Moleskine Volant Mini Notebook Review

The Moleskine Volant with a Uniball Signo 207 for size comparison.

The Moleskine Volant with a Uniball Signo 207 for size comparison.

I stopped at Borders today because I was on my way to BestBuy to pick up a new tripod for the camera, and the Borders bookstore is right next to it.  I remembered that they carry some notebooks and sometimes have some decent sales, so I decided to stop in.  Now the Moleskine Volant Mini notebook in my review today wasn’t on sale, and I really had no intent of ever buying another Moleskine notebook.  This one caught me by surprise because of its size.  I’ve had some bad experiences with other Moleskine notebooks due to lots of feathering and bleeding when I wrote in them, so I was hesitant to purchase these.   I remembered that I did want a small notepad to keep in my car just in case, and I then remembered that the pen I keep in my car is my Uniball Power Tank, which is a ball point pen.  I figured that if I was just going to use these moleskine notebooks with a ball point pen, then I shouldn’t have to worry about any bleeding or feathering issues when I wrote in them.  So now that I had my excuse to spend more money on office supply related stuff, I  made my purchase, for $5.95 plus tax I got two of these 2 1/2″ x 4″ notebooks with 56 perforated pages of acid free paper in each.

Moleskine Volant Mini writing sample with a few different pens that I thought would cause issues.

Moleskine Volant Mini writing sample with a few different pens that I thought would cause issues.

I was anxious to get these Moleskine notebooks home so I could test some pens on them to see if I was going to regret my purchase in terms of having ink that feathers and/or bleeds like crazy.  As you can see from the picture, I tried a Uniball Jetstream, a Uniball Power Tank, a Uniball Signo 207, Noodler’s Blue Black fountain pen ink, a Pentel Slicci, a Uniball Signo DX, a Sharpie Retractable Ultra Fine, and a Pilot Razor Point in this Moleskine notebook.  To my huge shock and surprise, none of these pens really showed signs of feathering, and even the Sharpie which I expected to feather the most on this paper held up really well.  I’m not sure if I have now just had one really bad Moleskine experience in the past, and this new notebook is the true standard for their paper, or if its the other way around.  All I know for sure is that these Moleskine Volant Mini notebooks have given me pause when it comes to completely abandoning Moleskine notebooks as a whole.  I also really like the perforated paper in these Moleskines so you can just scribble down a quick note or two and take it with you easily.

Moleskine Volant Mini notebook in hand.

Moleskine Volant Mini notebook in Woody’s hand.

You can probably tell from the Woody picture and the first picture with the Uniball Signo 207 that these Moleskine Volants are really compact.  These Moleskine Volant Mini notebooks really are a perfect size to slip into the front pocket of a mens dress shirt, or the inside pocket of a jacket without even noticing they are there.  In my case one of these will always be stashed in my car, and the other will likely be put inside of a shirt or jacket pocket .  I think these would be good for a topic that I recently learned a little about on the EDC or Every Day Carry forum. I stumbled across that site, and the whole concept because they had linked to one of my pen reviews, its a really interesting concept, and very practical too.   Ill probably do some more reading to see what other great ideas they have over there, and its certainly an interesting and somewhat related topic to check out.  For now though, I’m thrilled with these Moleskine Volant notebooks because they are such awesome pocket size notebooks.

Update: 9/7/09 – I did a quick update post to supplement this review, so check out the Lined version of the Moleskine Volant Mini with some other uses and warnings too.

©2015, Brian Greene. All rights reserved.


  1. 1
    Lady Glamis says:

    Looks like a great little notebook for jotting down ideas for my book while I’m out and about!

    I’m wondering, though, what tripod did you get??? I love photography and am curious. :)

  2. 2

    Lady Glamis – Thanks for stopping by to read my review, it is a great little notebook, Im loving it already at less than 24 hrs old. Ill probably pick up a few more to keep tucked away.

    I just got a small tripod, nothing fancy, but I didnt have anything to start with and taking close up pictures of pens and notebooks was proving hard for my shaky hands. Im only a novice photographer at best, nothing like what you are capable of. :)

    Here is the link to the one I picked up:

  3. 3
    Marte says:

    I was actually thinking of getting one of these. Glad to see you like them, now I can buy with confidence!

  4. 4

    Marte – Happy to see that my review was helpful, that is always nice to know, so thanks for sharing.

    If you dont end up liking them, you might be able to work out a trade for something I have on the giveaway this time once the winners have claimed what they win.

  5. 5
    Inkophile says:

    Thanks for reviewing the Volant. Moleskine used to have good paper. Maybe they have returned to the quality paper source from several years ago. Wouldn’t that be good news!

  6. 6

    Inkophile – Glad that you liked the review. I hope you are right about the paper source, but I guess the other alternative is that I happened to pick up a set of notebooks that have just been sitting around for a really long time. :)

  7. 7
    Inkophile says:

    Those Volants are new so that’s a really good sign that Moleskine has taken heed of the stinky reviews and comments of the last couple of years. My seven year old journals had much better paper for fountain pen ink than the more recent lot. Might have to give some of those newly manufactured items a test run now. :)

  8. 8

    Inkophile – Very helpful info, thank you for sharing. I think you are right, its an encouraging sign. Some of those pens I tested on it I REALLY thought would have problems. Let us know what happens if you buy any newer Moleskines.

  9. 9
    Cynthia says:

    Great review on the Moleskine Volants! I haven’t had the opportunity to test the paper on these with a sampling of pens, so I really appreciate you doing this review. The small size really makes these portable and convenient to keep in a purse or pocket. I like using them for my grocery list and it’s good to know that I can use any pen I happen to have on me at the time.

  10. 10

    @Cynthia – Thanks, Im always so happy when I hear back from a reader that one of my reviews was helpful for them. You are right about it being so portable, Im about 1/2 way through a new ruled one that I bought. Its my every day, running to-do list.

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