We have Moleskine to thank for reviving the classic little black books beloved by acclaimed artists and thinkers. Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway were all known to rely on the stationery from a small shop in Paris' Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie until it went out of business in 1986. A decade later, the Moleskine notebook was brought back to life by a start-up inspired by the craft and promise of the originals – and a new legend was born.

The soft, smooth covers and their neatly lined pages have offered inspiration to writers, note-takers and doodlers ever since. The dark, pocket-sized style is still a favourite in our collection today, and it's joined by some brightly coloured options, too, as well as velvet and patterned finishes. Simple elastic straps keep them secure – along with any scraps and clippings you choose to slip into them as you go.

Organise your appointments with a Moleskine planner, which divides each double-page spread into days of the week to help you chalk out what lies ahead. We recommend a refillable roller pen for the full experience (and reduced waste). Its handy steel clip means you can tuck it into the book so when a bright idea strikes, you can jot it down in a safe place.

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