We've all been in that meeting, where everyone sitting around the conference table has the same Molskine notebooks and Muji pens. It's reassuring in some ways, but also reinforces the idea that we're all interchangeable cogs in a vocational machine. If we go down, not only can we be replaced, but our office supplies won't even miss a beat. But don't fret, Dilbert; we found some office supplies with style that'll also help you get things done.
Saddleback Small Leather Portfolio, $119 on Amazon: This is refillable and has a 100-year warranty, which means I never have to look for a new notebook again. That alone has freed up so much bandwidth, while also making me think about my own mortality. The portfolio takes 5"X8" pads, which are absurdly cheap. It's durable, so it can survive getting knocked around in my bag. And it holds a pen, which means it's a self-contained note-taking unit. But best of all, it looks tough. When that leather notebook comes out, people look at you differently, like you're a cowboy who can also balance the books. Despite the steep price, I have one for work and one for home. They're worth the cost.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen, $20 on Amazon: This was my first fountain pen and it's also my favorite. It writes beautifully and feels great in the hand. How great? I was at a conference and walked past a Lamy booth. I impulsively tried a Safari out, even though I wasn't a fountain pen guy. It felt so nice, I went out a bought one, becoming a fountain pen guy. This holds a decent amount of ink, so I'm not constantly refilling it. The price point is perfect: I take care of it, because it costs more than a disposable pen, but it's not so expensive that I'm scared to have it out and about.
LIHIT LAB Carrying Pouch, $20 on Amazon: It's considered a laptop sleeve, but I use it to hold my folders and papers in my backpack. It's an easy way to organize and keep all of my papers protected. The beauty of it is that I take it out of my bag when I get to work, and everything is still in one place. At the end of the day, I reverse the process. It even features space for pens and small notebooks, in case I ever want to take it out alone. Which I don't. But I appreciate options. Some might say a bag-within-a-bag is overkill. I'd say that only psychopaths like bent folders.
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