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Field Notes Versus Field Book Notebooks…

Discussion in 'Pens, Pencils, Notebooks, and Notebook Covers' started by dmattaponi, Apr 8, 2022.

  1. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    Chinese made Field Books 1/3 the price of American made Field Notes Notebooks…having now had a chance to try these almost externally identical notebooks out, I can say that sometimes forum hype is just that…hype.

    Although I prefer to buy American made, I like the Field Book brand better than the ever popular (on the forums) Field Notes. Mostly because the craft paper covers are firmer and more durable and will keep their shape and hold together better. The paper seems of equal quality. For daily pocket carry the Field Book wins IMO. Just putting this out there for consideration if anyone is choosing between the two. If buying strictly American made the. The Field Notes is the way to go…which was why I wanted to try them out. Unfortunately the lesser quality was a disappointment.


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  2. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    I’ve wondered about these and have been close to purchasing a couple of times, but I have quite a few pocket notebooks waiting to be used. My needs for note taking are very basic, so 5 for the price of 3 is a great deal. Potentially better quality is a bonus. I’ll have to give them a try.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  3. Sentinel-14

    Sentinel-14 Loaded Pockets

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    Not at all surprising.

    I've noticed that the rest of the world (outside of the USA) actually seems to take a higher standard when it comes to stationary, as handwriting is still an important subject whereas in the US it's been virtually eliminated from the curriculum nationwide. They still have (or had) their students use fountain pens instead of pencils or ballpoints, and fountain pens require higher-quality paper or the ink will just bleed and become illegible. Thus, it would stand to reason that foreign-made stationary would be higher quality.

    Rhodia is headquartered in France, Moleskine in Italy, and Leuchtturm in Germany. I'm not familiar with any of the Chinese or Japanese paper brands, but it wouldn't/doesn't surprise me if they're also of higher quality than US-made stuff.

    Im all for buying American Made and supporting local industry, but sometimes the foreign stuff is just better and should be recognized as such. If it's cheaper too, well... all the better.
     
  4. BlackBeardActual

    BlackBeardActual Loaded Pockets

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    Lemme ask any of you this, what do you use the field notes or any note pads for??
    I find at times it hard to justify using the "fancy" ones. My job has me jotting down one or two liners, places, and phone numbers mostly on a daily basis.
    I did get a large pack of Field Note pads with a leather sleeve for Christmas but it seems wasteful to tear them out for this purpose.

    Someone shoot me some ideas stuff to justify writing, using, keeping the nice stuff in my pocket. I mean I on occasion have an epiphany or remember something and need to jot down immediately or keep by the bedside but I need some utilitarian ideas to keep it on me.
     
  5. R W Orange

    R W Orange Empty Pockets

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    I use a 3/8" thick stack of 3x5 index cards held by a black binder clip. Works for me, inexpensive, available.
     
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  6. kukla

    kukla Loaded Pockets

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    Everybody seems to have a mobile phone, there are lots of apps for notes & lists.
    Why not use the phone?
     
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  7. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    It doesn't need justification...anymore than golf or owning a sports car. If it's legal & you enjoy it, that's all the "justification" needed. As to using phones for note taking, they are slow & require batteries. If you drop a notepad it doesn't crack.
     
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  8. kukla

    kukla Loaded Pockets

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    People use their lithium battery rechargeable phones for everything under the sun anymore, and many people have it in their hand most of the day.
    Texting skills have surpassed verbal and written skills for many.
    Why not use it for notes?
    Also, to be even more rapid recording things, how about the voice recorder that you can use while driving if necessary.
    Try writing down a license number or address while driving.
    To be honest, I used to watch in amusement as people were using their phones endlessly.
    After getting my first smart phone at 70 years old last year, it's become apparent why.
    Phone, text, email, search engine, clock, gps, trail trip recorder, stopwatch, timer, maps, compass, measuring instrument, voice recorder.........
    As an EDC item, probably the best investment made in years!
    I feel like a racoon that's found a small shiny object! :bounce:

    Edit...............Oh yeah, and multi-function camera and video recorder! ;)
     
  9. GRH

    GRH Loaded Pockets

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    Well, for me, my big fumble fingers don't type well on my phone compared to writing on paper. Also, I tend to sketch a diagram or two (or worse, do some math), which is hard to do on a phone. Paper works better for me.

    However, I do like the camera function on my phone to record things quickly.:)
     
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  10. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    I use my notebook ($1 something a piece…not fancy) for all sorts of things. Daily to do lists, work/meeting notes, things a I want to remember for various reasons. I find it much more convenient than fiddling with my phone and much prefer my notebook to my phone. I don’t usually rip the pages out, but I could if I wanted to leave a note.

    I teach on the college level and see first hand how the mobile phone mentality has (for many) helped to destroy study and memorization skills (and social skills). If they can’t plug and play to find answers or download a note someone has provided for them, their grades suffer. This will carry over to the workplace. Yes a phone is good for many things, but a replacement for a sturdy pocket sized paper notebook, it is not. Writing by hand in a notebook is exercise for the mind…not to mention, just plain useful.


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    #10 dmattaponi, May 20, 2022
    Last edited: May 20, 2022
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  11. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    Not to my observation...and written notes don't falsely auto-correct (ask my wife about that one:)). Smart phones are like Swiss Army knives...they'll do many things, but a dedicated tool always beats them. It's a personal call, but I prefer & use a notepad for my personal use based on its greater utility for the purpose over a phone..which, due to Murphy's law seems to always have a low battery just when needed the most.
     
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  12. Sentinel-14

    Sentinel-14 Loaded Pockets

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    I don't have the answer you're asking for, rather I'm in the same position you are. I have a goldfish's memory so I have to write almost everything down or I'll forget, but it's not stuff I want or need to keep record of forever. Post-It notes do the job fine at the office. Personally, I keep a small spiral notepad in my EDC bag so I have something available to write on and have never needed more.

    There's the key: many is not all. While I am of the Millennial generation I am not particularly adept at texting; in fact, if I need to search for something I'd sooner find a PC and use a real keyboard than try to use the little one on my phone. I can get my thought onto a notepad faster than I could find the app on my phone and fumble out what I want to write. Furthermore, in my approach to EDC my phone is nothing more than that; a phone. It's not a flashlight, or a voice recorder, or a notepad, or even a computer. If I wanted to cut my EDC by as much as possible then sure I could learn to type on my phone or get one of those stylus things, and ditch my notepad, pen, flashlight, etc.... But I don't. My flashlight's better than my phone's flashlight, and my notepad/pen is better for me for notetaking. Your mileage may vary, and no one's trying to tell you you're wrong: just that your preferred solution isn't the only one. No single solution is universally superior.
     
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  13. kukla

    kukla Loaded Pockets

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    Well, good for you.
    I never said that many is all, so that's not the key.
    I never said that a cell phone is a substitute for separate chosen tools that can do individual functions better.
    I never said that I never carry a notepad or flashlight separately.
    I never said that the phone was a solution for anything.
    I never suggested that everyone (or even anyone) should EDC a cell phone instead of all that other stuff.
    I stated how useful a tool as it is, all in one package, because of it's overall versatility, particularly since
    it's something that most (NOT ALL!) people carry on their person as much as they do.
     
  14. neo71665

    neo71665 Loaded Pockets

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    I have a few field notes but I don't really care for the large size. My daily carry is just a cheap mini composition notebook I pick up in a 3 pack at dollar general for $1. They are 80 pages and measure 4.5 by 3.25 inches.I ended up making a leather cover for it with a pen holder.
    I end up using a few in a year jotting down notes and can't justify the price of field notes.
     
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  15. jmbrowning

    jmbrowning Loaded Pockets

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    For my applications, Fields Notes are dandy EDC affectations in the same category as fountain pens. Log books are a necessary item though. The dullest pencil remembers more than the sharpest mind.

    I am using these notebooks now for both the cost and mission behind them.
    • Made in USA providing jobs for the disabled
    • Sewn and glued bindings
    • Gotta love the NSN on the cover
    • Paper a little thin, so watch for bleed through. No matter as I use pencil or ballpoint. I can get by with fine point gel but those are typically too delicate for my use

    Softcover
    $0.011 per 3.375x5.5 page
    144 pages/book

    Hardcover
    $0.066 per 8x5.5 page
    92 pages/book
     
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  16. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    I have a bunch of these that I use to spread around (cars etc) so we always have something to write on but they're not very good for carry or serious use due to:
    1. Size-too thick.
    2. Paper-too thin as alluded to.
    3. Perforation-has none-a deal-breaker for me.

    They could be ok depending on your needs, but (as many here are), I'm picky & not willing to settle on small cost things.:)
     
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  17. RogerStenning

    RogerStenning EDC Junkie

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    Why use your phone to take notes? Because the actual act of writing something with your hand and a writing implement has been shown to exercise your short to medium term memory, improving it. Merely typing the note on a computerised device has not shown improvement in the short-to-medium term memory.

    As to paper. I've found FN to be adequate; it's suitable for ball point pens and pencil, but not, sadly, fountain pens; the fountain pens I have tend to scratch the paper FN uses, which then tends to block the tines of the fountain pen. Leuchtturm, Calepino, et al from Europe, tend to be smoother paper, more suited to fountain pens, and Tomoe River, from Japan, is excellent for Fountain pens, and something of a benchmark paper for others to emulate (or so I keep reading). This said, I currently carry a pocket-sized Filofax ("Pocket Identity"), and use Filofax paper in the main, which is of reasonable enough quality for my fountain pens to be satisfactorily used on (granted, I have to use blotting paper with it most of the time, but that's a small matter!).

    The problem brands have is in maintaining their quality; if they make their own paper, this is rather more easy to do. Field Notes buy their paper in from other sources, so maintaining a level of quality is not as straight-forward. In addition, they have made no claims, as far as I'm aware, as to their suitability for fountain pens, further suggesting to me that they market to the ball-point and pencil carrying public. It does have to be said that we fountain pen users are somewhat in a minority, so this is not entirely their fault, after all ;)
     
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  18. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    Rhodia, IOW. (or maybe Clairefontaine)
     
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  19. RogerStenning

    RogerStenning EDC Junkie

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    I've had mixed results from Moleskin, btw. Their paper seems, these days, to suffer a bit more bleedthrough than expected with fountain pens (this from one of their 3.5" x 5.5" books), although feathering was not encountered, which I would have expected with the bleedthrough.
     
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  20. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    I just stumbled upon a recommendation for the Travelers's notebook on the Backpacking light forum; https://shop.travelerscompanyusa.com/pages/travelers-notebook

    I have no personal experience with it, yet, but might give it a go when my current notebook is near the end of its serviceable life. It seems to be made in Japan, so it would be an easy choice over anything Chinese made, for me personally.

    I've struggled with note taking my whole life. Or, well.. I'm actually quite good at the writing down part, I guess it's rather the art of organizing them in a useful manner where I've failed substantially over the years.
    I've tried full analogue and full digital, each have their strong and weak sides (for me and how my brain works).
    Currently I've settled somewhere in the middle. I keep an A5 sized notebook in my EDC bag, which I find work much better for the creative process than a digital surface.
    I also keep a small, very cheap spiral journalist notepad in my EDC bag, that I use for grocery lists, notes that I need to hand over to someone or to leave a message behind. It's like the prybar of notepads, it's not really a necessary item, but it saves my primary notepad from being messed up by torn out pages.
    The smartphone, tablet, PC etc. is superior for task management and organizing. With timed or geographically triggered reminders, list and calendar sharing, indexing and search-ability and synchronization / access across multiple devices and platforms.

    Usually for minor notes and reminders on the go, I do them directly on my phone.
    As soon as the note taking is a little more involved, e.g. planning, early design phase or idea doodling, I'm all for paper and pencil.
    Sometimes it stays on paper, but lots of times I transfer my plans or evolved ideas to the digital space and carry on from there.

    All that to say, there's actually no need to argue what's the better surface to work on. Though each, quite objectively have their strengths and weaknesses, it all comes down to our subjective preferences, habits and cognitive wiring to determine which one is better suited for each individual and circumstance.
     
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