Flat Pens and Moleskines

Flat Pens and Moleskines

Moleskines & Flat Pens Last week I wrote about these flat bookmark pens I got at Barnes & Noble. I finally got a chance to use them “in the field” during Barcamp Manchester, tucking one into a thin moleskine cahier journal. It was quite convenient, and I discovered that the flexing of the pen body was actually an advantage: it doesn’t break when you sit on it! At least, so far it hasn’t.

The one complaint I had was not due to the pen; the cahier is a very flimsy notebook to write on while standing up. So today I stuck a flat pen in the regular moleskine pocket notebook—the one that fits in your back pocket—to see just how much of a problem it would be.

As it turns out, it’s not so bad if you put the pen in the middle, clipped to one of the manilla folder inserts (it’s a thin cardboard as opposed to regular paper). The bottom of the pen tends to move around though; I might use a small loop of paper or sponge to help keep the pen in place. The cover does bend alarmingly, comforming itself around the pen, but I think the moleskine can probably hold up to it. Time will tell.

The picture above shows the cahier notebook on top, and the pocket notebook on the bottom.


  1. Jason Womack 17 years ago

    I can’t believe it. I’m here, at a cafe in Oakland, CA, and on my table are the VERY SAME two Moleskine notebooks…same color, same size!

    Great minds….

    ….think alike!

  2. Jenny W 17 years ago

    Thanks for the great tip. I’ve been using a small one that fits into the fold of my wallet and also has a stylus tip for my Pocket PC, which is rarely useful to me. However, I think I’ll like this better for my moleskine and books. I’ll look at B&N. Thanks again.

  3. Don M 17 years ago

    Sweet. I’ll be getting the flat pen for sure. It’s nice to see more and more people using cahiers. I used to think I was the only one. On a related note, the other day I noticed that John Mayer uses cahiers to capture songwriting ideas and blogged about it. -dm

  4. wayne sutton 17 years ago

    Great read, I’m going at my pens today.


  5. Kip 17 years ago

    Have you considered not using a Moleskine? Not having a Moleskine is the new black.

  6. Jonah 17 years ago

    Nice tip. I use the sketch moleskine and have it on me at all times. That sucks that the cover bends, but I think I might check out those flat pens. Are they ballpoint or do they have a nice fine point?

  7. Dave Seah 17 years ago

    They’re regular ballpoint tips like you would find on an inexpensive pen. I was looking at the inner construction of the pen to figure out if I could substitute a different refill from one that wrote better…it might be possible, but I’m leaving that for a really really rainy day’s project :-)

  8. Daniel 17 years ago

    10$ for a notebook? Check out Esselte Oxford 3×5 in 6080 1/2. They also come in larger sizes. Thread bound, durable, simple, cheap.

    The best pens in the world are Ballograph ballpoint click pens. Made in Sweden, cheap, durable, stylish colors. Sorry I don’t have pictures for y’all.

  9. Jon H 17 years ago

    I bet a much thinner writing implement could be designed around pencil lead refills. Especially if lead advancement were done manually by sliding a small, low-profile thingy (kind of like one of those plastic box cutters or xacto knives). Or maybe there could be a thin knurled-edge wheel on one edge of the pencil – turning it would advance the lead.

  10. BigA 17 years ago

    Why not go for a Fisher Space Pen? The advantage here is that A) they’re so small you can use the optional clip to slide it through the elastic band and have it sit across the top of your Moleskine adding no more bulk than the Moleskine itself. B) It writes upside down.

  11. thebristolkid 17 years ago

    My weapon of choice is the Pilot Mini G2. It’s about the same size as a small Moleskine. I have a side pocket on my bag in which I stash a Moleskine, the mini G2, a mini Sharpie, and a mini Sharpie highlighter.

  12. teej 17 years ago

    Not nearly flat enough!

  13. Gerald 16 years ago

    Surprised no one has mentioned this. I use the Fisher space pen refil(only); and store it in the spine of the book or in the fold of my wallet. Lately I’ve been using RiteInTheRain notebooks more because of their weatherproofness.

  14. Steph 15 years ago

    Check out the Pen Clip by Stefan Diez at http://www.stefan-diez.com/archive/pen-clip.  A simple sleek design to excite any Moleskin aficionado.