In my capacity as Deputy Editor of the publication you’re currently reading, I attend an inordinate amount of meetings during which it’s important that I take notes. I could easily do this on my laptop, of course, but I would prefer to write things down in a notebook. I don’t know why, exactly. It seems more dignified, somehow. A little less rude — maybe because when I’m typing, there’s no real way for the people I’m meeting with to know whether I’m taking legit notes or just gchatting with my wife.
I’ve gone through many notebooks over the years, almost all of them abandoned long before being filled. Freebies I’ve gotten from various brands and press events, much nicer options from Field Notes and Moleskine — you name it, and I’ve likely stuffed it into a drawer with but a few pages of illegible, incomplete notes haphazardly taken, never to be read again.
Why is this the case? Well, because I find them all incredibly unpleasant to write in. You see, I’m left-handed. And while I recognize that this may not seem like a big deal, it absolutely is. Let me explain.
With any of the thicker, more substantially bound notebooks on the market — the Moleskine being the perfect example — the spines are so stiff that they don’t stay open. For a right-handed person, this presents less of a problem, as they can fairly easily use their left hand to hold the notebook open while writing freely with their right. For me, this is not the case: the cover of the notebook and whatever pages I’ve already used fall to the right and essentially lean on my left hand as I write. It’s insanely uncomfortable, and, worse, makes it extremely difficult to get to the left-most portions of the page I’m trying to write on. Think I’m being dramatic? I probably am, but still.
So after setting out on a mission to address this crime against me and my left-handed brethren, I came across a product by the company Moo. They make business cards and stationery, and all sorts of paper products — including a notebook that has improved my life greatly.
Dubbed simply the MOO Hardcover Notebook, it features what the company calls “Lay-Flat Design,” which they attribute to a special Swiss binding technique where the spine is not adhered to the pages themselves. Instead, the pages are stitched together in small, sturdy groupings, while the spine simply folds outward and lies flat against whatever surface you’re working on. The result is a super-wide canvas, with both left- and right-hand pages fully exposed and ready to be filled, with, in MOO’s own words, “no wrestling with the pages.” The first time I saw it, I felt the weight of the entire world lifted off my shoulders.
The notebook also features 160 lined pages of thick, high-quality Swedish paper, 16 unlined pages in a contrasting color stitched into the middle for random doodling, a ribbon so you can keep your page, and, ultra-conveniently, an adhesive business card holder. It costs $20, and it’s worth every penny regardless of which hand you write with — but especially if it’s your left.