One of our biggest realizations this year was that we spent entirely too much time storing memories on the Internet. The only time we remember the things we’ve done or the places we’ve been is when Facebook reminds us, or when a friend posted a #tbt.
Well, we’re done with that. It’s time for a change. This year, we’re going to start keeping a daily journal. One page, every day, dedicated to the things that happened, the ways we felt, the things we did, or whatever the hell else we want to be able to look back on later. Not for our followers, not for our friends, but for ourselves.
We’re going to start with one of these, and you should, too.
Word. Notebooks Standard Memorandum
All of Word. Notebooks are beautiful and high quality, but the Standard Memorandum is especially well suited for journaling. Based on the pocket journals from the early 1900s, these notebooks were designed to go everywhere to chronicle our lives as they happen. In fact, its unique dimensions—2.35” X 5.25”—were designed to fit in damn near any pocket you can put it in. They’re all made in the USA, come with 64 pages, and feature beautiful design elements and illustrations from Jon Contino. Not only are they handsome, they’re practical and built to last. $11
Doane Paper Utility Notebook
If you’re looking for something sleek and handsome, the standard Utility Notebook from Doane Paper is perfect. Made in the USA with a rugged 3-staple saddle-stitch binding, these pocket-sized notebooks feature a standard dimension of 3.5” X 5.5”, meaning they’ll fit right in your back pocket. Their 100 LB cover stock is exceptionally durable and designed to take a beating, and their 60 LB content pages feature wide ruled line spacing, printed using soy-based inks. Oh, and they’re all made from 100% recycled materials. $10
Write Notepads & Co. Pocket Ledger
Write Notepads & Co. produced the Pocket Ledger to pay homage to the news reporter notebooks of yesterday, and as far as journals go, there isn’t a top spiral much better than this. The 3” X 6” dimensions are great for writing long thoughts, lists, and outlines, and each of the 120 pages feature faint, unobtrusive blue-green lines which makes it easy for writers to take command of each and every page. The spirals are excellent for tight spaces and ensure everything stays together. Each book is also outfitted with a durable rubber band closure to keep things organized and intact. $8
Baron Fig Vanguard
The classic Vanguard by Baron Fig comes in three different sizes (Pocket, Flagship, and Plus), five different colors (Charcoal, Blue Slate, Fig Wine, Yellowgold, and Light Gray), and its pages feature either dot grid, ruled, or blank print—all for your convenience and preference. Each package comes with three notebooks, and what we love most about it is that it perfectly melds handsome, simple design, with variety and choice. No matter what you’re looking for in a journal, you’ll likely find it here. $9
Rite in the Rain Pocket Top-Spiral Kit
When it comes to selecting the right daily journal to jot your thoughts down in, it’s important to understand they’re not all created equal. Aside from things like different sizes, page counts, and paper qualities, some serve specific purposes, too. The Top-Spiral Kit from Rite in the Rain is built to take a beating in any kind of weather you can throw at it, and its water-resistant pages make it possible to write anywhere you need to—sun, rain, sleet, snow, whatever. It measures in at a standard 3” X 5”, and can slip easily into most pockets for easy story and access on the go. For the adventurers out there, this one is for you. $4
Leuchtturm1917 Whitelines Link
No one would deny the team from Leuchtturm1917 knows how to make a damn attractive, high quality notebook, but what makes their Whitelines Link stand out from their competition is the brilliant technology they’ve utilized in making it happen. The Whitelines Link notebooks feature grey pages with white lines, which allow handwritten notes to be digitized and shared using a smartphone app. If you’re looking for the middle ground between digital and real-life journal-keeping, look no further. $16
Moleskine Cahier Journal
Of course, you can’t make a “best pocket journals” roundup and not include the quintessential pocket journal: Moleskine’s Cahier Journal. Their heavy duty cardboard cover comes in a variety of colors, including brown, red, black, blue, and green; the last 16 pages of every book are detachable for on-the-go notes; and there is a pocket in each book for loose notes. You know them, you love them, and they’re worth every penny! $10