I have seen plenty of “iPad Moleskine hacks” out there that all boil down to attacking a Moleskine with an X-Acto blade and inserting your iPad inside, rendering the Moleskine’s quality as being a blank book useless. The DODOcase is a professionally made iPad case that has perfected the Moleskine-like look. I really like the style of the DODOcase, but I like the wedge shape that you can fold the official Apple case into much, much more.
As I read both fiction and nonfiction, I like to have a blank notebook at hand. This is especially true for electronic books, where you can’t just make notes in the margins. Well, I guess, technically you can — you click and hold on a word, select the pop-up option to add a note at that location, then type in a text-only message with the on-screen keyboard, then save it. It offers hardly the speed or flexibility of jotting a quick list or drawing a more elaborate diagram. The goal of a well-designed ebook reading device is to fade into the background so it is just you and the words. When you have to fiddle with the interface to write a note, it has failed.
I have thought long and hard of various ways to solve my need for writing notes without having to carry around a separate notebook. My best thought, were it not for the iPad’s glass screen, was to attach a notepad or several sheets of paper to the inside front cover with a binder clip. Of course, binder clips being metal and the iPad being glass, I don’t think this idea would work too terribly well in reality. My next thought was to slip some small pages or index cards back behind the iPad and the case. The Apple case looked like it would work well for this because it’s like a rubber envelope that the iPad slides into. Unfortunately, the envelope is too deep and the paper gets lost deep down and is hard to fish out.
It turns out that Moleskine makes tiny blank books, about the size of 3×5 cards. (For what it’s worth, these are in the “gifts” section of Powell’s, not the “blank books” section.) One of these will fit perfectly behind the iPad in the Apple case and are thick enough to not get lost down there, but thin enough to not get in the way. I have found the ones with the black covers are a bit thinner than the ones with the brown cardboard covers and therefore fit a little better.