Everyday Carry

10 Best Pocket Notebooks for EDC in 2022

Ed Jelley
10 Best Pocket Notebooks for EDC in 2022

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If you’re already carrying a good EDC pen, a pocket notebook is the next logical step. It's often harder to find something to write on than it is to find something to write with. Whether you’re planning out you to-do list for the day, jotting down a great idea before you forget it, or even sketching up your next great design, a pocket notebook is sure to come in handy. Yes, you can take notes on your phone, but there are plenty of reasons to use a good old fashioned pocket notebook that justify carrying one as part of your EDC. Today, we’re taking a closer look at ten of the best and newest pocket notebooks for 2019 that are sure to complement your everyday carry.

Muji A6 Pocket Notebook

Simple, plain, and affordable—the Muji A6 pocket notebooks come highly recommended by readers of this site. A pack of five books will run you just over 12 bucks. Each book contains 30 pages, which you can write on both sides of. At 4.1 x 5.8”, they’re a little bigger than your standard 3.5 x 5.5” notebook, but some may appreciate the extra page real estate. The books are covered with a heavy card stock cover and fabric covered stitched binding to be extra durable for every day use.

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Leuchtturm Soft Cover A6 Notebook

The Leuchtturm 1917 pocket notebook is more like a traditional premium notebook, only shrunk down. Inside you'll find 121 pages of premium paper. There are 8 perforated pages in the back that tear out easily, in case you have to write something down for someone else. You can keep track of your notes with the numbered pages and included book mark. There's even an expandable pocket in the back cover to store business cards, a couple dollars, or more. At 4.1 x 5.8 in., it's on the larger side, but it's a welcome tradeoff considering all the features it packs inside.

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Word. Notebooks

If you’re looking for a stylish notebook with a unique cover to make a statement, Word. Notebooks might just be your best bet. They’re 3.5 x 5.5” in size with a special ruling designed to be used as a bullet journaling system. It makes your lists neater and easier to keep track of and comes with a handy guide on how to use the system printed inside the front cover. Word. Notebooks are available in a ton of awesome options including duck camo, bright orange, and several unique geometric patterns that add some flair to your EDC.

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Scout Books 10 Pack

If all you want from your notebook is a small footprint and solid colors, then look no further than these no-frills notebooks from Scout Books. Available in packs of 10, they're a little smaller than the standard pocket notebook, measuring in at 3.5 x 5”. The extra half inch makes them easier to pocket and smaller to slip into a bag or sling without taking up too much room. All of their books are made in the USA with 100% recycled papers and vegetable-based inks. They’re available in 9 appealing colors with blank, lined, or dot grid ruling.

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Bond Travel Gear Tomoe River Pocket Notebook

Fountain pen and rollerball fans will love the Bond Travel Gear notebooks for their unique paper inside. At first glance, the paper shouldn’t work well with such ink-heavy pens because it’s so thin, but it does. The finish on this impossibly light and thin paper doesn’t let ink seep through, so you can use both sides of the page no matter what pen suits your preference. Worth noting, it does take some additional dry time, but the silky smooth writing experience is definitely worth the wait (Pro tip: slip a piece of printer paper in between pages to use as a blotter if you’re in a hurry). They’re a good value at nine bucks for a three pack, especially given the premium paper inside.

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Rite in the Rain Memo Book Flex Cover

Just as the name of the brand implies, these pocket notebooks allow you to write in the rain. Inside, there’s a special paper that repels water, grease, mud, and more. Even if you don’t find yourself out in the field all that much, it’s nice to know that it’ll survive an accidental trip through the wash. This new offering from RITR has a bright blaze orange cover made from their most flexible material - ideal for pocket carry. They’re also “Perfect Bound,” which means that each page is sanded down and glued into the spine for an ultra durable hold.

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Field Notes Quarterly Editions

Field Notes are seen all over the site in a huge variety of different EDCs. Their universal appeal and simple design make them a no-brainer to add to your collection. Outside of their core offering of Kraft paper 3.5 x 5.5” pocket notebooks, are their Quarterly Editions. The folks at Field Notes go all out on these limited releases, experimenting with different papers, rulings, materials, and designs. The result is a fresh and fun notebook every quarter. For example, the winter 2018 release featured a “Clandestine” notebook with a secret code that had to be cracked and a 3-part history of cryptography. Last spring's release featured beautiful holographic topographical maps of America's coastlines. Keep your eyes open, as the 2019 Spring release is just around the corner.

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DOTSPLUS Pocket Notebook from Rickshaw Bags

The ruling inside the DOTSPLUS notebook is definitely for those who need some extra organization in their life. On the pages, you’ll find a mix of dots and reticles. While it may seem like a lot at first, the ruling helps keep your words and sketches nicely spaced out. There are also some subtle features like numbered pages, a table of contents, title and date blocks on each page, and a set of stickers to differentiate each book in the set.

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Doane Paper Utility Books

This 6-pack of pocket notebooks features 100lb heavy card stock in a variety of pleasant colors. These rugged little notebooks don’t appear too distinct from the outside, but take a look inside and you’ll notice a proprietary ruling that comes in handy for both notes and sketches. Doane Paper is known for their very own grid+lines ruling. It combines the best of both worlds: graph and standard lined ruling. The page is covered in a 0.25” grid with a heavier line every three boxes. If you want to try it out before buying a pack, Doane lets you print out a sheet of their ruling on regular printer paper to get a feel for it.

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Mil-Spec Memoranda Notebooks

Issued by the military, these little books are made to last. They’ve been in use by the US military for decades, showing a long history of working just the way they’re supposed to. The sewn binding is done to exacting military specifications and the cover is coated with vinyl for extra resistance to wear and tear. There are 72 sheets in each notebook, making these one of the thicker options in the guide. At just under 10 bucks for three notebooks, they represent an excellent value too.

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Do you have a favorite EDC notebook? Let us know what it is in the comments below. 

Header photo featuring Field Notes Blackout from Paul's submission.

#notebooks #buying-guides #law-enforcement-pocket-notebooks #fully-recyclable-pocket-notebook #beat-pocket-notebook #best-pocket-notepads #edc-notebooks see all

Who Likes This (225)

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Discussion (31 total)

nothing from Moleskine? Their 3.5" x 5.5" x 0.19" (88.9mm x 139.7mm x 5mm) ruled notebooks that come in packs of two are great for EDC'ing too
After trying many options, I have become a big fan of the XS Moleskine Volant journals -- 65mm x 105 mm, or 2.5" x 4.25 ". They are perfectly sized to slip into a shirt pocket.
Chris Robins ·
Another vote here for the 3.5" x 5.5" Moleskine Cahier.
Pamela Lim ·
Field Notes Expedition series with waterproof papers are treated so that the pens/pencils you use on them won't get washed out/smudged. The Rite in the Rain, Field Notes Expedition etc. are good for listing down emergency contacts (blackout and grid lockdowns will render your smartphone stupid/powerless as I've once found out the hard way), hospital/emergency evacuation services details and even GPS coordinates and hand-drawn maps to navigate your way out of the wilderness (if you go remote) plus whatever instructions you need to stay sane/satiated/sustained till you can get that smartphone charged up by solar-powered panels long enough to make a call/send a message. And you get to leave your forever mark on it knowing it will not fade. :D

The best pens to use on these types of notebooks are ballpoint pens, I use Schmidt P900 refill in my Boker Plus or Stabilo EasyErgo mechanical pencil which is stubby sized to keep in the EDC pouch!
Goldthunder ·
Good response with great points, fisher space pen on rite in the rain. Zero issues. Ever.
Chris Robins ·
It's always about more that just the numbers, but... for those of you that look at cost per unit like at the grocery, here's some _rough_ numbers (without regard to line pattern), so YMMV. In order of price per sheet, lowest first:

Moleskine Cahier
$9.95/(64 sheets x 3 pack)
$0.05/sheet @ 3.5 x 5.5”

Doane Paper Utility Books
$9.97/(72 sheets x 3 pack)
$0.05/sheet @ 3-3/8 x 5-5/8”

Tomoe River Pocket Notebooks
$9.00/(48 sheets x 3 pack)
$0.06/sheet @ 3.5 x 5.5”

Field Notes
$9.95/(48 sheets x 3 pack)
$0.07/sheet @ 3.5 x 5.5”

MUJI Notebook A6
$12.40/(30 sheets x 5 pack)
$0.08/sheet @ 4.1 x 5.8"

Word. Notebooks
$10.99/(48 sheets x 3 pack)
$0.08/sheet @ 3.5 x 5.5”

Scout Books
$24.95/(32 sheets x 10 pack)
$0.08/sheet @ 3.5 x 5”

$12.00/(52 sheets x 3 pack)
$0.08/sheet @ 3.5 x 5.5”

Rite in the Rain 954
$18.98/(56 sheets x 3 pack)
$0.11/sheet @ 3.5 x 5”

Leuchtturm1917 A6
$12.95/(121 sheets x 1 pack)
$0.11/sheet @ 3.5 x 6"

TC Judd ·
If you buy them directly from Muji, their basic A6 notebooks are $1.25 each--a mere $0.04/sheet--which is a steal. It would be crazy to buy them from Amazon!
Goldthunder ·
Yadda yadda yadda. Rite in the rain 3x5. Boom
Goldthunder ·
Although military issued notebooks is pretty sick.
Montana Actual ·
Field notes are just terrible. They are cheap and lack durability. I use a RITR top spiral and 778 top bound. Both are the most durable notebooks I have ever owned, plus they have tons of waterproof paper. They also make one called the JL Darling I want to try. I have tried field notes, moleskin, and a couple knockoffs. None are worth the money, field notes are just a complete waste and overpriced fashion statement. The military memo books are great too, but I stopped using them once they stopped issuing them to me for free (dd214 blanket). I went through a couple hundred figuring out what was worth the money and best for EDC (this includes covers from RITR, Recycled FF, etc) and my go to is a Recycled FF cover, top spiral RITR, and Fisher space pen. The look on people's faces when I use it is hilarious. I have been asked more times than I can count if I was military, am currently LEO, and the specs of the notebooks/case. Very positive feedback. Without a doubt, this hear is lifetime quality, and that is what I was searching for. Now... If only RFF would make a black leather cover like their Captain wallets (I have been spamming them with emails asking for it for a year now) then I could go all black instead of firehose/multicam
Goldthunder ·
Woodpecker Labs ·
Everything I put in my back pocket gets damaged after a few weeks. So, I redesigned the binding and started making some small batches using a Tyvek sheet with a special coating. I call them the Tuk Book - check them out and let me know what you think!
Montana Actual ·
Field notes are terrible. They are not durable, the pages fall out, and they lack enough paper to justify the purchase. I feel like they are for a fashion statement. Same with 90% of other ones on this list. After trial and error and many different covers for them all, Rite in the rain is the only one worth getting.
Justin ·
To me any notebook is too bulky for everyday pocket carry. I use Pocketmod.com to print a sheet of letter sized paper with customized calendars, lines, and grids that can be cut and folded into a pocketable notebook and replace it every two weeks or so.
John Wallace ·
Interesting I should check that out
Montana Actual ·
What happens when you are without the internet, or any electronic device? How can you take/pass information with someone who doesn't want to or have a digital footprint? A notebook is a part of EDC for good reason. Like leaving a note on someone's windshield to let them know their tire is dangerously low. Or jotting down a person's name/number to pass along. Personally, you couldn't pay me to hassle with digital notes. My GF makes shopping lists that way and walks through the store like a zombie with it in her hands. So annoying.
Goldthunder ·
I gotta tell ya... recycled firefighter just makes tough stuff. I love their front pocket wallets and pouches. My wife just got me the nomex hankerchief, pretty cool. Looking at the tool roll now. And yeah no lie. Used that rite in the rain, fisher combo for probably 7 years straight. Just hit re order on amazon when needed lol
Try the XS Moleskine Volant journals 2.5" x 4.25. They will fit anywhere.
GrizzlyEDC ·
Treeline Logbooks? 3.5x5.5”. Great notebooks, better cause IMO
John Nemo ·
Field Note Expedition in an aluminum sleeve by Saunders (model 00882) has been an unbeatable combo in my EDC. The expedition pages are waterproof, sweatproof and nearly bulletproof whilst still remaining slim enough to carry every day.

I’ve put them through hell putting on music festivals in the rain, heat and snow, and I hope more people buy the Saunders cover so they keep making them.

Writing things down is essential, and all of these notebooks are going to work in a pinch, but I stand by Fisher Space pen ink, Field Note Expeditions and the Saunders Padfolio cover to keep it all together. It’s been double tough in all categories.
Recently found these...Guided.com Recycled Chipboard Notebook - 3.5" x 5.5". ALL detachable pages. When you want to do more besides write poetry to yourself and not show anyone. Plus they’re good for the planet.
Michael Robinson ·
I know this isn't about the note books but what black Victorinox knife is sitting over the cover photo
Luis Martin ·
Moleskine is horrible for writting with a fountain pen.
Cannon Taylor ·
Black & Red. They have a 5 7/8" X 4 1/8" pocket notebook that would be perfect in this list. Black&red.com.
Paul Tobeck ·
Thanks for the photo feature! Love my Field Notes, but will also be checking out the Word bullet style books.
Chris Bellows ·
Hobonichi Techo no question. Portable at A6 size, full year, great paper, beautiful, and simple.
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