Posts filed under Field Notes

A Non-Hoarder’s Take on Field Notes (and buying notebooks in general)

(Michelle Guo is a self-diagnosed pen addict ever since she charmed the Faber Castell stand at a stationery fair with her metallic ocean-scape at 9 years old. She ended up leaving with all their paraphernalia and now probably needs Hermione Granger's Undetectable Extension Charm for her pencil case. You can find Michelle on Twitter @misheyxxxooo.)

As a pen addict, I find it inevitable for me to exhibit some hoarding tendencies. Especially when it comes to something like stationery; it is cheap (mostly), useful (usually) and a lot of the times, nice to have (very). For me, it is easier to justify having a variety of pens than it is, say, to have a collection of paintings. As a university student, the cost of purchasing, maintaining and exhibiting paintings is just unjustifiably too much.

But who knows, maybe in a few years-time, I will become a self-proclaimed art addict.

But back to Field Notes.

It is from the Pen Addict podcast that I first became aware of the phenomenon of collecting Field Notes, and I admit, I see how easy it is to be sucked into it. But as the title suggests, I am not a hoarder of them.

Why? Well a bunch of reasons.

Firstly, my being in Melbourne, Australia does not make Field Notes the most accessible product. The closest Field Notes retailer that I have found is an online store located in Sydney, and yet it still takes a week or so for the notebooks to reach my front door. This means that it has to be something that I would literally need to be willing to pay double the price for.

Which then leads to the question of what can justify paying such a price for something as simple or mundane as a notebook. And this can extend to more than just my interest in Field Notes; how can I justify buying a $30 Moleskine when there are definitely more affordable alternatives out there? And then if I do buy it, will I even use it?

The way I have come to justify it is like this; when I buy a pricey notebook, I am not just paying for the product, I am also investing in what that product can hold. What I like about notebooks is that they can have a dual utility, once I have finished using it as a notebook and filling in all the pages, it can then function as a book that has documented a period of my life, depending on what I have filled it with. So for me, there is a degree of correlation between the quality and visual appearance of the notebook, and the contents within it.

The plainer, cheaper notebooks I would just use for mundane purposes, whereas the more expensive or thoughtfully designed ones I tend to save for a more significant purpose. So rather than filling my Field Notes that I have paid $30 USD for with miscellaneous notes, I will use them to document things that are more personal or specific to a various interest of mine. That way, I will use the notebook with the intention of keeping it and looking back to it in years to come. I am a big fan of compartmentalising and categorising things effectively and efficiently in my life, and doing this is very reflective of that. This also means, that even with the progression of technology and the wonderful note-taking apps that now exist on smartphones, I will still buy nice notebooks and, more importantly, use them.

This also helps me curb the initial fear of breaking in a new notebook and putting ink to paper, as I have given them a purpose. As a student, it was very common for me to have to start empty exercise books at the start of every new school year, with a new book for each subject. Now, instead of filling in books with math or spelling, I am filling them with favourite quotes and bucket lists; things that I want to archive and reminisce on in years to come.

Perhaps I am actually just a hoarder of knowledge, and the pens and notebooks that I buy are my way of exhibiting the knowledge I collect.

But then again, that seems like something that is worth hoarding.

Posted on April 7, 2016 and filed under Notebooks, Field Notes.

XOXO 2014 Field Notes Winner

I am lucky to be able to give away lots of cool stuff on The Pen Addict and this XOXO 2014 Field Notes has been one of my favorites. The winner of this rare edition is:

Congrats Ian! You have one week to get in touch, and I advise you do so because there will be many others clamoring to get their hands on these.

Thanks again to Sarah from Candyspotting for offering up these to readers of The Pen Addict!

Posted on October 5, 2014 and filed under Field Notes, Giveaways.

XOXO 2014 Field Notes Giveaway

The further I get away from the 2014 XOXO Festival the more I realize what it was truly about. The conference was great, the social activities were a blast, but the people I met - that is what is going to stick with me the most from my trip out to Portland.

I spent a lot of time hanging out with Sarah from Candyspotting (SHE CUTS PAPER WITH LASERS!!!) who served as a gracious host and official Portland tour guide, along with her wonderful family. She also challenged the way I think and opened my eyes to so many things. We made fast friends, and have been in touch frequently since XOXO to discuss what we took away from the festival. That is what it is all about.

Sarah knows full well that the readers of The Pen Addict are Field Notes junkies and she was kind enough to offer up her sealed 3-pack of XOXO 2014 Edition Field Notes for a giveaway. How cool is that?

Here is how you can win one of the most unique Field Notes editions I have ever laid eyes on:

  1. Leave one comment on this post anytime between now, and Saturday night at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. You are limited to one entry. This contest is open to US and International readers.

  2. For this contest, I will pick one winner at random from the comments section of this post. The comments will be numbered in the order they are received, i.e. the first comment is #1, the second #2, and so on. The Random Integer Generator at will be used to pick the number of the winner.

  3. The contest winner will be posted on Sunday, October 5th. The winner will have one week to email me via the Contact link at the top of the page.

Sarah didn't ask me to link to her site but I am. Check out her work at Candyspotting if you want your mind blown. I have seen her work in person and it is jaw-dropping. Thanks for doing this Sarah!

Posted on September 30, 2014 and filed under Giveaways, Field Notes.