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Moleskine Volant Daily Planner Hack

Moleskine Volant Daily Planner hack uses a a paper clasp and paper folds.

The Moleskine Volant Daily Planners are are easy to use because of their thin profile and small size, but they lack an elastic strap and a ribbon place marker. This simple set of hacks will bring your Volant planner up to speed and add a pen holder, too. These solutions were shared with me by my good friend Alex, who will be a freshman in college this fall.

A Colorful Paper Clasp Will Keep Your Planner Closed and Add A Pen Holder

I was struck by the simplicity of this hack. Not only does a paper clasp do a great job of keeping  the Volant planner closed, it can also be used to keep a pen with your planner. You can also use it to anchor your planner to larger books or notebooks. Paper clasps come in a variety of sizes and colors enabling you to to create the perfect combination of  function and design.

Moleskine Volant Daily Planner Hack

Just clip on a paper clasp in your favorite color, fold back the arms, and your planner will stay closed and relatively flat. If you leave a little room between the bottom of the clip and the pages, you can slide a pen along the side. If you prefer to attach the pen using a pen clip, no problem, just slide the clasp towards the top of the planner and clip your pen on the corner of the clasp.

Origami-Inspired Paper Folds Keep You On Track In Style

Organization doesn’t have to be boring to be effective. Simple paper folds for days that have passed create a  beautiful place holder in your planner.  By folding the corners into the middle of the planner, alternating between the top and bottom, a v-shaped indentation is formed. This leaves a perfect, thumb-sized place to open to the current day. If you have days or pages that have passed that you want to refer to quickly, no problem, just color the folds for easy recall.

Moleskine Volant Daily Planner Hack

By folding the page corners of previous days into the planner in an alternating pattern, you can create a beautiful tab for the current planning day. Add colors and change the folds to create the look that suits you best.

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If you want to stretch your holiday cash a little farther this year, create a custom gift for your friends and family using a Moleskine Cahier?       

You can create customized notebooks using a Moleskine Cahier and a few simple art supplies.

Customized notebooks created using a Moleskine Cahier and a few simple art supplies are unique and inexpensive gifts for friends and coworkers.

One of the best things about Moleskine Cahiers is that the covers are made of cardboard making them perfect for crafts or customizing. They are also affordable, priced at about $8.00 for a pack of three small Cahiers. The covers accept a variety of mediums without a fuss and are an excellent surface for markers, stamps, ink, metallic pens and more.      

I started by cutting half of a tree shape out of a clear plastic sheet. I used this sheet on both front and back covers to give the tree a balanced appearance. I can save and used the plastic cutout for future projects. Using the tree cutout, I traced the outline onto the Cahier using a pencil.

I created the design on this cover using a pencil, black marker, ink and a metallic pen. I started by cutting out half of a Christmas tree outline on a piece of plastic. I did this so the illustration of the tree would be the same on both sides of the Cahier, giving it a balanced appearance when it was opened. I traced the outline of the tree on both the front and back covers using light pressure with a pencil. Next, I used a circle template to create round ornaments on the tip of each branch. Using the black marker, I went over the pencil lines for the tree and the circle ornaments.      

I used a circle template to keep the circle ornaments consistant in size and shape.

I used a circle template to keep the circle ornaments consistent in size and shape.

The pencil outline was traced with a black, fine tipped marker to create clean edges. Notice that the lines near the top of the tree aren't perfect. I will go over the extra line on the outside of the tree with black ink and no one will notice the mistake when I am finished.

Using the marker lines as a guide, I painted in the background with black ink, leaving the tree and ornament shapes brown. The marker outline helps keep the brush inside the lines, giving a crisp appearance to the edges. I also used the marker to outline the circle ornaments.      

I painted in the background using ink. The thick marker lines made it easy to stay insdie the edges.

I painted in the background using ink. The thick marker lines made it easy to stay inside the edges.

Using a circle template and a gold, metallic pen, I drew in the ornaments.

Using a circle template and a gold, metallic pen, I drew in the ornaments. The metallic gold adds some pop to contrast with the dull, brown, kraft cover.

To finish the design, I drew in circle ornaments using a gold metallic pen and the circle template. I chose a circles larger than those drawn earlier so I could overlap the black edges, so the edges would be crisp. Since the metallic ink in the pen is opaque, you don’t see the overlap. Be sure to raise your circle template off of the paper using pennies or other thin spacers to keep the metallic ink from spreading between the template and the paper.       

The tree design is visible when viewed from the spine.

The tree design is visible when viewed from the spine.

The finished design looks great with the kraft paper and metallic gold. But for more sparkle and variety in the design, paint the tree silver with a metallic pen.     

Adding silver metallic pen to the tree image really makes the notebook sparkle. In hindsight, I could have used a Moleskine Cahier with a Black cover along with the silver and gold metallic ink, but the black cardboard cover would not have as much contrast as the black ink.

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Here’s a great link with lots of great suggestions for using a Moleskine notebook or journal!

20 + Ways to Use a Moleskine Notebook
We may not know exactly why Moleskine notebooks are as hot and popular as they are, we just know we love them. How many ways can you think to use a Moleskine? We’ll get you started with a few tips and ideas!

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I wanted to be able to keep a pen with my soft cover Moleskine notebook, but I didn’t want to over stretch the elastic or have the pen sticking up above the notebook where it would get knocked around. I also didn’t want to add something ugly to the notebook which would decrease my enjoyment in using the journal. My solution was to cut a slit in the front and back covers and glue in a decorative piece of leather to hold the pen along the spine of the notebook. I know, it’s not the most creative hack, but it works well and is super simple to do. I chose leather for my hack because it is strong and won’t fray on the edges, but you could use fabric, vinyl, tyvek or other interesting material as long as it wont tear of fray.

Moleskine Hack: Adding a pen slide to your soft cover notebook.

Moleskine Hack: Adding a pen slide to your soft cover notebook.

I started by deciding how large I wanted my leather to be. It needed to be tall enough to keep the pen from moving around, but short enough to keep stability in the covers of the notebook. The width needed to be wide enough to glue the edges on the inside of the front and back covers and to allow space for a pen to slide along the spine. For my use, the leather measured 4 1/8″  wide by 3 1/2″ tall. This gave me a 1/2″  by 4″ long glued area on the inside of both covers and created a pen slide that was snug, but still permitted the pen to slide in and out.

I cut the leather to fit the notebook and pen with enough extra to glue into the inside of the Moleskines covers.

I cut the leather so it would wrap around the notebook and pen with enough extra to glue into the inside of the Moleskine's covers.

The slit on the covers needed to be about 4″ high, which was a little bit larger than the leather giving me room to slide the leather in without puckering. The cuts were made 3/4″ in from the spine on both sides. When making the cut on the back cover, I put a piece of cardboard between the back cover and the expandable envelope to prevent me from cutting through the envelope.

I cut slits in the Moleskines front and back covers that were 4 tall and 3/4 away from the spine. The slit was centered vertically so they would be at the same height on both sides.

I cut slits in the Moleskine's front and back covers that were 4" tall and 3/4" away from the spine. The slit was centered vertically so they would be at the same height on both sides.

A completed slit in the back cover. I used a piece of cardboard between the envelope and the inside of the back cover when cutting this slit to avoid cutting through the envelope.

A completed slit in the back cover. I used a piece of cardboard between the envelope and the inside of the back cover when cutting this slit to avoid cutting through the envelope.

When I glued the leather in place, I decided it was easier to glue the leather into the back cover first because the position of the envelope in the back cover leaves little room for your fingers to move around. Next, I put the pen in place on the spine and wrapped the leather around it and through the slit on the front cover. Once the leather was snug around the pen, I glued it into the front cover, closed the journal and placed a heavy book on top until the glue dried.

Finally, I slid the leather through the slit in the front cover, made sure the pen was snug and glued it into the front cover. A heavy book was placed on the journal after I closed it until the glue dried.

The end result is an attractive journal with a pen holder. If you don’t want a pen slide, but you need a place to stash a few extra business cards, the 4″ slit is just the right length and can be used on both front and  back covers. If you use the slit on the back cover, your business cards will slide right into the packet on the inside of the back cover.

a 4 slit is just the right size to slip a small stash of business cards.

A 4" slit is just the right size to slip a small stash of business cards if you prefer.

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With classic good looks and sophisticated style, Moleskine planners scream for a high-style companion pen. The Large Daily Planner has a unique feature not found on other Moleskine notebooks or planners; a void in between the pages and the spine which is perfect for holding a thin pen. Not only is this convenient, but it gives you the opportunity keep a pen with your planner that expresses your modern lifestyle.

In the photos below, I used 2 different pens in the void, Tombow’s Zoom 727 and 707 ballpoint pens because of their modern designs and thin profiles. Both pens have a clip on the end which helps hold the pen securely in place and the stylish red dots contrast nicely with the black color of the spine. When using this method, you will have a small portion of the pen or pencil protruding from the top. You can also completely conceal your writing instrument by using the pressure method shown below.

The Clip Method

  1. Open your Moleskine Large Daily Planner and find the opening at the top formed between the spine and pages.
  2. Insert the body of a slim pen into the void in between the spine and the page binding. Push into the slot until the clip is secured on the edge of the spine.

The Pressure Method
No Clip? No Problem

Pens and pencils without clips can be used as long as they are slim enough to fit into the void and fat enough to fit snugly when the planner is closed. The pressure on the void in the spine increases as you close the planner, securing the pen when fully closed. The elastic strap holds it together, making this a fairly secure space for your pen or pencil. When you open the planner, the pen or pencil will fall out or can be pushed out with your pinky. You might want to experiment with different pens to get one that is a good fit because if it is too loose, your pen will not fall out. When using the clip method, the silver Tombow Zoom 727 ballpoint pen shown in the photo hase the best fit I have found but I am sure that there are others that would work as well.

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Now through May 31, 2009, you have a chance to win a lifetime supply of Moleskine notebooks by submitting your best Moleskine Hacks at www.moleskine.com. The best ideas will be shown in My Moleskine 2.0 Exhibition and will have the chance to receive one of these prizes:

  • 1st prize: a lifetime supply of Moleskine notebooks*;
  • 2nd prize: collection of 25 Moleskine notebooks and diaries;
  • 3rd prize: collection of 15 Moleskine notebooks and diaries;
  • All other selected entries: set of 3 Moleskine notebooks.

For details, visit www.moleskine.com or click this link: http://www.moleskine.com/events/my_moleskine_20_competition_1.php.

(*Limited to 5 notebooks per year over a period of 50 years)

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Keeping a pen attached to your Moleskine journal or planner is easy, if you know how. There are several ways you can do this without adding anything extra other than a pen and some ingenuity. This will work with all of Moleskine’s large, hard-cover notebooks but it especially nice on the large Daily Planner because of its extra thickness. This hack will work well in most situations, although I would not recommend it in a harsh or abusive environment or because of the risk of loss or breakage to your pen and/or elastic strap.

Here’s How:

You’ll need a pen that has a clip near the end and is similar in length as the width of your large  Moleskine journal, about 5 ¼” or less . This method works best on the hardcover Moleskine planners and notebooks. I used a Tombow 707 Zoom pen because of its thin profile, but a standard sized pen will work, too. You could do this with the large soft cover planners, but because of the flexible cover, it will not be as secure.

  1. Open your planner in the middle so the pages are flat and pull the ribbon away from the pages.
  2. Put the tip of your pen at the top of the planner where the ribbon emerges from the spine. Wrap the ribbon around the tip of the pen until it feels snug and any slack is gone.
  3. Put the pen on top of the planner’s pages and close the planner on the ribbon making sure the ribbon stays tight around the pen.
  4. Align the pen along the top without extending beyond the width of the planner. Slide the elastic band over the top of the planner and pen, the slip the band underneath the pen clip, pulling it as close to the end of the pen as the clip will allow. Place the remaining band over the front of the planner and into place. Voila, an instant pen holder!

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If you want to organize your notebook but you don’t want to deal with sticky tabs or other items that poke out from the edges of your Moleskine notebook, this simple hack is for you. Using a marker, you can create sections simply by coloring the edges of your notebook. Be sure to use a water-based or a non-bleeding marker if you don’t want the color to seep into the pages.

If you prefer a monotone look, you can color every other section of your journal with a black marker.

1. Select the Pages for Your First Section of Your Notebook

1. Select the pages for your first section of your notebook

Slide a clean piece of paper into the notebook behind the last page of your section. Make sure the paper sticks out on the top, bottom and the side. Be sure to push the paper close to the binding. Repeat these steps by sliding a second piece of paper in front of your section.
2. Slide a clean piece of paper into the notebook behind the last page of your section. Make sure the paper sticks out on the top, bottom and the side. Push the paper as close to the binding as possible.

3. Fold the paper that is sticking out away from your section. Add a second piece of paper in front of your section and fold it the opposite direction. These pieces of paper will protect the other pages in your Moleskine from being colored and will keep your sections straight.

4. Once you have inserted both pieces of paper, your notebook will look like this. Before you color the edges with markers, be sure to squeeze the pages together tightly. If the pages are not compressed, the ink might find its way between the pages. You can also compress the journal between your hand and the edge of a flat surface using even pressure.

5. Apply color to the edges of your pages. Repeat for the top and bottom edges of your journal. Remember to squeeze the pages tightly.

A Completed, Organized Journal.
6. A Completed, organized journal.

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At  Moleskine.com you can create custom pages to add to your large or small Moleskine journal. The pages can be printed on your printer and are sized perfectly to fit your notebook. You don’t need any additional software, layouts and tools are provided for you online. There are options for creating a custom page using your text and picture, or you can upload your contacts from Outlook, Plaxo or your phone to create your own personalized address book including the data you choose from preselected options. You can also create a Moleskine sized Events Calendar to keep you on track by uploading and printing your schedule from your iCal files (icalendar format). Check it out at www.moleskine.com/msk.php.

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