Recently, I was asked: “What is your favorite business tool?” I didn’t have a quick answer, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Of course, I like my laptop and smartphone; I use one or the other for most hours of the day. But is either of them my “favorite?” Not really. I don’t collect MacBooks or iPhones, after all. So what did I depend on most to get my job done? And did I have some level of affection for it beyond its basic purpose? I started looking through my briefcase and around my desk when I realized that I really like notebooks. I have many, and I use them when conducting the most vital part of my job—interviewing.
Yes, I still take handwritten notes—lots of them. And yes, I still prepare for interviews by writing down the questions I want to ask. Both tasks help me to organize my thoughts and better remember what it is I want to accomplish. Research proves that people who use longhand remember more and have a deeper understanding of their work. So I’m not alone; my old-fashioned approach works.
My notebooks of choice come from a German company called Leuchtturm 1917. Their hardcover pocket-sized and medium notebooks are both durable and easy to pack for business trips. They are sold in a multitude of colors, though black is my preferred choice as it looks the most professional. I make sure to take one everywhere I go, since most of my business trips involve interviewing people—often at trade shows. And I keep at least one Leuchtturm notebook handy at the office for telephone interviews and general note-taking required of most editors.
Could I live without these notebooks? Could I do my job with something else? Of course I could, but that’s the point. I have many options when it comes to notebooks—from cheap multi-packs of legal pads to the spiral-bound notebooks of school days—but I choose the Leuchtturms because they please me. The cover protects the pages. The elastic band on the back keeps the notebook closed. The built-in pocket at the back provides convenient storage. And the included label stickers allow for reliable organization once the notebook is filled. What’s not to love? Give them a try! And let me know what your favorite business tools are.