When I was a kid, almost every time my Dad would go to conferences he would come back with a bunch of branded goodies. He would have so many that we would pass them on to his us kids, and with me being the youngest of four, I would always end up with something- let’s face it- lame.

When my siblings got older and started to care about the branding on their bags and water bottles, it was my time for the conference cool stuff. Rulers that had calculators in them, stress balls shaped like cars, radios that were built into a watch; I was easily amused.

But above it all, I will remember this compendium that I got one day. It was leather, with pouches for cards, pockets for loose paper, straps for pens and a blank pad attached to the right-hand side, not unlike the Sophie Leather Compendium. This thing was kind of cool. It may have become my new pencil case and book holder in school because I liked it so much, but what I liked most about it was how useful it became.

My compendium became a staple in my weekly indoor soccer game. The team started as a joke when we were 15 and thought a new team ‘Man’s Chest Hair United’ would be funny; and funnier still, that those of us not able/willing to play became producers, managers, coaches and cheerleaders. I had no idea how to play, but as a manager, I didn’t have to. I took my compendium to the games and drew up plays that made no sense for the team to try out, with names that made no sense either.

Years later I got into camping and writing poetry with the same friends. We would get together and write and joke all night, and you had better believe that if I didn’t bring my compendium, there would be nothing to write with or on, and everything would be forgotten. Over time, my compendium became old, scratched up, and covered in stickers, so it was time to retire the old thing.

When we hit our twenties, I got myself a new compendium. It was and still is, the handiest thing I own. The addition of the tablet device slot (like the Gordon Leather Compendium) changed the game. We found that this is the absolute perfect thing for our new hobby; Dungeons & Dragons. With the resurgence of table top gaming and people getting together again, we needed a place to keep all our character sheets, spell cards, dice and notes on NPC’s who we intend to interrogate further. The tablet allowed us to keep the complex information, but for quickly scratching notes down, the pad of paper was all you needed.           

Compendiums are useful to everyone. Whether it’s for art, sports, gaming, or keeping your business organised, do yourself a favour and get some for your office and who knows, maybe they’ll make some fond memories of their own.