Portia Placino

Repository of my thoughts and images of art, literature, travel, and life.

Diary of a Grad Student: My Notebooks

Portia's notebooks

Hardly anyone writes anymore. I forgot to take a screen shot of it, but when I posted my blog yesterday, Truman Capote said that, “It is not writing, it’s typing” (or something to that effect). Which is true, for the most part, we don’t really write anymore, we just type in our computers (or tap in tablets). It’s faster and more practical that way. But for ideas, I still think its best to do it the old fashion way. The seed of the best typewritten work comes from actually writing. That is how we learned to write and that is the way to get the ideas flowing and the critical questions to manifest itself.

Granted, these notebooks were a splurge. They do cost quite a lot, for a notebook. I have also read various reviews, especially about a Moleskine and their marketing. The thing is, the feel of the paper is nice, it’s not too thick for it to be heave and not too thin for inks to bleed. The 240-page Moleskine is just as thick as the 128-page Daycraft. My notebook from the previous year, teNeues also makes wonderful paper and creative hardbound covers, but the rule lines are too large and it’s quite heavy. My notebooks for this year, the thesis formation year, are quite fabulous…

Daycraft Signature Notebook

The Daycraft Signature Notebook was my first purchase of the three. It contains my everyday notes for every subject. It does not have any pocket, which is a downer, but it’s really pretty. The cover looks like leather, but it’s Italian polyurethane and it feels really luxurious. No animal died for this one. The formation of the thesis, among other things are written here. Granted, it looks like a scratch paper, especially the way I write on it, but it doesn’t make it any less pretty. Also, it is two-toned, so, even if it receives quite some bumps, it does not really show on the side.

Daycraft Signature Notebook

For more thoughts and questions, here is my latest splurge, the large Moleskine hardbound ruled notebook. It currently contains thoughts, questions and interpretations of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgement. I am re-reading it for a paper that I have to write. They publicize this as the notebook of Picasso and Hemingway. I really thought these notebooks were over-priced. They might still be, but for me, it’s worth it. It inspired me to write.

Moleskine Large Hardbound Notebook

As mentioned earlier, its paper is thin enough to be light but thick enough to be substantial. And I really enjoy writing on it, which is what notebooks are basically for. Also, it’s an acid-free paper, which is important if you want your writings to last. The writings on the teNeues notebook from last year still holding up despite the abuse. Hopefully, the Moleskine lives up to expectations.

Moleskine Large Hardbound Notebook

When I finally decided on a planner for the year, I knew I made the fabulous decision. I am currently using this extra small, sky blue diary from Moleskine. It has daily pages, so I can write appointments and thoughts that happen on the course of the day. I stick some color-coded Post-it half inch flags on it to remind me of upcoming deadlines and appointments, and yes, my first quarter is really looking crazy. It’s gaining the abuse of being in a bag all day, the pages have some marks as early as now, but its holding up beautifully. The best part, it’s really light. I hardly notice it in the bag. Also, it’s so pretty and cheerful, it really does look like how a perfect sky should be. It’s a bright, cheerful addition to the collection.

Moleskine Extra Small Hardbound 2012 Planner

At the end of the day, any notebook should do, the important thing is that we write. As I said, these are splurges that happened is a span of a few months. These are what I buy when I shop, I buy notebooks, pens and of course–BOOKS. Lots of them. I am a geek. I have to admit that. These are the “stuff” that I buy on a retail-therapy mode. And this is it, for today’s Diary of a Grad Student.


14 comments on “Diary of a Grad Student: My Notebooks

  1. Writing Jobs
    January 23, 2012

    What a wonderful post today. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for sharing.

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    Writers Wanted

  2. DC!
    January 23, 2012

    I love notebooks as well! I have quite a few, one for writing project ideas, one for random lists and whatnot. One for my emo rants and other dear diary type stuff. I would love to have a more but sometimes i feel guilty buying new notebooks without having used up the others! Hahaha!

    • Portia Placino
      January 23, 2012

      Ikr?!? There are some notebooks that just doesn’t work for you (Starbucks) but there are some that you truly love. But still, you can’t stop yourself from browsing the bookstore for a new one. I can’t help myself! Just today, I was browsing Fully Booked again, not just books, but also notebooks. I was really attracted to a gold-covered pocket notebook and an Audrey Hepburn one. I stopped myself from buying those. But I did get a copy of Contemporary Art Philippines and Milan Kundera’s Laughable Loves. Oh life 🙂 Glad to hear from you again and I’m really happy you read my grad school thingumajigs.

      • DC!
        January 23, 2012

        I will try to see those you’ve mentioned.:)) I may have to stop myself from buying them too! Haha!

        • Portia Placino
          January 24, 2012

          Enjoy shopping! Glad someone can relate to these shopping trips of mine. Haha!

  3. Paul Avena
    January 23, 2012

    I have two notebooks. I kept one Starbucks planner for myself (i was able to claim three) and one promotional notebook from our supplier. I really do not use my planner as an organizer. I use the Starbucks planner to keep track of my daily cash expenses and the other notebook to write notes during my business meetings. My notebook does not contain any literary musings, only engineering drawings, terms of reference, project specifications and just typical notes.

    Thanks for the good read.

    • Portia Placino
      January 24, 2012

      I can’t believe how much coffee you drank for three planners Paul! 🙂 Well, to each his own, I guess. My literary musings are your engineering drawings. Not typical on my view as I can’t make those. There really is something about hand-written notes as opposed to computerized ones. Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment. It’s good to hear from you!

      • Ever
        February 26, 2012

        I have Moleskine Notebook for any ideas I have, bcuaese I know I’ll forget them next time I’m front of the computer. I always seem to come up with ideas when travelling, especially flying!Jamie

        • Portia Placino
          June 8, 2012

          Yes, it is still best to write them down. My travelling is still at the back burner though. I wish I could do more of that after grad school.

  4. neelimanair
    January 25, 2012

    so true. myself used to really ‘write’ ..no-more now! 😀 😀
    nice post

    • Portia Placino
      January 25, 2012

      Thanks for reading it! You have a nice blog as well 🙂 And, it’s never too late to start “writing” again.

  5. Pingback: Diary of a Grad Student: Recent book acquisitions « Portia Placino

  6. Pingback: Diary of a Grad Student: Aesthetic Experience « Portia Placino

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