Peter Orlovsky’s Notebook

A relic of the Beat Generation:

“The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, acquired the archive of American poet Peter Orlovsky (1933–2010), an important figure in the Beat Generation.

Orlovsky was fellow poet Allen Ginsberg’s companion for more than 40 years, and his papers reflect significant aspects of their relationship. Orlovsky’s collection comprises manuscripts, journals and notebooks, correspondence, tape recordings, photographs and other personal documents, including unpublished poetry and prose works.

Around the time that Orlovsky met Ginsberg, he began to keep a journal, filling more than 140 notebooks before his death. Some of Orlovsky’s published poems appear in the journals, yet none of the journals has been published.”

via Beat Generation Poet Peter Orlovsky’s Archive Acquired by Ransom Center | News.

A Notebook Accidentally Thrown Out!

A sad tale!

I am not the sum total of my tattered alphabetical notebook, which currently lies in the slush of the Wellington tip, but that slice of old technology was a part of me. It must have disappeared when I emptied out the contents of my waste paper bin, congratulating myself for remembering collection day, but forgetting to check the contents. As is so often the case when I congratulate myself, disaster followed.

Read more at Tattered Notebook Held Rich Memories |

Moleskine Monday: F*** Yeah Moleskines

I don’t really get why people call so many Tumblr sites “F*** Yeah _____”. (Someone has even attempted to catalog them all: F*** Yeah Directory.)

But anyway, there’s one that focuses on images of Moleskine pages. I love the variety of images people submit, including these:


Posted by uliakw

Work in progress


Notebook Addict of the Week: Liz Steel

This week’s addict has been featured here before with a look at how she prepares her sketchbooks. Here’s how 5 years of those sketchbooks are stored:


Although they look very uniform, she says there are 8 different types of sketchbooks in the collection. She was on Sketchbook #46 when the photo was posted in January 2012, so I’m sure there are quite a few more by now!


Read more at Liz and Borromini: 120126 Five years of sketching.

Draft Notebooks on Kickstarter

File this under “so close, and yet so far!”

This is the latest of many notebook related Kickstarter campaigns. But for once, I hope this doesn’t get funded! It’s a dumb idea, at least as it’s currently structured. They send you this nice quality notebook once a month, in a gorgeous selection of colors, and supposedly with nice thick paper. You send it back to them in a pre-paid envelope and they scan all the pages into Dropbox, Evernote, and their own cloud storage. But then you don’t get your notebook back! Where’s the fun in that?! What happens to it? Does it get recycled or does it just end up in a landfill somewhere? They don’t say.

The timing seems a bit rigid too– what if you don’t fill a notebook in a month, or fill more than one? And why would they spend the extra postage to send them one by one and warehouse them in the meantime? This whole concept seems a bit half-baked to me– there is a good idea at the root of it, in that many people would like to have a digital backup of their notes without having to spend time scanning all their pages, but I don’t think this is a very good solution to that problem.


Read more at Draft – A Physical Notebook That Syncs To The Cloud. by Marshall & Jon — Kickstarter.


A Notebook Made of Pockets

Here’s an interesting notebook– each page is an envelope with a window. Great for collecting bits and pieces and writing notes about them!


See more at UNIONMADE – GIFTSHOP – Stock 12 Pocket Album in White.

“The Best Sketchbook Of All Time”

I love thinking about organizational systems using notebooks, and I love seeing other people’s thoughts on the same topic. Here’s a really interesting look at one person’s perfect sketchbook system.


If you’re a serious sketchbook user, you know that it’s basically a second brain. By that, I mean it’s not just a place for recording your lists and notes and designs and schemes, it’s part of the way those things take shape. In the words of Field Notes (one of the many great-but-not-quite-perfect sketchbook brands), “I’m not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now.” Your sketchbook isn’t just a place to document your process, it is the medium of your creative process itself.

Which is why having the perfect sketchbook is so important.

Your sketchbook should go everywhere with you. It should welcome every new idea with a fresh page, be a pleasure to hold, to write in, and to search through. I’ve been through literally dozens of sketchbooks – some were abandoned immediately, others were used until they were dogeared and disintegrating. As I moved from book to book, trying new brands, new formats, new habits, I developed a set of criteria for the Ultimate Sketchbook.

1. It must be able to lay open.

As much as I like Moleskines in their various sizes and formats, I need to be able to open to a page and have it lay flat so that I can glance at, hands-free.

2. It must be letter-sized.

I love the portability of a little Field Notes book tucked in my back pocket, but the truth is I need my space. Executing a sketch at the scale of a postage-stamp is not a useful constraint.

3. It must work without a flat surface.

I need to be able to write down an idea without finding a desk to sit at, which means that the sketchbook itself must be relatively rigid and (again) large enough to hold steadily in the crook of one arm, like a clipboard.

4. It must be rugged.

Most sketchbooks run out of life before they run out of blank pages. A recent experiment with a nice Rhodia pad was going well until the cover fell off and the pages started falling out. Granted, I put my sketchbooks through a real beating, but protecting my old notes is as important as helping me take new ones.

This final point was the battlefield on which even the strongest contenders continued to fall. And that got me thinking… why do I need to keep carry all these old sketches around, anyway? It’s important to have your most recent pages for immediate reference, but did I really need to haul three months of work around with me? What if I separated the sketching from the storing?

At a bare minimum, I needed a rugged, flat, letter-sized surface that was always open and ready with a blank page. I needed some way for it to hold my most recent sketches, and I needed someplace to easily archive pages once they were no longer needed for reference. At a bare minimum, I needed a pad of paper, a folder, and a binder.

Read more at  Non Sequitur Fridays: The Best Sketchbook Of All Time.

The other benefit to this system is that it’s probably a lot cheaper than most of the name brands he mentions as alternatives. This method wouldn’t be considered the “best of all time” by many other people– we all like different things. What’s your idea of the best sketchbook ever?

Moleskine Monday: Coming This Spring

Looks like Moleskine is introducing some interesting new items this spring. If you search on Amazon by pub date, you’ll see all the 2014 and 2015 planners, including something called a Dashboard Planner.

Moleskine 2015 Dashboard Planner, Vertical, 12 Month, Large, Black, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25)

They are also launching something I’ve long wanted to see: softcover sketchbooks. According to the info on Amazon, the pocket size will only be $7.95 and the large is $13.95, so I’m wondering if the page count is lower. They also seem to have started branding all the sketchbooks, watercolor books, storyboard notebooks and Japanese albums under an “Art Plus” line.

Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook, Pocket, Plain, Black, Soft Cover (3.5 x 5.5)

Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook, Large, Plain, Black, Soft Cover (5 x 8.25)


Another departure from the usual in the sketchbook line is a square format:

Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook, Square, Squared, Black, Soft Cover (7.5 x 7.5)


They also have some XL size softcover notebooks coming, in various colors and with dotted pages. The pocket size softcover notebooks will now come in various colors too.
Moleskine Classic Colored Notebook, Pocket, Plain, Orchid Purple, Soft Cover (3.5 x 5.5)

Moleskine Classic Colored Notebook, Extra Large, Dotted, Khaki Beige, Soft Cover (7.5 x 10)


And this will definitely excite a lot of people: Simpsons notebooks!

The Simpsons Notebook: Large, Ruled, Yellow


Who knows what else they have up their sleeves… See the whole long list at

Notebook Addict of the Week: @poploser aka Tyler Hellard

This week’s addict posted a simple message on Twitter, with the photo below:

“Finally filled my 100th @FieldNotesBrand notebook.”


They look great all lined up like that!

Original tweet: Twitter / poploser: Finally filled my 100th ….

Glamorous Notebooks

Ivana at Macarons and Pearls  offers a selection of her favorite glamorous and pretty notebooks, and some thoughts about choosing and using them:

“I’ve always been big on collecting beautiful things: whether it’s cookbooks, Vogue issues, lipsticks or nail polishes, having a curated collection of something that inspires me and makes me happy feels really important to me. And if there’s one thing I’ve been collecting for all my life, it’s pretty notebooks. There’s something so special and enchanting about opening a new journal: it holds a promise of new beginnings, new ideas and inspirations, of motivating words of wisdom as well as random ramblings. Memory can be such a fickle and unreliable thing, and there are too many beautiful and memorable things in our lives that merit to be recorded and remembered!”

Here’s her current favorite, a cute little leather-wrapped journal (available here):

See more at Macarons and Pearls: Glamorous touch: Notebooks.