About creativity, productivity and an optimal work life balance - interview with Moleskine
31.08.2020 | Miriam Appel
The Moleskine ecosystem is made up of tools that enable inspiration, creativity and productivity in everyday life. This includes both analogue and digital objects like notebooks, journals, apps and writing sets. When it comes to the future of work, do you think that both analogue and digital modes will be equally important?
At Moleskine we like to think that good ideas start on paper. As a brand, that is where our journey started – on the small black notebooks used by artists and creatives of the past as a means of capturing their ideas, sketches and notes on the go. But we have also always designed objects that connect analogue and digital forms of expression. Afterall, our lives are no longer distinctly one or the other, we skip between writing and typing, notebook to screen, backpack to cloud, choosing the medium that best suits our needs in the moment. Moleskine creates tools that make these transitions as seamless as possible. Take our Smart Writing Systems, for example. Notebooks, Cahiers, and Planners with pages made of paper paired with a special Pen+ means that every pen stroke is simultaneously copied to the cloud, in the Moleskine Notes App or to your digital calendar ready to be edited, saved, or shared. Tools like these are the best of both worlds, helping professionals, creatives and students do their best work whether at home, at the office or on the go. So, to answer your question: yes, we see a future where analogue and digital continue to coexist helping us to express ourselves in creative ways, making our workdays more efficient, connecting us to one another, and accompanying us on our journeys near and far.
Moleskine creates tools that focus on both creativity and productivity. How difficult do you think it is for professionals working in today’s digital age to strike a good work/life balance?
The Moleskine brand lives at the intersection where the different identities of today’s professionals meet. The boundaries between work and life are becoming more and more fluid; by choice or necessity concepts like “office” and “work day” are no longer defined by physical borders, people carry their work with them 24/7. Inevitably this means that professional identities are not separate from who we are at home or at play. Moleskine objects have an intentionally clean and understated aesthetic so that they can easily transition from office to art studio to urban adventure without ever appearing to be out of place. We believe that it is just as important to be able to work on the go as it is to be creative, wherever and whenever inspiration strikes. Going offline, sketching, drawing, writing by hand are all grounding activities that allow us to tap in to our imagination and give us a break from our online, productive selves. Finding a balance between these shifting realities does not always come naturally, which is why Moleskine offers a range of inspirational events and training opportunities that aim to help people find and express their creative selves, without losing track of who they are in the workplace.
What tips can you offer those seeking to balance well-being and productivity when working remotely?
Probably the best advice we can give is to build a toolkit of objects that will help you organize, plan, and action your days and to-dos. Our planners, notebooks, journals and writing sets come in all shapes and designs to fit the many needs of today’s professionals, helping you to keep track of your activities and stay accountable to your goals. Businesses looking to support their employees as they strive to balance their lives at home and at work can choose to customize many Moleskine objects to create a unique tool that their staff will treasure. One of the challenges of remote working is that individuals can feel disconnected from the bigger picture they are part of – a team, an organization, a vision. Gifting or offering as incentives personalized work tools that reflect a company’s brand and values is one way organizations can continue to inspire staff with a sense of belonging and purpose.
Looking into the future, what organizing tool would you wish for?
It may not be surprising to learn that we spend a lot of time thinking about organization at Moleskine. One of the interesting things we have learned is that organizing is actually quite an intimate, private, matter. Not only do our planners and calendars contain all our activities, they also tell the story of our lives, marking both the mundane and the important. Our calendars are also where our professional and personal lives blend together, anniversaries and holidays marked in alongside meetings and deadlines. The ideal organizing tool of the future will therefore definitely have a physical, paper element to it, an object we can carry around with us and fill not just with notes but also scraps of paper, tickets, post-it notes. It will also be able to accommodate all of our identities, not just our professional ones, so it is important that it leaves space for creativity – perhaps some blank pages we can fill with whatever we feel like. And finally, it will be able to easily connect to our digital organizing tools when we choose. We might go as far as saying that our ideal organizing tool of the future is already here: the Smart Planner. With all the features of a weekly Moleskine planner, when used with the Pen+ it connects to your online calendars, allowing for seamless on-screen planning.
The digital age is all about connections. How important do you think digital exchange and the development of ideas are for innovation?
Ideas are at the heart of all innovation. And ideas need to grow and develop before they can realized. For example, many studies have shown that writing and drawing on paper use different cognitive abilities than typing. When you write and draw you are processing information from your brain, not merely transposing it as you do when you type. Which is why many creatives - architects, designers, artists, writers, illustrators, entrepreneurs – prefer to start their creative process on paper first. At Moleskine we cherish the physicality of the creative process and it is always our starting point whenever we create and design new products. But the digital element is important too – it facilitates interpersonal relationships, and helps develop and share ideas. So as in everything, it is about finding the right balance.
Thank you very much!