I hate to write by hand. I prefer to type. I am much faster at it. I own a laptop, but I really didn’t want to be lugging it around on vacation. I was also concerned that it might be stolen, or broken. And another concern with a laptop is short battery life. They are great when plugged in, but don’t last a real long time when using them on an airplane or sitting poolside. What I currently use is a Palm IIIc with a Palm Portable Keyboard. The Palm IIIc was expensive when I purchased it. I think I spent between $400 and $500 for it when they first came out. But newer models can be gotten much cheaper. My IIIc is color, but that is not necessary if you are only keeping logs. The keyboard I picked up on eBay for about $20. It is a full size keyboard that folds down to about 4 inches by 5 inches and less than an inch thick. It even came with a neoprene zippered case. I just release the latch, lay it out, slide the outer two parts of the keyboard in, slide out a little rest that holds the Palm up, then plug the Palm IIIc onto it. It works well when laid on a hard flat surface, but doesn’t work lap on your lap.
This type of set up is lightweight, and very portable. A fully charged battery will last for hours.
As for software, I use the memo program that with the Palm unit. One limitation is that you are limited in how much you can type in a single memo. When I hit the limit in a single memo, I close it, and start a new one and maybe label it “part 2″ or “part 3″, etc.
If something happens to this unit, I can replace it pretty cheap. I would have the option of buying another Palm unit of the same era that would fit my keyboard. I could probably find a used one on eBay pretty cheap. Or I could buy a newer unit, but then I would have to buy another keyboard that would be compatible with the new Palm.
I will have to keep my eyes open. There might be another solution out there. Maybe something smaller and lighter than a laptop, but more convenient than the Palm/Keyboard combo. But for now this works pretty well.