If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Robb Report may receive an affiliate commission.
It may sound archaic—we’re well aware that computers are a thing—but everyone should have a good notebook (plus pens and pencils to write with) on hand. They’re eminently portable and pose no danger of lost work when WiFi connections are on the fritz. Plus, there are few things more satisfying than scribbling down your thoughts by hand. They’re not all stuck in the stone age, either—some notebooks, like the Rocketbook, will let you upload your scribbles to Google Drive, so you’ll have them saved both in person and in the cloud. Others, like Smythson’s, are simply beautifully made and make journaling and brainstorming a real pleasure—if you’ve got the right pen or pencil on hand to pair with it, that is. Here, 11 of our favorite notebooks and writing utensils that elevate the experience of writing—and quite possibly the words you put on the page.
Métier London Printed Canvas Notebook
Notebooks often don’t seem as sustainable as other ways of writing, but this lovely offering from Métier London assuages those worries a bit, as each sources its paper materials from about 10 upcycled coffee cups. It doesn’t sacrifice style either, as it includes an Art Deco-inspired canvas exterior that’s water-resistant.
Lexon Pen Flash Drive
Pens aren’t typically thought of as being multipurpose, after all, as long as one makes a mark on a blank piece of paper, it’s doing its job. This one from Lexon does more than just that, though, as its cap doubles as a 32-gigabyte flash drive. Great for taking a few computer files with you on the go.
Lamy 2000 Pen
Lamy pens have a dedicated fanbase, and it’s not hard to see why. Each of the German company’s products, like the 2000 model, perfectly marry subdued style with writing function. This pen is made with black fiberglass and brushed stainless steel, with a 14k gold, platinum-coated nib that’s extra fine for even the most precise calligraphy. There are even small, transparent “windows” where the ink barrels are, so you’ll know exactly just how much you have left.
Smythson 2022 Panama Agenda
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—Smythson makes some of the very best notebooks in the biz. Ring in the new year right with this 2022 diary from the renowned brand, which has a leather cover and pages that run from November 2021 to January 2023. Snag one up and you’ll never miss an appointment or forget a task again.
Caran D’Ache Gift Set
If you’re looking to stock up on a myriad of writing instruments at once (or are just out of ideas for a timely gift) then Caran D’Ache’s set may be the way to go. The package includes a fountain, ballpoint and rollerball pen, plus a mechanical pencil if that’s your preference. And should the bright red be a bit too in-your-face, the quartet comes in black and navy blue as well.
Moleskine x Kaweco Fountain Pen
Moleskine is known primarily for its premium notebooks, but this time around it’s partnering with German pen manufacturer Kaweco for a set of top-notch writing tools. Each comes with its own leather case, plus six ink cartridges that match the piece’s hue (either black, purple, green or red). Snag up a few of Moleskine’s notebooks to match and you’ll be good to go.
Rocketbook Smart Notebook
Notebooks are great for journaling or brainstorming, but there’s always the nightmare scenario of you losing one—and all of your best phrases and ideas disappearing along with it. Not so for the Rocketbook, which lets you upload your notes to Google Drive, OneNote, Dropbox or whatever format you prefer with ease and store them over time. The pages are reusable, so you can erase what was there and start a new one after uploading.
Dunhill Palladium Ballpoint Pen
Those who want a more classic, no-frills pen will be happy with Dunhill’s offering. Made in Switzerland, it’s engraved with the brand’s logo on the cap, here crisscrossed to create an interesting (but not distracting) pattern.
Bentley Ballpoint Pen
Bentley has branched out a few times over the years to other ventures beyond just the automotive: The British manufacturer also has a furniture line and a residential tower coming up in Miami. The latest entry in that long line of cross-category collaborations is its pen, which is made with the specialists at Graf von Faber-Castell and features colorways inspired by Bentley’s exclusive car paints. You can even get one to match whatever you’ve got in the garage if you’d like.
Berluti Leather Pencil Case
Having a myriad of pens and pencils on hand is important for jotting thoughts down, but they’ll quickly get lost without a proper place to store them. Berluti’s pencil case features the top-of-the-line Italian leather that enthusiasts have come to expect from the brand, so it’s a stylish and functional solution for stashing writing utensils (and whatever else you see fit to cram in there).
Pineider Milano Set of Notebooks
Looking for a notebook to bring with you on your travels? Italian manufacturer Pineider has a set of two petite tomes that will do the trick. The cover is made of leather and the edges of the pages are hand-painted to give a bit of extra color and shine—each comes with a bookmark as well so you won’t lose track of thoughts or musings. And if you manage to fill up one, well, there’s already another on deck.