A better moleskine

I don’t mind parting with money to pay for great products that look, feel and smell like they were created with love and passion; but when it comes to paper my environmentalist conscience kicks in. So instead of buying a notepad like a Moleskine, here’s what I’ve been doing for the past two years:

  1. Take 8 used A4-size sheets
  2. Fold them twice to make crease marks
  3. Tear or cut them along those marks to get 4 A6 sheets from each A4
  4. Stack all 32 A6 sheets together, blank side up. Wow, 32 sheets! Are you excited?
  5. Staple them two or three times along the top or sides depending how you like your sketchpads; using a size 23 stapler (the big kind)

Yes, Moleskine has some sort of social responsibility program but no amount of reprocessing, recycling and acid-free whatever beats reusing. My DIY notepad also has many advantages over a Moleskine and other notepads:

  • I can vary the thickness. I use only 8 sheets because I like them thin. I hate it when bulky stuff.
  • I’m not afraid of losing my notepad – I tear and throw away sheets as I use them. Sketches or notes? I usually just scan/digitize them.
  • Can easily tear off a sheet if people around me need paper to write on in meetings
  • It’s better for this planet!
  • It’s fun if you mix in coloured paper!
  • Except for the stapler (around RM12?), it’s FREE and takes less than a minute to make!


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