Moleskine Dotted Pocket Notebook – Soft Cover – Underwater Blue

23 03 2014

I can’t ignore the most popular and pretentious notebook maker, even when I’ve had extensive first-hand experience with their paper quality being generally terrible and all their products being overpriced. For one thing, I do like the format of some of their calendars—the extra small weekly calendar is perfect for keeping track of my work schedule. Plus, their notebooks are ubiquitous, and I denounce them at my own peril. Every so often I will check back in on the quality of Moleskine, to make sure my denouncements stand on experienced fact, and a brand new style of paper in the form of a dot grid notebook was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Underwater blue maybe if you're under water and drunk and looking at a robin's egg

Underwater blue maybe if you’re under water and drunk and looking at a robin’s egg

We’ve got this attractive robin’s egg blue cover that I would describe as almost distressingly soft. The corners of the front cover want to curl up when the elastic isn’t on. Soft covers are so strange to me. What is the advantage of soft cover anyway? Are they easier to stuff in a back pocket because they fold around your buns?

I will give bonus points for the color-coordinated back pocket accents

I will give bonus points for the color-coordinated back pocket accents

All the usual features are here: braided bookmark, back pocket, elastic band (all matching in color), and the “In case of loss” section in the front, with a newer dot-based Moleskine logo (or maybe it’s supposed to evoke apps? I know I’ve seen it before, perhaps online).

Ahahaha I forgot to take a picture of the back of the page...too late now

Ahahaha I forgot to take a picture of the back of the page…too late now

A cursory glance will tell you that this dot paper doesn’t look like it does as bad with fountain pen ink as a typical Moleskine. Let’s look at typical Moleskine for reference.

Notes section from this year’s planner

Notes section from this year’s planner

Now look again at the Moleskine dots paper.

Why the bluish tint? Why did I do all these backwards? These are the mysteries of a rainy day

Why the bluish tint? Why did I do all these backwards? These are the mysteries of a rainy day

Better. But a curious pattern emerges—the best performance by far on the Moleskine dots paper comes from using the Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa iron gall ink. Look at the difference.



Most regular inks are prone to some bleedthrough so bad you can’t use both sides of the page—not so with the Scabiosa, especially when writing in cursive. Lest we get too excited and forget what regular good paper is like, let’s look at some tests on Leuchtturm1917 paper.

Beautiful Leuchtturm1917 paper

Beautiful Leuchtturm1917 paper

Based on the evidence, I’m concluding the following:

  • This Moleskine dots paper is of better quality than most Moleskine writing paper
  • It’s still not as good as known fountain pen friendly paper (such as Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Leuchtturm1917, Quo Vadis, etc. etc.) but—
  • Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa iron gall ink is magical, and can be combined with the Moleskine dots paper for a fountain pen friendly experience.


I feel like this is the kind of product you can only offer a backhanded endorsement to. “I don’t always use my fountain pens in substandard notebooks, but when I do I prefer Moleskine dots (with Scabiosa ink).” It won’t give you the best performance but with the right ink the paper performs quite acceptably (of course, if you prefer using gel pens or ballpoints, this whole paper quality discussion is pretty much moot to you). This notebook is a fun spring color, and surprisingly not a complete waste of money. Good job, Moleskine!

Moleskine Notebook – Pocket – Dotted – Underwater Blue – Soft at Moleskine




7 responses

30 03 2014
Sunday Notes and Links | Fountain Pen Quest

[…] No Pen Intended also returns to fountain pens and Moleskine, this time with the Dotted Pocket Notebook. […]

8 04 2014
Link Love: Long Time, More Love | The Well-Appointed Desk

[…] Moleskine Dot Grid Pocket Notebook – Soft Cover in Underwater Blue (via No Pen Intended) […]

15 04 2014
Moleskine Adds Dot Grid | Pen Paper Ink LetterPen Paper Ink Letter

[…] cover notebooks, Moleskine announced a “Brand new page layout: dotted.” According to No Pen Intended these notebooks may even be a bit higher quality than some previous Moleskine […]

17 06 2014

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28 06 2014
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Second, lightly applied too the teeth near the gum line is the coating of hydrogen peroxide or other
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20 04 2017
Pregled beležk za Bullet planer sistem 2. del - Organizirana

[…] Za te beležke je značilno, da so listi nekoliko tanjši (70g) od Leuchtturm1917 (80g). To pomeni, da lahko ob uporabi res tekočih nalivnih peres in ostalih pisal, črnilo preide preko lista. Prav tako je zaradi debeline mogoče opaziti nekoliko več besedila iz druge strani. Če boste uporabljali klasična pisala potem je Moleskine prava izbira za vas, v nasprotnem primeru se ob uporabi flomastrov, nalivnih peres in podobnih pisal lahko zgodi, da vas bodo na drugi strani pričakale pike črnila. Prav tako se je na nekaterih testih blogerjev izkazalo, da ob uporabi res mokrega pisala, se to lahko razpaca po strani na kateri pišemo. Za ogled večje slike, kjer lahko opazite morebitno prehajanje črnila, kliknite z desnim klikom na sliko in odprite v novem zavihku. (Vir: No Pen Intended) […]

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