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The Best Pocket Notebooks for EDC

Ed Jelley
The Best Pocket Notebooks for EDC

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If you’re already carrying a good EDC pen, a pocket notebook is the next logical step. Often, it’s harder to find something to write on than it is to find something to write with. While browsing the site, you may have noticed more and more pocket notebooks showing up in EDCs. While it might seem like a trend, the truth is, lots of us rely on these little notebooks to write down critical information, notes, lists, and more. We’ve already outlined why you should carry a pocket notebook in general, but today we're highlighting the 10 best notebooks worth carrying.

The Top 10 EDC Pocket Notebooks in 2017

Field Notes Expedition Edition

Standout Feature: Water-, tear-, acid-proof paper

Field Notes have achieved icon status. This popular brand of 3.5x5.5” pocket notebook has been around for years, and only continues to get more popular. Their Expedition edition features dot grid paper that’s actually closer to plastic. This unique writing surface will stand up to rain, shine, heat, cold, or whatever else you can throw at it. The bright orange covers make them easy to find while adding a pop of color to your EDC.

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Rhodia Staplebound Pocket Notebook

Standout Feature: Silky smooth, heavy paper

Rhodia makes some of the nicest paper out there. It’s 90gsm (most copy paper is around 70gsm), acid-free, and features light violet ruling. If your preferred writing instrument is a fountain pen or rollerball, then this is the notebook for you. Bleed through and show through are a near impossibility, even with the inkiest of pens.

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Word. Notebooks

Standout Feature: Unique To-Do List Ruling

If you're the type who lives and dies by their to do list, Word. Notebooks are for you. Inside this 48 page notebook, you’ll find a unique bullet point at the beginning of every line. By adding a dot, circle, slash, or X, you can easily keep track of what you’ve accomplished, and what’s in progress. If all that's too much to remember, on the inside of the front cover of every book is a guide to using their system. We like Word. Notebooks for the huge variety of colors and patterns you can pick from.

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Public Supply Notebooks

Standout Feature: 25% of Profits Donated to In-Need Schools

You’re not just getting a well-made notebook with Public Supply. You’re giving back too—25% of profits are donated to schools in need. These sturdy stitch-bound notebooks are full of acid-free paper that’s thick enough to accommodate any kind of writing instrument. The minimally designed covers are easy on the eyes, and feature a spot to write in the subject of what’s inside.


Doane Paper Pocket Notebooks

Standout Feature: Grid+Lines Ruling

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. 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.


Moleskine Cahier Pocket Notebook

Standout Feature: Simple and Classic

If you don't need fancy rulings, built-in lists, or even text on the cover, the Moleskine is for you. These classic pocket notebooks have a black textured cover and off-white paper inside. Each book is bound with stitching for extra durability, and features 16 removable pages in the back for tear-and-share notes. They’re readily available online and in many brick-and-mortar stores, so if you run out, a replacement isn’t far away.

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Rite in the Rain Notebooks

Standout Feature: Completely Waterproof Paper

Rite in the Rain notebooks allow you to do exactly that… write in the rain. These waterproof notebooks come in a variety of sizes and shapes, many of which are pocket-friendly. They play best with their own pens, but a standard ballpoint or pencil will write on these just fine.

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Field Notes Pitch Black Edition

Standout Feature: Dot Grid Ruling and Blacked Out Looks

We already mentioned the Field Notes Expedition, but for all of you who don't need to write in crazy conditions there's the Field Notes Pitch Black Edition. Each pack of books includes three 3.5x5.5” notebooks — the ideal size for keeping in a pocket. This blacked out edition has black on black covers, black staples, and stealthy grey dot-grid ruling.

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Mnemosyne N192A Notepad

Standout Feature: Lay-flat Wire Binding

Wire binding can be especially useful in a small notebooks. Since the pages fold over themselves, you can easily write on the front and back of each page. It also allows the book to lay nice and flat, making it that much easier to write no matter where you are. Maruman's off-white paper is smooth, and plays nice with everything from ballpoint to fountain pens. The lined ruling is pretty straightforward, except every seventh line is bold. This adds some visual separation to the page so it's easy to organize your notes.


Leuchtturm 1917 Pocket Notebook

Standout Feature: Full Size Notebook Features in a Compact Package

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, should 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 that's still not bad considering everything packed inside.

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Which pocket notebook do you EDC, and what do you write in it? Let us know in the comments below.

#buying-guides #notebooks #pocket-notebook #best-edc-notebook #best-pocket-notebooks see all

Who Likes This (52)

43 others

Discussion (45 total)

Chiffon ·
If you're like me and live in a developing country so you can't afford all of these imported goods then I suggest Muji notebooks if you can find them.

They come in all sorts of sizes (even notepads) and are relatively fountain-pen friendly. Do note that the paper quality may vary based on its country of origin as labeled on their price tags.
Syafiq ·
yeah I'm carrying muji notebook in my backpack every day
John L Coulter ·
Muji is a great place for general life purchases. Great suggestion
Scott Wicksted ·
Love my field notes Lunacy Edition. I always add post it notes to the back few pages so I don't have to tear out pages when I need to give someone a piece of paper to write on! Also use the post its for throw away notes and it extends the life of these special edition field notes by a few months.
Shawn Arballo ·
That is a great idea! Never thought about that. I'll be using that from now on. Thanks Scott!
Scott Wicksted ·
No problem, my pleasure. I'm a teacher so I need throw away paper all the time. It's never when I'm at my desk that I need to give a kid a note so the post its save my field notes for more important things!
John L Coulter ·
I do the same thing with my students and it is never when I am near my desk or office. Post its are great and I have started carrying a few sheets of A4 that have been folded into mini notebooks that I give to kids to use.
John L Coulter ·
Another stand out article, Ed. How about a Top Ten on pocket notebook covers?
Ed Jelley ·
Thanks for the suggestion, we'll add it to the list!
John L Coulter ·
Good job on the Top Ten covers.
1 more comments
Rite in the Rain ·
Great to see our stuff make the list! Thanks Ed. Folks, let me know if you haven't tried our stuff and I'll send out a sample within the USA. [email protected] Let's say offer's good through May!
John L Coulter ·
Oh dang. No love for Asia?
Jeff Povey ·
I must be missing something - If I need to make notes etc, I use Evernote, and either Wunderlist or Teuxdeux for lists.

Personally don't see the point of carrying a notebook around when I always have my phone with me.
J.S. Leonard ·
There's just something timeless about the act of actually writing something down as it comes to you. A Field Notes and Schon or Henderer pen or Moleskine Classic and Lamy Safari Fountain Pen are the perfect combos for the classic man. I file all my notebooks for future reference. As for Cells and Evernote....They don't work 24/7 or in austere conditions. My Field Notes Expedition and Schon Pen worked in the jungles of South America the plains of Africa and in the Himalayan Mountains. They can be taken anywhere without restrictions never once needed special care or charging and the pages could be torn out and given to locals with your info (most don't have smart phones or even cells. I once gained a client because they said they saw me taking notes at the bar and liked the fact I used that method. If a cell works for you then use it, but they do have their shortcomings and limitations.
Jed Edwards ·
I read a study a while back that found that handwritten notes in the classroom aided retention and comprehension of the lesson. (I'll see if I can find a link if you're interested).
Beyond that, I genuinely find handwriting easier both for writing and finding notes later than doing it on my phone. If you don't then that's fine.
Before iPhones were invented, I always carried a pocket notebook on me (Moleskine Cahier), mostly. But since I can take down notes in a multitude of cloud-based apps without fear of losing them, The need for carrying a notebook has become obsolete. That said, I will always keep a Rite -In-The-Rain in my shower for those spur of the moment ideas!
Rite in the Rain ·
Great to hear that we still have a place in your kit!! Really appreciate it.
1 more comments
Shawn Arballo ·
I prefer the "Rite in the Rain" all-weather worksite spiral bound notebook, so that you can tare off a page if you want to and not destroy the integrity of the notebook. Although, you have a smart phone for notes, it is great for a couple games of tic-tac-toe with the kids while you wait or for leaving someone a message and not having to look all over for a scrap of paper. A very useful piece of EDC. Cheers!
Shawn Arballo ·
Rite in the Rain ·
Ha - good tip!
saint_shinobi ·
I loved the Blacked out version of Field Notes, but man it got tore up in my pocket real fast...
Aaron ·
I carry an A6 size leather notebook made by X17. The notebook will fit any A6 refill but I've found X17's refills to be the best. They offer every imaginable notebook type from lined, dot grid, blank, to special purpose such as daily/weekly calendars.

It's an awesome option for someone who wants a bit nicer looking and feeling notebook with the flexibility of different refills. The paper isn't fountain pen friendly so I use a Pilot V5 RT (retractable) with it.
Billy ·
Waterproof paper just became my best new friend! To be honest it is very handy
craig b ·
Thanks for the Goulet pens shout out! Stand up company, and I've loved them for years!
Josh. ·
Some people would say "You have too many notebooks!" but really, you can't have too many notebooks/journals really.
I always have one handy, either on a shelf or in my backpack. As a lefty, though, I find that flip top notebooks like the Mnemosyne mentioned in the article are the best. But generally flip top notebooks are bigger than pocket size. What I'd LOVE for Field Notes to do is a pocket sized flip top (something similar to their awesome Front Page reporter notebooks would be extra awesome)
Noah Murdoc ·
Good info here, ive got a MiGOALS's 'get shit done' notepad, and it tends to be on the larger side, which cause it to rip up fast. The two staple design is definitely not the best.
Jeffrey Dheere ·
8 more comments