Why You Should Carry A Pocket Notebook

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Learn why and how you should carry a pocket notebook and check out our suggestions on the best memo books to get you started.

Pen and paper are meant for each other, and one without the other simply does not work. Adding a pocket notebook to your carry is very easy due to their dimensions, thinness, and flexibility in a pocket. Adding a memo book to your back pocket adds a ton of utility without much bulk. Pocket notebooks are great for a variety of reasons:

  • Easy to Carry: Most pocket notebooks are made of around 24 sheets (48 pages), with paper covers. This means that they are thin enough to easily fit in a front or back pocket and you will hardly notice it’s there until you need it.

  • Convenience: If you’re already carrying a pen, adding a pocket notebook is the next logical step. Having your own personal notes in your back pocket or backpack makes them easily accessible. Never be without a place to write something down again.

  • Organization: Instead of writing down your thoughts, important phone numbers, notes, to-do’s, and more on scraps of paper – have them all safely unified in your back pocket. It is much easier to look back and compare notes when they are all in the same place.

  • Helps you remember: Jotting down notes by hand has been scientifically proven to help you remember things. It’s even a big part of the Field Notes mantra: “I’m not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now.”

What uses does a pocket notebook have?

There are countless uses for carrying a notebook. People have been writing things down for ages, whether it be observations, personal experiences, or what they have to pick up at the grocery store. Here’s just a few suggestions on what to write in your new pocket notebook:

  • To-Do List: What better place is there than your pocket to keep a running list of everything that needs to get done?

  • Ledger: Track your daily spending to stick to your budget in order to help save up for that custom knife you’ve been eyeing.

  • Micro Journal: Write down a few thoughts from each day. It’s a lot of fun to look back on what you were doing years ago on the same day.

  • Documentation: Whether it be gym progress, weight loss/gain, restaurant reviews, or tasting notes on your favorite coffees or beers, try keeping a log of things you like.

  • Creativity & Inspiration: It’s relaxing to let your mind go and put pen to paper and see what comes out. Write down fleeting thoughts, business ideas, sketches for an upcoming project, and much more. Who knows – you could develop an amazing talent (like Sam Larson did) or invent the next big thing right out of your back pocket.

Which book is right for me?

Not unlike writing instruments, there are plenty of options for a solid notebook to live in your back pocket on a daily basis. Some have thicker paper, more pages, less pages, different dimensions, and different properties. There are notebooks with everything from normal paper to synthetic resin-based papers that will stand up to incredible abuse. All of the notebooks below are great suggestions to get you started:

The Gold Standard…

Field Notes Kraft

Field Notes Kraft 3-Pack

The Kraft Paper 3-Pack is considered to be the standard, go-to pocket notebook by many out there. The books come in blank, lined, and graph rulings and are also available in a mixed pack. Field Notes draw inspiration from the old agricultural notebooks used by farmers at the turn of the 20th century and their clean aesthetic and nostalgic looks reinforce their roots. In addition to the standard kraft paper, Field Notes puts out a quarterly limited edition that is always worth keeping an eye out for.


Something with a bit more personal flair…

Word. Notebooks

Word. Notebooks

Measuring in at the standard 3.5” x 5.5” dimensions commonly seen in the world of pocket notebooks, the Word. Notebooks come in a huge array of colors and patterns to match the rest of your carry. Inside, you’ll find 48 lined, acid-free pages that stand up well to gel, ballpoint, rollerball and even fountain pen ink. Increase your personal productivity with the built in bullet point to-do list system printed into the ruling in each and every book.


Can’t decide between lines or a graph…

Doane Paper Utility Notebook

Doane Paper Utility Notebooks

The Utility Notebooks by Doane Paper feature the brand’s patented grid+lines ruling that will make any designer or engineer happy. With small boxes and thicker lines every three boxes, the ruling is ideal for technical sketches, writing notes, and even for aspiring calligraphers to practice their uniformity. Doane Utility books come in packs of three in black, or a 6-pack including navy, sky blue, rover green, crimson, amber and primer gray.


Write under any condition…

Rite in the Rain Pocket Notebook

Rite in the Rain Notepad

Rite in the Rain pocket notebooks allow you to do just that… write in the rain. Featuring a special water-resistant coating, these books allow you to write in harsh weather. Regardless of blistering, freezing, or inclement weather, you’ll be able to jot down important notes in the field or update your journal when enjoying the outdoors. It pairs well with the Fisher Space Pen to cover all of your bases for writing in extreme conditions. Available in a variety of configurations, there’s a pocket-sized option for everyone.


Pocketable premium paper…

Rhodia Staplebound Books

Rhodia Staplebound Pocket Notebooks

These books contain some of the smoothest, highest quality paper manufactured today in a compact 3” x 4.75” format perfect for your pocket. Available in either lined or graph, the Rhodia pocket notebooks are a great choice due to the thickness of the paper. The paper allows for you to write on both the front and back without having to worry about ink bleeding through, getting maximum efficiency out of one notebook. The cover is treated with a waterproof coating, making the book more durable for everyday use.


Save precious pocket space…

Moleskine Volant Extra Small

Moleskine Volant Extra Small Notebooks

If your pockets are already feeling full, check out the extra small Volant by Moleskine. It’s the smallest offering from one of the most well-known names in notebooks, measuring in at 2” x 4”. The books come in packs of two and are filled with 56 micro-perforated pages, making it easy to share information with others when needed, without destroying your notebook.


Cover it up…

One Star Leather Goods Notebook Cover

One Star Leather Goods Notebook Covers

If you have a little bit of extra room in your pockets, you may want to class up your carry with a handmade leather cover from One Star Leather Goods. Using top-quality leathers, each case is carefully made in the USA by a single person. Not only does a leather cover protect your notebook from getting thrashed in your pocket, but they also look great and age naturally over time. Available in several designs, the covers are capable of holding several books, a notebook plus pen, and more.


Thank you for reading part two of our series on analog writing! If you’re set on EDCing a notebook now, don’t forget to check out Part 1 of the series on Why You Should Carry a Pen. We hope we’ve provided some valid reasons for adding a notebook to your carry. Check back next week for the final part in the series, outlining some higher end pens, larger notebooks, and more. 

Do you carry a notebook? Which one, and what do you use it for? If you’re just now deciding to EDC one, which notepad are you planning to add to your daily kit? Let us know in the comments below!

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