This is the second post in my Nerdy Martha Stewart series.
I still write down certain kinds of things, both at work and at home. I've been using black Parker Jotters, with black ink, for over 20 years. They look great and have a very nice-feeling weight to them. It's a pleasure to hold these things.
You can choose a ball point or a gel refill. The former writes smoother than any other ball point I've tried. Also, the ink smells very nice once it's on the page. I mostly use gel refills though. They produce a line that's similar to a fountain pen's or a quill's. If you ever wanted to feel like an 18th-century count jotting down some epigram before breakfast, a ball point's dumb, uniform, factory-made line will ruin the illusion. The Parker gel will not. And the process of writing feels nicer with it. A slightly gravelly, fun kind of feel. When people borrow this pen from me, they sometimes smile when it hits the page and then comment on it.
My favorite pencil is the Pentel 205. For no other reason than its look. It's an elegantly-designed thing.
The best-looking notebooks I know of are made by the French company Clairefontaine. I bought the ones shown below a long time ago. Their current style is good, but not as good as this.