Move over, Moleskine. MUCU Notebooks ($12-$20) are made by a small Tokyo-based company using artisan techniques, hand-finished and built using largely untreated materials like newspaper stock, canvas, and tarpaulin. Styles include the Moleskine-like pocket ringbook, the Field Notes-esque blank note in both medium and small sizes, and the unfortunately Mead Five Star-reminiscent squared ringnote.
As much as we've moved our lives over to the virtual digital realm, there are still times when we need to write something out by hand. The Fjader Pen ($40) is a fine choice for the job, with an included stand and a clean, modern design that recalls an old school feather pen — in fact, the word fjader means "feather" in Swedish, and is probably also the name of a kickin' dinette set from Ikea. [Thanks, Colin]
No matter what your day brings you, you can rest assured that you've got the tools to tackle it with the Doane Daily Arsenal Kit ($66). This 21-piece set includes every single stationery product from Doane's grid+lines collection, including large and small writing pads, a flap jotter, two utility notebooks, large and small idea journals, and, of course, pens and pencils. Sure, you could pick out all of this stuff separately, but face it: you're way too lazy for that.
If the slim black cover of your Moleskine notebook simply isn't cutting it for you, perhaps you should consider a Billykirk Journal ($145). Looking like a relic from a forgotten age when penmanship was still more important than typing speed, this high-end journal cover is hand stitched from tan leather, with a clever pencil-loop closure and dimensions that make it just right for standard Moleskine notebooks.
One of the biggest challenges facing small business owners — especially those running a virtual office — is finding someone to man the phones. Ruby Receptionists is a Portland-based company that seeks to help with this problem by providing a team of friendly, trained virtual receptionists who can answer your company's phone calls, forward them to you, send calls to voicemail, and even transcribe important messages and deliver them via email should you be tied up taking care of another project. It's not just cheaper than hiring an on-site receptionist — it also eliminates any chance of your colleagues becoming overly enamored with the new help. [Thanks, Greg]