Ask The Desk: Small, Durable Notebook

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Sandy asks:

HI, Love your site. I am looking for a semipermanent notebook approx 3×5 size, not hung up on this size but cannot be big. I need it to keep some things I will look at several times a day, in and out of a bag every day. I was trying a small Rhodia unlimited but the perforations are a problem. Any recommendations? I need it to last about a year. I love what you put on your site and that I can jump to others from here after looking @yours. Happy Holidays.

Paperblanks Safran

The first thing I thought of was the Paperblanks journals. They are hardbound with a nice quality ivory stock. I’ve been using their planner this year which has endured the same sort of  abuses and holding up quite well. They have a “mini” version which is 3.75×5.5″ which is a tiny bit bigger than you wanted but they are available with an assortment of cover options including a wrap cover and a clasp version. Most books are lined but some are available with blank paper as well. They also sell an even smaller version called the “micro” at a mere 2.75″ x 3.625″.

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Rhodia also makes a small Webnotebook that is 3.5×5.5″ and the Rhodiarama. Both are hardbound, vertical elastic closures and  3.5×5.5″ The Rhodiarama is available with an array of colored covers and lined 90 gsm paper  ($17) and the webnotebooks are available in orange or black covers with dot grid, lined or plain paper ($15.25).

weatherproof notebooks

If you need paper durability and are more inclined to use ballpoint or pencil, one of the weatherproof notebooks might appeal to you like the Field Notes Expedition Edition, Rite in the Rain or the Alwych. They are all soft cover books but use durable materials to create books that can stand up to inclement weather. Both the Rite in the Rain and the Alwych have over 100 pages each, the Expedition Edition is a thinner volume at 48 pages per book but are sold in sets of three. All Field notes are 3.5×5.5″, the Alwych is 3.25×5.25″ and the Rite in the Rain Memo Book is 3.5×5″.

With this pocket-sized notebook, there are options for leather covers that could turn any notebook into something durable as well as refillable. This would allow the use of any of the pocket-sized notebooks from Field Notes, Word, Doane, Scout Books, Moleskine Cahiers and so forth.

Does anyone else have any other recommendations for Sandy?

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