Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Do it with paperclips...

Recently I bought a Moleskine Peanut's pocket 2012 daily planner from Amazon. Don't worry, I'm not cheating on my Filofaxes! I used a daily Moleskine as my planner for the first few months of 2011 and it DIDN'T work!! Actually, I'm using it as a very fat notebook! I use a Moleskine knock-off as my ideas notebook- the first half is for uni assignment ideas etc, and the second part is general notes- ideas for birthday presents etc. But I wanted to use a different one for my dissertation notes. While this general uni notebook will probably last me until the end of January, when this semester finishes, and I will have new modules (so most of the stuff in this notebook will be finished with), I need to keep my dissertation notes with me until the end of September (when I finish my MA!), and probably during my PhD too, as this will be on a similar subject. So I decided to buy a separate notebook, and as I love Moleskines, I decided to buy a daily planner because it has 400 pages, over 200 more than the normal notebook.

But I wanted a cahier or a volant to go with it too, for list-making and to-dos. I tried to clip it into my Moleskine, at the back, but it created a big bulge and the cover wouldn't shut properly, and I was worried that it would damage the binding. So my mind instantly went to the Flex, but the pocket-sized one was too small for the pocket Moleskine, and the 'slim' one was, well, too slim, and wouldn't accommodate my fat planner! So after much thought, I decided that I could hack something together. The basic concept of the Flex is that it has slots that a notebook's covers can slip into, to hold the notebook, or in this case, multiple notebooks. I don't want to ruin the magic, but this is the concept behind every single notebook cover! The only difference is that the Flex is made for people to put multiple notebooks in, while other notebook covers are just designed for one book. But really, if you could slip the front cover of a notebook behind the left slot, and the back cover of another notebook behind the back slot, any notebook cover can be used to house two notebooks!

Unfortunately, there aren't many shops, or websites, in Britain where I can get a lovely, Moleskine-sized, notebook cover. I love the Renaissance Art ones, but the postage to the UK is ridiculous. So I decided I would just go to town and find my own! There's a lovely little shop here in Liverpool called Shared Earth, and I knew they sold a few leather notebook covers (with the notebooks inside, of course!), so between meetings today I popped down there. I saw a nice notebook cover, and it was quite cheap, so I bought it.

Isn't it lovely?

Unfortunately, the actual slots that are designed to hold the notebook in place are very shallow-
Ignore the paperclips for now

which means that it wouldn't hold my Moleskine and volant very securely. But I reckoned I could think of a solution!
All evening I have been thinking about this. I won't bore you with the details, but I went through many options, and none of them would realistically work. On the more simple side of the options, I thought of somehow securing the covers of my notebooks to the leather with bull-dog clips, but that just wouldn't work. The other thing in my stationary box are paperclips. Surely it couldn't work, they are little things, how could they hold anything that thick in place??

Well, I tried it, and it worked! I pushed the longer side of the clip under the Moleskine cover, and the shorter side over the leather, and it holds them both quite tightly together! I did this twice on each notebook, and it secures them very well!

I'm quite proud of my hack! It shows that sometimes the simplest tricks work the best! My next problem is fixing my pen in it somehow, I tried my Leuchtturm pen loop in it, and somehow I didn't like it. But I'm really happy of my dissertation's ideas book now has a snug home! Plus, it looks a bit like Indiana Jones' notebook, which makes my inner archaeologist happy :)

NB. Not so happy with the decoration on the cover of my Moleskine, though- after only 1 day's use, the white rubbery stuff that makes up Snoopy and Charlie on the cover is rubbing off. Very disappointed!


  1. It rubs of? How bad! I just bought a le petit prince notebook which is made in the same way. But I love your hack though, thanks for sharing.

  2. :-( so disapointed with the rubbing off thing, but i like the combination in that cover :-) x

  3. I'm looking for a notebook cover like that too! No success so far though... xx

  4. Check on Etsy! I always see Moleskine covers there.

  5. Hi!

    I'm an extremely quiet reader of Philofaxy and of your blog! I was browsing today and found this post and had a comment - my first ever on a filofax related blog despite being a filofax user for 7 years!

    My favourite filofax-as-a-notebook-holder hack is putting Moleskine cahier notebooks in large into A5 filofax top-opening envelopes. They are a perfect fit. I label the fronts of them so I know what I'm using each notebook for at a glance at the envelope. I keep them at the front of my malden which has the added benefit that it cushions out the diary inserts when the filofax is open and I can use the left hand page of my time management 2PPD without the rings getting in the way of my writing! Just thought I would share!

    My Filofax-as-a-Moleskine-holder-ingredients:
    WHSmith Helvetica Medium dry-transfer lettering plus for the labels (the blue bit peels off so it's a self-laminating white label.. (size: large) <- they work out at about £2.70 each because they're sold in packs of three which I think is pretty reasonable for nice quality notebooks (so I don't have to worry about scrawling away in them..)
    and of course an A5 Filofax and your inserts! Mine is an Ochre Malden...

    I hope you get this comment even though it's on an older post...


    (turns out I'm pretty talkative when I actually do comment!)

    1. Hi Juno, thanks for your comment!! Brilliant idea! I am always trying to find ways to put notebooks inside my filos, I was trying to put a Moleskine cahier in my pocket sized filo today! And woohoo for the ochre Malden fans!! They're the best, aren't they? :D I have a personal (my favourite out of all my filos), an A5 and now a pocket I just got for my birthday :D