The 10 Best EDC Pocket Notebooks

Jul 20, 2021

Category: Gear

There’s no denying that our lives are increasingly and exponentially dependent upon and integrated with technology. However, having access to high-tech options does not necessarily mean they’re better for you than more traditional, analog alternatives. In fact, trying to shoehorn tech into every facet of your life could potentially be a detriment. After all, battery-powered devices require regular power renewal and many of them also require a good connection to either a WiFi network or cell towers in order to properly, fully function.

If you’re the type frequently finding yourself with good ideas you wish to remember, to-do lists (or other, similar types of task-based organization), or you just like to doodle, using your smartphone or tablet might not always be in your best interests — especially if you’re frequently on the go. Instead of fumbling about with often imprecise and overly complicated apps, you may be better off adding a pocket notebook to your everyday carry loadout. These simple, tried-and-true bits of EDC won’t ever run out of battery, they’re easy to reference in the future, and they’re typically far cheaper than even the most basic tech alternatives — even over time and with multiple purchases. These are the 10 best EDC pocket notebooks.

Rhodia Notebooks

Founded in 1998, Rhodia has been in the pocket notebook game for a very long time. And the brand has an exceptionally deep catalog of offerings, as a result. That includes, perhaps obviously, a wide variety of colorways, but the brand also has a huge number of styles fitting just about any notebook need or desire. Whether you prefer a classic journalist-style flip-top notebook, a modern staple-bound option, a wire-bound graph paper notebook, or something else entirely, Rhodia has you covered.

Purchase: $6+

Rite in the Rain Notebooks

For outdoorsmen and anyone else that spend a lot of time outside, Rite in the Rain’s catalog of pocket notebook offerings is one of the toughest to beat. This is because, as the brand’s name suggests, RitR has focused their business on developing and producing some of the most durable notebooks in the world. Yes, even the pages between their covers are waterproof — to the point that you could still write in them even in a deluge. And that weatherproofing technology extends to the brand’s entire lineup, so you can’t go wrong in that regard with any of their products.

Purchase: $10+

Field Notes Pocket Notebooks

Field Notes is so significant to the pocket notebook space that you could feasibly put together a “best of” list with only this brand’s offerings (and you wouldn’t be totally wrong in doing so). Created and helmed by design genius Aaron Draplin, this USA-made brand has carved out a niche the size of the Grand Canyon in this space, marked by an intimidating number of exceptional year-round offerings and peppered with regular limited-edition releases that help to push the limits of what pocket notebooks (and other notebook-adjacent products) can be. If you only consider one brand on this list, it should absolutely be Field Notes. We cannot sing their praises enough.

Purchase: $10+

Doane Paper Utility Notebooks

Proof positive that a simple, pared-down selection of minimalist options can be just what the doctor ordered, there’s Doane Paper. The company was built on a simple concept: combining grid paper and legal lined notebooks into a single, seamless offering. And that concept has helped solidify Doane amongst the best options out there. Perfect for everything from simple doodling to complex bookkeeping, these pocket notebooks are a solid do-it-all option. And if you really want to keep your notebooks safe (and handsome-looking), the brand also offers a premium stitched leather cover.

Purchase: $10+

Word. Notebooks

Everything Word. offers is made in the USA — but that’s just one of the many things that makes this pocket notebook brand one worth keeping in mind. Other factors include a wide variety of stylish, handsome, artful covers — including everything from a basic (albeit smart) black-on-black to more complex designs like the aptly-named Intergalactic option — as well as a handy, integrated organizational system built into every single standard-format notebook the brand offers. Of course, if you want something a bit different and more purpose-driven, Word. also offers notebooks to suit — like the brand’s Fishing Log, Adventure Log, and a day-planning Memorandum notebook.

Purchase: $10+

Public Supply Notebooks

Sometimes, even when a brand’s offerings are truly exceptional, it’s the company mission that really helps it stand apart from the crowded gallery. That’s exactly the case with Public Supply. Yes, everything this brand offers — from its minimalist standard pocket notebooks to its gorgeous American-made leather covers — is stupendous and worth your hard-earned dollars. But it’s the mission of helping to “support creative work in our country’s public schools” that really sets Public Supply apart. In fact, the brand allocates a whopping 25% of all net profits to supporting high-need, creativity-focused classrooms. That alone would be enough to earn them a spot here, but it helps that their products are also outstanding.

Purchase: $12+

Moleskine Classic Notebooks

If there’s a “household” name in the pocket notebook space, it’s almost definitely Moleskine. This brand has been a staple of both the notetaking and art industries for decades now, and they’re certainly not going anywhere anytime soon. That bodes very well for people that want classic, iconic options when it comes to picking up a pocket notebook, or a notebook of any size, really. Especially if you’re an artist, Moleskine is a tough brand to beat — and they have a deep catalog of offerings to match.

Purchase: $14+

LEUCHTTURM1917 Pocket A6 Notebook

For anyone seeking out a softcover notebook that still has some upscale styling to it, you can’t go wrong with LEUCHTTURM1917’s Pocket A6 Notebook. Available in four paper formats — dotted, ruled, squared, and plain — and a multitude of colorways, these 121-page pocket notebooks are great for students, professionals, and everyone in-between. They even come with integrated bookmarks, so you can keep your place without having to dog-ear the pages or thumb through every time you open the covers.

Purchase: $14

Ezra Arthur Small Notebook

Disposable, all-paper pocket notebooks are not necessarily the best option for every single everyday carry enthusiast. If you like to take handwritten notes but you want something a little more upscale and heritage-quality, you might be the target market for Ezra Arthur’s Small Notebook you see here. Each of these handsome books comes loaded with a packet of high-quality Tomoe River paper between Horween premium leather covers — which can be monogrammed for an upcharge. Better still, once you run out of space, you can easily send in your pocket notebook to have its pages replaced (for the low price of just $12), giving you a clean slate once more.

Purchase: $32

Bellroy Notebook Cover & Pen

Yes, the Bellroy Notebook Cover & Pen set does come with a trio of handy pocket notebooks — complete with their own internal page system (lines on the fronts of pages and a dot-grid on the backs) for plenty of versatility. But what actually helps set this particular offering apart is that it comes with a premium leather case (with its own internal storage slots for 3-6 cards and/or cash) and a matching ceramic anodized aluminum ballpoint pen. If you’re looking for the most refined, premium, cover-all-the-bases option, it’s the Bellroy Notebook Cover & Pen.

Purchase: $108

The 20 Best Everyday Carry Pens

Now that you’ve got your pocket notebook squared away, you’re going to need something you can write in it with — and we’ve got the perfect option for you on our list of the best EDC pens.

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