Fun with Field Notes!

12 08 2008

Got an email from Field Notes this afternoon that was advertising some of the places that Field Notes show up, so I decided to take a couple of minutes to surf up their site to see if there was anything new out there for consumption.

No new products yet… 😦

But, they did give me this, from their Fun ‘n’ Games section.

The Field Notes Grand Prix.  What a fantastic way to waste graph paper!  Click the picture below for the full story.  You can get rules here and here.



Review: Field Notes cahier notebook

25 10 2007

Had a really nice dinner with Patrick Rhone last night (Ryan Rasmussen, thanks for helping me make that connection!).  I really enjoyed getting together with him and learning a little more about what makes him tick. 

And we geeked out on office prOn.  He’s new to pens, and I’m constantly searching for new and cool writing surfaces.  He wrote with a handful of my weapons to do battle with, and I got to mull over 8 bazillion pages of papery goodness. 

Lots of fun.

About a third of the way through our dinner/geekout, he pulls out the shrink-wrapped 3-pack of Field Notes that he’d recently gotten and handed one to me and said, "Here.  Enjoy."

Totally blown away!  Thanks man! 

I’d heard about these things through several different arenas, most notably Notebookism’s and Lifehacker’s coverage, but hadn’t ever seen one in person.  To say that I was amped up to try them…well, that would be an understatement.

– Fast forward to the end of the evening –

I’m home and giddily (is that a real adverb?) opened up the notebook and pulled out a couple of pens to see how they wrote on it.  Many folks who use fountain pens and Moleskines have often ranted about how horribly spotty the paper quality is; I’m no exception here.  I’ve got good ones and I’ve got awful ones.  Either way, it’s entirely maddening to fork over the loot to buy a fresh notebook, crack it open, and start writing only to discover three sentences into the first page that this one is from a bad batch.  Ink feathers, bleeds, doesn’t dry (I know that’s more ink-related, but hey, I’m ranting here). 

At any rate, I started with the pens I typically use on a daily basis (a Lamy 2000 custom ground to a needlepoint, a fine-pointed Vanishing Point, and a Cross Solo XF).  Each of these pens is typically a fantastically smooth writer and gives me exceptionally nice fine lines, the VP being the broadest.  I also pulled out the Pilot Prera that I talked about in this post.

To my utter astonishment, they all wrote absolutely perfectly on the paper!  No feathering, no bleed, no nothing!  Just crisp and clear!  Using Waterman Florida Blue, and even Omas Blue (which doesn’t always dry real fast), they all dried quickly, and didn’t smear at all! 

I was so dumbfounded that the paper in these notebooks (full specs are given on the back cover, which is really nice) took ink so well that I decided to pull out a very broad Greg Minuskin stub italic that wrote on the wetter side, and it didn’t even flinch with that! 

I swear, this stuff is golden! 

So, for those of you looking for a good Moleskine cahier alternative, give these a try.  They’re not necessarily the easiest things to get, nor are they cheap, but they’re worth every penny in my book.  Click the link to order them directly from Field Notes (at present, the only place you can get them), or if you’re after some pictures and such, check out some of the photos tagged in Flickr (like the one above on the left).

Now…if we can just get them to make some different sizes, we’re in business!

Hack.03: Levenger/FieldNotes/Moleskine mashup!

31 10 2007

This is what happens when worlds collide, kids.

I’m sure there’s a handful of you productivity mavens out there who’ve already figured this out, and it’ll be nothing new to you.  But…for those of you who rely on the cahier-style notebook (be it Moleskine, Field Notes, or otherwise) but don’t trust the durability (or your own clumsiness as the case may be) of the cover material, here’s something that might help.

The sleeve inside a Levenger International Pocket Briefcase is perfectly sized to hold a few 3×5 cards, but it’ll also hold the back cover of a 3×5-ish cahier-style notebook with just a little wee bit of modification. 

The ingredients:

1 Levenger International Pocket Briefcase (or similar substitute for 3×5 cards)


1 3×5 cahier-styled notebook


1 pair scissors (don’t run with them)


2 minutes.


The instructions:

Cut 1/4 inch strip off of the top of the back cover of the cahier. 

Recycle cover strip (a bookmark, an object to torment a sleeping housepet/spouse/boss/(insert tormentable being here), or just into the recycle bin).

(Sorry folks…no picture here.  It was too dangerous.)

Put scissors away.  Resist urge to run and/or cut hair of previously tormented being.


Carefully insert back cover of cahier into the sleeve inside the pocket briefcase.


Admire handiwork.

Look stylish.


Bask in glow of stylish productivity geekdom!

Finished product should look like this.

Remember what I told you about running with scissors.

Further thoughts: For those of you who are using this idea with fountain pens, you can still use one in the little pen sleeve in the center.  Stick with a skinny one, though.  For those of you who are the Parker Jotter type, you’ll have zero problems with this.