Muji: Look at This F*cking Notebook

Katrina’s Team Pick:

After essentially having been on an extended summer vacation for like two years, I felt it necessary to go back to school with some hip-ass new notebooks. Marble notebooks were cool and retro, a little too common. Moleskines were beautiful and classy, but a little too predictable and way too expensive. I was at a loss. And then, much like Goldilocks struggling with the hot-and-cold porridge, I found the notebook that was just right.

Muji is a Japanese retailer whose theme I don’t completely understand. Items for sale in their stores include – but are not limited to – LED aroma diffusers, furniture, menswear, storage items, wooden puzzles and paper Legos all sold to you by a team of quiet, androgynous, long-haired sales associates. It is the best store ever. And of course they have these fucking notebooks:

Muji is awesome because it’s all about simplicity. No frills, no logo, their design seeks to capture the essence of an item where function dictates form, not the other way around. Is that a ridiculous thing to say? The way I feel about these items is ridiculous. And they’re made from recycled paper. AND they’re affordable. What is this devilry? I don’t know.

The company only has three locations in the US, and they’re all in New York. Luckily for you and also for me when I don’t want to get out of bed, they have an online store! You can buy all the things. Would you like some socks or an umbrella with that notebook? Muji has it covered.

what the fuck is this


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phoenix

phoenix has written 64 articles for us.

40 Comments

  1. I see your Muji and raise you a Rhodia wirebound notebook in orange. Extra points for the elasti-bound. And, like, my dad’s an architect, so…picture me flipping my hair.

  2. We have a Muji in the next town over. They have black rubbers. BLACK RUBBERS. It’s madness.

  3. I have at least two of these notebooks on the go at any one time! They are just right and the paper in them is lovely. Also, for the record, Muji’s limited range of home furnishings is pretty great too.

  4. Katrina, lets stop fighting this and get Married, it’s evident to me we’d be perfect together..(This is apparently how I say, I LOVE THIS)

  5. There’s a little store called ‘FamilyMart’ in Japan where I would stop everyday on my way home. I probably own thirty or so of these notebooks. They are lovely.

    • Whoa, I thought FamilyMart was Korean! There’s an FM on every block here. They have convenience stores in the US too- they’re rebranded as ‘Famima!!’ and are AWESOME.

  6. THAT OWL. If everything has a function, that owl’s function is to be awesome, or also to possibly sit next to my bed and protect me from all the monsters from Dr. Who, which I should stop watching before I go to sleep.

  7. When did Lisa Frank folders stop making the cut? Give me a gangster bear with backwards 90’s cap and some plaid cargo shorts, two penguins in neon colors making pouty faces, or a yellow kitten who is more adorable than any LOLcats thing (okay, so I don’t really know or understand that LOLcats obsession…).

    • Lisa Frank stuff just isn’t the same anymore. They went all Bratz dolls with girls with obnoxiously large heads and tiny bodies. I mean there’s still some angel kittens to be found but it’s just not the same. :(

  8. The kanji (Chinese characters) that spell out Muji in Japanese literally mean “no brand” …hence the lack of logos. The “theme seems pretty straight forward: reduce all design out until you are left with nothing but what is necessary to serve the function.

  9. Those nice ones with the different color tape, does anyone know how many pages they contain? I see that the spiral-bound ones have 80, but I can’t find it on the others.

    Anyway, I like these. Thanks.

  10. I bought one of those Zequenz things, hoping that fancy notebooks would make be a better writer. Didn’t work, but it is fancy.

  11. There are like a bunch of Muji stores in Manila now. My friends and I were making fun of the winter clothes they were selling, it had a lot of plaid and fake fur lining. I wanted to buy some highlighters from there though. They were like the clicky kind, like retractable? You guys know what I mean.

  12. I love Muji so so much. Their pens are amazing. Though, I was saddened that they seem to have discontinued the style of diary I loved so much and owned for about five years on the trot. *sigh*

  13. I LOVE Muji!
    I used to live close to one of their big stores in NY and I would often go there to browse for hours. I would then be overwhelmed by all these things I wish I needed but didn’t actually need and leave in confusion.
    I did buy a sweater and some markers once. They’re both fantastic.

  14. Muji is so expensive here you might as well just spend the extra fiver and get the Molekine thats going to last. Muji stuff falls apart and the paper is too thin.

  15. My girlfriend got my brother a shrink-wrapped t-shirt from Muji for Christmas. It’s like a 2 inch cube which he keeps handy “in case of emergency.”

    I got my 2012 planner there and I’m now addicted to writing about my week. Also mittens. And socks. I think I have a problem.

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