Recently I walked into an impromptu meeting and quickly realized that taking notes would be required, yet I had neglected to bring pen and paper with me. Not wanting to leave the room, I opened the Notes app on my phone and began tapping away—only to find out later that someone had expressed their displeasure that I had been on my phone (checking emails, they thought) during an important conversation. My explanation was only mildly satisfactory.
All of which is to say: Don’t depend on your phone for every task. Instead, put the smart device aside and embrace the idea of being an OG meeting professional. That means a pristine new pad of paper or notebook and a pen that doesn’t look like it was a freebie from your dry cleaner, both housed in a sleek carrier. This selection of portfolios conveys that sense of polish, offering features such as pockets that organize everything or the ability to customize with a chic monogram. You’ll get noticed in every meeting—but for the right reasons.
Lucrin Luxury A4 Portfolio Holder
If you’re seeking a personalized piece, this Luxury A4 Portfolio Holder by Geneva-based Lucrin comes in a mind-boggling number of colors and finishes (we love the power statement of the red granulated leather seen here). Inside this zippered portfolio, you’ll find a notepad slot and pocket for stowing documents, while on the left, pockets hold your smartphone, business cards, pens and an iPad.
$799, at lucrin.com
Montblanc Meisterstück 4810 Envelope Pouch
A caramel hue is the latest color to join Montblanc’s selection of leather portfolios. This pouch is embossed with a tree-bark print, while its canvas lining is extremely durable. On the back, you’ll find a band that allows you to slip it over your carry-on’s handle, as well as a pair of U-rings that can attach the pouch to a larger bag.
$785, at montblanc.com
Tumi x McLaren Sector Portfolio
A notepad, pen and even an iPad will fit into this high-tech carrier. Car fans should love this piece, which is crafted to highlight carbon-fiber detailing, while the harnesslike exterior straps with buckle and the papaya-toned accents are meant to evoke thoughts of McLaren supercars. Pockets will hold a notepad, iPad or laptop, business cards and other items.
$895, at tumi.com
Smythson A4 Writing Folder With Zip
Since 1908, London-based Smythson has been crafting many of its pieces in a leather dubbed Panama, a cross-grain texture first used as a diary cover by founder Frank Smythson. This A4 Writing Folder—A4 is the international designation for standard paper size, meaning it will fit your 8.5”x 11” notepad—features an interior with six internal pockets and a handy pen loop, and also comes with a Smythson pad in the brand’s iconic blue hue. Available in a range of colors, this piece also can be personalized with your initials in a variety of font choices, and for a bit of flair could also include a favorite motif.
$725, at smythson.com
Shinola Birdy Tech Clutch
Detroit-based Shinola does an outstanding job crafting watches and leather goods that feel equal parts classic and modern for today’s professional. That includes the brand’s Birdy Tech Clutch, which fits just about everything you need for a meeting, including a 15-inch laptop. An inner slip pocket will also hold a notepad and documents, while other details include five pocket pens, a zippered closure and an exterior flap pocket for other necessities. The natural tanned leather, meanwhile, is designed to take on a beautiful patina with age.
$295, at shinola.com