Although I’m a lover of digital platforms, apps, and tools, I still find that I crave hand-drawn notes for lists, brainstorming, putting words on a page and letting my brain sift through them.

It may not come as a surprise, then, that I’m also picky about my writing tools – from notebooks to pens to pencils and more.

I’ve always been this way – drawn to stationary stores, art & craft shops, dawdling in the pen aisle where I would test different widths, colors, and inks until my parents called me away.

And while I don’t think we should let the tool precede the art – I can write just as easily with a free hotel bic pen and a piece of scrap paper – there is a unique joy in using a tool you love for a purpose that inspires you.

So today, I’m featuring a few of my favorites pieces from my creative toolkit — and labeling this part one, as there are always more great things to discover.

Daily Notebook:

This beauty from Emilio Braga (ordered in the U.S. from CW Pencil Enterprise) is a winner. I’ve gone through so many notebooks but haven’t been satisfied by various factors: the paper, the lay-flat-ness, the width of the page, the floppiness of the cord around the book….so far, this notebook is a favorite. I’m using it as my daily record-keeper this year — with notes from my days, my current Creative Rhythm time tracking, goals, thoughts on where I’m going next, and in a pinch, blog ideas, story notes, or client data.

Small Notebooks: 

These are my daily workhorses. This is where I jot down reminders, grocery list items, notes from conference calls or business meetings, what’s next on my lists of projects. I just got this limited edition set in from Field Notes, and I’m so excited about the beautiful design.

Writing Tools: 

I’m a recent convert to the world of pencils thanks to CW Pencil Enterprise. I’ve gotten a few fun kits from them, and the latest order included this fantastic colored pencils from ColorADD. I’m using them to color in daily tracking graphs, to take notes on projects requiring multiple trains of thought, and just for general fun pops of color throughout my day.

My pen of choice is the Uni-ball Signo 151 gel pen in .38mm.  I have it in a few colors which I use interchangeably. It’s got a great feel on the page, and doesn’t smear. I’m going to need to order some more here pretty soon…

Other Things:

When I’m on the road, I store my pens & pencils in this beautiful case I bought in Bhutan. And, I always keep a few of my favorite essential oils on hand — these two are in heavy rotation right now.

What do you use to collect and organize your thoughts?

What are your favorite creative tools?