Admittedly, I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to work and office supplies. I strongly believe that if you’re using supplies that make you smile, as opposed to the basic, simple notebooks you used in school, you’ll feel more motivated, more productive and better about your work in general. This is speaking from experience, of course, but I think it’s true. So here, I thought I would share some of my favorite pretty notebooks and what I use them for.
I am not currently using every single one of these, but I do tend to have a number of notebooks going at once for different uses and projects. Not pictured here, because I talked about it here, is my Rifle Paper Co. to-do list pad. Also a critical, and very pretty, part of my work supplies.
First is the big one: this is my planner. I got it at Anthropologie, which has a surprisingly wonderful selection of planners, calendars, stationery, journals and other office supplies. Now that I’m working freelance and making my own schedule every day, having a paper planner has proved invaluable. In an electronic calendar on a phone or computer, if you want to look at a whole week or a whole month you can only see the times and titles of events. This planner has enough room on each day that I can write down times and titles of events, but also pertinent details like phone numbers and addresses, and I can see it all at once. For anyone who struggles to stay organized and on schedule, I strongly suggest a paper planner. This one is a little large, I’ll admit, but even a smaller one would make a world of difference. The art on the planner is drawn by KT Smail.
This notebook holds a special place in my heart. It came from Staples, the school supply mecca, and I’m pretty sure that it came with every letter in the alphabet and you were able to pick which one you wanted to go in the window. I chose F because this is the notebook I used while writing my senior English thesis on F. Scott Fitzgerald. It contains the notes I took during my weekly meetings with my advisor. And while I like having different notebooks for different things, I also hate when a notebook isn’t filled up. In college, at the end of one semester, I would simply paper clip all the pages containing notes from the class I had just completed and then continue using the same notebook for another class. That’s kind of what I decided to do with this notebook. I’m in the very early stages of a book project, and given that it will be the longest piece of writing I’ve undertaken since my thesis, I thought it was the perfect project to share the notebook.
Okay, so right now this notebook is just sitting at the front of the notebook basket on my bookcase. I love the bright pink and the inspirational message so much that I don’t want to use it for just anything. It has to be the right job or project and it has to be one that will fill up every single page. It has a Steve Jobs quote on the inside cover: “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” I know it’s a little silly, but I want whatever I use the notebook for to reflect that positivity, inspiration and drive. It’s made by Sheffield Home.
This one is the biggest notebook of the bunch, just a couple inches smaller than a regular sheet of paper, which makes it perfect for the book project it currently contains. A normal way to collect printouts would be in a folder, or perhaps in a three-ring binder, but I find binders to be bulky. So instead, I adjust the margins so that when I print out pages I can trim them and then use double sided tape to put the pages in this notebook. It makes it super easy to flip through pages and reference things from the past that I find it’s worth the extra effort—plus it means I get to use another pretty notebook. This one comes from Fringe Studio.
Now we come to the last of the bunch, the scrap paper/random notes notebooks. The flowered one, which is Compendium, is actually full, but I keep it in my notebook basket because it’s just so darn pretty and colorful. The orange one is just your basic executive notebook, but the bright color makes up for that fact.
I also wanted to mention the pencils. The blue one says “You are capable of amazing things” in the gold lettering, which I obviously love. If you love it too, Compendium makes a variety of motto pencils. The other pencil is basically just a fat colored pencil/highlighter. But again, bright orange = instant smiles.
For my supplies to give me good vibes and motivation, they need to have flowers, bright colors, and/or inspiration. And that’s what all of these have, and how they help me get through every day.