Category Archives: Appointed

What I Am Using Now

A commenter on a recent post asked what notebooks I was using for my business and personal notes. The notebook I was referring to in that post was a pocket-sized squared Moleskine, one of my hoard of old ones from before their quality declined so much. That is my daily catch-all notebook for journal entries, lists and assorted jottings. I don’t always put a lot of work-related notes there– usually just the kinds of long term, big picture things that are causing me enough anxiety that I am thinking about them outside the office!

For my day-to-day work notes, I keep a larger size notebook on my office desk. I write to-do items on the front of the page, and meeting notes on the back of the page, mostly. This has been a pretty good system in terms of being able to find notes by the date when I wrote them. I supplement my list-keeping with an app (on my phone and web-based on my desktop) called TickTick, where I store longer-term notes and to-do items. The work notebooks tend to last me a while so over the last couple of years, I have only gone through 3: a Doane Paper notebook, a Grandluxe A4 size Earth Care Note Folder, and currently, I am using the Appointed notebook I reviewed here.

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I always like to use something with a wire-o binding, so I can fold the cover to the back neatly. And it is ideally letter-sized, so I can tuck other papers into it. The Appointed one is a bit small for that, but I like the paper and am enjoying using it. The smaller grid pattern makes me tend to write very small, as I also did in the Doane Paper notebook. I love the way this ends up looking– the pages are densely covered with print and doodles, so there’s a lot of texture in a way that I find satisfying. The Grandluxe notebook was lined in a wider rule, so it didn’t encourage the same kind of density.

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My other frequently used notebooks right now are a Moleskine sketchbook (again an old Modo e Modo one) for daily drawings, a pocket-sized landscape format watercolor notebook from Pentalic for occasional painting, and a Field Notes for jotting down words and assignments in my French class. I also have a HandBook Journal in progress with occasional sketches but I haven’t been using it very often. Here’s a few random recent pages from my Moleskine sketchbook and squared notebooks:

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I am about to finish my squared Moleskine, so I have to think about what to use next– I have a few other options that I have in a pile as possible daily drivers. Many are softcover and I am not sure if they’ll hold up as well. I do still love my old Moleskines, but I try to force myself to rotate in other brands, if only to extend the lifespan of my stash!

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Review: Appointed Notebook

Appointed is a brand of notebooks and accessories that I’ve seen cropping up in a few stylish boutiques here and there in NYC. The company is based in Washington DC, and the products are made in the USA, with a minimalist aesthetic. Let’s take a look at the sample they sent me:

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This is the backbone of their product line– a 7.5 x 9.5″ wire-bound notebook. It’s not a typical size for wire-bound notebooks– it’s more the size of a composition book. The first impression is one of solid, understated quality– the wire is a darker bronze color, not overly shiny. The cover is a textured bookcloth over a plain white cardboard. It has a bit of flex to it but isn’t flimsy. The appointed name and logo are stamped on the front, and with the address and website on the back.

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The corners of the cover are tightly rounded, which I like, though it’s a bit odd that the pages inside have square corners. The covers are made to be slightly wider than the pages, but only slightly, so the squared page corners end up sticking out beyond the rounded cover.

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Inside the notebook, you get cool bright white paper. Every sheet is perforated, with grid lines on the front, and plain on the back. At the left edge, the grid lines end, leaving a blank space with a place to write the date. One thing that really impressed me about this notebook was how carefully aligned the grid is to the page– there are almost no partial squares cut off at the edges. Almost every page is perfectly lined up, and the few that miss are only by a hair. Most squared notebooks have much more variation so you see zigzaggy lines when you look at the page edges– on the Appointed notebook, they are sharp and straight. I love that kind of attention to detail! Lined and blank versions of the notebook are also available.

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The paper feels smooth and somewhat hard when you write on it. Fine gel ink pens work beautifully but wetter pens and fountain pens tend to feather out a bit. Show-through and bleed-through were about average.

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At $24 for a 75-sheet (150 pages) notebook, this is not super cheap, but it’s not way over-priced in comparison to other upscale notebooks. For a USA-made product with such attention to quality construction and attractive design, it doesn’t seem like a bad value. Look for them in higher end retailers near you!

Appointed Notebooks

I’ve been spotting these Appointed notebooks in a few Brooklyn boutiques. Appointed is a brand of American-made notebooks and desktop products, which originally started as a Kickstarter project. I haven’t tried their notebooks yet, but they are certainly nice to look at. They come in blank, lined, and grid versions, with perforated pages and a waterproof bookcloth cover.

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