So in this case, a personal notepad (unseen by your opponent) would actually be more helpful.
Yeah, I agree with Nick. It seemed that the games that were most fun were the ones I played in one sitting. When it dragged out to two moves per day or fewer, both players became sloppy, and it wasn't as fun. A notepad would be great (I know I could do it on Microsoft's Notepad, but it's just too inconvenient to have to switch between programs).
I think another thing that would help is set times to play, with real chess clocks that have a limit not for the time between moves, but the time for all moves. Limiting the time played to, say, 10 minutes per side adds another layer of challenge to the game and actually forces both players to concentrate more, leading to a better overall experience.
I wouldn't choose this method to replace the current one, because I like the freedom to play with Australians without one of us having to be up at 3 AM. I would like the option for either an open-ended move system like we have now or a timed system a la tournament chess.