Like the writer above, I have an unhealthy obsession with office supplies. It matters to me that the pen I choose be the right pen for the paper I'm writing on. Some paper needs a liquid ink or gel pen, some paper needs a ballpoint. And not just any ballpoint. If I go upstairs at work to a meeting a pick up my notebook, but not my pen, I'll go back down to get the pen, the right pen. I go through cycles with that, of course, finding new ones, and discovering that some of the ones I've loved have been discontinued.
Which is part of my problem at the moment. Levenger has discontinued the "Compact" Circa, so I'm currently having this internal dialog with myself regarding whether or not I have enough refill sheets. I have all three sizes of notebooks. Letter (8-1/2x11) size is for client meetings. It fits into my computer bag and has plenty of room for taking notes without having to turn pages. The "Junior" size is 5-1/2x8-1/2, and I use that one for notetaking at internal meetings and brainstorming. The Compact size (3-3/4x6-3/4) is the one I keep in my purse for notes, lists, etc., and that's the one that's been discontinued. I wish I had realized earlier they were going to discontinue it, because if I had, I would have ordered some pocket dividers.
I lucked into a special deal a couple of weeks ago where they offered the supplies to make five compact notebooks for a special price, $19.95, I think. I got five sets of covers and rings, two sets of tabbed dividers, business card holders, and refill paper--one package each of lined and grid. But no pocket dividers, and now they're out of stock. I checked the Levenger Outlet on Ebay, but they're out, too. Oh well. I just went and looked at Ebay again, and no luck on dividers, but there are several punches on there. I'd love to have one, but just can't justify the expense. Maybe some day.
Right now Levenger has a great deal on a letter size notebook with multicolor pages, so I ordered one, plus another package of compact refill paper . . . I had a coupon for 20% off, so that covered shipping. You can sometimes find coupons online (like this one), which makes it more affordable. I actually prefer the white paper to the multicolored, but I like the annotation style paper, and at that price I can make do with colored paper.
I got into this style (the Cornell method because it was created by a professor at Cornell University) of notetaking years ago, but I don't remember who made the notebooks I was using then. The lined portion is for notes, then (the way I use them) you can go back later and add notes about the notes in the blank sidebar. It seems pretty effective, and it keeps the notes more organized rather than having a lot of extraneous notes within the page.
Oh, and my current favorite pen is the "Be Green" Black XFine Precise V5 Rollerball. It writes beautifully on the smooth Circa paper.
I use my iPhone and iCal for keeping track of appointments, but I also have a datebook that I've been leaving at the office, open on my desk so I have a visual reminder of meetings and deadlines. It's a We'Moon Astrological Datebook, which makes me very happy. I used to buy them, but kind of got away from using them, i.e., I'd buy one, use it for a couple of weeks or so, then stop. So I stopped buying them, but decided to get one this year, and, like I said, it makes me very happy, and so far I've kept using it.
Aaron was in my office talking about something one day last week, and saw it lying on my desk, and looked at it, and then he said, "I still don't understand what this is." I said, it's my datebook, and then said something like, it's a new-agey, hippy dippy thing, earth religion, etc. He said, "It's got a blue girl in a ring of fire," and then we spoke-sang "Ring of Fire" in alternate verses.