Leather

2019 Travelers Notebook Review: Part 1.

I wrote my first Travelers Notebook review not long after I had started The Finer Point to share my thoughts on a notebook system that I enjoyed using. Almost five years on, I still use this system everyday but it has now become the core of my paper use and it’s because of this that I wanted to share an updated take on my Travelers Notebook use.

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I’ve split this post into two parts so I can really go into depth. Today’s post will cover off the emotional aspects, why I love the notebooks and what I have learnt from using them over time. In part two I will share some specifics of my use and plenty of photos, which is really what we all love to see.

The appeal of the Travelers Notebook.

What attracts the stationery enthusiast to the Travelers Notebook is a question I keep coming back to. The Travelers Notebook cover alone is an investment that requires a little thought before purchase. Start adding to this and the cost increases. Despite this there are plenty of people who invest in this system and many people who own and use multiple Travelers Notebooks. There are plenty of reviews and videos on the Travelers Notebook that undoubtedly pull people in, but what makes them keep investing and using this system?

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Customisation.

It’s not uncommon to hear that the customisation of the Travelers Notebook is one of the big selling points. A quick YouTube search shows plenty of set-ups and flip throughs showing how people use their Travelers Notebooks. Choosing your notebook insert, the grid you enjoy, charms, wallets, the annual planner inserts, or the inspired undated inserts all allow the Travelers Notebook to keep its feel fresh while allowing the beautiful leather to age the more its used.

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Next-level customisation.

In the past couple of years it feels like the customisation options of the Travelers Notebook has taken a step up. Earlier this year Travelers Company expanded their branded range of products that was greatly appreciated by its audience. I was particularly pleased to see a cream paper insert.

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Alongside this enthusiasts and stores such as Baum Kuchen have really showed the community how you can take your Travelers Notebook customisation to a new level. Their love of analogue artefacts has helped users explore new ways to enjoy their Travelers Notebook and to be a little more adventurous with their customisation. Through their collaborations with the Superior Labour, their Inspiration Labs and workshops you get a sense of how careful design decisions can really elevate the feel of the Travelers Notebook. I was surprised and interested in a recent post showing paint on the cover of a Travelers Notebook.

My Travelers Notebooks.

For years I have used one regular sized Travelers Notebook all the time. This held my beloved Weekly + memo weekly refill that I use as a journal. It stays on my desk but I use it everyday to journal. My love of the Travelers Notebook grew because of this refill and part of the reason it has been a constant in my life is because I love this journaling system.

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However in the past few years, through following blogs such as Baum Kuchen and learning new ways to use the system I found that the Travelers Notebook system could fit into other areas of my life. After trying out numerous different notebooks, paper types, grid systems I came to the realisation that the Travelers Notebook does what I want it to.

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Today I have three Travelers Notebooks in use. Two regular sized notebooks, my Black TN with two inserts, one journal, one insert with notes to my son and a Superior Labour wallet. My second TN is the Olive which I use for work and has a single insert. My final TN is a Camel passport with one notebook, one sketchbook and one passport Superior Labour wallet. I have found peace with the passport Travelers Notebook after finally giving up on Field Notes and admitting I like the Baron Fig/Travelers Notebook pocket notebook size and enjoy the TN system.

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Part 2.

In part two of this post I will go through each of my TNs in detail and share with you how I use them. Check back next week to read part 2. And if nothing else, come for the photos.


For inspiration on anything Travelers Notebook I suggest following these blogs or Instagram accounts.

Mid-Week Mini: Baum Kuchen x Superior Labor Leather Pen Holder.

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I bought the Baum Kuchen x Superior Labor leather pen holder on a whim. I was in the process of buying a few other items from Baum Kuchen and I thought this pen holder was pretty, but also would be a useful when I need to carry around a couple of pens.

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The pen holder comes in a natural, undyed leather. It is a 2 pen sleeve with stitched detailing and a brass clip on the reverse side engraved with a very apt analogue quote (there is a clip-less option too).

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The branding is on the reverse of the pen sleeve which means everything is simple and classic in its design.

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I have been using my pen sleeve for about three months and the colour has changed quite a bit purely from sitting on my desk rather than being exposed to lots of sunlight. In the photo below you can see the colour in comparison to a Superior Labor portfolio in the light brown colour.

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The leather has moulded nicely around my fountain pens which have been faithful partners on the pen sleeve. If I were to swap these out for alternative pens, or pens without clips, the fit wouldn’t be so snug and I’d need to be careful not to lose anything.

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I haven’t used the clip at all. I did think I would clip this onto my Travelers Notebook but the position of the clip makes this look a little odd and is unbalanced. As I don’t move around with these items much I also don’t feel the need to clip the pen sleeve onto a notebook. You can do it and its sort of useful for moving things around but that’s about it.

Overall thoughts.

Superior Labor produces really nice products and this collab is the same high quality. I am surprised by how much I have used it and it’s quickly became an item that I use on a daily basis.

Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Card Sleeve Review

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Baron Fig sent me a sample of their newest product, the card sleeve, to review here on the blog. As usual all thoughts shared are my own.

In the past few weeks Baron Fig launched the latest addition to their product offering, a leather card sleeve expanding the number of leather goods they have to offer. The card sleeve is a very simple, slim wallet. It comes in a range of the signature Baron Fig colours, Fig Wine, Yellowgold, Charcoal and Rose Quartz. I have a Fig Wine card sleeve which I have been using for a few weeks.

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The card sleeves packaging is really nice and simple. It arrives in a card envelope with a familiar line drawing of the item on the outside. The sleeve is wrapped in tissue paper protecting the leather.

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The card sleeve is very minimal. I actually use a card holder normally which over time has expanded with all the cards I cram into it. This had two card sections on each side and then an opening in the middle allowing me to carry more than 10 cards and some cash. The Baron Fig card sleeve forces you to minimise what you’re carrying.

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There is one opening on either side, the main one having a diagonal cut off giving you easy access to the card(s) you use the most. It also adds something different to the design and shows off some of that Fig Wine colour.

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The colouring on the Fig Wine and Yellowgold is subtle with most of the card sleeve actually being charcoal and accents of the Baron Fig pallet showing through. The only exception to this is the Rose Quartz which is the inverse and full on pink!

Using the card sleeve has been good. You can see there are some scuff marks on the leather due to scratches from my keys, being thrown around in my bag and so on. This doesn’t bother me at all, but does shows that the leather is soft.

The number of pockets has taken some personal adjustment reducing down what I carry. I have taken out some cards, which on the whole were loyalty cards or ones I don’t use very often. I have managed to squeeze two cards in one pocket, three in the other and kept the central space for cash.

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My one criticism of the card sleeve is the size of the Baron Fig logo on the front of the card sleeve. It’s the same size as my pocket Guardian but this is hidden on the inside cover. It would be nice if this was a bit smaller and less visible, but that’s a small niggle I have.

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I really like the card sleeve and have personally always appreciated a simpler, usually smaller, wallet carry. The Baron Fig card sleeve is a nice slim profile wallet made from the same high quality leather as the other Baron Fig leather goods.

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Thank you to the guys at Baron Fig for sending me over their card sleeve to review.

Baron Fig Rose Quartz Guardian Review.

Baron Fig contacted me to see if I would like to review the newest colour addition to their Guardian line-up, Rose Quartz. The views expressed in this review are my own.

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The Guardian is not a new Baron Figs product, it’s a leather notebook cover designed to wrap around their Confidant or Vanguard notebooks in each of their different sizes - pocket, flagship and plus. The Rose Quartz colour is the latest addition to the Guardian line-up and the main purpose of todays review. The Guardian covers are vegetable tanned leather which after a little Googling, proves to be the most environmentally friendly way to tan leather and gives it a soft textured feel.

The Rose Quartz Guardian exterior view that's fully stitched

The Rose Quartz Guardian exterior view that's fully stitched

I opted for the pocket Guardian because its the size I use the most. The first thing I noticed when I received my Guardian was that it arrives flat in an A5-ish sized package, which I thought meant I’d received the wrong thing. In fact it’s a little bit of care and attention to shipping as it keeps the leather in pristine condition avoiding any strange folds or ripples to the leather occurring in transit.

The first thing I noticed with the Guardian is how soft and thick the leather feels. The thickness is in part due to the pockets that come on the inside of the cover, two credit card slots and two folds for the notebook cover.

The interior with two credit card slots on the left hand side

The interior with two credit card slots on the left hand side

The Guardian is finished very well. There is a matching colour stitching around the edge of the cover and sealed edges. The only branding can be found on the inside cover with a kind of large Baron Fig logo, but at least its on the inside.

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As the main purpose of this review is to talk about the new colour addition I suppose I should spend some time talking through that. The Rose Quartz is very pink. It reminds me of the Baron Fig Metamorphosis limited edition Confidant notebook from 2017, which I really liked. The millennial pink colour of that notebook was very popular and worked well on a linen cover. When applied to leather the colour is a lot more bold and pink. I have seen a Rose Quartz Squire in the flesh and that is a lot more toned down and subtle, whereas the Guardian it is bright. I don’t think it’s a bad move adding this colour to the Baron Fig range, it’s proven popular in lots of different areas from technology to stationery. I think you just really have to like pink and want this colour. It’s all or nothing.

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My one small criticism of the Guardian is that it doesn’t ship with a notebook. Baron Fig assume that whoever buys a Guardian is already a Baron Fig user and not a new customer. And as their notebooks are built in their own unique size these covers can only be used with Baron Fig products.

Overall thoughts.

I really like the Guardian leather notebook cover and have enjoyed using it over the past few weeks. I haven’t overloaded mine or really use the card slots. It has simply been a notebook cover and this keeps everything very simple and slim. It's a high quality and well made leather notebook cover. Too often these sorts of covers can try and do too much and as a result be overcomplicated making them hard to use. The Guardian doesn’t fall foul to these issues.

I’d like to thank Baron Fig for sending me the Rose Quartz Guardian to review.