Jason and I took a backpacking trip a couple of years ago and one of the highlights of my trip was using my Moleskine City Notebooks for Amsterdam, Berlin, and Munich. They were full of useful information you might find in a guidebook, like maps and important addresses, but there was also plenty of room for my notes and drawings. These interactive guidebooks were a great way to journal on the trip.
They are pocket-sized journals and each one has three ribbon bookmarks. I really liked the pocket-sized aspect because I could easily put them in my coat pocket unlike my Moleskine Travel Journal.
There are several pages of maps inside each journal. The maps are great for when you’re already out and about doing things and want to discretely look at a map, but for actually planning things out they weren’t super helpful since they were over so many pages.
At the end of each journal are sections to write about people, your impressions, places to see, food you ate and all of those other ideas. This is great before the trip or when you’re at the hostel figuring out what you want to do, and after you’ve done it there is plenty of room to write some quick thoughts about your experience.
And of course there are several blank pages in the journal that you can use for whatever you want, I used mine as a daily journal.
These are pretty simple journals and are kind of the first incarnation of what has become the Moleskine Passions Journals. Sadly, it seems like Moleskine is kind of phasing these out, but maybe they aren’t. While I was first researching them I read a review by a man who lived in Chicago and used the Chicago City Journal to record places he wanted to go and places he liked. I thought this was a great use of the journal and I wish I lived in a city large enough to have a Moleskine journal. I’ve thought about making a copycat journal out of a pocket Moleskine. Check out if your city as a journal here.
I used each journal for about five days and I probably filled 1/3 to half of each journal, it varied by city. The beauty of these journals is that you can use them again if you return to a city and remember everything you did, or you can return to them for recommendations to give others.
The Moleskine Passions Travel Journal probably gives you more bang for you buck, but if you’re going on an extended vacation in one locale and want to fill out more than just the basic information then these little journals are perfect.
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Have you used any of the city notebooks? How did you use them? Which city notebook would you most want?