The Moleskine Professional Series Project Planning Notebook is a brand new offering from the folks at Moleskine so I figured I’d have to pick one up and give it a look.
Conceptually, the Moleskine Professional Series Project Planning Notebook is a fantastic idea with a great layout and some great features. But in practice (seems like there is always a “but” with Moleskine products) the quality of the paper in this is so horrid, the overall quality seems suspect, and even the adhesive labels that come with it have issues. Some of the nice features include:
- A layout on each page that has sections dedicated to meeting notes, agenda , and meeting attendees
- Sections for high level notes and subject topics
- Area for action items and next steps
- Set of 12 multi-colored adhesive tabs to divide sections that are removable without ripping the paper
- Two adhesive spine labels to identify the contents of your project planning notebook
- Perforated (therefore removable) to do lists in the back
- Front section with a table of contents for project name, date, and notes
- Back section has a pre-numbered index section with blank lines that you can fill in
Here is a look at a quick writing sample I did on one of the pages, using a few different types and widths of pens. It includes fountain pen ink, gel ink, roller ball pens, and even a pencil and Sharpie pen.
On the initial writing samples I was surprised to see that I did not get any feathering or strange stray marks where think ink was absorbed into the page leaving weird spikes of ink coming off letters like I’ve seen in the past. The real trouble for me is with the show through that one gets with this paper. Check the next picture to see what I mean.
Now if you click on the photo above and look at the full size version, you can see what I mean. To me, there is no way I could comfortably use this notebook with any of the pens…or even the PENCIL that I used because of how strongly each shows through to the other side of the page. I mean this leaves you with basically half of a notebook since you can’t really use both sides of any of the pages.
As I mentioned, the adhesive labels have an issue, which you can see in the above photo. That writing sample was done, and I gave the stickers over a minute to dry, yet they still smudged and smeared if I ran my finger across all of them. The only pen that didn’t have an issue with the surface of the label was surprisingly a fountain pen.
Here is another photo that you will need to click on to look at the larger version, but this one shows the quality issue that I mentioned before. Each of the pages shown here are for your to-do lists, and each has vertical perforated lines that allows you to rip the two columns of to do’s right out of the notebook. The problem here though is that each of the pages were actually stuck together along where the perforations were. When I tried to separate the pages, the pages that were sticking together actually tore one another when I separated them. Now there are multiple of these pages in the notebook, and they didn’t all do this, but to me one is more than enough. In the photo above the 11 red circles you see are where the pages were torn from being stuck together.
For the life of me I cant figure out how and why Moleskine gets away with cranking out such sub-par quality products that people still buy. Now don’t get me wrong because I think hey have some great ideas and I love all of their licensed stuff like the Pac Man, Lego, and Peanuts branded items, but the quality is just so horrible that they are practically unusable. It made me laugh to open this Moleskine Professional Series Project Planning Notebook and see a sticker inside that indicated it had passed some sort of quality control process…I took the liberty of updating the sticker with my findings. This notebook is literally headed to my trash can in the next few minutes. I wish Moleskine would step up their quality, or that more people would call them out on it and stop buying such horrible quality products that they are paying a premium for.