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The 15 Best Pocket Notebooks for Ideas & Sketching in 2021

SPY logo SPY 7/28/2021 Brad Smith

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While smartphones, tablets and e-readers have offered a digital solution to reading and writing, there’s no denying the charm of turning and writing on physical pages. The right notebook can be an extension of your brain, making it easier to jot down thoughts, to-do lists, and other important information wherever and whenever you need to. And while standard notebooks are a great option for at-home or in-class jotters, we suggest checking out the best pocket notebooks if you like to jot on the go from morning til night.

You might be thinking you don’t need a pocket notebook because you have a smartphone with a notes application. But, but hear us out. Here are a few of the key differences between a smartphone and a notebook to show you why this “outdated” method of note-taking still has plenty to offer:

  • Power Source – This is a big one. Unlike your smartphone, a pocket notebook never runs out of battery. 
  • Size – Although a pocket notebook and your smartphone are probably close to the same size, pocket notebooks offer greater flexibility when it comes to squeezing them into your pocket or backpack.
  • Focus – A pocket notebook has a clear purpose. Its pages are there for you to write, draw and doodle on. But a smartphone is filled with time-sapping applications which can distract you from your original purpose.
  • Durability – It would be impressive if you were able to break or smash your pocket notebook just by dropping it or sitting on it. However, cracked screens are a common occurrence when it comes to smartphones. 
  • Budget – While you may already own a smartphone, there’s no competition between the two. The best notebooks cost significantly less than a smartphone.

We’ve rounded up the 14 best pocket notebooks available to order from Amazon and one from Etsy. There is a range of different styles, colors, and page prints. But one thing they have in common is they are all made to fit comfortably inside your pocket.


1. Moleskine Cahier Journal


Moleskin Cahier Journals have a fantastic reputation amongst experienced writers and newcomers alike. This claim is supported by the 2,000-plus Amazon reviews and 4.5-star rating the notebooks have received. These notebooks, which are supplied in packs of three, come with your choice of either plain, ruled or squared pages. There is also a range of different cover colors to choose from, including cranberry red, brisk blue and kraft brown.

text: best pocket notebooks moleskine cahier © Provided by SPY best pocket notebooks moleskine cahier

Buy: Moleskine Cahier Journal $9.36


2. MOO Hardcover Notebook


MOO really knows how to make one of the best pocket notebooks, hands down. Using premium materials and a thought-out design, this notebook uses Swedish paper and a Swiss binding to make your life easier. What does that mean? Well, Swiss bindings let you lay the notebook completely flat without bending or breaking the bind in any way, ensuring you don’t damage the book itself or contents inside. Each of these pocket notebooks uses a heavyweight top sheet to protect what’s inside, and holds 160 pages total.

a close up of a device: MOO Hardcover Notebook © Provided by SPY MOO Hardcover Notebook

Buy: MOO Lined Hardcover Notebook $29.99


3. BAZIC Top Bound Spiral Memo Books


The spiral bind at the top of these BAZIC Top Bound Spiral Memo Books makes them well-suited for use by journalists or anyone looking to take notes while standing. They have been designed to comfortably fit into your pocket for easy storage, and in your hand for greater comfort during writing. Each pad contains 50 pages of lined paper, giving you a total of 400 sheets between the eight pocket notebooks included with each order.

calendar © Provided by SPY  

Buy: BAZIC Top Bound Spiral Memo Books $5.88


4. Yansanido Pocket Notebook


The faux-leather cover on the Yansanido Pocket Notebook is embossed with a smiley face. It has an elastic band that can be used for securely holding the notebook closed. Each pack includes two colorful diaries. The colors you receive in the pack are chosen at random and will be a surprise on arrival. The lined pages inside the notebooks are arranged into four sections which are then separated by colored dividers. These additions make these notebooks particularly handy for writers who love to organize their notes into different sections.

diagram: Yansanido Pocket Notebook © Provided by SPY Yansanido Pocket Notebook

Buy: Yansanido Pocket Notebook $6.99


5. Pentalic Pocket Sketchbook Traveler Journal


For those of you that can’t stop doodling on the train, bus, or plane, here’s the best pocket notebook for you. It’s 3 x 4″ in size so it slips right into your back pocket when you’re not using it. The cover is durable yet flexible, so users won’t have to worry about ruining their book when it’s in their pocket or bag. The book is entirely acid-free and uses recycled paper, making it great for the environment.

text, letter: Pentalic Pocket Sketchbook Traveler Journal © Provided by SPY Pentalic Pocket Sketchbook Traveler Journal

Buy: Pentalic Pocket Sketchbook Traveler Journal $7.49


6. Forest Nine Pocket Journal


The leather exterior makes these journals look extra striking. It looks like the way journals were intended to be crafted. Used them to store notes, mini instant photos, sketches, paintings, thoughts, and more. You can even have your name or initials engraved if you choose.

a hand holding a suitcase: Forest Nine Pocket Journal © Provided by SPY Forest Nine Pocket Journal

Buy: Forest Nine Pocket Journal $18.46


7. Newestor Dotted Notebook Journal


Newestor Dotted Notebook Journals are well-suited to bullet journaling. They contain 64 pages of premium dotted paper, thick enough to prevent fountain pen ink from ghosting. Furthermore, the brown covers are plain, offering you the opportunity to personalize them to suit your personality or the purpose you’re using them for.

best pocket notebooks newestor © Provided by SPY best pocket notebooks newestor

Buy: Newestor Dotted Notebook Journal $7.95


8. Feelz Pocket Notebook Journals


A pocket notebook has limited use without a writing tool, which is why the Feelz Pocket Notebook Journals come supplied with accompanying pens. The notebooks are covered with a durable black hardcover, and the clicky-top pens have been designed to fit comfortably into the integrated elastic pen holder. With this notebook in your pocket or backpack, you know you can be ready to write in a matter of seconds.

a row of computer equipment: best pocket notebooks feelz © Provided by SPY best pocket notebooks feelz

Buy: Feelz Pocket Notebook Journals $10.99


9. ALIMITOPIA Mini Notebook


ALIMITOPIA Mini Notebooks offer a stylish approach to jotting down notes on the move. Each booklet sports a different fruit-inspired design. Orange slices, cherry duos, and berry bunches are just three of the numerous natural treats which feature throughout the colorful covers. These pocket notebooks make a fantastic gift for any art-loving friend or family member.

a close up of a logo: alimitopia fruit covered notebooks © Provided by SPY alimitopia fruit covered notebooks

Buy: ALIMITOPIA Mini Notebook $6.99


10. Mead Small Spiral Notebooks


When it’s time to go back to school, it’s also time to get yourself a pack of Mead Small Spiral Notebooks. They come in four different colors, making them ideal for allocating to different subjects. Each book is bound by a nylon-coated, single wire running down the left side of the pad while the pages are lined in classic academic style.

chart: Mead Small Spiral Notebooks © Provided by SPY Mead Small Spiral Notebooks

Buy: Mead Small Spiral Notebooks $10.09


11. Field Notes: Original Kraft


These Field Notes: Original Kraft pocket notebooks come backed by over 2,500 five-star Amazon ratings. They are constructed with quality materials, making them a reliable notebook option. They’re made in the USA and are available to order with graph, left-handed, plain, or ruled paper inside. There’s also a mixed option if you’d prefer a section of each for a bit of variety. Whichever paper style you choose, the notebook will be bound with triple staples for greater durability.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Field Notes: Original Kraft © Provided by SPY Field Notes: Original Kraft

Buy: Field Notes: Original Kraft $11.95


12. TWONE Softcover Pocket Notebook Set


The TWONE Softcover Pocket Notebook Set includes six identical notebooks. Inside each notebook, there are 60 off-white pages designed to make your writing stand out. They’re bound with a strong spine for greater durability, while also being covered with a soft yet tough material to protect your pages when the notebook is being stored in your backpack or pocket. Furthermore, you can choose between plain or ruled pages at the point of purchase.

twone notebooks © Provided by SPY twone notebooks

Buy: TWONE Softcover Pocket Notebook Set $9.98


13. AISBUGUR Pocket Notebook


Each AISBUGUR Pocket Notebook contains 200 pages, 24 of which are perforated to allow for hassle-free removal when required. They’re great for everyday use and are a modest investment at under $5 per notebook. Both of the two identical notebooks feature thick black covers, which can be held shut with the integrated elastic strap. Additionally, the design includes an elastic pen holder so you always have a pen at hand.

a hand holding a cell phone: aisbuger notebook © Provided by SPY aisbuger notebook

Buy: AISBUGUR Pocket Notebook $9.99


14. Leoyoubei Mini Pocket Notepad


For a pocket notebook you can use time and time again, choose the Leoyoubei Mini Pocket Notepad. Its black, faux-leather flip cover has integrated card slots inside the top and a strap for attaching your notepad on the bottom. There is also an elasticated pen holder so you can keep your pad, pen, and cards in the same place. Each order includes five lined pads, but it’s also simple to order additional refill pads should they be necessary.

graphical user interface: leoyoubei notebook © Provided by SPY leoyoubei notebook

Buy: Leoyoubei Mini Pocket Notepad $12.99 (orig. $13.99) 7% OFF


15. Jekkis Pocket Notebook Set


The Jekkis Pocket Notebook Set includes 48 booklets, making them ideal for sharing with classmates, colleagues, friends and family. Each book has a brightly colored, soft cover, and is filled with quality pages to enable smooth and comfortable writing. These pocket-sized notebooks come with positive reviews from over 95% of Amazon users and are great for writing down shopping lists, class notes, ideas and, things to remember.

a close up of a flag: jekkis colorful notebooks © Provided by SPY jekkis colorful notebooks

Buy: Jekkis Pocket Notebook Set $23.99 (orig. $28.99) 17% OFF


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