The 9 Best Work Notebooks of 2021

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Even in the digital age, recording your thoughts and ideas in analog form can be a refreshing change of pace and even help you think more clearly and freely—especially in times of high stress and anxiety. That being said, work notebooks are a great source for fresh ideas and task completion.

A high-quality notebook lasts longer and helps increase creativity and productivity. When you’re looking for a journal to write down your ideas, pay attention to binding and paperweight. A twin ring or stitched and glued binding helps keep your notebook together longer while a paperweight of 70gsm or higher is usually thicker and more durable. Style-wise, most notebooks come with gridded, lined, dotted, or blank sheets.

From a bullet journal to a reusable smart notebook, we’ve rounded up the best notebooks for work that’ll help you get organized and put your ideas into action.

Final Verdict

For a good quality work notebook that’ll help you stay productive, go with one that’s durable and designed for organized list-making. The Leuchtturm1917 Notebook (view on Amazon) is the best choice for managing your workday through bullet journaling. The stickers and colorful cover choices are an added bonus. The Lemome Notebook (view on Amazon) is also a great option, which offers a professional look with its faux leather cover, page dividers, and an elastic band—perfect for taking detailed notes at meetings.


What are the different notebook styles, and which one is the best?

The right style depends on your needs, whether you’re a list maker, a note-taker, or an artist. Here are some of the main ones to consider: gridded, which looks like graph paper (or some variation of tiny squares), is ideal for those who like to design or draw; lined is perfect for writing narrative-style entries; dotted, a popular style for bullet journaling, is great for making your own checklists, calendars, and even headers; and blank sheets are for those who don’t want any boundaries or constraints.

What should I know about notebook binding?

The type of bookbinding can affect how durable a notebook is or if it can open up flat and whether the pages will remain intact or tear out easily. There are two main styles of bookbinding, including stitched and/or glued binding, which typically offers a longer lifespan than a spiral style. It also has smooth edges that make the notebook look more aesthetically appealing. Spiral styles make it easier to open a notebook and focus on one page at a time. The best spiral notebook is a twin-ring style (versus having one continuous coil) since it’s less likely to get caught on other things in your bag or bend and separate like cheaper models.

Is notebook paperweight important?

It’s important to consider paperweight in a work notebook to prevent any ink bleeding or ghosting on pages. A useful way of determining paperweight is to see what a notebook’s GSM (grams per square meter) is, which measures paperweight. Considering that copy paper is usually around 75gsm, according to Xerox, you should look for a slightly higher number when choosing your work notebook. The higher you go, the thicker and heavier the paper will be.

Meet the Expert

This roundup was updated by Dawn Papandrea, a personal finance journalist who still relies on old-school notebooks to keep track of assignments. She is a full-time freelancer with two decades of writing experience.

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