The Best Pocket Notebooks

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Small enough to go anywhere you go, the best pocket notebooks will have a durable cover and enough pages to meet your writing needs. Which one will be your perfect fit will depend on the size of your pockets (or bag) and how you plan to use it, whether for school, for sketching, or even just as an everyday diary.

What constitutes as “pocket-size” can vary greatly, however, for reference, the average jeans pocket is 6 to 9 inches tall. The most common mini-notebooks you’ll find, however, are roughly the size of a 3 by 5-inch index card

Even though they're more compact, you'll still get standard paper options — including ruled, unlined, dotted — though consider paper quality if you have a specific writing tool in mind. Some thinner options will bleed onto the following page if you're using a gel or fountain pen, while heavier stock can even handle markers without leaking. For those more eco-minded, also consider a reusable or refillable model.

In addition to the classic hardcover journals, there are other, more flexible options that are just as durable, keeping your pint-size pad pristine as you take on the go. Pliable plastic or card stock will be the most affordable, but it can be worth spending a little more on a waterproof cover that can see you through spilled coffee. Also consider your personal style, as you'll find everything from kraft paper to easy-to-spot colorful prints.

Whether you're an avid list-maker or bullet-journal pro, the best pocket notebooks have got your back.


This Waterproof Pocket Notebook With More Than 9,000 Amazon Reviews

More than 7,700 Amazon reviewers, including medics, nature photographers, and hikers gave this weatherproof notebook a perfect five-star rating with one commenting, "I use this pad every day, rain or shine. It will not dog-ear or fall apart. I have had the same pad in my back pocket for two years, still in good shape." The spiral-bound pad comes in nine colors and its flexible cover is incredibly tough — it's made from a polydura plastic material, which is typically used for durable outdoor signage. Its pages are equally sturdy and will repel rain, sweat, grease, and mud. They're also tear-proof, as one reviewer confirmed, "My kids have tried to rip the pages out and I've even had juice spilled on it and still no damage." Given its special water-repellent properties, water-based inks, like those in gel pens, will bead off the paper. Similarly, ballpoint pens won't work as well when the sheets are wet (though are fine for dry pages). A #2 pencil, or the brand's own clicker pens will work equally well in any condition, including below-freezing temperatures.

  • Size: 3 x 5 inches
  • Page count: 100
  • Page style: ruled


A Refillable Leather-Bound Pocket Journal

The cover of this passport-sized refillable journal is crafted from tanned crazy horse leather, which is commonly used for making saddles, giving it the same durability and longevity. With your purchase, you'll get three, 60-page booklets that are bound to the cover via elastic bands that are easy to reconfigure once you're ready for refills. Though it's slightly larger than most pocket journals, it's still easy to take on the go and the option to swap in new pads makes it especially versatile. The craftsmanship is excellent, and as one reviewer wrote, "just holding it in my hands makes me swoon." Shoppers also loved the thick, acid-free paper, with some even confirming that they used fountain pens with minimal feathering and bleed-through to the other side.

  • Size: 4 x 5.1 inches
  • Page count: 180
  • Page style: blank (refills available in ruled and dotted)


This Mini Version Of A Classic Spiral Notebook

Like its bigger sibling that's a collegiate favorite, this Five Star notebook has a water-resistant, flexible cover and perforated pages that are easy to tear out. It also has the highest page count of all the picks on this list, and though that may make it a bit too bulky to fit in some pockets, it's still small enough to throw into a purse or backpack without taking up too much space.

The spiral binding is super user-friendly, as one reviewer wrote, "The covers and the coiled spine are sturdy and the books open flat for unimpeded written entries." The pages are bleed-resistant, though you might get some ghosting from overly enthusiastic scribbles. One drawback is that you won't get to select the color of your notebook, but for such a low price, it's a great deal.

  • Size: 3.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Page count: 200
  • Page style: ruled


A Trio Of Vintage-Inspired Notebooks

These soft, kraft-paper-covered Field Notes notebooks are lightweight and, as one reviewer gushed, "just the right size to fit in my back pocket, and just the right number of pages that I don't feel the thickness." They're made with quality synthetic paper that left reviewers impressed, with one mentioning that there was no bleed-through, even using a Sharpie marker. With an overall 4.8-star rating after more than 2,200 shoppers weighed in, it's a popular option on Amazon, and one that many pointed out is excellent to pair with a Fisher Space Pen, which lets you write in almost any conditions and any angle. Field Notes also makes a waterproof version of their memo books, that's just as lightweight and convenient. And a clever version for left-handed writers.

  • Size: 3.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Page count: 48 (each notebook)
  • Page style: ruled (also available in graph or blank)


A Set Of Notebooks In Vibrant Prints

Writing in one of these cheerful, colorful notebooks would be pure joy, even if it's a list of chores. Each set includes five different patterns, and the brand has additional prints, like one with a mix of tropical and gold prints, or ikat designs, neon colors, and Monet reproductions. The soft covers are water-resistant and though the designs are what steal the show, reviewers were also impressed with the paper's quality, which works especially well with ballpoint pens.

  • Size: 3.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Page count: 48 (each notebook)
  • Page style: ruled


This 20-Pack Of Mini Bright Notebooks

Another great option if want to get an assortment of colors in one, big batch, these Hygloss notebooks are one of the smaller picks on this list, however just note the page count is more minimal, too. With your purchase, you'll get 20 books in ten bright colors, with covers made of sturdy card stock. The white bond paper pages are thick enough for pens and crayons, and one reviewer wrote " I was shocked at the great quality of the paper. You can use a micron pen with no bleed thru!"

  • Size: 2.75 x 4.25 inches
  • Page count: 24 (each notebook)
  • Page style: blank


A Duo Of The Tiniest Notebooks From Moleskin

The smallest of all the picks on this list, these Moleskine Volant journals have the quality paper and craftsmanship the brand is known for, only in a pint-size package. The perforated pages are easy to tear out and the softcover has a faux-leather finish that's wear-resistant, as one reviewer wrote, "the perfect size to bury in your back pocket and seem to be holding up to quite a bit of abuse being sat on and dropped and tossed every day." The creamy pages can be scribbled using a ballpoint pen, fountain pen, or pencil without bleed-through. Choose from five different sets, each including two hues.

  • Size: 2.5 x 4 inches
  • Page count: 56 (each notebook)
  • Page style: ruled (also comes in blank)


A Reusable Option That Syncs Your Scribbles With An App

The pages of this Rocketbook smart notebook are made from specially-treated synthetic paper that can be wiped clean with a damp washcloth (provided) and used over and over again — the catch is you'll need to write with the included Pilot Frixion pen, though you can also buy other ink colors and even compatible markers. Apart from being reusable, this mighty little pad can also be synched with the Rocketbook app, so you can take a photo of a page, and instantly upload your notes to Dropbox, your email, Evernote, and more. Not only does the app send the image of the page, but it also has text recognition, which according to one reviewer, "made my life much easier." The notebook comes in nine colors and boasts more than 5,000 five-star ratings.

  • Size: 3.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Page count: 32
  • Page style: dotted


These Pocket-Sized Composition Books With A Cool, Retro Vibe

With a similar marbled cover as the original kind, this pack of 30 small composition books will make you feel nostalgic for your elementary school days. Unlike the full-sized ones, these have soft, flexible covers and lay flat when opened. Each set comes with six notebooks in five colors, so you can color-code them for different purposes or classes. It's a great deal, at less than $1 per notebook, and the pages can withstand some heavy writing with minimal ghosting and bleed-through.

  • Size: 3.25 x 4.5 inches
  • Page count: 120 (each notebook)
  • Page style: ruled


These Faux-Leather Sketch Books With Heavy Stock Paper

The heavy paper stock of this pocket sketchbook makes them great for using markers, pastels, and heavier inks. Crafty reviewers agree, with one artist writing that the paper "accepts pen, colored pencil, pencil, permanent marker, [and] drafting pens with no bleed through." Each one has a back pocket for additional papers or cards, and a bookmark to hold your place, as well as an elastic band to close it tight. And the faux-leather cover is durable but flexible and you can choose from 10+ colors.

  • Size: 3 x 4 inches
  • Page count: 160
  • Page style: blank (also available in ruled, dot, or black)