Moleskine, a highly successful and ubitiqous brand that launched in 1997, is the notebook of choice for many startups . David Sax of the New Yorker believes:
While some of the company’s success, especially among the young consumers who make up its fastest-growing market, can be attributed to its marketing—which is built on associations with such famous creatives as Chatwin, Hemingway, Picasso, and van Gogh (all of whom used similarly styled notebooks)—for many people, the notebook is simply superior to its digital competitors
In addition to its appealing historical associations, Moleskin's success is part of a larger shift that Sax refers to as "revenge of the analog" in which
certain technologies and processes that have been rendered “obsolete” suddenly show new life and growth, even as the world becomes increasingly driven by digital technology
Sax groups Moleskine with other evidence of this trend, including custom MOO business cards (which, in addition to Moleskines, are carried by both contributors of this blog).
In our postmodern (or postpostmodern) era, this shift towards Moleskine notebooks in the context of increasing digital advancements corresponds to a rejection of the grand narrative of the advancement of technology as inherent progress. In addition to a distraction-free environment, there is increasing research supporting the notion that taking paper notes provides the better comprehension and memorization that taking notes on a laptop. However, if you cannot bear to leave home without your device, Moleskine offers device accessories for tablets and phones "designed to bring the page closer to the screen". More recently, Moleskine has introduced the Moleskine Timepage for iPhone and Apple Watch app, which
Synchroniz[es] multiple calendar providers to one beautifully-designed interface [...] making Time as seamless as paging through a book
There are many digital programs such as Evernote that promise better note-taking solutions than the paper notebook. Notably a hybrid analog-digital product has emerged between the two, the Evernote notebook. In addition, since this collaboration, Evernote's employees have also harnessed the power of paper to garner peer feedback for product designs.
This revenge of the analog shift is also evident in the book market, in which print formats continue to outsell digital formats. For example, in the first half of 2014
Ebook sales in the USA made up 23% of unit sales for the first six months of this year, while hardcover’s accounted for 25% and paperbacks 42% of sales
It appears that for the tech savvy, even Apple's notebook does not compare to the simple charm, historical legacy and tacit materials of the moleskin notebook. Mobile devices and technology everywhere has made people appreciate the simplicity of a notebook, and Moleskine is the gold standard.