The best writing pads for attorneys

Let’s face it. You’re going to have to write things down. A lot. Ever since the great paperless revolution of the late nineties, we’ve been using a lot more paper — and that includes writing paper. Its tempting to think you can take all the notes you need on your tablet or phone or computer or whatever…one of these…is..

But the cold hard truth is that eventually you’re going to have to actually put pen to paper. And when you do that it really helps for it not to be a bar napkin or your hand. That was cool when you were in school, but don’t be person who busts it out in front of a client. not a good look.

Now that we’ve agreed to write things on proper paper, lets look at come criteria we might use to determine how to find the best writing pad for you. Here’s what I look for

Quality –

Given the amount I write, I like a high quality, heavy paper that will hold up to folding and un folding, being shoved in a bag, having a drink or two spilled on it and so on. Quality paper may seem like a small thing, but believe me, the first time you tear off a sheet of nice paper and hand an important note to a prospective client, the difference will become apparent.

My take? Invest the extra couple of bucks in getting something decent. If gray, recycled paper with chunks of bark floating around in it is your thing, more power to you — but make sure you communicate that as part of your personal brand, so that your weird, grainy paper doesn’t come off as merely a bargain bin purchase.

TOPS Project Planning Pads 40 Sheets per Pad, 4 Pads per Pack

Backing –

Here’s another one where heavier is better. It’s another one that sounds suspect, but I’ve found as the person who shows up with he notepad, that I often hand my notepad around the table to take information from people. When doing so, it always helps to have your paper backed with a nice heavy board that folks can write against on a variety of surfaces (tables, bar tops, floors, knees, etc. ). When you stare with a thin, back, you’ll end up with a floppy mess by the time it makes it around the room to you. Do better.

Binding –

Some (weird) folks like book bound, other people like over the top style tablets. I’ll leave that to you. But…But..clean tear is the only way to go here. ragged tears (including the jaggies that come from spiral bound books) are no ones friend. Your clients hate them, you hate them, your assistant hates them, and they are fatal to your scanner. Don’t do it.


DO you like plain lines? no lines? grid lines? college rule? (whatever that is?) Or perhaps you’re like me and you’d benefit from he dotted center line we used in kindergarten. I know – who cares? It’s the stuff you write that matters. Well, here’s where you and I differ. You’re notes are a part of your overall fill management system. For that reason they need to be clear, consistent, and easily communicated.

Size –

This one’s up to you. Since you’re a lawyer, you’ll want a legal sized pad, right? Probably not. No one uses that nonsense anymore. The basic choices are legal sizes or those mini ones. Europeans visiting us may use “A” sizes. Maybe Canadians too. I don’t know. That’s their business.

Happy note taking!

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