I have been a staunch Moleskine fan for over a decade by there may be a crack in the ivory tower. I have just started using the new Byline Edition of notebooks by Field Notes and I just love them. Field Notes will not replace my daily notebook but it is perfect for one specific use.
For those that don’t know FieldNotes are the brainchild of Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design. He currently has one of the hottest books on Graphic Design. He has had a life long love of a certain type of notebook and decided to make some of his own and sent them out as marketing material for his design company. They were a hit and one client approached him with an idea and they started a company selling Field Notes notebooks. They have unique design and are getting more popular. They make a full line and do compete with my beloved Moleskine notebooks. At this time I don’t see me completely switching but I am carrying a Byline Edition for use as a caption book when I photograph. They are also proudly made in America and are headquartered in Chicago.
There is an interesting back story to the development to the Byline Edition. John Dickerson of Face The Nation approached Field Notes and asked them to make a certain style of notebook that he used early in his career. They apparently liked his idea and are selling them as a limited edition. I am hoping that Field Notes realizes that it would be a good addition to their line and makes it a regular production item. The few that I ordered are not going to cover my projected needs.
I really like the form factor of the notebooks. They are 3.75 x 8 inches and are spiral bound so that they lay flat when you are writing. The quality of the paper is first rate and there are 70 pages in each book. Not to thick but enough to keep the book from being floppy during use. When taking notes I like the long pages because captions can get involved and it's nice to have all of the info on one page so that I am sure that I have the proper notes for my article before I leave the location.
I have recently started carrying my Leica in a Prince Street bag by Ona and it fits nicely in one of the front pockets. The Byline has kind of an old world look so it matches the look of the Ona bag. Every time that I have taken it out when photographing it has been a conversation starter.
Being kind of a hybrid note taker I use both paper notebooks and my always depended on Evernote. I have enough Moleskine notebooks to get me to the rapture but I have decide that there is just enough room to add another notebook to my life. I am so enjoying these books and suggest you take a look at them, they are functional and have first rate workmanship.