I am a big fan of Bellroy products. I purchased my first wallet from them two years ago when I picked up the black Bellroy Note Sleeve and it has not left my pocket since. It is almost perfect! The leather and construction are top quality and the layout is so smart that you can throw everything you have at it and it will still be thin enough to fit nicely in your front pocket. It does however lack one important feature —space for a notepad.
This is obviously expected as it is a detail left unnoticed by pretty much all small-wallet makers, but this did not prevent me from trying to make it work.
WHERE TO PLACE THE NOTEBOOK?
In my opinion there are two ways of incorporating a notebook into a small wallet. You either find a wallet small enough to fit entirely inside one of the pockets, or you fit only the cover such as in a passport holder. Since the Note Sleeve is such a small wallet, the first choice would mean that the notebook would have to be absolutely tiny making it extremely hard to use it in any practical way. I therefore chose to go with the second method.
BUT WHICH NOTEBOOK?
The choice of notebook is very important. At the start I used to make my own staple-bound notebooks which I cut specifically to fit the inside pocket of the Bellroy wallet. The problem was however that they took too long to make, they did not look very nice and they were still quite small. In the end I decided to go with the Moleskine Extra Small Volant Notebook.
It is slightly taller and wider than a credit card, measuring at 6.7 x 1 x 10.5 cm and so I had to cut the front cover to the dimensions of a credit card to fit inside the wallet’s left side pocket. In the end, the cover fit securely inside the wallet’s pocket also leaving enough space for cards.
In conclusion, I am very happy with this transformation. It addressed all the issues of the Bellroy Note Sleeve, making it my perfect pocket companion. The only issues that I can think of are that firstly, the notebook slightly protrudes from the wallet on the top and bottom. For me this is not a big problem as it does not offend me visually and it gives me some extra writing real-estate. If it is does bother you however you could trim the top and the bottom to address this issue. Secondly, the cuts with the knife are not as perfect as those cut from the factory. Maybe in the future I will invest in some better cutting equipment but for now I still never leave home without it.
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