10 Best Pocket Notebooks for EDC in 2019

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10 Best Pocket Notebooks for EDC in 2019

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 #edc-calendar-notes-2019 #best-3x5-edc-notebook #2019-good-nootbook #pocket-leuchtturm #every-day-carry-pen-back-pocket see all



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Discussion (25 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.
Another vote here for the 3.5" x 5.5" Moleskine Cahier.
Yadda yadda yadda. Rite in the rain 3x5. Boom
Although military issued notebooks is pretty sick.
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
Treeline Logbooks? 3.5x5.5”. Great notebooks, better cause IMO
Plus one for DOTSPLUS. I have one and a grid FN. The extra stuff on the DP makes it that much better for grid books.
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”

DOTSPLUS Pocket
$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"

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!
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.
Interesting I should check that out
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.
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
The main problem of the Rite in the rain products is that you can't use a fountain pen with it.
No, they are meant for another purpose. All weather and durable with tons of pages, they are meant to be used with ball points because the ball point is more reliable as well. Pens like Fisher space pens that have a history of durability through the most strenuous of tasks. If you want a regular notebook for an indoor pen, just get something cheap from the store because it's just regular paper and the only thing you need is quantity. Anything else is wasting money.
Hobonichi Techo no question. Portable at A6 size, full year, great paper, beautiful, and simple.
Thanks for the photo feature! Love my Field Notes, but will also be checking out the Word bullet style books.
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!
Good response with great points, fisher space pen on rite in the rain. Zero issues. Ever.
Black & Red. They have a 5 7/8" X 4 1/8" pocket notebook that would be perfect in this list. Black&red.com.
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.
Moleskine is horrible for writting with a fountain pen.
These, the ones I use, are easily the longest-lasting under daily use and abuse:
https://journalsandbooks.com/pocket-notebooks/685-eco-friendly-pocket-notepad-poppy.html
Several cover designs, but note several niceties:
1) Covers are seriously thick. Nothing tearing loose, even if it lives in your hip pocket. I wear jeans every day. Every pair, for years, develops the rectangular wear mark from these.
2) heavy-duty rings will not squash.
3) Rings are the exact diameter, and the pad almost the perfect width, for the EDC-recommended Fisher Space Pen with its clip.
4) Perfect for adding some 3"x3" Post-Its inside the back cover, to tear off to give to folks or to stick on things.
I use a plastic Post-It bookmark to have a tab to flip it open to, and I keep a couple extras stuck to the inside cover.
Note that this also fits in front shirt pockets without sticking out, although it weighs enough to hang the pocket a bit.
I have 25 in a box right now, as I've occasionally had a hard time finding them.
I figure the more demand there is, the less I'll have to worry about that.
KOKUYO Sokuryo-Yacho (Field Notes in Japanese) is a hidden gem: https://www.penaddict.com/blog/2018/5/21/kokuyo-sokuryo-yacho-the-original-japanese-field-notebook