I’ve been on a mad hunt for the perfect notebook the last few days. Not a laptop. Certainly not one of those spiral notebooks typically used in gradeschool. No, just a regular black notebook. Oh, but with graph lines. Not blank. Not ruled.

My last Moleskine Squared Notebook is nearing completion with 11 pages left. Why the hunt? Why not just buy another one? There are several Barnes and Noble stores near me that sell them, BUT, there’s one major reason why I won’t do it again – the graph lines are TOO DARK!

It wasn’t long ago that the Moleskine Squared Notebook was the perfect one for me. Except for being a bit pricey, I loved everything about them – the color of the paper, the graph lines, the way the binding allows the notebook to lay flat when you have the notebook open. Oh man! Anyway, while I’m sure you care about the details of what works for me (I know you don’t), that isn’t the point.

After calling a few places and driving around to several different stores in the area, I came up with nothing. Needing a notebook immediately, I gave up and bought a ruled Moleskine from B&N. But, here is what I found.

After a large search around the area, I wasn’t able to get my hands on a physical copy, but apparently Piccadilly makes exact replicas of the Moleskine notebooks on the cheap. Apparently they are both made in China. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are made by the same company.

Ecosystem has a really nice line of notebooks themselves. They use 100% post-consumer recylced paper and are 100% USA made. Awesomeness. Unfortunately for me, their Architect line of notebooks just isn’t what I’m looking for. The lines are printed dark and are much too small. If I was looking for a ruled journal, I would definitely consider them – their flexi cover is amazing and I just love their story.

Markings sells a line of products at Staples and Target. I find their cover disgusting and refuse to use it.

Behance sells the Dot Grid Journal, which looks pretty interesting. I know I was looking for a squared ruling, but if the dots aren’t too dark, it could be perfect.

UPDATE! The Behance Dot Grid Journal is the best notebook I’ve ever owned. Plus, their customer service is awesome.

UPDATE #2 It appears as if the lines in the squared Moleskine notebooks are back to normal - yay!

UPDATE #3 Lately I’ve been using nice printer paper, folded up twice to make four squares. I actually like this better than a notebook for daily notes - keeping around five pages with me at a time. I think I’ll punch holes in them and put them in a binder.