As I abandoned large notebooks and planners I found myself running about with various materials: smaller notebooks, bigger notebooks, note cards and random scraps of paper with random notes on both sides.
Along the way I discovered many excellent small notebooks, such as Field Notes notebooks, the passport sized Midori Traveler’s notebooks and other random notebooks. I suddenly found myself using three different notebooks at the same time (food journal; life and work notes; writing notes) and started looking for a cover to carry them all. I looked at the Midori Traveler’s notebook, but it was long and reminded me too much of my old Filofax planner. It also wasn’t pocket friendly.
Instead I started carrying the smaller Midori Traveler’s Passport sized cover with three small notebooks in it. The problem with it is, and I’ll give it a more through review another day, most of the notebooks I like to use are too large for it. At one point I tried a Field Notes Two Rivers and had bits sticking out both ends.
Somehow, and I don’t remember how, I discovered a company in Andover, Kansas named Old Church Works. They produce several pen and notebook related items, including a number of leather covers designed to hold notebooks the same size as Field Notes notebooks. I ordered one and, after a bit of delay, have finally decided to start using it.
The Quad Field Notes Leather Notebook Cover (hereafter referred to as the Quad) is bulkier than the Midori Passport, but that’s most likely because it’s new. Once I’ve had a chance to carry it around, I think it will start to soften and break in. It’s also half and inch longer than the Midori and I’m wondering how it will feel in a back pocket.
The Quad is made from 6-7 ounce leather that’s been vegetable tanned and treated with bee’s wax along the edges. To hold the notebooks it has a long elastic cord laced through the leather to form loops. The laces are long enough to form built in bookmarks that end in brass aglets.
The Quad also comes with an extra elastic strap that allows the user to attach one or more extra notebooks.
This is a nice touch as Midori is more than happy to sell you a glorified rubber band to help keep your extra notebooks together. (Note: a large rubber band also works really well.)
The Quad also solves the number one reason I’ve been annoyed with the Midori: the metal bit. Midori fastens the straps and the book mark together with something resembling a fishing weight. It sticks out and has a tendency to tap and scratch tables and desks. (More on that in the future post.) The Quad simply uses lacing and knots to hold the straps together.
Right now, the only early annoyance with the Quad is that the book marks are the ends of the straps meaning there’s no way to get rid of them without performing surgery on the straps. They look good and the brass aglets are nice looking and less tappy and scratchy than the fishing weight on the Midori, but I don’t really need bookmarks and they hang out farther than they need to for pocket carry. I wish they were tied in as a separate piece so that I could remove or add them at my pleasure.
But we’ll see what what I think in six months or so. Until then, check out Old Church Works website . The history of the name is an interesting story.