Today I want to talk about a very fascinating area of EDC that I think is very particular to people in the community. Pocket notebooks are an integral part of some people's carry while others could not care less. Let's take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of carrying a dedicated pocket notebook.
First, there is an aesthetic appeal to some notebooks, moleskin feels great, Field Notes has a massive variety of designs. Those are just two options right off the top of my head, there are countless companies and small makers that provide different takes on pocket notebooks. Another draw to using this type of gear is the feel of holding something tangible, this is my area as I still prefer actual books as opposed to audio or digital equivalents. There is something about holding the paper in your hand and knowing that it is real. Tied in with those ideas is the fact that some people highly theme their entire carry and a notebook is another option to expand. I have also had the thought that because it is a separate piece of gear it will be easier to remember. You do not have to dig through a phone to find your notes and hope that you actually remember to put everything in an organized manner.
Despite having some appeal, carrying a pocket notebook comes with some drawbacks. First and foremost, it is another piece of gear that you have to remember to grab in the first place but also haul it around with you throughout your day. For people that are trying to minimize their pocket clutter, this is an easy cut. Even though I carry a seemingly ridiculous amount of gear on me throughout the day, I find myself not wanting to dedicate any space to a notebook. When I do carry one I tend to use a back pocket, which already holds another item so it feels cluttered and does not lay flat. I have heard some people also complain about them being wasteful, which is a mixed bag. I am not going to argue about the fact that it is paper so, therefore, it creates waste, but rather you get full use out of it. If you use every page of your pocket notebooks, then it obviously did its job and you did not waste it. However, it seems that a lot of people have a stack of notebooks that are only partially used so they just sit there and then we buy more when we have countless empty pages at our disposal. I think that for most people, their phone is going to do as good of a job as anything else. I have said before that I do not agree with this argument entirely when it comes to flashlights, I tend to accept it in this case. The last thing I want to point out is that with an actual notebook, you have to worry about physical damage. With notes on your phone, you can typically back them up over the cloud. I know that some companies like Write In The Rain have waterproof paper but there is always a way to destroy it.
I really wanted to like pocket notebooks. I like hard copies of most things and figured that that preference would translate here as well. However, I find myself never really wanting to add any of my notebooks to my pockets in the morning as they just feel like extra baggage. Even when I do force myself to carry one, I find myself not utilizing it. For me, it isn't that I religiously use my phone for notes, I just do not really rely on notes for most of my information. I also spend most of my day somewhere near my desk, so if I do need to actually write something on paper I have options. Luckily for me, I have a relatively small amount of underutilized notebooks, which is how I like to keep it. I certainly do not want to discourage anyone from carrying gear that they like, do what works for you. I just found that I was wasting my time with a pocket notebook.