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The Best Notebooks for Putting Pen to Paper

For those of us who are active participants in today’s gig economy — where any public space can be our office — our portable gear becomes our personal statement. That leather laptop sleeve is our substitute for a Herman Miller Aeron Chair; a minimalistic electronic accessory bag, our Artemide desk lamp.

Looking around at fellow coworking coworkers, the other must-have analog throwback is a classic notebook. Although a black hard-cover number with an elastic band is the go-to; you can now contribute to your personal space statement with expanding color options (“Let me see … that meeting happened in my blue period.”) and — especially strong right now — metallic finishes.

Scribble down your big ideas, write down reminders or jot down anything that inspires you during the day.

Sustainability spreads its influence into this area, too, with great options for recycled and recyclable paper notebooks where you won’t have to sacrifice a forest for great style.

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Idol Memory Smart Notebook

This electronic notebook writes like a paper notebook with your standard pen and paper, but does not create any waste. With 30 reusable pages (60 sides total) you have endless use that will easily replace wasted paper. To clear the pages, use the eraser, water, or a hair dryer. You can also connect your notes to an app so you can access them from the cloud.

Leatherology Snap Journal

If you know someone who loves notebooks, bookmark this for the next holiday or birthday. This buttery soft leather notebook comes in 13 classic and vibrant colors and arrives in beautiful packaging. As sleek as this notebook is on its own, you can go one step further and customize it with a foil or hand-painted monogram. Made with a built-in pen loop, you’ll never worry about misplacing your favorite pen or pencil again. (pencil not included)

Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Notebook

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If you love to keep your notes organized, this notebook is perfect for you. There are 251 numbered pages so you can easily keep track of your thoughts and the paper is ink-proof to avoid bleeding between pages. A blank table of contents is in the beginning so you can easily structure the contents. Also included are stickers for labeling and archiving so you’ll never be flipping for important pages again.

Moleskine Large Classic Notebook

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Small notebooks are great for travel and sparked ideas, but sometimes you want something a little bit bigger to doodle or take notes and you still want to look professional. Don’t worry, just because it’s bigger doesn’t mean that it loses Moleskine’s classic slim design. There are 240 pages and you can choose between dotted, plain, ruled, or squared to cater exactly to your needs.

Papercode Luxury Notebooks 2-pack

There are so many reasons we love this notebook. Besides the clean design, the notebook is constructed with an elastic closure strap which helps pages from getting bent and an inner pocket folder that you can easily store receipts or business cards. There are 130 perforated pages that allow you to easily take out any notes, or grocery lists you might need to transfer from the notebook. Its flexible cover makes it ideal for travel and on-the-go notes.

Papier Colourblock Notebook

You’re definitely going to want to show off this beautiful colorblocked notebook. With your choice of hard or soft cover and dotted or lined pages, you can create the perfect notebook exclusive to you. Finish it off with your name customization, alter ego, or fun title on the cover and get ready to write.

Rustico Writers Log Leather Notebook

Since writing can be considered an art, it deserves to be paired with a notebook that is equally as unique. The notebook comes with lined pages and you have your choice of a rustic flap-tie or snap closure and eight different rich leather colors. While this one isn’t refillable, they do have another version if that’s what you’re looking for.

Shinola Large Journal

If you like your notebook to lie perfectly flat when you’re taking notes or jotting down your thoughts, check out this leather journal. This Shinola notebook features a smyth-sewn binding with 192 ruled, heavy-duty pages.

Rite in The Rain Weatherproof Mini Notebooks

Okay, these might be the coolest notebooks ever, especially if you’re someone who likes to take notes out in nature. This 3-pack of notebooks features waterproof paper. Yes, you read that correctly. The brand promises that its all-weather paper won’t turn to mush when wet and will repel water, sweat, grease, mud, and even survive the accidental laundry mishap. When wet, use a standard pencil like a #2 Ticonderoga or an all-weather pen like a Fisher Space Pen.

Poppin Gunmetal Soft Cover

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Adding a heavy metal option to all your note-taking or journaling needs. This Poppin notebook comes in a wide range of colors, but we like these gunmetal, gold, or copper versions. The flexible, lightweight cover means it’s easy to carry, shove in a pocket, or toss into a bag. The notebook features the classic elastic loop to keep things together and a handy pocket to stash receipts or mementos.

Editors' Recommendations

Zoe Roscoe
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Zoë Roscoe is a freelance fashion and lifestyle writer based in New York. Her writing has appeared on a number of lifestyle…
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