By Alyssa Gregory

I use apps for everything. I use cloud-based apps like Carbonite, Evernote, and Omnifocus to stay on top of work every single day. I use apps for email, texting, driving directions, and weather. I use fitness apps like FitnessBlender, Garmin Connect, and MyFitnessPal to improve my health. I use time management apps, banking apps, social media apps, lifestyle apps, and entertainment apps. I love apps! And I bet you do, too.

But…there really isn’t an app for everything. Well, I guess there is. But for me, there are some situations when I need to go old school. One area that an app can’t compete for me is with note taking. When I am in a meeting, pen and paper is the most efficient way for me to operate. And I’ve tried every app out there, but nothing makes me more productive than a great notebook and an awesome pen.

I have been a Moleskine user for years, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few samples of the new Moleskine Pro Collection series notebooks from the folks at Moleskine to test out. From the classy binding, various page types, and durability, Moleskine really is a step ahead of regular notebooks. If you haven’t used a Moleskine before, check out the lists of benefits from Time Management Ninja.

Anyway, this new series has some pretty cool features that I’ve already used to up my note-taking productivity. Here are a few of the features:

  • Sections on each page to fill in dates, attendance, agendas, etc.
  • Detachable to-do lists
  • Adhesive tabs for creating sections
  • Sticky notes for reminders you can take or leave in the book
  • Accordion file for loose pages you need on hand

So, here’s how I’m using the Moleskine Pro: I take notes in real-time in the notebook. I use the detachable to-do list and sticky notes to pull out the most important things I need to keep track of after each meeting. At the end of the day, I input all of those reminders and to-do’s into my apps for systemized action. Yes, it all comes back to an app. But it really all starts with an awesome notebook. It really is the perfect combination of an old-school tool and technology.

What do you prefer for note taking? A notebook or an app?