Pocket Notebooks! Can’t live without one, forget where they are when you need it and and never write in it when you should. For those who are more likely to use their phone to keep track of their daily needs and objectives, and do not want to carry around anything large because ugh, weight, and I have my phone anyway, this article is for you.
All notebooks below are in the A6-A7 range. That's 6 by 4 inches and 3 by 4 inches respectively. They are easy to stick in a pocket and will not take up too much space in your bag.
If you are a stationary junky, and you love the feeeeeeeellll of pen on paper, the paper has to be just right. Because your pen is just right, and the ink has been precisely chosen. Your pen and ink combination is a work of beauty and needs to be treated to the absolute best paper. This extends to your pocket notebooks too. Even if it isn’t your best pen or your favorite ink. Because why would you take your best pen out into the field, and where would you keep that bottle of ink anyway?
Midori Notebooks are excellent all-rounders, especially if you like fountain pens. They are absolutely lush to write on, and the slim volumes are slim but not too slim. The minimal white cover is perfect to not be a distraction, or is the perfect canvas for your decorative mods. The A6 model is perfect in the pocket and there is even a 3 volume model. It’s writing perfection in a tiny frame.
And for sketching on the go, absolutely nothing compares to the Midori Notebook Cotton.
Leuchtturm is the King of Bujo if you write a bullet journal in the original Ryder Carroll style. (The original version is without all of the hand-drawn calendars, headers, and expert coloring. Don’t look at Pinterest. Just don’t.) It lays flat, has a small pocket for odds and ends, has pre-numbered pages and a table of contents. If you want to do serious organizing while out and about, this is your go-to book.
However, it is not without deficits. If you are a paper/pen addict, the paper is thin and bleed-through commences with anything more serious than a ballpoint pen. You may find yourself frustrated and turned off by the thinness. If you aren’t all that concerned with paper conditions, proceed with organizational pleasure.
Now Field Notes didn’t invent pocket notebooks, but at this point they feel like they are the OG makers. The Field Notes Pitch Black looks good in any setting. It’s robust without being too bulky. It’s exactly the thing you need when you want to look good but also when you need to look like you aren’t trying. The paper is nice, both in dot grid and ruled flavors. Will it give you Schreibvergnügen (writing pleasure)? No. But it's sturdy, bleed-through is minimal and with a few notes, a little scratching is fine.
This is the perfect EDC notebook, when you really should have something “just in case.” It has great paper that works well even with fountain pens and fancy inks. It also has perforated pages so notes can go in the trash or in the hands of the people who need that particular note. Most importantly it is super cheap. If it gets mangled in your bag or pocket, no tears are shed, because it costs that little money. Tiny, cheap, surprisingly good paper, this notebook will become the sleeper hit of your carry.
Rite in the Rain, for when you absolutely, positively, unreservedly must write in the rain and mud. Do not try this with a fountain pen.