We are big believers that every man should be carrying around an EDC pen with him everywhere he goes. After all, you never know when you need to scrawl down a brilliant idea or someone’s phone number. But, a pen isn’t going to do you a whole lot of good if you don’t have anything on which to write, as well. So, if you’re going to carry around a pen, you should probably also keep a pocket notebook alongside it.
Sure, you could hoof it on down to your local office supply store and grab something simple off the shelf, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice – because there are some truly superb writing pads out there specially designed just for everyday carry enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for something rugged, stylish, or unique, there’s an EDC notepad out there for you. If you’re having a hard time believing that, just take a look at our following collection of the 15 best pocket notebooks for everyday carry. We bet you’ll see something you like.
Rhodia Staplebound Notebook
There’s something to be said for things that are simple and straightforward. And that’s the case with these pocket notebooks from Rhodia. Each one comes with 24 acid-free pages of graph-lined paper inside a stiff and simple cover that makes writing on any surface simple. And they’re each held together with two staples on the binding – making for an uncomplicated yet reliable hold.
Rite In The Rain All-Weather Notebook
If you frequently find yourself trying to scrawl things down in less than ideal weather, then the Rite in the Rain All-Weather notebook is the best option for you. Don’t be fooled by their unassuming looks; these little memo books are something special. Not only are they pocket-friendly and filled with 56 sheets (that’s 112 writable surfaces) of 3.5″ x 5″ paper, but each and every one of those pages can be written on in the rain, mud, snow, sleet, whatever. Just keep in mind that water-based inks will bead right off the pages, so you’re better off scrawling in pencil or with an all-weather writing utensil – like many tactical EDC pens.
Field Notes Original Kraft Notebook
It’s no wonder that Field Notes, headed by legendary graphic designer Aaron Draplin, has solidified their spot in the everyday carry world. Literally all of their offerings are superb examples of EDC greatness. Even something as seemingly simple as their Original Kraft Notebook is practically a work of art on its own. Each one features a tough “Packing Brown Wrap” cover loaded with 48 “Bright White” lined paged dyed with soy-based inks. They also come in a 3-pack and are made right here in the USA. Truly, you can’t go wrong with these Field Notes memo books.
Doane Paper Utility Notebook
Though the handsome covers are certainly appealing in how minimalist they are, the real highlight of these pocket notebooks made by Doane is on the inside: their pages. Each of the 48 pages within these pads features a handy combination grid-line pattern that dances on the line between ruled and graph formats. That makes them easy to write on if you’re just trying to get down some bulleted ideas, long-form statements, or even schematics. And it helps the user switch seamlessly between formats, as well. They also come in packs of 3, are created using 100% recycled materials, feature soy-based inks, and are made in the USA.
Word Pocket Notebooks
A spectacular rival and counterpoint to the Field Notes brand, Word’s pocket notebooks have a flair all their own. And that’s not just relegated to their wide array of cover options – which range from plain, to geometric, to nature-inspired, to custom artwork, and so forth. It’s also because their pages inside, too, come in many different options. For instance, you can get one with a dot-grid pattern that’s an excellent middle-ground between graph and blank pages. Or, you can opt for normal ruled paged, but you’ll also get the option to use Word’s internal bullet-point system to help you stay organized. With Word, the written world is your oyster.
Word The Adventure Log
Whether you frequently travel far and wide or you just want to better document your explorations in the city you call home, you’ll find keeping track of your endeavors all the easier if you carry with you one of Word’s Adventure Logs. The same size as their normal pocket notebooks (3.5″ x 5.5″), these ones benefit from a travel documenting-friendly internal system. That means that each of the 48 pages inside these notebooks has printed on it a handy chart system with spaces on which to write your location, date of visit, weather conditions, companions, and any pertinent details concerning the trip. It will also help you better remember your experiences, as physically writing stuff down has been determined to better tie things to your memory.
Moleskine Classic Notebook
It would be obscene to make a pocket notebook “best of” list and not at least give a nod to Moleskine. After all, they did set the standard in all sorts of writing pads for years. And their quality has not waned in the least. This terrific option is much smaller than their full-sized offerings, measuring up at a pocket-friendly 3.5 by 5.5 inches, but still features a tough hard cover, a reliable elastic band to keep it closed or to stash some cash or scraps of paper within arm’s reach, and features a whopping 192 acid-free pages. And, if you’ve got some receipts or sensitive materials, you can hide them away within the inside cover’s accordion pocket. Trust in Moleskine; they know what they’re doing.
Public Supply Notebooks
If minimalist style is at the top of your desires in a pocket notebook, this one will probably top your must-have list. Harkening back to the classic high-school notepads of the ’80s and ’90s, this offering from Public Supply is a little bit larger than your average pocket pad (measuring up at 5 inches by 8 inches), but it’s not quite large enough to edge it out of the conversation. Especially when you also take into account the fact that it’s made in the United States, is filled with 96 pages of 60# natural cream paper, and is available in a number of different colored covers. Truly, if you’re looking for sleek and simple, you’ll be hard pressed to find something better than this.
Field Notes Expedition Notebook
Though Field Notes’ expertise lies in pocket memo books, that does not by any means make them a one-trick pony. In fact, they’ve figured out ways to make EDC notebooks more interesting than just about anyone else out there. Take, for instance, their Expedition notebooks. These bright orange covered pads aren’t just brilliantly crafted American-made writing books – they’re absurdly tough all-weather record keepers that pair perfectly with a tactical pen. In fact, its pages are waterproof, tear-resistant, extreme temperature-resistant, and have even been proven to survive a trek down to the South Pole in Antarctica. Try to find a more comprehensively tough notebook, we dare you.
Leuchtturm1917 Small Pocket Journal
Seeking something clean and well organized? Well, you might be interested in this hard-covered option. The Leuchtturm1917 Small Pocket Journal might have more organizational options than anything else out there – including eight perforated and detachable sheets for on-the-fly note-taking, an accordion-style internal pocket for loose notes or receipts, and stickers for labeling and archiving. The blank acid free paper inside will also ensure that your ink doesn’t bleed and the hard cover, with a reliable elastic band closure, will keep your book safe and secure when not in use.
Leuchtturm1917 Dot Grid Pocket Notebook
If you’re not quite floored by their blank-paged option, then we’ve got some good news for you: Leuchtturm1917 has alternative offerings that can meet all your everyday carry notebook needs. Take, for instance, this 185 page dot-grid option. It still offers a tremendous amount of organization – from numbered pages to an optional internal contents fill-in-the-blanks chart. But it’s also loaded with dotted pages that are a bit more friendly for creative types that require space to write and draw with accuracy and points of reference. It’s especially helpful with schematic drawings, as it gives a frame of measurement.
While Rhodia certainly makes some excellent small-form soft cover pocket notebooks, they also make some more formidable varieties, as well – like their Webnotebook. A bit on the larger side, measuring up at 5.5 inches by 8.3 inches, this dot-gridded EDC notebook is protected by a hard cover that’s paired with an elastic closure band and an attached ribbon bookmark to help you keep your place when not in use. It’s also loaded with 192 writeable pages of Clairefontaine gray-lined paper that’s as friendly to EDC pens and pencils as it is to the more calligraphy-friendly fountain pen variety. And the handsome embossed Italian leatherette cover hides away an expandable internal pocket for any relevant business cards, notes, receipts, and more.
First Draft Co. Hardcover Notebook
There’s no rule that says minimalism in your everyday carry means everything has to be grayscale. If you want to add a splash of color to your carry in a useful way, have a look at First Draft Co’s Hardcover Notebooks. Not only do these tough pocket notebooks feature 224 pages of thick 70# pages inside and a durable external cover with a lay-flat binding, but they’re also made in the U.S. and come with a braided elastic band that keeps them closed when not in use. Even better, the closure band features a secondary loop that’s the perfect size for your favorite everyday carry pen. Just keep in mind that these pocket notebooks do not actually come with a writing utensil, so you’ll have to supply your own.
Bull & Stash Travel Stash
If you’re going to carry around a pocket notebook at all times, it stands to reason that you might want something that offers some potential for reuse. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in Bull & Stash’s Travel Stash. These handy notebooks – which come in your choice of either blank or ruled formats – are filled with 50 pages of 60# bleed-resistant pages, they are made in the United States of America, and feature a handsome brown oiled leather cover. That cover, by the way, lends a bit of individuality to each of these books, as it will acquire a unique look that’s affected directly by the adventures on which you take it. That means no other notebook, even another Travel Stash, will look exactly like yours. Which is especially attractive, when you consider that Bull & Stash made these pocket notebooks reusable. Yes, once you’ve filled up its pages, you can archive and replace the contents with another new blank insert and get started all over again. All you have to do is purchase the refills.
Ezra Arthur Small Leather Notebook
Ezra Arthur is responsible for making some outstanding leather goods – including a range of superb wallets – so it should come as no surprise that, when the time came to make a pocket notebook, they applied that leather-working expertise to the writing pad. Available in your choice of three colors (black, malbec, and whiskey), each of these notebooks are hand-stitched and bound using high-grain Horween leather. They’re also loaded with 128 pages of Tomoe river ultra-thin 52 GSM acid-free, bleed-resistant blank paper. And if you’d prefer something ruled or with a graph-style grid, each of these Ezra Arthur notebooks also comes with a handy guide with lines on one side and a grid on the other – all you have to do it line it up behind the page on which you’re writing and, voila, you’ve got a lined or gridded page. But, the best part of this USA-made notebook is that, once you’ve filled it all up, you can send it back to the brand (for a small fee) and they’ll refill it with new blank pages, bind it, and send it (and your already-filled out pages) back to you so you can do it all over again. That makes this offering about as close as you can get to an heirloom notebook and we appreciate that level of potential longevity in our EDC.
Best Everyday Carry Pens
Since you’re going to be carrying around with you a pocket notebook, you’ll also need something with which to write in it. And you can’t go wrong with one of these, as they’re the best everyday carry pens available.