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Here are Some Notebooks of Note (That Aren’t Moleskines)

Fall is upon us and even if you’re not heading back to school, you might find yourself getting back into the academic spirit. Days will be shorter, nights will be longer, and you’ll inevitably have some Deep Thoughts you’ll want to write down.

Whether it’s “Dear Diary,” or “It was a dark and stormy night,” we’ve got you covered with some notebook suggestions that go beyond the classic Moleskine (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Rite in the Rain

Here-are-Some-Notebooks-of-Note-(That-Aren't-Moleskine) Rite in the Rain's waterproof pages. Image via Rite in the Rain.

Rite in the Rain’s waterproof pages. Image via Rite in the Rain.

Since 1916, Rite in the Rain has sought to make notebooks that can truly hold up to the elements. Born in the drizzly Pacific Northwest, the brand found a specific niche, paper products for the logging industry. So husband and wife, Jerry and Mary Darling developed a special solution in which to dip paper, making it waterproof.

Their line now includes a variety of different style notebooks, but all have the same hand-dipped pages and hydrophobic exteriors to keep your precious notes dry. Their medium hard-cover books retail for only $19.95. They are sewn-bound and have 80 waterproof pages inside to enjoy.

Leuchtturm 1917


Leuchtturm 1917. Image via Wonder Pens.

Founded a year after Rite in the Rain, but on the other side of the Atlantic, Leuchtturm 1917 has a long, proud history of making excellent stationary in Germany. Their precise manufacturing techniques manufacture in nearly unparalleled quality. Their acid-free paper is designed to be compatible with ink and the majority of their notebooks are numbered and feature a table of contents, so as to better organize your thoughts.

The above medium notebook is very much like your standard Moleskine, with an elastic band to keep it closed during travel and two page markers to better organize yourself. The hardcover medium model has 249 numbered pages and retails for $19.95.

Hobonichi Techo


Hobonichi Techo Planners. Image via jet Pens.

Hobonichi Techo is a company born from the Japanese website Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun. The website is an online magazine that encourages creativity and expression. The planner was first released in 2001 and has been adapted every year based on customer critique and advice. The 2018 edition has the most room of any of the planners and makes for a “stress-free” way to write.

The planner features 180 degree, lay-flat binding, bleed-free pages, and gridded pages. Prices and details vary from model to model, but you can find more info at their website and fully delve into these beautiful little books.

Field Notes


Field Notes offerings. Image via Field Notes.

Field Notes is a classic and easily found in most rugged men’s stores. This season, the brand pays homage to the promotional books handed out by the National Crop Edition. It’s no coincidence that these little booklets are about the same size and shape of your average Field Notes notebook.

The original 48 page memo books are sold in packs of three or separately in the design of your choosing. The original Field Notes pieces are 3.5″x 5.5″, perfect for taking … well notes in the field. These original versions are available for $9.95.

Emilio Braga


Emilio Braga notebooks. Image via Cooper Hewitt Shop.

These garish notebooks from Emilio Braga offer some of the best craftsmanship seen in modern stationary. The company has been doing its thing since 1918 and much of its manufacturing has remained the same. Hand sewn cloth binding keeps the hard-covered notebooks together and the cloud pattern on the outside is hand-sponged onto the outside edge of the pages in a variety of complementary outrageous colors.

With 200 blank pages, these notebooks will last you for quite some time. Better yet, they’re currently half off at Cooper Hewitt for only $11.



Rhodia Pads – they make notebooks too. Image via Dick Blick.

The result of generations in the paper business, the first Rhodian notepad was created in 1934 in Lyon, France. The logo of the local Spruce trees made their small, inexpensive notepad a huge success, one that immediately overshadowed their more traditional offerings.

Their original notepads are great for quick and dirty note-taking, as well as traditional deep-thinking fare. The scored front cover allows the pads to be easily opened and folded back. The ultra-smooth paper comes from Clairefontaine in France and each pad has 80 sheets of this paper. The 6 x 8.25″ version of the pad is sold for only $6.95 and can be found (along with the other sizes and styles) at Jet Pens.

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