I just picked up one of Moleskine’s new City Guides (Paris in my case). It’s a delightful little affair. It’s the usual small Moleskine notebook size with the trademark elastic strap and expanding note pocket in the back. But it has a lot of special features geared toward the active tourist:
- City maps in two different scales, with very refined and easy to read muted colors and gray shades. There’s also a street index. It’s not as comprehensive as a full city map (or a Paris Par Arrondissement or a London A-Z, for example), but good enough for most uses
- Sheets of tracing paper with adhesive at the top (like Post-It notes) to place over the maps so you can trace out an itinerary
- Metro/subway map
- Pages for planning Before Going and while-you-are-there itineraries
- Clothing size conversion charts
- Tabbed pages for noting restaurants, people, places, events etc. that you’ve experienced
- Additional blank tabbed pages that allow you to make your own categories
They also supply a couple of sheets for noting inaccuracies so that you can email Moleskine and let them know. And it has three separate cloth bookmark tags (in 3 shades of gray) to mark different pages. My only complaint, as is the case with most Moleskine books, is there’s no way to securely slot in a pen.
Finally, Moleskine has an accompanying website and blogs for each city (Paris, for example). One wonders if in the future they will open it for the general public to contribute to.
All in all a smart move for Moleskine, filling a need and making good use of their brand and legacy in multiple ways.
(As a side note, Moleskine’s new Cahier notebooks are my favorite walkaround notebooks - small, flexible, lightweight, good paper, cheap. In kraft brown please. Sold in packs of 3.)