Hello Moleskine Nation! The Rickshaw Folio is now available!

My pet project is finally a reality — our Folio for Moleskine journals is now live on our web site. First, kudos to Macy here at Rickshaw for completing the tedious task of loading all of the product data and photos so you can actually see what we have to offer. This product is one that I’m particularly proud of, because I’m the resident journaling geek here at Rickshaw. I happen to love the Moleskine® brand, as much for its marketing as its quality products. If I can inspire the same kind of respect and affection in my own brand, I’ll be one happy guy!

Several months ago I made a small number of pre-production samples available to Moleskine enthusiasts via two web sites, Scription and Moleskinerie. Both were kind enough to feature my prototype development videos, which generated valuable user feedback. I wanted to make sure I had a product that met the needs of fellow journaling enthusiasts — not just my own. I personally interacted with the first customers, helping them select fabrics and binding colors to suit their personal style, and posting photos of their creations on our Flickr gallery. It was a great experience, and I’m grateful to those who participated — thank you. Also, thanks to those who inquired after the initial samples were spoken for — I appreciate your patience.

Style Your Own

On our web site you’ll find a collection of some of our favorite fabric and color combos. Mind you, they’re not pre-made – just some of our favorites to help you choose. We build each and every custom Folio to your special order — right here in our San Francisco factory (which you are welcome to visit any weekday, 9-5). Don’t see exactly what you want? Love the fabric but want a different binding color? Saw something in our Flickr gallery that’s not in the on-line collection? No problem. You’re welcome to request your own special fabrication – at no extra charge — simply note your special request in the Notes box during check-out from our Shopping Cart — we’ll take care of the rest. You can even bring your own fabric to the factory for a super-custom build. We want you to choose just the right combination to complement your own personal style and spark your creativity to a whole new level.

Why this particular notebook?

I focused on the “legendary” Moleskine® brand because it’s my favorite, and it’s the leading brand for “creative-types” worldwide. The brand has inspired an international tribe of enthusiasts, and a number of Internet fan-sites. Yes, they’re a little pricey, but I appreciate the details: high-quality paper, stitch-binding, rounded corners, rear pocket, sticker-friendly cover – and some wonderful (and likely apocryphal) copywriting about the history of moleskine notebooks and famous people who used them. They’re also widely distributed, so you can find a refill for your Folio just about anywhere. I like to say “Moleskine is the MacBook of the journal world” – and I’ve been using Moleskine® brand journals for years himself.

Why this size?

I focused on the Large size hardbound notebook because it seemed best-suited to the functionality and portability of the Folio itself. This size is large enough for “serious” writing and drawing, but small enough to fit in our everyday bags and accompany us in our favorite (and often cramped) creative environments — from airplanes to cafes. I fill a Large Sketchbook every two months or so — which gives you a sense of the cost of my Moleskine addiction. Recession be damned! I’m not giving up my Moleskine notebooks or my Blue Bottle coffee.

Future Development Plans

Smaller? I’ve been asked about Folios for the pocket-sized notebooks — and we’re making a prototype — but the pocket notebook is designed for your pocket, and the Folio will add bulk that defeats “pocketability”. We’ll see.

Fatter? The Daily Calendar (not the Weekly Calendar) is thicker than the standard journal and weekly planner. I’ll have a fatter Folio for the 2010 Weekly Calendar before the Holiday season for those of you who still manage your calendar the old fashioned way. God bless you.

Bigger? Moleskine makes larger journals, and recently introduced their A4 and A3 size notebooks. Frankly, I’m not currently planning Folios sized for the Extra Large, A4 or A3 notebooks. I might be persuaded, but I’m inclined to wait and see how popular they really are, how they’re used, and whether they will really benefit from the functionality of our Folios.

Other brands of journals? The Rickshaw Folio is designed specifically to fit with world’s most popular brand of hardbound journal. To determine if your other brand of journal will fit, the book must measure 5-1/8” wide, 8-1/4” tall, and 5/8” thick. I was at one time an avid user of the Cachet Classic Hardbound Journal (5.25″ x 8.25″), and that would be next on my list. But, beware, it won’t fit in this Folio.

Comments & Suggestions

As always, we welcome comments, suggestions and constructive criticism. No detail is too small. Sometimes our best features come from an enthusiast with an idea we never thought of.

That’s all for now.


-Mark (mark@rickshawbags.com)


2 Responses to “Hello Moleskine Nation! The Rickshaw Folio is now available!”
  1. Ben Bolderson says:

    dear rick

    i´m so in love with the moleskin folio and i´d like to buy one.
    i live in germany and couldn´t find any online shop.
    i´d be happy to hearing from.



  2. Might a Kindle folio be in the works?

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