I have a confession to make. I am a notebook fanatic. My collection of work notebooks is LARGE. From simple, minimalist notepads to the more detailed booklets — I cannot resist buying new stationery. Call it corny, but there is no greater feeling than opening a blank notebook at the start of a marketing project. It makes me feel like I can accomplish anything.
Yes, our laptops and phones have apps for note-taking, but sometimes you need an escape from digital devices. As a marketer, when it comes to jotting down quick notes, sketches, and concepts, I find notebooks far superior. But let’s be clear, not all notebooks are created equal. Each brand has different sizes, types of paper, and binding.
To make your selection easier, I have compiled a list of the eight best work notebooks suitable for all unique preferences.
My Personal Favorite Work Notebooks
The Muji notebooks are simple and well put together. Each notebook is built with high-quality paper that is smooth to write on. One of the best features of the Muji notebooks is the price — as low as $.90. Also, the notebooks are sewn together, which allows the notebook to open flat. Muji offers a ton of options with various sizes, paper selections, and colors. My personal favorite is the Open Flat Notebook A6 or the Planting Tree Paper Note B5.
The Confidant is a sturdy, well-designed line of notebooks. The cloth binding allows for a minimalist yet sophisticated look. For those picky marketing notetakers, the notebook is available in three sizes, several colors, lines, and paper options such as lined or dotted. Plus, Baronfig will plant a tree for every notebook sold. One potential flaw to keep in mind is the notebook has no elastic closure or pockets.
Okay, okay, so I know printer paper is not technically a notebook. Still, sometimes loose paper is the perfect canvas for sketching out new ideas, brainstorming user flows, and wireframing new UI features. You can spread the pages out on a table and get to work. A bonus to the loose paper is that you can easily hang the sheets on the wall for review, easily rearrange them, or pass them along to your design team. It’s a benefit not easily accessible with standard notebooks.
When you really want to remove the chaos, the Emergent Task Planner will help marketers connect big goals to small daily tasks. I don’t use the task planner every day as it’s a relatively rigid structure. However, when I am working on multiple projects, juggling a hectic work/family schedule, or kicking off a new project, the task planning sheets help me map out my day. Doing so makes it easier to stick to my to-do list and block out the distractions.
Just like the loose leaf computer sheets, you cannot overlook the low rent drugstore notebook. They’re sturdy, lightweight, stay together, and the paper quality is decent. These notebooks are ideal for when you want to jot things down or quickly log your thoughts. Although it’s not perforated, you can effortlessly tear out the sheets without destroying the notebook.
The best thing about this notebook is the paper — it’s high quality (suitable for fountain pens and sharpies) and extra bright white. Hence the name, “Meeting Notebook” provides a nice structure for taking meeting notes. It has designated sections for date, notes, and action items. All pages are microperforated, and the cover is water-resistant.
The Mililko is a remarkably flexible notebook. The spiral-bound and blank pages are ideal for sketching and bullet journaling. Plus, you can work on one page at a time without having to have the whole book open. The paper is a good weight, and I haven’t had any bleed-through using various pens, markers, Sharpies, etc. Because I often use this for sketching wireframes and user flows that I pass along to my team, my wish for this notebook would be that it had perforated sheets for easy removal.
Finally, the Leuchtturm1917 is a sophisticated, tried and true notebook. It’s certainly not the cheapest notebook on the market, but for good reasons. This notebook is chock-full of thoughtful details for the daily marketing notetaker. A few details that I find helpful include:
- A durable cover
- Table of contents
- Numbered pages
- Elastic strap
- A pocket feature
- Label stickers
Even better, the brand offers a great range of colors, paper variations, and sizes. One quirk that sometimes bothers me is that the pages don’t sit as flat as possible. All in all, this is one of my go-to gift-giving choices.
Swooning Over These 😍
- Moo’s line of notebooks
- These beauties from ana tomy
- Colorful mini notebooks from Pantone
- A quirky design and illustration notebook from Michael Rogers
- Traditional meets digital with Whitelines
I like to think notebook preferences are like your choice of ice cream. Some prefer rich flavors packed with candy and syrups, while others enjoy classic vanilla. The perfect notebook is one that matches your unique needs, likings, and style. Perhaps you’d even prefer to have multiple work notebooks for different marketing initiatives such as brainstorming, blog post ideas, landing page designs, etc. Regardless of your needs, compiling your thoughts inside a notebook will help make you more focused and ready to tackle everyday tasks.
Have a favorite work notebook? Let me know so I can add it to my next notebook purchase. Find me on Twitter, @michelleurban.