The Quest for the Perfect Pocket Notebook

September 9, 2010

I do a lot of my notetaking and capture digitally. Everything worth keeping ends up being stored digitally, so I prefer not having to capture information twice — even if it’s as simple as taking a picture of handwritten notes…


However, there are times when it is best to go with pen and paper. I keep a standard size Moleskine sketchbook in both of the bags I rotate between. It is often handy in a meeting for a quick jot to sketch out a design concept. Of course I always have my iPad with me, and it’s filled with great drawing apps, but they still aren’t as good as pen and paper for the temporal nature of a quick jot or brainstorm.

Along with that larger notebook, I like to carry a smaller notebook in my back pocket. I don’t use it all that often — maybe once or twice a week at most — but the times I want it are the times I don’t seem to have it.

In my attempts to find the perfect pocket notebook, here are a few that fell short:

Pocket Moleskine: This is the oompa loompa version of the standard moleskine. It’s lovely, but it has one problem. It’s bulky and rigid, so it doesn’t flex around the finally crafted butt of my 140 pound physique. It’s found a more permanent home in the Caselogic netbook bag I use on iPad only days.

Moleskine Pocket Cahier: This was my pocket notebook of choice for quite a while. It flexes around said butt, but it’s not durable enough. I’m sure it would be fine if I filled these up every 2-4 weeks, but I don’t, and they tend to disintegrate.

field_notes.jpgField Notes: I have a serious crush on Field Notes — I lurk on the website about once a month to admire and wonder what a relationship with Field Notes might be like. The colors subscription has some kind of narcotic effect on me, but I’ve resisted the urge of this recurring seductress. Why? Well, I fear they wouldn’t be durable enough, like the cahier, and $10 for three skinny notebooks is more than I want to spend for an occasional item like this.

Last week, though, I found a new contender in BookPeople (a great indy bookstore in Austin if you are ever in town): the Writersblok Bamboo small notebook. It was only about $6 for four thicker notebooks in four different colors. They are more durable than the cahier, though I’m not certain the binding will hold up under the strain of my finely crafted…well, you know.

I’m discovering that blank notebooks can cause as much passionate conversation as religion, politics or Evernote, so I know this is a risky topic. But what do you think? Anyone else have a favorite pocket notebook to recommend?

Latest Posts