Everyday Carry

5 Alternative Pocket Notebooks to EDC

Authored by:
Ed Jelley
Reviewed by:
Bernard Capulong
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
14+ Years Reviewing EDC Products
5 Alternative Pocket Notebooks to EDC

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Keeping track of all your big projects, to-do's, and random bits of important information throughout the day is hard enough. Trying to do it all in your head? Forget it. A pocket notebook can be both your simplest and strongest ally in staying organized on the go. But here's the thing: your plans and ideas can differ drastically, while most notebooks out there are more or less the same. You know the type: 3.5x5”, 48 pages, staple bound, with a nifty cover design or page ruling as the only variables. If you need something more specialized than these one-size-fits-all notebooks, this guide's got you covered. These 5 pocket notebooks stray from the standard formula in terms of their size, pages, and features to fit right at home in your EDC.

Best Pocket Notebook Alternatives to Field Notes

Moleskine Volant XS
Rhodia Pocket Notebook
Mnemosyne N193A
Standard Memorandum

Size: 2.5" x 4"
Size: 3" x 4.75" (A7)
Size: 3.5" x 5.9"
Size: 4.3" x 2.3"
Size: 2.35" x 5.25"
Ruling: Lined
Ruling: Lined or Graph
Ruling: Dot Grid
Ruling: Graph
Ruling: Planner
# of Pages: 56
# of Pages: 24
# of Pages: 121
# of Pages: 50
# of Pages: 64
Pro: Thin and compact
Pro: Paper quality
Pro: Flexible cover
Pro: Wire bound
Pro: Compact planner
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Moleskine Volant Extra Small

One of the smallest (yet still usable) pocket notebooks out there is the Moleskine Volant XS. This tiny notebook is perfect for jotting down lists, phone numbers, and on-the-go memos due to its 2.5x4” size. The 56 off-white pages feature lined ruling to keep you organized. What makes this book unique are the 16 detachable pages in the back of the book -- perfect for writing something down to give to someone else. If the size of a pocket notebook is your only concern, the Volant XS may change your mind.

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Rhodia Pocket Notebook

The paper inside most pocket notebooks leaves something to be desired. That’s not the case with Rhodia’s pocket notebooks. These are slightly smaller than the standard notebook and feature Rhodia’s 90gsm bright white paper (the standard notebook paper is much thinner at around 70gsm) with a slick, smooth surface. Those who write with a fountain pen or rollerball will appreciate the extra smoothness and resistance to bleed through. The 3 x 4.75” cover is extra thick, and treated with a waterproof coating that also increases durability.

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Leuchtturm1917 Softcover Pocket Notebook

The Leuchtturm 1917 pocket notebook is more like a traditional premium notebook, only shrunk down. The cover also has some flex to it, so it’s even easier to carry in a pants pocket. 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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Maruman Mnemosyne N193A 

Maruman Mnemosyne notebooks are a premium line of stationery from Japan. The black covers and simple design are sure to fit in with anyone’s EDC. The twin ring binding makes it especially easy to flip over and write while holding the notebook in your hand. This version of the notebook is especially slim, at only 2.3 inches wide by 4.3 inches tall. The paper inside has dotted line ruling, with a few bold solid lines so you can visually separate your notes inside.

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Word. Standard Memorandum

Word. Notebook’s Standard Memorandum is one of the slimmest pocket planners out there. This tiny 2.35 x 5.35” is slim enough to go unnoticed in your pocket, leaving tons of room for other EDC gear. There’s a space inside for each day of the year, along with some references, and multiple calendar formats. If you’re looking to have one small book with you for an entire year, the Standard Memorandum is for you. They’re also available with handsome leather covers to add some protection to the paper cover. The 2018 version drops soon and they sell out quick, so keep an eye out.

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Do you use a notebook that isn't the standard pocket size? If so, what do you use and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

About the Reviewer
Bernard Capulong is an everyday carry (EDC) gear expert, entrepreneur, all-around nerd, and the founder and editor-in-chief of EverydayCarry.com—the largest online community for EDC gear enthusiasts. Since founding Everyday Carry in 2009, he’s built over a decade of experience in the industry, reviewing and highlighting brands and products, including pocket knives, flashlights, wallets, watches, bags, pens, and much more.

Bernard is known for bringing everyday carry out of obscurity and into the mainstream, having been published or featured in various publications such as GQ, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, VICE, HYPEBEAST, Outside, and many others. He has also played a part in curating, designing, and developing digital and physical products, resulting in successful crowdfunding projects or limited edition collaboration products with established softgoods brands. He stays on the pulse of the EDC industry by attending trade shows, participating in online interest communities, and actively engaging with fellow gear enthusiasts on social media.

In addition to being the editor-in-chief and main social media personality for EverydayCarry.com, Bernard is an avid gearhead and collector in general. His personal collections span technical bags, fountain pens, digital cameras, retro gaming hardware, personal hi-fi audio gear, and mechanical wristwatches, to name a few. Bernard Capulong is a prominent figure and trusted authority in the everyday carry industry with a career dedicated to helping people discover this hobby and stay prepared with quality gear.

Discussion (23 total)

Daniel Eckman ·
What happened to rite in the rain?
Aaron ·
No Rite in the Rain? Although the list above isn’t bad in/around work/Office.
Jeramiah Gladden ·
Best of the best why is this not here? No sponsor?
ThreePercenter ·
I like The Violent Machine Shop's "People To Kill" notebook.
Brian G ·
Where can I get the cover that's in the first picture?
Hi it is handcrafted
Richard Robles ·
Do you have a link to the maker?
Evan Kellner ·
Hey Richard, I own Tannery South Leather Co. I'd love to work with you on a custom cover. Check out my Instagram and shoot me a DM. Evan @tannerysouth
Haha theres no link, it was my first project when picking up lesthercrafting
Martim Weinstein ·
What knife is that in the 1st photo? The one with the japanese inscription? Great looks...
Jeramiah Gladden ·
Martim Weinstein ·
Thanks. Beautiful knife. Got one. :-)
Charles ·
These are all very cool, but I prefer the 5x8ish size books for taking notes.
Clairefontaine. Just got in an order of 5 more.
Barry Allen ·
Digging this list! I really like some of the smaller options offered here. I’m currently using the Rite in the Rain products &, I’m working on integrating the Rocketbook Everlast into my workflow.
Brianna McShea ·
Can you post the link to the EDC pictures here? I’m actually interested in the products that are in the picture with the moleskin volant xs
Adam Peter Louis McMillan ·
Evan Kellner ·
Hi, I own Tannery South Leather Co. I'd love to work with you on a custom cover. Check out my Instagram and shoot me a DM. Evan @tannerysouth
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