I have used the Travelers Company 019 free weekly refill for a couple of years as a mini journaling notebook. I love this refill for recording memories of my day in the calendar section and using memo pages to add ephemera, include decorative lettering, quotes from something I have read or heard that week and on the odd occasion an Instax photo.
I have finished three of these refills and I love looking back through them. I don’t revisit many of my notebooks and rarely flick through old Hobonichi Techos, but these refills bring me back time and time again.
Recently I bought the second refill of the 2017 vertical weekly insert. I had never used the vertical format before and I was intrigued about how this would compare to the horizontal weekly + memo refill. As I have been using both of these inserts for some time I thought I would share with you my thoughts.
Horizontal weekly refill + notes
This version of the weekly refill has a seven day calendar view on the left hand side of the page broken down into seven horizontal sections. The free weekly refill is undated giving you the flexibility to miss weeks out if I want or need to and to start this refill at any time of the year. As it is the undated version there is very little additional calendar content on each page.
The right hand page is the notes section which is the main difference between these refills. I use this space to add notes, quotes, stickers or photos which have some sort of relevance to my week but perhaps not a specific day. The weekly memo pages are really handy and a big selling point of this refill.
Vertical weekly refill
I bought the second half of the vertical 2017 refill because I wanted to see how it compared to the horizontal refill and if I could get the same content into the vertical format.
The week is spread over two pages with each day getting a thin section of the page. There are hour stamps for each day and a small notes section at the bottom of the page. As this is a dated refill there is also additional calendar information that sits in the ‘spare’ space.
I have been using my vertical refill to record time specific portions of my day. I have been able to capture more information and due to its format I can see how I am spending my time. The space allocated to each day is really narrow and if you want to keep everything within the guidelines it can be tricky.
To make this refill feel less functional I add stickers, stamps and washi to decorate the pages. It's a lot harder to include larger items such as Instax photos. I find the notes section at the bottom of the page pretty useless. I rarely use this section of the page and it feels wasted.
Commonalities with both refills
Both refills have a double page annual calendar and a double page spread with a six month calendar view. I use the six month view to note down the books I have been reading tracking how long it has taken me to finish each one. As I don't use this refill as a planner this seemed like a good use of these pages.
The weekly refills have the great Travelers Company paper and light grey grid ruling which I love as its unintrusive. The paper is great for using with fountain pens in particular but great for most writing tools.
So which one is better?
Obviously this review is heavily opinion based and depends a lot on how you use your inserts and your particular journaling style. Having used both inserts for some time now I really prefer the horizontal + notes refill. The horizontal format gives me more useable space and suits the way I journal.
The vertical weekly refill works really well as a planner or a time tracking tool but I don’t enjoy this refill as much for journaling. There are lots of great examples of how this refill can work for journaling from people such as Jobs Journal and Momolovespaper but for me it just doesn't work.
For 2018 I will be buying the pre-dated horizontal + notes refill to continue my mini journaling notes.