Testimonials, Comments & Suggestions
This section is dedicated to our new moleskine journal Folio, sized specifically to hold the large size of that most popular brand of blank books. Rickshaw has no affiliation with the “cap-M” moleskine brand, or its U.S. distributor (Chronicle Books, my San Francisco neighbor). I happen to be a (M)oleskine “enthusiast” myself, so I designed this product for my own needs, and what I thought others like me might enjoy. I designed some simpler journal covers in a previous life, but I really wanted something with more features. This project was inspired by another (M)oleskine enthusiast I met on-line, who had developed something similar. The Rickshaw Folio will officially launch in late-March. Meanwhile, we’ve been selling a limited supply of pre-production samples to get some real-world feedback. I will chronicle the testimonials, comments and suggestions here, and I encourage those who already have them to post comments, along with anyone else who wants to chime in. Let’s have some fun! -Mark (Jan 22, 2009)
My own testimonial
I must confess, I was originally skeptical of this product idea. Like many journal enthusiasts, I like to embellish the covers of my journals with stickers and paint pen doodles. I was content to clip my pens to the front cover, and store the scraps of paper I collected along the way in a handy pocket on the inside rear cover of my brand of blank book. However, being an engineer and product designer by training, I was drawn to the opportunity to “improve” my journaling “experience”. So here’s my review after 4 weeks of use:
I’m enjoying my Folio more than I ever thought I would. Frankly, the notion of covering my Moleskine with anything never really appealed to me, because I love putting stickers all over mine — front and back. However, with the Folio, I can still enjoy the front cover of my Moleskine, and now my pens and paper scraps are organized. The pens aren’t clipped to the front cover, and scraps aren’t falling out of my book or hidden in the rear pocket. I love it!
A few testimonials from first users
(see comments below for more)
Kelley B (San Diego, California): I received my folio last week just in time to take it with me on a short trip. I have to say I wasn’t sure how much I would use it because I like to cover my Moleskie with stickers also. However, I actually ended up using it a lot and loving it. It’s so easy to keep everything together in one place so I can just grab the folio and take it with me to lunch or dinner or just to the coffeeshop. I really like that you put in the piece of fabric to protect the cover of the moleskine while it’s in the folio. The only problem is now my girlfriend loves it also. So I’m sure I’ll be buying one for her as soon as they go live on your site!
David H (England): Hi Mark, just wanted to give you my first testimonial. I had the same thoughts at first about covering my beloved moleskine – I moved away from proprietary planners because of the bulk of the binders you have to have with them. Not a problem with your folio as it doesn’t add that much bulk, and the little bit it does is more than compensated by the organisational detail. The fact that you can carry a number of pens is great and the back clear pocket is great for dealing with receipts and miscellaneous notes and stuff.
I also like putting stickers and writing on the outside of my journal in silver/gold – yet this can still be done as you can still see the front cover.
The zip pocket is just great for keeping spare business cards, blank 3×5 notecards which I use for quick notes (once I write on them they then go in the clear pocket) stamps and other personal items.
Add to all the above that you can customise the cover and binding and I think that this is the hottest product out there for molskine enthusiasts. You really can be individual in your choices.
I find it really easy to hold – in fact it makes portable journalling even easier in my opinion. It fits really easily into my bag and when zipped it is really compact.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this to any moleskine enthusiast/journal writer who is looking for a product that aids organisation and and portablity with the great looks available through customisation.
I will be ordering one each for my kids later this year as Xmas presents. (they also use moleskines)
Rev. Jennifer B (Syracuse, New York): Dear Mark, I received my Folio on Monday and am absolutely loving it! Here’s what I like about it: It fits nicely into my handbag and looks sharp being carried on its own. The pen protector flap is holding up nicely and I like how much better my Moleskine feels now that all of the stuff I had in the back pocket has been moved to the front zipped pocket of the Folio. It is also holding up well to the snowy Syracuse weather we’ve been having. Not that I’ve been leaving it around in snow drifts or anything, but when I walked to my Slow Food meeting last night, I was able to brush away the snow flakes and the exterior really resisted the moisture and wet snow. Finally, I really love the solid craftsmanship. The Folio is aesthetically pleasing, has a nice hand feel, and the stitching and quality of the materials suggests that this is giong to hold up for years to come. This is my first Rickshaw product and I’ve fallen for it so much that I dream of another Folio for one of my other Moleskines, and now I REALLY want the Skinny Commuter Bag. I have been looking at them for a good six months now. I don’t need it, I have to confess, so I’m giving my brother my current computer messenger bag–made by a company you know very well–so that I can have an excuse to save up for a Rickshaw bag. Because if the Folio is this great than the bags must be spectacular!
Before I sign off, I need to say a word about the effectiveness of your communication–Flickr pages, videos, emails, and the blog. It is rare in my experience to be able to communicate with the CEO of a company such as yours. If you’re trying to build brand loyalty with me–well, you got me. If you wanted me to somehow feel part of the Rickshaw team or movement–mission accomplished. Your products are compelling but the way you communicate about them helps me to feel like I am purchasing more than a bag or folio–I’m supporting the things I value. I understand your mission and it resonates with me. And because I’ve communicated with you directly–with 3,000 miles between us–Rickshaw is no longer an anonymous company that happens to make great products. Now I’m invested in Rickshaw doing well. And I hope you do. And if there is anything I can do lend my support I’ll be happy to do it.
Many thanks for all you do.
Nicholas G (Australia): Let me start by saying I have no affiliation, just a delighted customer!
Looking for a cover for your Moleskine that is:
Protects your diary
Holds your pens
Protects your pens
Holds your paraphernalia
Not too costly
Look no further, here it is!
This one is in silk in a fabric chosen by me, but have no fear you can be as creative or as straight forward as your fabric and imagination allows.
the Moleskine fits in beautifully, not too snug, just right (assuming a 21cm x 13cm journal). It includes room for 4 pens (and large enough for good sized pens – pic has my Edison Pearl, Visconti Wall St LE and MYU 701)
and these are separated from the Moleskine by a protective flap that both protects the pens and the Journal from each other until they’re ready to share ink.
Behind the pens there is a zip feature for inserting bits and pieces securely.
Everything opens up flat, so no need to remove the journal to write. It’s snug, protected and practical.
At the back there’s a pocket to insert your Moleskine pocket PLUS a clear protective pocket for photos etc, that you can view at a glance!
Finally, the whole thing zips up to protect the lot from the cruel outside world with a smooth, strong zip that has no problem with you adding any number of bits and pieces as you go about your travels.
So all-in-all this is a wonderful piece of design limited only by your imagination and with all the practicalities you could possibly need at an affordable price. There is even open access to the cover of your Moleskine for those who insist on covering them with stickers, grafitti etc.
Mark Dwight, the designer of the Folio. and founder and CEO of Rickshaw Bagworks, is a great guy to do business with. He works with you, sends you videos and Flickr photos to show you progress and listens to your ideas with a totally open mind.
I know this sounds like a big ad, but it’s just a sharing of a happy FPNer.
Mark Dwight reports on his bicycle travels with the Folio
Greetings Folio Fans! I just completed a 5-day 500-mile bicycle ride from the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, to attend the annual TED conference. All along the way, my Rickshaw Moleskine Folio was my faithful companion. I used it as a wallet, stash for postcards, receipts and business cards, and trip journal (of course!). During my trip, I used my Flip Video Camera to create a series of “video postcards” which I have been posting on my YouTube page. I made a special video postcard for my fellow folio fans. Check it out…