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5 Reasons to Pay Good Money for a Moleskine

5 Reasons to Pay Good Money for a Moleskine

After posting twice last week about Moleskine notebooks, I got several comments complaining about the high price of the notebooks and their perceived pretentiousness, with one person even asking somewhat accusingly if we’d made some sort of business partnership with the notebook company (we did — we’re promoting their contest and exhibition, which is why I thought it would be neat to write some posts about Moleskines).

They’re fair questions: a pocket-sized Moleskine notebook runs about $12 US and the larger ones approach $20 US. Why would you pay that kind of money for a pad of paper, when a spiral-bound pocket notebook can be had for less than a buck at most stores?

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Before I give my reasons, I should say that there are plenty of worthwhile alternatives to Moleskines (but a spiral-bound notebook isn’t one of them — sorry, Charlie!), some accurate-enough knock-offs and others taking a different approach to notebook design. I’m not as much wed to the brand as I am to the design — but the Moleskine brand is the one consistent supplier of that design. Most of what I say about Moleskies, though, can be applied to any other “luxury” notebook of similar style.

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So, here are 5 good reasons to shell out your hard-earned dough on a double-digit priced notebooks:

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  1. Moleskines are durable. With their semi-hard, vinyl covers, Moleskine notebooks stand up to the rigors of back pockets and overstuffed bags better than most other notebooks — and far better than anything spiral-bound. Though there is a limit to how many times you can sit on your Moleskine before it permanently assumes the curve of your backside, it is generally quite easy to keep a Moleskine functioning for six months or longer. Spiral-bound notebooks unravel (and the wire gets caught on everything); paper-bound notebooks fall apart from moisture, friction, and general wear.
  2. Moleskines are book-bound. Because Moleskines are bound like books, they are easy to store on a bookshelf for easy reference, or to stack for storage. Plus the rigid covers give a strong supoprt against which to write, no matter where you are.
  3. Moleskines are expensive. That might not seem like a plus to you, but hear me out. Because Moleskines have a large-ish pricetag, compared with cheap spiral notebooks or staples notepads, they tend to be taken care of more — which means that when you need it, it’s not under the sofa, out in the car, or lost who-knows-where. Instead, it’s right there in your bag or pocket, where it belongs. The perceived value of Moleskines makes it easy to integrate them into a daily routine that keeps them handy. Plus, some of that perceived value spills over onto whatever you’re capturing in your notebook — it must be important if you’re willing to spend so much on it!
  4. Moleskines feel good. Moleskines just feel good to use. The paper takes ink nicely, and is a pleasant cream-color that’s easy on the eyes and lends a richness to yourwriting. The covers are smooth and just soft enough. All these things are important, if not purely essential — just like the heft of a good hammer is worth good money to a master carpenter who could build a bench just as easily with a cheaper one.
  5. Moleskines are actually kind of affordable. Don’t forget that Moleskines come in all different styles, including specialized notebooks for sketchinig, watercolor painting, and otehr specialties. A small pad of watercolor paper can easily exceed the price of a decent-sized Moleskine Watercolor book! Moleskine’s storyboard pads and pocket accordions are virtually unique — I don’t even know where you’d find them if Moleskine didn’t make them!

Like any product, Moleskine or similar notebooks are not necessarily for everyone. But for many, they fill a pressing need with style and functionality, and that’s no little thing, no little thing at all!

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

Reference

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