I'm a fan of sketchbooks.  I like to be able keep things together easily, look back and review ideas.  As a naturally untidy person they just make better sense to me.  One of the things I've always appreciated is small pocket size sketchpads because I like to always have one on me, it's the urban sketcher in me.  I originally fell in love with the Moleskine a good few years ago when I first got into the habit of always havinga pad in my pocket.  They're gorgeous, hardwearing books and the place holder ribbon, the elastic strap and the folder at the back all added to their appeal.  Unfortunately they are horrendously expensive, coming in between £6 and £12 for the A6 pocket size books.  Having a young family I can't even justify that cost to myself, never mind my wife and so I'm always on the lookout for alternatives.

The department store The Range had some nice mock suede covered knock offs which have proved adequate.  The paper is a little on the thin side so working in pen you can only use one side of the page, but at £2 a time I didn't mind that too much.  They're becoming more difficult to track down now for some reason however Asda have come to my rescue.  Asda produce an excellent 80 page black leatherette notebook, with elastic band, ribbon bookmark and expanding pocket in A6, A5 and A4 sizes from a mere £2.  The paper is not as heavy as the Moleskine paper but still a good weight, I'd guess about 90g as it feels a little heavier than copier paper.  It has so far taken a variety of line media with no problem, Pilot V Ball, Pentel brush pen, various pencils have all taken nicely to the smooth paper surface.  Unlike the Moleskine the cover is slightly larger than the interior pages but it still fits perfectly in my back jeans pocket so I really don't care about that too much.  When I can by between 3 and 6 of these notebooks for about the price of a Moleskine I can deal with these minor differences.  Plus I can stock up on them, adding one to the shopping each week with no complaints.