I’m not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now.” – Field Notes

Nearly a month ago, I wrote a bit about Field Notes Brand notebooks and I promised a review. Well, wouldn’t you know it that work, life and being a dad got in the way, but here it finally is.

The first thing that struck me when when I opened up the envelope (other than the usage of Futura) is how thin these guys are. In a familiar way, it was similar to my reaction to looking at my old Macbook Pro next to the Macbook Air: wow, small. Sure, these Field Notes notebooks are only 48 pages compared to the 192 pages of the Moleskine pocket size, so it’s obviously going to be thinner, but it just felt like it was going to be a good, durable and light travel companion.

The inside has 48 pages of 1 pica graph paper that is, well, graph paper. It works, has no feathering and I’ve only had minimal bleeding from one page through to the next. As others have mentioned, the inside covers are great – they’re filled with practical applications for the notebook such as:

  • To Do Lists
  • Half-Ass Calculations
  • Hate Mail
  • Escape Routes
  • Loose Promises
  • Last Will and Testament
  • etc

It even has a built in ‘ruler’ on the back cover. How much more can you ask for?

On two separate occasions I’ve brought the notebook on trips, just throwing it into the side pocket of the laptop sleeve I I use with the Air – these notebooks have no ‘bulk’ to them and fit nicely. They’re great for meetings. I’ve also been spreading the love at work – I dropped one off with Chad Dickerson over at Brickhouse, so I’m still awaiting his feedback (nudge, nudge).

All in all, I’m pleased.

Anyways, in the spirit of David Yeiser’s ‘notebook giveaway’, I’ve decided to ‘share the love‘ and give away three notebooks. Here’s how to play: Email me (smakofsky at hotmail dot com) a photo that’s at least 400px wide of your old, tattered, doodled on and shredded notebooks – I’ll pick three of the best and send each winner a Field Note notebook. Please make sure that you have the rights to the image you send in – I’ll post the images with your name, link to your site, etc.

For more pictures, you can also check out my flickr photostream.


    Chad Dickerson (May 6, 2008 @ 8:01 pm)

    So far, I like it. If I compared the notebooks to digital storage, I would say that the Field Notes notebook is more like a USB drive (convenient, but for transient storage), and the Moleskine is a portable USB/Firewire drive (more substantial, but still easily portable). I also like the style — the Futura typeface works well.

    For whatever reason, I’ve always preferred writing on ruled paper rather than graph paper. They should add a ruled paper notebook to their line for people like me.

    Thanks for the notebook!

    Chad Dickerson (May 6, 2008 @ 8:02 pm)

    oops, above I meant USB *thumb* drive when comparing to the Field Notes notebook.

    David Yeiser (May 8, 2008 @ 8:18 am)

    Hurray for giveaways!

    The Field Notes notebook and the Macbook Air look like they belong together. Maybe this is an excuse to get a Macbook Air…

    thinktwice (May 11, 2008 @ 8:20 pm)

    Moleskine makes something very similar. They xome in 3 packs. I’ll send a photo.

    killick (May 15, 2008 @ 6:47 pm)

    I’ve got a Nokia n810– a small handheld billed as an “interet tablet” and it’s great for my calendar & contacts, web browsing, playing games, watching YouTube, reading & sending email, and it has a built in GPS. It DOES NOT have good handwriting recognition, and I can scrawl much faster than I can thumb-type on the slide out keyboard, so Field Notes have definitely filled a niche for me. It’s so small I don’t notice it in my pocket, yet I’ve been using my current book since March 20th and I still have over a dozen pages to go. Graph paper is great because it allows me to turn the books sideways and still keep my writing neat (or neat-ish). It’s a thinner book than the moleskine “cahier” I’ve seen, so it doesn’t hurt to sit on it, and they quicky become curved to fit your shape.

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