Travelers Notebook 10th Anniversary Edition Review

The 10th Anniversary mark on the TN

The 10th Anniversary mark on the TN

When Travelers Company announced their 10th Anniversary special edition notebook I was pretty excited. I have become a fan of the Travelers Notebook over the past few years using it daily for numerous different things. So, when they announced the tiny 10th Anniversary edition I was disappointed. I couldn’t see how I would use it and didn’t think it was worth the high price tag.

The regular, passport and mini Travelers Notebook size comparison

The regular, passport and mini Travelers Notebook size comparison

Then two surprising and lovely things happened. Liz from Wonderpens sent me a staggering package which contained lots of goodies including one brown 10th Anniversary edition notebook. Then a few months later my husband bought me one of the camel 10th Anniversary editions to mark our 10 year anniversary. Without meaning to I received two of these tiny weeny notebooks.

The notebook itself

Beautifully designed tins

Beautifully designed tins

The packaging for the 10th Anniversary edition is the best part of this edition. The notebooks are presented in a beautifully designed tin the colour of which varies depending on the colour notebook you have chosen. I have the red tin which came with the brown Travelers Notebook and a blue tin which came with the camel.

Great for storing regular size inserts 

Great for storing regular size inserts 

The tins are the size of the regular Travelers Notebook which makes them very useful for storing your inserts. They are decorated with various different scripts using well known Travelers Company phrases. There is an image of the Travelers Notebook on the tin which is the exact size of the notebook inside.

The contents of the 10th anniversary tin

The contents of the 10th anniversary tin

Inside you have all the usual elements of a Travelers Notebook. There is a selection of different grid papers that allow you to make an insert exactly as you would like.

I just can’t figure these notebooks out

The thing I can’t get my head around is what to actually do with my miniature Travelers Notebook. I have had these for months and not done anything with them. I have filled my brown Travelers Notebook with a kraft insert but I haven’t done anything with it. The camel notebook is still in it's packaging.

For a 10th Anniversary edition of a well loved product it is definitely different and unexpected. I imagine in some regions that this product sold very well and to a degree whatever they released their loyal followers would have bought it. Personally I would have loved to have seen some of the similar items that can be found in the Travelers Factory in Narita airport, a special edition insert, charm or notebook with a cover design. These things are hard to come by outside of Japan without paying crazy import costs or buying from an etsy seller.

In the UK I have noticed that the price of the 10th Anniversary editions have dropped from the initial crazy price of £40 down to £24. The fact that they are still available shows that perhaps this wasn’t the product Travelers Company customers were looking for.

I’d be interested to see if people actually use their 10th Anniversary editions for anything other than a charm and if so how they are using them. Interestingly while doing a bit of research for this post I saw Baum-kuchen have a recent post on the Travelers Notebook and Eunice has shown the ways she has used her notebook. As with everything Euince produces the photos in this post are gorgeous and include some interesting ideas, particularly the inclusion of photos in the mini TN. This does show one way that it can be used but perhaps isn’t a representation of the masses.

My Mini TN with a new pound coin 

My Mini TN with a new pound coin 

I still love Travelers Company and the products they produce, I just wish I could have had something more useful and less gimmicky.

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Hardbound Notebook Review

I have been using the Leuchtturm1917 A5 hardbound notebooks for some time and I have just realised that I have never reviewed them on the blog. Today I am fixing that error.

I see the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks as the Moleskine upgrade. It seems to be the notebook choice people progress to once they dip their toes in the Moleskine waters and realise how disappointed they are with the paper quality. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks are readily available through various different outlets, specialist or mainstream, and sit in a similar price range to the Moleskine notebooks. The key difference is they outperform the Moleskine notebooks in almost every way.

They’re so pretty.

Ok, maybe this shouldn’t be point number one in a review but I am a magpie and pretty things catch my eye. The range of colours for these notebooks is really impressive and has to be a big selling point for Leuchtturm1917. I have used a number of these notebooks over the years and each time I have bought a different colour. I am currently using the orange dot grid notebook as a bullet journal. Recently for Leuchtturms’ 100th anniversary they released three metallic colours in gold, silver and copper.

Good quality paper

The paper in the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks is an off white colour with a faint grey ruling. I have found with some other notebook brands the colour and darkness of the grid pattern too dark and therefore off putting, but with the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks the grid is faint enough that it blends into the background when you have scribbled all over the page, but dark enough to guide you.

Leuchtturm1917 dot grid in the background, Life Pistachio with white paper in the foreground

Leuchtturm1917 dot grid in the background, Life Pistachio with white paper in the foreground

The paper quality itself is really impressive too. When testing out different pens and pencils in this notebook I have found that it can handle most things. I have successfully used fountain pens, drawing pens, coloured brush pens and pencils. With some broader nib fountain pens and wetter inks there can be some show through but the finer nib fountain pens work just fine. With gel pens, ballpoints, rollerballs and pencils this paper works perfectly.

The additional extras

The extras you get with the Leuchtturm1917 notebook are what really make it a popular choice. At the front of the book are a few pages which are set aside as an Index.

This works hand in hand with the numbered pages throughout the book. All very handy for reference purposes, or for bullet journaling.

You also get two bookmarks with the newer editions of these notebooks. I have found this a really useful feature, one bookmark is never really enough.

2 very useful bookmarks

2 very useful bookmarks

In the back of the notebook there is the handy pocket in case you need to keep hold of any bits of paper.

In the background is a Leuchtturm1917 pen loop in matching orange

In the background is a Leuchtturm1917 pen loop in matching orange

A lot of notebooks claim they lay flat when in use, but I think Leuchtturm1917 notebooks actually do. For a notebook packing so many pages (249 plus the index) I think this is pretty impressive. It lies flat on the desk when in use and due to the elastic on the cover stays closed when you want it to.

Useful elastic closures

Useful elastic closures

Overall thoughts

I have used these notebooks for long form writing, for note taking at work and for school, as well as for bullet journaling. I have tried a number of their different grid formats and I have always really enjoyed each different notebook I have completed. Everything about this notebook makes it a joy to use, I can’t sing their praises enough.

The Hobonichi Techo as a Bullet Journal

I have used a bullet journal system for around ten months with a bit of a gap in the middle. Juggling a baby meant that my Leuchtturm1917 do-it-yourself format wasn’t manageable so since the beginning of this year I switched into a Hobonichi Techo Avec. On the whole the Techo has worked well as a bullet journal. I have utilised the space and layouts available but there are things that I have really missed using that don’t fit within this pre-structured format.

First, my set-up.

The Techo has successfully housed the essentials of my bullet journal. My habit tracker is at the front of the Techo on the simple line per month view. I did consider using these pages as a future log as it felt like the natural fit, but that would have meant that my habit tracker wouldn’t have worked anywhere else.

My habit tracker pages 

My habit tracker pages 

The layout on these pages work perfectly as a habit tracker. The blank space at the top of each month is where I list out each different habit I want to track. The dates are already filled out for me and the grid makes it easy to check off the different habits each day.

A close up view of the habit tracker

A close up view of the habit tracker

I’ve used the monthly calendar as intended, an overview or in bullet journal language, the future log. I use this to add in appointments and its a great overview of how busy you may be over the course of a month.

The daily pages are used for my daily to-do lists. These pages are a great size for me to jot down everything I need to remember, events I have on that day and tasks I need to complete. I also include little bits of information such as the weather, or during February my InCoWriMo recipients. The benefit of the Techo is I can add future tasks in easily as all the dates are already marked out.

A daily page. I use the monthly header pages to mark which inks I have been using for that month

A daily page. I use the monthly header pages to mark which inks I have been using for that month

The Techo has worked as intended, a place to hold all the things that rattle around in my head and bring some form of structure to them. It has kept me semi-organised so far this year and because of that I cannot fault it.

Here’s the but(s)… The thing is, now I find I have a little bit more spare time. My little person is older and I can find a bit of time each day to allow me to plan exactly as I want to.

This has got me thinking about the Techo and its downsides. First up, there isn’t enough spare or blank pages in the Techo. Any collections or notes which are needed for long stretches of time don’t fit into the bullet journal. As you can see I have snuck in my reading list in two of the available spare pages but there are other collections or notes I want to keep such as a home improvements list, a projects page or a workout schedule. As it stands I can’t have them in my bullet journal, these notes float around in other notebooks and get a bit lost.

One of the only available spreads. I have used this to track the books I have been reading

One of the only available spreads. I have used this to track the books I have been reading

I also miss decorating my previous bullet journal, the Leuchtturm1917. I liked playing around with different layouts, practicing my lettering and decorating the different pages. Using my Techo I don’t get to do any of this and whilst I could decorate some of my daily pages I don’t find myself doing it. The structure seems to stop me experimenting and trying out different things.

The thing I really miss from the A6 Techo is a weekly view. The larger Cousin has this feature but the smaller A6 doesn’t. Having a weekly overview to add appointments or tasks would be really helpful. This was a spread I used a lot in my Leuchtturm1917, it gave me time to think about the upcoming week, make some notes and plan ahead.

The Techo is wonderful and I have written a few reviews (see here and here), singing its praises. I thought this year using it as a bullet journal would be perfect but sadly I find myself getting a bit bored by it. It lacks the flexibility I am looking for so I have decided that in April I will be back in my Leuchtturm1917 to see if I can give this more manual bullet journal the time it needs.

Baron Fig Vanguard Infinity Edition

Over the past few months Baron Fig has become my notebook brand of choice. I really like the simplicity of their designs and the quality of the paper suits the majority of my needs. So when I saw photos of the latest Baron Fig Vanguard Infinity Edition I immediately placed an order.

Prior to using the Infinity edition I had experience with the pocket Vanguard notebooks which meant I had a good idea of what to expect. The Infinity edition comes in the medium, or as Baron Fig refer to it, the Flagship size. This works out as slightly smaller than a traditional A5 notebook. It comes with 72 pages making it a thin workbook or composition book format. I have found this thinner notebook style makes it easier to write in due to the lower profile it has when open, and having fewer pages means its ideal for projects or as I recently found out, a travel notebook as it’s not very bulky.

The Infinity edition comes with the much loved dot grid, off white paper that can be found in all other Baron Fig notebooks. Dot grid paper is fast becoming the preferred grid to please the masses, but personally it’s not my first choice. However I will concede that this grid style does make each notebook extremely versatile.

As you can tell I think there is a lot going for this edition, but most of what I have mentioned above can be found on any of the Flagship Vanguard notebooks. The real selling point of this edition is the beautiful design; it’s simply stunning. The deep purple cover has a slight textured feel to it. The complimenting pink accents are beautiful, the spine stitching, the Infinity shapes on the front cover and then the contrasting use of pink on the inside cover all make the notebook pop. This is the sort of notebook I could hoard, its practically perfect for me.

The gorgeous pink stitching and a glimpse of the textured cover

The gorgeous pink stitching and a glimpse of the textured cover

I really like what Baron Fig are doing these days. They may not be pleasing everyone but they are certainly getting people talking. Their range of products is growing rapidly, it feels like there is a new product every week. I am really excited about Baron Fig and what the future holds.