Miro Artisanal Notebooks

by Randy Murray on April 11, 2013

I’m a big fan of paper notebooks, journals, and memo books. I have stacks of filled ones piled on my office closet shelf and at any given moment they may cover my desk. At this very moment there are two Moleskine Squared Large Notebooks, a Levenger 5 Years Journal, and two Miro notebooks on my desk. A Field Notes Memo Book is in my shirt pocket.

The Miro notebooks are something a little different for me. I’d call them sensual. One has a felt cover, the other wood. Both are spiral bound.

Miro calls them “Raw Organic Artisanal” and they do feel somewhat in-between something manufactured and handmade. I’d call them “comfortable.”

That’s an important quality for a notebook. I have waterproof, virtually indestructible notebooks, but they rarely get used. The ones that I carry and use are the ones that provide me with a feeling of comfort. I have far too many ways to write and take note of things digitally. When I pick up a pen or pencil I want a physical experience. I want it to be direct. How a notebook acts and feels influences how I take thoughts and make words.

The wood covered notebook is very attractive, but the thin, real wood cover feels fragile, brittle in my hands. I haven’t yet put it to the test to determine if this is the case. I’m fussy about my tools and I’d hate to break it carrying it in my bag. It would be more likely to become another desk notebook.

The felt version is definitely going in my bag. I like how they’ve sewn a metal logo medallion to the cover (the wood version has an impressed logo). I like that it’s spiral bound and will lie perfectly flat when I’m writing. Its lined pages have a creamy color. And they include an eraser-less #2 pencil, a nice touch. I use too many pens and not enough pencils.

Both notebooks I reviewed are the lined versions, but both also have a small section of unlined pages at the back, perfect for sketching. There’s also a cardboard front page and the back has a double pocket. I like how the felt version is pliable, flexible, and soft to touch and hold.

As a writer, a thinker, notebooks are part of my tools, but also part of my props. Holding them, carrying them, reminds me of my writing tasks. In the theater the act of carrying and using a prop is called “physical business.” I like the physicality, the form, the feel, of the Miro notebooks. They’re an affordable, accessible, bit of thoughtfully created physical business for the writer and note taker.

You can purchase their notebooks direct at the Miro site.

Miro supplied the notebooks that I reviewed.

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