Moleskine notebooks have become accessory du jour in Silicon Valley. And that notebook homogeneity has become somewhat of a personal peeve, especially considering the sheer number of colorful and better options that are available on the Internet. They are overpriced and frankly, don’t take too kindly to fountain pens. I am starting a #saynotomoleskine meme and every so often will offer my fellow Silicon Valley note-takers with different notebook options.
Since Moleskine is from Italy and has concocted a legend for itself, I am kicking off with an Italian notebook option — Fabriano EcoQua. They actually do have a real history and the notebooks they make are actually better — much better than Moleskine notebooks — as long as you are not a fountain pen type of person.
Rollerballs, gel-ink pens and mechanical pencils will find the faint dot-grid off white paper (85gsm) of these notebooks quite friendly. Since I don’t bother to even touch ballpoints, so I have no idea how they write on this pretty nice paper. The fountain pen inks however tend to show on the reverse of the page (it is called ghosting.)
However, when I use Japanese fountain pens with very fine-nibs, the ghosting is pretty minimal, but writing is a little scratchy since the paper isn’t coated, something fountain pen people like. I don’t mind, though, I do find the ink takes a little longer to dry — though that might be because I live next to the Pacific coast and air is almost never dry.
However, the price is pretty good on these book – $5 to $16 depending on the size and kind of notebook you buy and where you buy it from. I pick up a A5 sized notebooks every so often for $5 from a local art store. They are almost always on sale. (Moleskine A5 notebook almost always costs about $12 at the very least.) There are many cover color choices — which is better than Moleskine black. And that alone is a reason why you should try one!