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Customer Review

194 of 204 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough call, January 9, 2006
This review is from: Moleskine Large Notebook Ruled (Paperback)
Are these journals a Five, or a Three?

These journals are truly something special. With the nice, firm cover; lots of pages; a pocket; and elastic to keep them shut, they offer a ton of function for compulsive scribblers.

But...they demand a little flexibility from the journalist in return. They don't handle all inks well, and in particular they handle very few fountain pen inks without significant bleed-through.

So if one commits to a Moleskine journal, one commits to a pen/ink combination that won't bleed--opening up both sides of the paper--or one resigns oneself to wasting the back half of each page.

For those willing to do a little research, though, the pen/ink combinations are out there (fountain pen users should look up Noodler's Black; for Gel roller users, Pilot's G2 refills also work splendidly with Moleskine).

If you want a solid, utilitarian journal, it's tough to beat these, especially at a reasonable price--but the bleeding pages will require adjustments. It's up to you.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 6, 2011 7:55:24 PM PST
The Pilot G2 ink doesn't bleed through, but it does take a while to dry, which can result in smudging. I've found that I now prefer a Uni-Ball Jetstream. The 1.0 mm ball is amazingly smooth, but actually leaves a finer line than the G2 I was using, and dries almost immediately.

Posted on Nov 29, 2011 8:26:53 PM PST
Makana says:
They're compatible with all types of graphite lead, though. Ever consider using a pencil?

Posted on Dec 2, 2011 7:08:35 PM PST
Dan.I.Am says:
I agree with the book/pen selection. My "ritual" is to use the book with a Mont Blanc fountain pen. Because of this, I cannot use both sides of a page; and I'm fine with this.

For whatever reason, this combination is comforting and makes me feel good when I write.


Posted on May 9, 2012 10:54:11 PM PDT
Inktense says:
I like to use the Pilot G2 extra fine .05 pen -- the paper takes very well to the thin line and dries quickly. I generally use the .07 (fine) G2, but on moleskine paper, there's too much see-through.

Posted on May 17, 2012 9:53:43 PM PDT
I searched for several years for a pen to use with these journals. My favorite rollerball is the Pilot Signo DX in the 0.38mm stroke width. They are available from Jetpens if you can't find them elsewhere. The ink dries relatively quickly and the black is very black.

Then I rediscovered fountain pens. Noodler's bulletproof black works fine and dries relatively quickly. The finer strokes work best, but NBB is a great ink regardless.

Posted on Jun 2, 2012 2:51:23 PM PDT
If you do use fountain pens, don't buy Moleskine journals. Instead, buy Rhodia journals ( - I've been using them for a couple years now and they hold up great to the various inks I use for my fountain pens (they offer a high quality paper in a well-built notebook for a good price). Don't get me wrong, I love Moleskine products (as an advertising creative, I use them all the time), but there are better notebooks out there for fountain pens specifically.

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 1:57:13 PM PDT
J. says:
Noodler's Black and Waterman Blue work great for me on (almost) all types of paper with most pens, though they may take a while to dry.

I can second the recommendation for Rhodia, though!

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 5:15:01 PM PDT
Personally, I recommend Sharpie pens with the Moleskine notebooks. No, it's not a fountain pen, but it works, and has always been reliable for me. I've not tried fountain ink on any of these notebooks, so can't comment on that aspect. But, if you don't insist on fountain pen use, these notebooks work fine.

Posted on Aug 18, 2012 1:27:16 PM PDT
T. Newman says:
Why are you posting this same review on all of these products?

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 10:02:08 PM PST
K. Fletcher says:
I would agree with you. If you are going to use a fountain pen with this moleskine, use Noodler's Black. I have also found that Noodler's Blue Heron works well on Moleskine even with a broad or italic nib on both front and back. Some of the reddish brown inks from Noodler's like Antietam don't do too well. It will bleed through every time. Pencil is always an option. I've got several good Alvin mechanical drafting pencils that do great as do ball point pens. Also, somebody mentioned Rhodia Webnotebook and Quo Vadis (both use Clairefontain paper). These are more expensive, but awesome if you want any and every kind of fountain pen ink. The Quo Vadis can handle a spill of wet fountain pen ink (torture test) and it won't even bleed to the back half.
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