I love my iPhone and my tablet and my slim laptop computer, but I also LOVE my small notebook and paper calendar organizer that I carry around everywhere. Both systems, digital and paper, are indispensable and capture and record a different part of my life and my brain. Recently, while needing to restock my notebook, I came across a bunch of really nice solutions. Here, therefore, is my ultimate roundup of paper notebooks starting with Leuchtturm1917 up top. This Hamburg brand makes premium notebooks in 17 colors!
- Moleskine Notebooks - From $10
Perhaps the most well known of the notebook brands, Moleskine is actually a very young company. Founded in 1997 in Italy on the idea of recreating the "classic black notebook" of famous writers, Moleskine now offers a huge line of notebooks, paper products and family of nomadic objects. The basic notebook is thread bound, has a soft cover with rounded corners, acid free paper, a bookmark, an elastic closure and an expandable inner pocket that contains the Moleskine history.
- Poppin Notebooks - From $6
From the happy office company, Poppin's simple 192 page, lined, acid free notebook is a great design as a super affordable price. These are what I have been using because they are so light and easy. 17 colors, including gold and silver, they have the same crucial elastic band to hold them together in your bag or pocket.
- Field Notes Notebooks - From $9.95 for Three
A bit smaller than the other notebooks and bound by three staples, Field Notes are super light, on the go books for doing anything. They are sold in packs of three, each have 48 pages and come in graph, ruled or plain paper. This is the creation of Jim Coudal (creative director) and Jim and Aaron Draplinout (designers) in Chicago, who stumbled into this business and have watched it take off.
- Rhodia Webnotebooks - From $14
This venerable 1934 French brand is better known to artists for their orange sketching pads and grid paper, which I used as a kid. They make all sorts of great pads and books and their newer "webbie notebook" (above) is 96 pages, acid free with a rounded corner "leatherette" cover.
From Sweden comes this digital spin on the paper based notebook. Developed by Olof Hansson, this is a complete family of paper books that are readable with your smartphone so that the notes can easily be captured and routed in a consistent and super clear fashion. Want more info? Go check it out. Their Black Ocean Notebook (above) is the premium offering: "It has a cover with a nice rubber feeling, flexo binding that lays flat when opened and debossed logo for style."