Pimp my Moleskine

Note: Quinn McDonald is teaching at the GASC Convention in Arlington, TX. This is a blog post from 2010. A new blog post will appear on Saturday.

Moleskine makes a variety of journals and notebooks: different sizes, uses, colors, and page designs–lined, plain, grid. They have a soft notebook sold in a double pack–two coordinated colors–that I use as a to-do list and to take notes

To-do list Moleskine in acid green and melon orange.

on when I’m on the phone or online. The 5″ x 8″cover is coated cardboard in a variety of bright colors, the inside paper is cream-colored and there is no ribbon marker or inside back pocket.

I use them because they are clever and useful for remembering what you did when. Sure, I could check my electronic calendar, but my notebook had additional information—as a to-do list with a date on each page it shows activities, phone numbers, shortcuts or alternative routes. There are interesting quotes from blogs and books and floor plans of grocery stores so I know where favorite products are. You get the idea.

In four to five months, I fill up the 60-page notebook and store it. Great for tax-time and memory jogs. If I’m ever asked “Where were you on the night of October 19, 2007?” I can pull out the to-do list notebook and  give the correct answer.

But the problem with the soft cover Moleskine is it doesn’t have a back pocket.

Index card, taped into place, on inside back cover of the Moleskine.

Where to put the receipts, business cards and gift cards?

The pimp is incredibly easy. Take a 4 x 6-inch index cards (I’ve loved index cards since the second grade and keep finding more uses for them), turn it the long way and and cut it diagonally. (See the image).

Tape it to the inside back cover, so the shorter side of the cut faces toward the inside of the book. If anything should slip out, it will be held in place by the rest of the pages.

Tape is more useful than glue because you get the full use of the index card size and the tape allows the card to bend slightly, giving you more flexibility.

That’s all there is to it. You now have a pocket in the back of your moleskine. Total time: under three minutes. That includes finding the 4 x 6 inch index cards.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and ultimate practical person who helps other people adjust to change through creativity coaching.