The proliferation of smartphones began by destroying the EDC notebook industry, but then it actually revitalized it. More people began to realize that for as good as their technology was, there still wasn’t any replacement for having an EDC pen and paper on hand for the constant notes you need to take. Even with a stylus, smartphones aren’t effective if your hands are greasy, wet, bloody, or you don’t have your touchscreen gloves. Packing a pocket notebook into your everyday carry kit means never missing a genius idea or forgetting a phone number.
We know that your pockets are bursting at the seams with everyday carry gear. Your keys, multi-tool, EDC knife, LED flashlight, phone, wallet, and brass knuckles take up a ton of space. That’s why we didn’t just choose any notebooks for you. We found those that were small enough not to be cumbersome, tough enough not to fall apart after daily abuse, and versatile enough to go with you anywhere the rocky road or chauffeured limo takes you. To always be on the ball, take along one of the 10 best EDC pocket notebooks and never forget anything ever again.
Rite in the Rain Tactical Notebook
Pro: Reference materials printed on back and cover
Con: Difficult to erase pencil marks or write with a marker
Rain or Shine: Your notebook can’t wait for gray skies to clear up so that you can write down the coordinates for the artillery team to begin shelling. You need to do it now. That means having a Rite in the Rain as part of your everyday carry equipment. Made with patented paper that works in sweltering heat, freezing cold, and even torrential downpours, you’ll always get the notes you need no matter what mother nature throws at you. Ooo-Rah.
Pro: Immense variety of options
Con: Doesn’t work well with gel or fountain pens
On the Job: The Field Notes brand has breathed new life into the notebook industry with their tough, no-nonsense, workshop grade materials. These won’t fall apart or tear down the way your standard notepad will. They’re made with sturdy chipboard on the outside and sterling bright paper on the inside that allows you to write smoothly and quickly. With a huge range of options, something in their line is perfect for you.
Doane Paper Utility Notebook
Pro: Simple and functional
Con: Stapled and stitched binding
Engineering Grade: Many pocket notebooks can be bought with your choice of lines or grids, but we found the Utility Notebook from Doane Paper had a special something that we enjoyed. Every part of the notebook is recycled for a more ecologically friendly piece of kit and the double-sided gridlines give you more space for extensive notes and scale drawings.
Appointed Mini Linen Jotter
Pro: Entirely American made
Con: Minimalist design
Class Act: As understated as they are useful, the Mini Linen Jotter is the softer EDC notebook for the creative individual who can’t be bound by lines or graphs. The clean, pure pages offer the ability to scrawl notes, diagrams, drawings, and anything else you can imagine. If you find a blank page stimulating rather than intimidating, the Jotter will give you plenty of room to fill, all wrapped in a water-resistant exterior with serious text weight stock paper.
The Adventure Log
Pro: Cover can be enumerated
Con: Space wasted on potentially useless sections
Go Wild: Someday, when your joints have given out and your body’s virility has left you, all you shall have is your memories. Make sure each of those memories is recorded in stunning detail with the Adventure Log. Made by Tyler Axtell’s Bradley Mountain in collaboration with Word. Notebooks, these are meant as a keepsake for recalling your excursions into the wilderness as well as your exploits in the concrete jungle. Big enough for lots of notes, yet small enough for your back pocket.
Small PostalCO Notebook
Pro: Extra long cover creates supportive writing platform
Con: Minimal color and design choices
Natural Wonder: Made completely in Japan by Mike and Yuri Abelson, these notebooks are deceptively simple. Their makeup is innocuous, with a water-resistant cotton cover that has been starched and pressed, they seem like a comfortable pair of slacks. The paper is made of natural fibers that is boiled to make it smooth for a slick surface that doesn’t feel glossy. Entirely chlorine free, the paper is neither basic nor acidic so it won’t yellow nor degrade.
Moleskine Classic Pocket Notebook
Pro: Will not bend out of shape
Con: Thin paper can bleed
Stick with Tradition: Thread bound and covered with a cardboard cover, this is about as simple as notebooks come. Complete with bookmark and elastic closure, pages won’t tear out and you’ll never find yourself hunting for where you left off.
Leuchtturm 1917 Pocket Notebook
Pro: Perforated pages included
Con: Glue binding requires improvement
Intense Organizer: With numbered pages and an included table of contents, you can not only keep an immense number of notes, you can also navigate through them more quickly. Included is a whole array of stickers that allow you to number and label the notebook itself or mark sections within it to eliminate guesswork. With a hardcover design for stiffer writing, it might not fit easily in your pocket, but you’ll still be glad it’s there.
Pro: Includes and interior pocket
Con: Does not flatten out well
True Titan: Ordinarily we wouldn’t suggest a pocket notebook of this size for everyday carry, but when you need a larger, sturdier pad, then this will satisfy the most discerning writer. The thick text stock paper is kind to fountain pens – something that is rare in notebooks – and sops up liquid ink like a sponge. A stiff back makes writing easy when standing up, and the elastic closure and cloth bookmark round it out nicely.
Bull & Stash Travel Stash
Con: Not eco or vegan friendly
Rough Customer: One of the curses of everyday carry notebooks is the moment you find one you love, you discover that your favorite pen won’t work with the specialized paper. With the Bull & Stash, you can pick the paper that works for you and slip it right into the tough oiled leather exterior. Rugged enough for riding the range but classy enough for a meeting with the board, there’s no doubt this is the notebook for hard cases.