Botham book that theorized that Di’s fatal car crash was the dirty work of a conspiracy. Morrison will play an American journalist who witnesses the tunnel crash and starts her own investigation after becoming suspicious of the “official” take on what happened.

In the photo, any Moleskine fan will quickly notice she’s jotting down important journalistic notes in a pocket Moleskine reporter notebook, complete with snappy elastic closure. Wonder if JMo prefers plain, squared, or ruled?

Thanks to Ladybluelake for posting this pic on Livejournal.

Rhodia cahier?

July 1, 2007

I’m a longtime Moleskine devotee, and I haven’t ever found any brand of notebook that’s as useful for jotting notes on the go. However, when I saw this new type of Rhodia classic stapled notebook on Rhodia Drive, I new I had to give them a try. Rhodia has eliminated two of my biggest problems with the Moleskine Cahier – the lack of durability in the paper cover (something that wouldn’t have been an issue if they hadn’t discontinued the Volant line) and the size of the pocket version.

The covers on the Moleskine cahiers are fine if you’re simply storing them in a briefcase or a bag. However, if you keep the cahier in a pants pocket or change bags a lot, the cover wears out extremely fast, especially if you don’t fill it fast enough to need a new one quickly. Rhodia solved this problem by adopting a thin plastic-coated cover for their smallest pocket notebook.

Also, the size of the cahiers is continually an issue for me because I prefer to carry them in my pants pockets, and the Moleskine cahier is just slightly too large to fit comfortably when seated. The Rhodia stapled pocket notebook measures 3 X 4 3/4 inches, making it an even more compact solution than a hipster PDA. This is the absolute perfect size for carrying around in a front pants pocket.

Are there any cons to the Rhodia version of the cahier? None of the pages are perforated, so they’re not as convenient for tearing out notes. I’m not sure how much of an issue this will be for me since I don’t think I’ve ever torn out a note from my Moleskine cahiers the entire time I’ve been using them. Of course the Rhodia pads also lack the back pocket, but the cahier’s back pocket (really just a flap) was so flimsy that using it practically destroyed it anyway.

All in all, it looks like this version of the classic Rhodia stapled pad (available in black or classic Rhodia orange) is a big improvement on the Moleskine cahier for on the go notetaking. I’ll report back after a few weeks of test-driving. You can see more photos of the Rhodia pad compared to various Moleskines, or you can snag your own from Ship the Web here.

Backpack Publish Firefox Extension

April 25, 2007

Most Backpack users have probably already discovered the Backpack Extension for Firefox made by Ben Mills, which places a Backpack icon/menu in your Firefox toolbar for easy access to all of your pages, lists, calendar and reminders.

If you love the convenience of that add-on, you’ll love Andrew Kortina’s amazing and incredibly useful Backpack Publish Firefox extension. Backpack Publish gives you the web clipping abilities of Google Notebook right in your Backpack account. Clipping of images is not yet supported, but clips do include a link back to the original source.

Once you’ve installed the extension, all you need to do is highlight some text on a page, click the icon in your toolbar, choose the page you want, and select whether you want the clip to be a note or a list item. You can even turn highlighted text into a reminder. This extension provides functionality that the 37 Signals team should have implemented into their app long ago.

If you’ve been wavering back and forth between Google Notebook and Backpack for note taking and to do list management, this extension will definitely turn the tide in Backpack’s favor.

Pencil pocketability

April 25, 2007

From Ask Metafilter:

Is there a Pencil equivalent to the Space Pen?

I love my Fisher Space Pen but I’m finding I need a mechanical pencil with me more and more often and I was hoping there would be a small pencil and can manage the where and tear of a pocket. Anybody have any recommendations?

The Graf von Faber-Castell Twisting Pencil looks pretty good, but there’s no way I’d put that kind of money into a pencil. The closest thing I can find is the Zebra Mini Pencil which appears to be pretty good but the body looks a little thin and maybe not the easiest to hold.

Check out the answers: Is there a Pencil equivalent to the Space Pen? Fair warning, though – if you’re a pencil geek, you’re likely to find some things you’ll want to immediately add to your wishlist.

An Ode to the Moleskine Pocket Cahier

April 4, 2007
Moleskine Cahier

Merlin Mann has called these slim paper-covered booklets “the Honda Accord of Moleskines.” But these versatile, slender Moles just might be the ultimate capture device.

For those doing GTD, the use for the 64-page pocket sized Cahier is readily apparent – the size and format of the book make it ideal for capturing notes, lists, to do items and contact information on the go. The last 16 of those 64 pages are even perforated for easy rippin’ and dippin’ tearing and sharing of your own must-share jots. If you currently use a hipster PDA for these tasks but you’re unsatisfied with the format for whatever reason, a slim Cahier is available for casual encounters in the Buff (try not to stare) or a more classy rendezvous in basic Moleskine black. The well known and loved pocket has been a bit bastardized to keep the bulk to a minimum – instead of the full pocket, you only get a small flap on the inside of the back cover. Treat it tenderly if you don’t want your unmentionable receipts flapping in the wind.

What’s the point? These Moleskines lack the impressive page counts of their fatter yet still pocket-sized cousins and may seem less durable because they lack the hard cover. The answer? Simplicity. Most people misunderstand the Cahier because they expect it to be something it’s not – a full-blown durable journal and keepsake-quality book. If you look at it for what it IS, a classed-up sheaf of tiny, high quality loose leaf scrap paper with the brand-name cache of Evian water and Montblanc pens, it’s a damn sane way to take down personal notes on the side while you’re expanding on broader business plans in a larger notebook.

Index cards are great, but let’s just face it – they make you look like a crazy person. The Moleskine Cahier is fountain pen friendly, classy, and conveniently fits in your pockets without dragging your pants down your hips (face the facts – you have to carry a lot more crap than just your notebook). It’s flexible, discreet, and it will begin to wear right about the time you’ve reached the last page anyway.

Factor in the fact that these books come in convenient packages of three, and you’ve got yourself a winning portable companion to your journaling system as well as a powerful GTD tool.

New pencil community on Livejournal

April 2, 2007

I’ve just started a community called Pencil Crazy over on Livejournal. If there are any pencil enthusiasts or collectors that still hang out on LJ, please join and post a picture or two of your collection.

Ever since joining the American Pencil Collectors Society (thanks to Angela for that geekerific Valentine’s Day gift I’d been wanting!) I’m beginning to wonder if most pencil collectors are in the 55+ age range, since that seems to be the target audience for the APSC publication. I know there must be some young professionals out there who completely geek out over an amazing instrument like the Rotring 600 or the Ohto Super Promecha just like I do, but they’re probably all in the pencil collector closet.

No one should be ashamed – office supply fetishes are so in.

Twitter Fiction at PigPog

March 16, 2007

twitter The guys over at PigPog have a nice writeup of Twitter Fiction today. Be sure and check it out!

Twitter Fiction

March 12, 2007

Twitter Fiction

Announcing my latest project, twitterfiction.com. Twitter Fiction is a simple use for Twitter – just send your fictional masterpiece of 140 characters or less to twitterfiction@gmail.com and it will be posted to twitter.com/twitterfiction.

Add twitterfiction to your friends list to read the latest and greatest works of microfiction.

Zodiac “down to the Eagle pencils”

March 7, 2007

Zodiac author Robert Graysmith talks about the faithful (re)creation of the movie’s set, right down to his favorite brand of pencils:

“He re-created, on a block-long set, the Chronicle of 1969,” Graysmith says. “It literally took my breath away. . . . I open a drawer and it’s a phone directory for all the reporters. There’s an actual Chronicle (directory), all the extensions are correct. Nobody’s going to see in that drawer. They have Eagle pencils like I used to use, they have grease pencils, the phones worked, the pneumatic tubes worked, and across the ceiling they have this lighting pattern that was sort of unique that I had forgotten about and certainly probably doesn’t show in the film. It was exact. And I asked Brad Fischer, one of the producers, “Well, who would know, Brad?’ And he said, “David Fincher would.’ “

– Source: Asbury Park Press Online