What’s On My Desk: Nothing Beats the Trusted Notebook


Throughout much of my career I’ve opted to carry a notebook.

Before that time — I would literally jot things down here, there and everywhere. This quickly became a problem. So, an executive decision to centralize my thoughts was in order. My own form of “idea GPS” has proven to be a wise insurance policy. (Moments of clarity deserve to be recorded before they vanish.)

Notebooks have so much to offer, including a dose of balance to our ever-growing online lives. They are easy companions and can accompany you on business trips, vacations and rare moments of solitude. I suppose other methods might prove to be superior in certain situations. However, there is nothing like putting pen to paper. The physical process of writing helps to commit information to long-term memory and can aid idea development. Any easily attainable advantage is worth the trouble.

Da Vinci utilized notebooks and that alone is good reason to employ one. He often used mirror-writing — but don’t let that deter you.


I’ve carried standard spiral notebooks (I enjoy college logos). However, today there are so many interesting choices that I splurge on notebooks that catch my eye. They can become a “statement” piece. The purchase is an everyday luxury, not unlike a really great cup of coffee or a high-quality down blanket.

My notebook habit may seem old fashioned. However, it’s a habit I don’t intend to break. Recently I’ve been exploring Evernote, which seems to be a natural choice for an obsessive note taker such as myself. (So we’ll see what develops there.) However, I have some quirky habits that would have to be captured. For example, glancing at my current notebook “system”, there are project notes and “to do” lists at the front and interview notes toward the back, dated with contact phone numbers. On the very last page, I keep a running “playlist” of new songs to note on YouTube.

I’m sure your system is equally as quirky. However, notebooks are very forgiving.

Below you’ll find a list of interesting options.

I hope you find a notebook that can help your great ideas come to life.


Moleskine: Here’s a classic pocket version. (You can learn more or purchase by clicking on the icon.)*

Rhodia: Here’s a great option for meetings.*



esmie: Lovely British inspired florals.

Fabulous Cat Papers on Etsy: Beautiful embroidered covers.

Joy Tree Journals: Here’s one beautiful option.*

Zazzle: https://www.zazzle.com/s/notebooks


Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

*This denotes an affiliate link through Amazon. I’m often emailed concerning recommendations — so I’ve made a few “picks” for you. The icon makes it simple.

5 thoughts on “What’s On My Desk: Nothing Beats the Trusted Notebook

  1. To be honest, I love technology and how the apps could make our life easier than a couple of years ago… but Notebooks are “Notebooks” a simple and cheap solution — lol.


  2. Add Rhodia notebooks and look online there are so many nice ones available today. I use one or more, daily. My laptop is not always with me but a notebook always is. Look up how to do a bullet Journal by Ryan (forget his last name)


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