Ask The Desk: Good Binders

Ask The Desk

Richard asks:

Looking for top quality binders and a system to track Board of Director’s minutes, budgets and written updates for the various committees. Any ideas?

My favorite, high-end binders are from Russell + Hazel. They are sleek and sturdy and professional looking. The Vegan Leather Binder is $24 with brass corners and sturdy hardware.

Russell + Hazel Vegan Leather Signature Binder


Russel + Hazel have lined and graph paper refills as well but I cannot recall if their paper is fountain pen friendly or not. If that is a priority for you, I recommend some of the Rhodia 3-hole punched paper. It’s available in grid, dot gird and lined.

Another option to consider would be one of the disc bound systems if you aren’t tied to specifically 3-hole style binders. There are many professional-looking leather covers among the options as well as paper and a hole punch to accommodate other papers that might be handed around in meetings.

Some of these systems have pre-printed meeting pages but I don’t know the fidelity of the paper. My guess is that Office Depot and Staples is not going to offer fountain pen friendly paper but the paper from Levenger should be decent since they sell fountain pens in their product range.

I stand corrected about the paper, according to Ian at Pens! Paper! Pencils!. He tried out a couple of these systems and found the ARC paper to work pretty well. YMMV.

Atoma and Arc Notebook Systems

Laura, our resident expert on note-taking and meeting notes, has stepped in with some information for the how-to part of this question.

Be sure to ask for copies of the meeting agenda/exhibits so you can take notes on them and refer to them in your notes rather than having to copy them.

Copy paper and standard notepads aren’t good for fountain pens – you can use them but they tend to bleed through horribly. Arm yourself with a nice notepad – I like Rhodia, but Leuchtturm would do as well.

Try bullet points or phrases, use abbreviations if they will make sense to you later.

If you’re responsible for typing up notes, do that as soon as you can after the meeting so the information doesn’t fade in your memory. If you’re not in charge of typing up notes, you may wish to type them up or add additional details to the notes soon after the meeting so they make sense to yourself later.

Take more than one pen – I have totally written two fountain pens dry during a meeting. And if you know you might have to write on handouts, bring a ballpoint or rollerball to write on the cheap copy paper.

Written by

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. I like the two-ring, lever arch binders. They feel more like hardcover books to me, and the locking pressure bar keeps the pages neater.

    Just be aware that there are two different standards for the holes. In the United States, the standard spacing for two-hole binding is 70 mm. Everywhere else, the standard is 80 mm. It does not really matter, of course, except that you want your binder and your hole punch to be the same.

    In the United States, Blumberg and Bindertek sell letter-size binders with the US standard hole spacing. I have purchased from both and been pleased with the customer service each time.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.