If you have the typical padfolio that you received from your employer or you bought a cheap one for $15, it is possible to upgrade it to an executive level before your next face-to-face meeting. Making a good impression on your boss, client, or recruiter is vital in doing business and rather than going out and buying a $130 Levenger, you can quickly upgrade your professional look for about $20.
As you can see from this image, the typical paper pad included with folios is cheap, 15lb paper that doesn’t inspire or impress. This is what everyone uses and no one thinks to upgrade this. To be original and stand out just enough, here are a few options, which have been tested and curated from some of the top names in the stationary review business like Pen Addict, Well Appointed Desk, and Office Supply Geek.
Doane Paper was created in 2005 by Chad Doane and has a unique grid and lined layout that works well with sketching, wire-framing, and writing. It stands out on its own with the sub-grid lines, and after using it for a while, it has helped keep my handwriting neat and organized. The paper pads ($5) hold pen and pencil well and the blue/silver Cross Aventura fountain pen ($33) I paired the paper with looked especially nice. If you are looking for a solid inexpensive fountain pen, the best choice is the Pilot Metropolitan ($14).
Going up a level, is the Rhodia N18 notepad. Rhodia is known for their incredible paper quality and along with notepads; they have a large variety of planners, meeting notebooks, and even folio covers. Shown above is the grid paper staple bound pad ($14) with a Staedtler 925 .07mm drafting pencil ($7).
Finally, if you want to skip the padfolio and carry an incredible notebook to your next meeting, I highly recommend the Appointed Notebooks. These notebooks are made in Washington DC and are absolutely beautiful. The brass coil binding is a great touch and a very popular, but the paper quality and covers are what set it apart from the crowd. These notebooks are smaller at 7.5 x 9.5 in so they are perfect for meetings.
These options should do the trick to impress the person sitting across from you, and we will continue to update this article as more choices come up. If you have any suggestions we would like to hear what you would recommend.