Moleskine Hacks: Budget Gift Ideas With Impact

Need a practical, median priced gift for your favorite artist, writer or student this year? Know someone who would benefit from a GTD command post that would fit in a pocket or purse?

Maybe a little bitty notebook could be the cornerstone of your gift giving season (you save money if you buy in bulk!)

My own love affair with the Moleskine:

Despite my love of Moleskines for everyday use, I really appreciate the artistic side of things where these little gems are concerned. I enjoy them so much that I’ve been collecting some sites that show off the best illustrations, hacks and accessories for the little volumes.

I know that they now make smaller and brighter colored versions (Volant versions). I just got the email yesterday. It’s pretty fresh news. But, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to my notebooks.

I’m not saying I won’t try one of the tiny ones — it looks like those may represent a “can’t help myself” episode in full force. Gee, I love paper and pens and pencils (Oh. My!)

Newfangled colored and flexi-covered versions aside, today I’m going to share a few cool things with you, fellow classic Moleskine lover. And these things can make a notebook into a token gift or an amazingly rich gift… depending on how you play it.

Moleskine Art:

Some ideas for the artist in your life. Select a Moleskine Small Sketch Notebook (pocket-sized) and add a high quality graphite pencil set and art erasers . If you are particularly fond of this artist, add in a lust-worthy water color pencil set and/or travel watercolor brush or professional quality colored pencils to create a portable art studio.

Smashing Magazine’s Collection of Moleskine Art
‘ – a site dedicated to the decorated moleskine
Flicker Hive Mind collection over on


A writer’s Moleskine Hacks – Mikes version from 2004, but still quite applicable (and I use the writer’s tools PDFs printed out and glued into my own). Add a package of post-it tabs, brightly colored index cards, a fabulous pen (I highly recommend the Namiki Vanishing Point Raden Fountain Pen if it’s in your budget. I swear by mine.) You may prefer to opt for a high quality mechanical pencil , instead. Be sure to tuck an gift card in the pocket to support their reading habit. And dedicate it to the writer on the inside cover. No writer likes to be caught out without a place to capture ideas. IMHO, there’s no better, quicker, easier tool to capture those thoughts on the fly than a properly outfitted pocket-sized, ruled Moleskine notebook . Leather covers are nice too (see below.)

GTD Moleskine Hack for Students – Great gift idea! This How-To printed out with a brand-spanking new Moleskine , a good no-skip pen and a mechanical pencil , a few Post-It tabs, a package of index cards, a large rubber band and an eraser. Add a funky, properly sized sticker and tuck an “emergency $20 bill” in the pocket alongside a prepaid calling card and you have a “to die for” gift that will actually be enjoyed and appreciated.


Want a beautiful, handmade leather case for your favorite notebook? Try Gfeller Casemakers.
Want one that’s got the midas touch, and is made to order? Try Sojourner Leatherwork

To whet your appetite for bitty notebooks:

If you aren’t already a convert, learn more about all things Moleskine over on Moleskinerie. Those of us who are already in love with these little notebooks will wait, we are patient. It’s only a matter of time before you join us in our addiction. 🙂

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