Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Moleskine Hack for Students

Moleskines are tools which are used by many. They can be used for many things, such as normal notetaking, a planner, a calendar, a PDA and many more (to see a list of the most popular ones, click here). In the course of this post, you will (hopefully) be finding out how to make my favorite Moleskine hack. All you need is the below things:

1. A Moleskine!
2. Sticky tabs (5-6 (5 yellow and 4 blue preferably))
3. Post-it notes
4. A pen
5. A ruler

The first thing you will need to do is number all the pages in the bottom right (or top if you want). I did every odd number. Then, get your sticky tabs. You will have 5 tabs: Inbox, Someday, Projects, (if you have a blog you can have a another one titled Blog), research and book recommendations.

On page 1, write at the top 'abbreviations'. This is a section where you put words and abbreviations you come across when reading and want to look up later.

I didn't have any sticky tabs, so I just cut up post-it notes and wrote on them then stuck them in with glue. On page , place a tab and title it as 'Inbox'. This is were everything will go; place website info, calendar dates, to-dos and notes here. Some will be moved to the Project tab or other tabs.

The Inbox tab
Then, place the 'Someday' tab on page 50. This is where everything you want to do someday goes e.g: Go on holiday to Florida.

The Someday tab
Then, I have the Projects tab on page 57. I put it here as I did not think I would put much into 'Someday'. The projects tab is where all tasks which have more than one tasks. Projects can also have notes. If I was doing a project on the ancient city on Mycenae, I would put all my notes, to-dos, website links and other things in that project.

The Projects tab
Next comes the vital student tab: the 'Research' tab. I have this on page 101. This is where you write notes, research questions and make mindmaps. This is probably my second most used area of my Moleskine. I then have a blog tab (on page 153), which is basically a glorified to-do list, but if you don't have a blog, there is basically no point to this tab.

The Research tab
The next essential tab for a student is the book recommendations (I have gone a bit further than that and have added YouTube videos, music, e.t.c). This section also grows quite quickly.

The Book Recommendations tab
One of my favorite bit of this hack is the key. My most used symbols are: @EN and @WL (EN for Evernote and WL for Wunderlist). I put these symbols and my other ones (see the image) in a context column, so I can easily scan down and see what's important and what I need to add to what. This key can also be used as a second bookmark.

The Key
I then use sticky tabs so that I can easily find my way around; a yellow sticky tab means that there is active content on the page (to-dos that are not ticked off, notes that I am still using, dates I need to add to Calendars 5, e.t.c). A blue tab marks the current page that I am up to (the page which I can add more stuff to the sections).

I love my Moleskine, and the way I can quickly find what I want to do. I would recommend that you make one and try it out (if you want to) too.

Feel free to share pictures of how you hacked your Moleskine!


  1. Cool hack! I did this hack and it really helped me. Love the book recommendations section.