Pocket Journals

In my classes and here on my blog I've talked and written about the importance of a pocket notebook or journal, repeatedly and often. Jane and I explored this with our "Field Experiments" posts. I find that when I carry a sketchbook/journal with me ALL the time I use it more often. Even if all i'm doing is writing down which train I need to take and when, I'm using it. Having it on me all the time lets me use it for sketching and journaling whenever I want or need.

I've taken to carrying Field Notes and a BanditApple Carnet peewee in my pocket along with a mechanical pencil and a black ink pen in my coat pocket. It's a barebones journaling set up. No color just graphite and ink. IMAG1422
Because I've been keeping my journal in my inside coat pocket the point of my pencil has been pocking through. I jabbed my hand with it but I was more afraid I'd break a point off or jab someone else on the train. I made myself a little pen sheath that fits over the top of my flap cover.


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  • sheryl lilly pond

    great idea to carry the pens! Why don’t companies make it. I DO NOT SEW.

  • Check out CleverHands on etsy and quiver company online, they both make pen cases like this. Quiver used my idea but made it better. Clever hands makes a sketchbook bandolier. It’s very nice.

  • I Think your idea of a pen sheath is awesome. Thanks Leslie.

  • Super easy to make, and if you can’t make one, check out cleverhands on etsy.

  • Thank you for the tips on cases with pen attachments. I carry a 5×8″ moleskine in my purse along with a pitt pen and some other pens. I’ve tried to use 3×5″ journals but the size of the page – actually the edge – interferes with the way I like to draw. It’s like I can’t get comfy on the page.

  • That’s one of the many reasons I like the thinner notebooks like field notes and banditapple carnet, I don’t have the thick edge of the notebook biting into my hand. With the 40 pages there isn’t much of the edge to dig in. The leather cover lets me have some support when I’m drawing “in hand” and isn’t noticeable when I’m drawing on a table.