Midori

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.

public.jpeg

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?

public.jpeg

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.

public.jpeg

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.

public.jpeg

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.

public.jpeg

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.

public.jpeg

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.

public.jpeg

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.

1 year of memories

1 year of memories are enclosed in these notebooks

1 year of memories are enclosed in these notebooks

Today’s blog post is a little different from my usual stuff. I have been writing and re-writing this post for a few weeks trying to get the content right. It’s a post I’ve felt compelled to write, so I hope you enjoy it.

My first notebook is very simple

My first notebook is very simple

When I found out I was pregnant I was adamant that I would record every element of my pregnancy. I wanted to write down how I felt during the different stages and have a dedicated place to document how my body changed over the nine months. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I bought a Travelers Notebook refill that was used as a dedicated pregnancy journal.

My personal memory archive

Including photographs helped to document how I was changing

Including photographs helped to document how I was changing

Recently my little one turned a year old and in that time I have filled four Travelers Notebook refills. Once my son was born I continued to journal mostly about him but I also included snippets about how I was coping as a new parent, things that were mind boggling and many of the entries show how exhausted I was.

These notebooks are precious to me because of all the details they hold.

The first visit to Father Christmas

The first visit to Father Christmas

I have copies on my sons first passport photo, some hair from his first haircut, his first visit to Father Christmas and first Christmas letter; I have scan photos from before he arrived, his palm print on a piece of scrap paper before we put the finished version on my husbands birthday card. I have a record of his first day at nursery and his first birthday. Some of these entries are hurried and not as perfect as I would like them to be but it’s not important because I have a record. The style of each entry tells its own story.

Over time my journaling has changed

In the early hazy stages these journals were functional. Half of one notebook is purely writing, there is no decoration, no consideration of my thoughts it’s almost a brain dump on the page.

As I warmed up and began figuring out what I wanted from these notebooks I took photos on my phone and printed these out using washi tape to add them into the journal.

Recording our first trip to Scotland

Recording our first trip to Scotland

Since my little one has grown older and I have my evenings back, the words have become fewer and I have started to include more photographs. Like most parents I am constantly taking photos of my son on my phone many of which get looked at again. The photos I have taken on my Instax camera are more considered, I consciously grab the camera and take a photo in order to record a memory of an event down in my journal.

Every time I add something into my journal I include the date. Over time this has simply been written, over a period of time this turned to brush lettering. I have everything in chronological order to show how my little one has developed and grown over time.

I love looking back and seeing everything we have done over the course of the year, it shows a full and busy year.

A much more decorative spread

A much more decorative spread

The stationery specifics

My pregnancy and baby journaling has allowed me to use lots of different stationery items, some of which include:

Instax mini camera
2 blank and 1 kraft Travelers Company refill Washi tape Photo corners Rubber stamps and ink Numerous different fountain pens and inks Tombow dual brush pens Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens Uni-pin drawing pen
Midori clear pockets

The next year

My latest journal

My latest journal

I have just started my fifth refill. I am always refining my journaling style trying to find that perfect-for-me approach. I find Instagram and YouTube really helpful in giving me ideas on how to be creative and to keep my journaling interesting.

This post has perhaps been a little indulgent and I have tried to keep various elements private but during the past year my love of stationery has helped me to create some of my most prized possessions. I am not sure I would remember so much or be able to share memories with my son later on if I didn’t have these notebooks.

My completed notebooks 

My completed notebooks 

Travelers Notebook Passport Use Update

I have been carrying a passport sized Travelers Notebook for some time now. It is my everyday notebook and the one thing that is with me at all times. As I mentioned in a previous post my love of the passport size surprised me having written it off as too small. However after trying out this system again I now love using this size notebook and the Travelers Notebook set up in general.

Today's post is focused on providing an update on my set up and how I am using this system.

Notebook 1 - my first notebook is a Baron Fig ruled pocket notebook. This notebook holds all my lists, notes and any reminders. It also serves as an on the go journal. Working from the back I jot down thoughts, observations or anything journal worthy. I have found this helpful as I don't have to have my dedicated long form journal with me when I am on the move, but I still get to capture anything which could be insightful or useful later on.

Notebook 2 - my Midori monthly calendar serves as a personal calendar. I like the full month view. I can see what appointments I have coming up and where I have free time.

Notebook 3 - this is the Midori Sketchbook insert and I have had this in my passport Travelers Notebook for some time. The idea was to try and sketch things whilst on the move but I have not done this as much as I'd hoped. I have some interesting doodles in here and when I get the time or remember I have really enjoyed using this insert.

Fourrouf pouch - this was on my wish list for some time and a lovely colleague of my husband picked one up for me when visiting Japan. I really love the sky blue colour, it's gorgeous. There are some things that really surprised me with the Fourrouf pouch. It's more lightweight than I expected and the zipper is really bulky. I actually quite miss the clear Midori zipper pouch as I used to have photos in there which I could see each time I opened the notebook. Anyhow this is a lovely pouch and I use it to hold small things such as stamps, a little emergency cash and washi tape.

Final thoughts
This system really works well for me. The calendar continues to be my biggest surprise as I never expected to go back to an analogue time management format but it's working. Without this I would now be lost and have no idea where I would need to be at any time. The sketchbook is the one thing over that could change over the next few weeks. It's bulky and my use of this notebook has been minimal therefore carrying it around all the time doesn't really make sense. Instead my plan is to sketch in my regular sized Travelers Notebook. Having only two notebooks in here would make it a lot slimmer and lighter to carry around.

I'd love to hear how you use your passport sized Travelers Notebooks and how many notebooks you use at any one time.

My Life All in One Place Leather Notebook Cover (or the Raydori)

If you have visited my blog before you may know that I have become a fan of the Travelers Notebook over the past year. I use two regular sized Travelers Notebooks and have also used the passport sized Travelers Notebook as an everyday carry.

After I found I was using the Travelers Notebook system daily and actually enjoying it I started to explore non Travelers Notebook branded options that would allow me to use my extensive collection of Field Notes memo books. I wanted to find a way of using the paper products I had.

I came across the website My Life All in One Place after watching various YouTube videos and looking at several different Facebook Travelers Notebook groups. I wanted to try something affordable and the notebook covers produced by Ray at My Life All in One Place were produced in the UK meaning I could support a local business and also wouldn’t get stung with customs charges.

The buying process

The leather notebook covers that Ray creates aren’t but made to order. The buying process starts by checking out this webpage which explains how the process works and shows the different leather colour options that are available. Once you have made your decisions you then send Ray an email outlining what you are looking for. Ray confirms the price and once he receives payment your leather notebook cover starts coming to life.

The buying process is smooth and easy. My order was relatively simple. I had a few small questions which Ray answered quickly and then production of my notebook cover started up. All in all it took about 10 days for my leather notebook cover to be produced and received.

My Raydori

I played it fairly safe in terms of colour options. I opted for the Field Notes sized Raydori in a brown leather with a red elastic closure. The leather is supple, a good thickness and has some lovely with some natural markings. Over time my cover has marked with use, which may bother some people but I quite like it. It gives the cover character.

The elastic in the Raydori all comes out of the spine of the notebook cover, slightly different to the Travelers Notebook set-up. I have noticed a benefit in this position finding it slightly easier to remove the cover elastic when it comes out of the spine. There is one piece of internal elastic to secure your notebooks. There are other options of leather notebook covers which give multiple elastics inside the notebook, like Foxy Fix, however the Raydori follows the Travelers Notebook set up in this instance.

With the Raydori you get two bookmarks included with the notebook cover which is handy when you’re using multiple notebooks.

My Raydori Set-up

I have gone over my every day notebook carry on several occasions therefore I won’t repeat myself too much here. I have two Field Notes memo books in my Raydori, my Midori passport sized clear pocket and my Midori passport sized monthly calendar. Using a couple of smaller sized inserts hasn’t been a problem, they sit in the cover comfortably.

To hold all of these notebooks together I have used my Midori passport rubber bands. I have already snapped one of these, so they may not be the best option available. A normal rubber band, or another piece of elastic would probably work better.

I have attached my Midori medium pen loop to the front of the notebook cover to allow me to easily attach a pen when on the move. As my Raydori is brown leather it doesn’t clash too much.

My feelings on the Raydori

I have been using the Raydori for about two months now. The quality of the leather cover and the production are all really high. The leather is soft and supple, the corners have been rounded off and everything feels really nice. It is not as polished as the Travelers Notebook and the type of leather used is different but I am happy to have one of these notebook covers and all for a very reasonable £22.

On top of this it means I am able to use my Field Notes stash of notebooks and I slightly prefer the additional bit of room you get with the Field Notes sized memo books.