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.

Midori Travelers Notebook, Passport Review

My current passport Travelers Notebook set up

My current passport Travelers Notebook set up

I think it has become fairly obvious over the past couple of months that I am enjoying the Travelers Notebook system. Reviews here and my Instagram account show the ways in which I am using this notebook system, which in all honesty has caught me by surprise.

I have had the passport Travelers Notebook for a couple of years. It had been very quickly banished to a drawer after an initial dislike of the size, however since using 2 of the regular sized Travelers Notebooks and from watching a lot of YouTube videos I have found a love for the passport sized Travelers Notebook and worked out a way to use it as my everyday notebook. 

Regular versus passport size comparison

Regular Travelers Notebook and the passport size 

Regular Travelers Notebook and the passport size 

Next to the regular sized Travelers Notebook the passport is far smaller. The clue is in the name - it's the size of a passport making it a far more portable size to carry around. It's around half the height of the regular Travelers Notebook and around an inch slimmer. One thing I have noticed between the passport Travelers Notebook that I bought back in 2013 and my more recent purchase (2015) of the regular Travelers Notebook is that the leathers are very different. The passport is more rough to the touch and marks very easily. In comparison the newer regular Travelers Notebook is a smoother leather and feels a bit more supple in the hand. 

I don't have the same fondness for the passport sized Travelers Notebook as I do for the regular size. The system seems almost a bit too fussy for just a carry around notebook that I tend to scribble quite a bit of nonsense in. This may be part of the reason why more people opt for the larger size using it for more specific things such as journalling, drawing, painting etc. My foray into using and enjoying the Travelers Notebook only came after having the regular sized version and seeing first hand the benefits of how it can be used. 

Midori medium pen clip, clear plastic midori wallet and the 2016 monthly calendar in view

Midori medium pen clip, clear plastic midori wallet and the 2016 monthly calendar in view

My Set-Up

The passport sized Travelers Notebook gives you a similar selection of refill options available to the regular size enabling each individual user to customise the notebook to their needs.

I am using my passport Travelers Notebook for an every day catch all notebook system. I try to keep it simple and not overload it with too many refills as I don't like anything too bulky. I have 2 notebook refills and 2 pockets, a pen clip and a bull clip on the front cover. My first notebook is a personal monthly calendar. I have enjoyed using a monthly view calendar for my blog and study planning that I have switched to the analogue system for my personal diary as well. I love see a complete month view and I have found it makes planning a lot easier.

My second notebook is a ruled refill used for daily to do lists and essentially for scribbling down anything that pops into my mind. 

Midori kraft pocket and the ruled refill

Midori kraft pocket and the ruled refill

I use the pockets for general things that are handy to carry around. Mine aren't stuffed full of ephemera like some keen sketchers and scrap bookers, they have a few simple things such as a photo, some stamps, a washi card and scraps of paper with information I need. I usually have a pen attached to the clip which means when I grab the Travelers Notebook I have everything I need.

Does the Passport Size work? 

My concern with the passport sized Travelers Notebook still remains that it feels a bit too small. It's short and squat in comparison with other pocket notebooks. Normally I carry a Field Notes memo book which are quite a bit taller as you can see from my photo below. 

Field Notes memo book in comparison to the Midori Passport sized ruled refill

Field Notes memo book in comparison to the Midori Passport sized ruled refill

The size difference really did take some adjustment. If I was just carrying around the refill alone I am not sure that it would be something I would use every day. However as part of the Travelers Notebook system it works and I have been able to adjust to the size issues. With the smaller passport size the refill comes with a huge 80 sheets, as opposed to the 48 sheets in the Field Notes memo book, so even though its shorter, I am benefitting from more paper. 

I am not sure if this is a long term system that I will be able to stick to. The lure and size of Field Notes may pull me back which would throw out the whole passport sized Midori system. 

Midori Paper

There will be no surprises when I say that I like using the Midori paper. The huge benefit of this paper is that I get to use a wide variety of different pens, fountain pens, ink and pencils that don't work as well in other pocket notebooks. This is one of the small pleasures of the Travelers Notebook and with the passport size I get to carry my fountain pens with me on the go. 

In Summary  

The passport Travelers Notebook is a great portable notebook system. Everything you need is bulked together. I could literally walk out of the door grabbing the Travelers Notebook and know I have everything I need. The leather cover is gorgeous and gives you a sense of using something special. I love the way it ages and marks with use. 

Whether this remains an everyday carry for me is yet to be seen. I have managed to use the passport Travelers Notebook for a month with this as my daily go to notebook, but once I finish the ruled refill I may be tempted to use something else. My initial dislike of the passport Travelers Notebook has definitely gone. I see the lure and benefits and will more than likely continue to dip in and out of this system over the months and years.