Towards the end of 2015, I have discovered that my preferred TN size is the pocket size (otherwise known as field notes size). Unfortunately, this was after I had gone on a wild rampage buying standard size TNs from the local makers. That exercise, however, finally drove to me exactly why I preferred the smaller size, and here are the reasons why.
This, for me, is the number one priority when considering my notebooks/TNs. The TN has to be portable for me to be able to consistently use it, otherwise I find that I tend to shelf the bigger/heavier ones. To a certain extent, anything from the personal size down would be considered portable, but the reasons below this would narrow down to why the pocket size is ideal compared to the others (personal and passport).
Availability of Premade Inserts
While I do love my DIY inserts (I did make them!), there are a lot of times where I would rather just buy premade ones so I can use them right away. In this regard, the pocket size shines because there are quite a bit of locally available premade inserts in the big box stores such as National Bookstore. The ones that come to mind are the Venzi pocket notebooks (Flexy2 is my preferred insert) and the recently released limited edition Bencab pocket notebooks. There are also some readily available inserts from online shops, such as the actual Field Notes brand notebooks from Everything Calligraphy, and the refills for the Alunsina Mini Kislap.
The pocket size also has the best form factor, in my opinion, with just the right rectangular feel to it. In comparison, the passport size feels quite square-ish, while the personal size feels quite long and cheque-book-ish.
When I started seriously planning, I actually went directly to pocket size with the Moleskine planner. When I transferred my attentions to the traveler’s notebook world, the very first one I bought was also in pocket size, the Alunsina Mini Kislap. It’s as if my first instinct was really to go with that particular size, and it’s the size I eventually returned to after trying almost all of the other available TN sizes. It would be great if the actual Midori brand released a TN in this size as I really like their leather, but since they don’t, I am perfectly happy with the wealth of options in the fauxdori world.