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A 2012 Moleskine Planner And That Paper Issue

12/11/2011

Last week the European Paper Company sent a Moleskine Weekly Notebook Diary/Planner 2011-2012 that I won in a giveaway. How could I not give it a test spin for Inkophile readers?

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2011-2012

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2011-2012

The planner comes with a supple, soft cover and two page layout. On the left side is a weekly calendar and on the right a lined page. There are lots of extras at the front of the notebook including a monthly calendar, schedule of international holidays, map of time zones, dialing codes, chart of measures and conversions, and more. The back has a pocket with a sheet of stickers. There is a ribbon bookmark and the whole package stays together with a neat elastic band. All to the good and fitting with the Moleskine brand and price.

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 - Interior Pages

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 – Interior Pages

As always Moleskine looks great and feels wonderful in the hand. The planner paper is thin which allows space for a huge number of sheets in a notebook a mere one centimeter thick. The good news is that the acid-free (pH neutral) paper feathers much less with fountain pen ink than the last time I tested a Moleskine. The bad news is that the paper shows significant bleed-through though less so with Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan, Zhivago, and Red-Black inks. Since both sides of the paper are necessary for the diary’s format, this could be a deal-breaker for fountain pen users.

Moleskine Academic Planner - Written Sample

Moleskine Academic Planner – Written Sample

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 - Written Sample (Reverse)

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 – Written Sample (Reverse)

Other writing instruments worked better but still there was a little ghosting. With such thin paper, this is to be expected. Years ago I used a Parker ’51’ Aero Special with a fine nib and Noodler’s Black ink in a Moleskine journal with good results. Pendemonium‘s Noodler’s Legal Lapis worked well as did J. Herbin Poussière de Lune. I suspect all would be good with this planner as well.  The Sharpie Pen and the Zig Millennium 05 were well-suited to the narrow line-spacing. In fact due to its fine point, the Sharpie will be my first choice for the Moleskine when I don’t have the ’51’ with Zhivago to hand. When I need color the Millennium with Pure Violet ink will do.

One of these days I’d like to test a recently manufactured regular Moleskine journal to see if the bleeding is an issue. Writing on one side of the page would solve the problem though it would be a less than economical use of the journal. There have been enough remarks on Fountain Pen Network from people who have no issues with Moleskine to make me think there are pens and inks that suit the paper beautifully. If you have had that sort of experience, the Moleskine Weekly Planner should be just right. If not, then expect to test and experiment until you find a suitable match. If you love fat juicey pens, I wouldn'[t recommend the Moleskine. Switch your pen or find a different planner, one known for tolerating fountain pen ink.

Parker '51' With J. Herbin Vert Empire On Moleskine

Parker ’51’ With J. Herbin Vert Empire In An Old Moleskine

Some non-fountain pen ink tests from DIYSara.

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13 comments

  1. Ever since the source their paper out of China it is very poor quality. Wonder if the are seeing a drop in sales because of this change? They are obviously producing a cheaper made product while selling at pretty high prices.

    I have a couple of older small Moleskine notebooks that were made in Italy and the paper is wonerful.

    I hope you let them know how they have ruined their product, not to mention their reputation, by going to China in the name of profit.

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    • The paper quality problem has been going on for years so I expect Moleskine knows. Their continued use of inferior paper just says they don’t care. Basically if you want to use a Moleskine product, use a pen that works on cheap paper.

      The company does not cater to fountain pen users. We are a small segment of the market and one they obviously feel they can afford to lose. I used Moleskine for years but haven’t purchased the brand since the paper changed. If I only used the ’51’ and with Noodler’s Zhivago or Black inks, Moleskine would be fine. But I would rather buy a journal that works with any ink and pen than one that needs special treatment.

      One caveat to the original post: I use a mechanical pencil with my planner since all appointments are subject to change. At least that’s one writing instrument that works very well on Moleskine paper. :P

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  2. I enjoy moleskines. Yes, I’ve had good ones and not so good ones. Like art and writing instruments, part of the fun is making it work for me. One grows when challenged.

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  3. Funnily enough, my 2009 and 2010 Daily planners (both pocket moleskines) had pretty good paper – a big surprise given the lamentable quality of pocket notebooks, cahiers I’ve tried.

    I think the only bankers paper wise are products with Clairefontaine inside – everything else at this price point seems to be a gamble.

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  4. I decided to give it yet another try. I just love how simple and classic the notebooks look, but I still have “that paper issue”. Now I have a 2012 Moleskine pocket daily planner that’s written in with smears all over the place. I probably won’t even use it come January

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  5. Even if I use a ballpoint, fibre tip or roller ball, I want the option to use a fountain pen. This is why I’ve given up on most planners. I now only use Filofax with the cotton cream paper (an option on some, standard on others).

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  6. quality pen requires quality paper – no two ways about it… and you won’t get it from that moleskine I’m afraid.

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  7. Waterman Phileas: Another intro-level fountain pen that I (and at least one collegue of mine) have been writing with for almost a year now. I use the medium nib with bottled Florida Blue ink. The “float” of the ink over the Mokeskine’s paper is perhaps what continues to draw me to using this pen/paper combination. At $30-$40, I must agree with a collegue that says the Phileas is “highly underated” as a writing instrument.

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  8. […] 1 –> One of our past giveaway winners, Margana, posted about her prize! Check out her pictures of the Moleskine Academic Pocket Weekly Planner on her blog Inkophile. […]

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  9. […] New Year’s Eve and my Moleskine Weekly Diary/Planner is begging to be put to use. […]

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  10. What a beautiful Parker ’51′ Aero. What is the name of its colour?

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    • That is a Navy Gray Parker ’51’ from the early 1950’s. It remains my favorite color in the Aerometric line though the cocoa has its charms, too. :)

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  11. […] 1 –> One of our past giveaway winners, Margana, posted about her prize! Check out her pictures of the Moleskine Academic Pocket Weekly Planner on her blog Inkophile. […]

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