Professional-Looking Padfolios

Professional Padfolios | CorporetteWhere can you get a great padfolio for the office?  Reader N wonders about a decent padfolio..

I have been searching for a decent padfolio for what feels like ages. It seems like everything out there is clunky and overly masculine. Where can I find a professional, but feminine or at least sophisticated padfolio? Help!

I remember hunting for something similar a few years ago.  I wanted: something zippable and expandable, something that could hold my Blackberry (ah, the late 2000s) if I didn’t have pockets or a belt and suddenly needed to carry a box (or 3) back to my office.  I also wanted something that I could keep “packed” with a notepad, pen/pencil/highlighter, lip gloss, hand cream, business cards, tape flags, and post-it notes and just grab and go.  Also key: I wanted something that looked nicer than a redweld or a Trapper Keeper.  I finally found it at Office Max or Staples, but I remember having to hunt for a while.  If I were looking today, these were the ones that I would choose (below).  Readers, do you use a padfolio at the office?  Whether you’re running to a quick meeting or working away from your office (e.g., in a conference room) all day, what do you grab with you to go?

Case-It Executive Zippered PadfolioThis is apparently the #1 bestseller on Amazon in this category. I like that there’s a removable 1″ binder, and that it has a handle. It’s $21.00. Case-It Executive Zippered Padfolio
Ambi FoliosI’ve only bought a few office supplies from Levenger, but I’ve liked what I’ve gotten. I like that this portfolio comes in black, red (pictured above), or camel, and comes in a leftie-friendly version as well. It’s $159. Ambi Folio
Samsonite 3-Ring Zip Around PadfolioThis Samsonite 3-ring padfolio is faux leather, but has 3 positive reviews.  For $32.99 at OfficeMax, it looks like it’ll fit the bill. (This is probably the more modern version of what I bought years ago.) Samsonite 3-Ring Zip Around Padfolio

There are a few more luxe versions, like these zippered pouches from Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo, or Canali, but for my money I’d go for the lower-priced versions above. Readers, do you use a portfolio or padfolio around the office? Where did you get yours?



  1. I like the red one pictured at the top of the post. Not crazy about black ones because they all look the same to me and if you’re at a meeting where everybody has one, it’s easy to mix up.

  2. Anonymous :

    early TJ-

    I had a second interview in early December. On Dec 30 I checked in on the timeline, and they said all candidates would be contacted shortly. Can I contact them again? Or just let it go?

    • IT Chick in MN :

      Three weeks is plenty of time to do a check-in. I’d have a coherent statement of specific enthusiasm about the job. Sometimes schedules just get crazy.

  3. Folio Fiend :

    I have one similar to this from Filofax in red

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  5. I don’t know if you’d like it (not too many compartments), but I really liked ones in Zara Men. Quite fashion-forward for men, so should fit the bill for a working lady! ;)

  6. totally going to check out the recommendations!! I have a crappy one from Staples, so excited to upgrade it to something I actually like soon. thanks for this post!!

  7. I highly recommend the Levenger Ambi Folio. Especially if you are a lefty. The pockets on the side are set up so you can use them, even with the paper on the left. I got mine on sale a while ago and is totally worth the money.

  8. TO Lawyer :

    I recently bought this one:

    in plum and I’m happy with it so far. It doesn’t zip and doesn’t have as many pockets but I was looking for something that would be nicer than a loose legal pad and this fits the bill.

  9. Diana Barry :

    I have never used one – just a pad of paper when going to get an assignment and a redweld with client file when meeting a client. My DH has that one above from Levenger. I would also like a bright-colored one if I were to get one.

    • Also have never used one, except in an interview. I go to meetings all the time, mostly with other lawyers, and the only people I’ve ever seen using a padfolio are interns or others that are overly worried about their image rather than their work/contributions.

      I take my ipad and a yellow pad. Pen, business cards, and chapstick are in my blazer pocket. If I have more than that to carry, then I take a tote, where I can take the above, plus a water bottle. If the meeting is in my own building/office, I may have a file with me.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      I rarely keep one either, though I do have one. Internal meetings, I just grab my composition notebook (I actually like that I can’t rip out the pages–nothing to get lost), a pen & some business cards. And my zoning ordinance. I agree that if I have to take more, I need to take a bag, rather than a clunky padfolio.

    • wildkitten :

      I carry my levenger notebook everywhere internally and put it in a slim tote for external meetings.

      • BostonCPA3 :

        Me too. I have the Levenger Bomber Jacket Folio (non-zipper) and I I get so many compliments and it makes normal notepads look so elegant with the leather that folds over the top of the pad.

  10. I recently bought this one, which holds an iPad:
    Kensington Folio Trio For iPad 4 with Retina Display, iPad 3 and iPad 2 (K39577US)

  11. It’s not technically a padfolio since it requires specially punched paper instead of a pad, but I am never without my Staples Arc notebook. It contains a custom-printed calendar, my to-do list, travel documents, articles I need to read, and essential documents for all of my current projects. When I travel, I also keep all of my interview protocols, presentation notes, etc. for the whole trip in it. It has saved my butt countless times. It is now available in lots of pretty colors, although mine is old and basic black.

  12. I use mine when I go to court or meet with clients. I have a really nice black (simple) padfolio that has my initials on it from Levenger for around $100 ish.

  13. Testing this thing called a smartphone.


    I received this once I graduated from law school and I absolutely love it! The black has a nice red accent along the zipper. Doesn’t hold too much stuff, but I prefer it to be sleek and streamlined. Still looks brand new after daily use for years!! Definitely would recommend

  15. AttiredAttorney :

    Coach Outlet has beautiful, real leather padfolios for less than $60 if you can catch them on sale.

  16. I Do Not Like the Cone of Shame :

    See Jane Work has some cute stuff – I bought the lime green leather Bella three ring notebook, and have used it for about 6 years at work. Looks like they have a few cute padfolios too.

  17. I picked up a Jack Georges portfolio when a local luggage store went out of business, which is a great shade of red. Nice business card cases to match too.

  18. Graphic image has great leather accessories

  19. I am a HUGE fan of the Arc Customizable System from Staples. The name-brand is sometimes called “M.” It comes with a hole punch and paper, it’s the best.

  20. Here’s what I have and love it!

  21. I actually have one from Barnes and noble. They have multiple sizes and the best feeling leather

  22. BostonCPA3 :

    My FAVE and had my initials embossed:

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