The personalised notepad is a great way to make sure you're always uppermost in the thoughts of your clients. Usually a plain pad discreetly featuring logo, strap line and basic contact details, it can be used to make a more personal connection with a little extra clever design.

Add form to function

The telephone message note, with designated spaces for caller's name and number, time of call and other key information, has never gone out of fashion. You can apply this approach to all sorts of tasks. Lay yours out specifically for one job, infusing the design and wording with personality. Why not add a "Reward" field to the bottom of each to-do list, for example? Or a picture of a coffee? Or lay your pad out specifically for a more social list, like tea and coffee or lunch orders.

Think digital

Digital communications are here and shaping the way we express ourselves. For many of us, they're the core of our business, so why not reflect that? Many fun notepad designs use textspeak and online acronyms like OMG, LOL or IMHO to add a fun, tech-savvy twist. Perhaps you could use emoticons, or the ubiquitous 'Like' button.

Standard rectangular paper sizes also effortlessly suggests a computer or smartphone screen. Develop this theme by creating a printed 'user interface' to help your pad to blend in to the 21st century workspace.

Tap in to daydreams

We're sure your own staff are not bored, but some of your clients may be. Turn this to your advantage with images or outlines designed to appeal to the restless pen-pusher. Perhaps you could border your notes with cup cakes or the outline of a pint? Or why not use blocks of background colour to suggest holiday sunshine or travel? Your design can cover the page if it's subtle enough to be written over.

Think what could be relevant to your own business and the relationship you want with your clients - what would make their lives easier or cheer up their workplace? Your designer probably has lots of ideas and will know how to create the style you want.