Passport Travelers Notebook

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 Journaling Habits

My main journaling tools 

My main journaling tools 

Journaling has been part of my daily ritual for some time. Ever since becoming engrossed in paper and writing implements a few years ago I have found different ways to journal. Curiosity lead me to search online, find blogs and Instagram feeds for inspiration. This has developed my journaling habits to where they are today, a very different place to where I started.

In many of my previous posts I have in some way outlined how I use various different tools, specifically paper. You can find two previous posts here and here. However since then I have changed up the way I am journaling based on the tools I enjoy the most. This post will give an outline of my current journaling habits.

Daily Recording

A simpler spread in my Midori 019 refill

A simpler spread in my Midori 019 refill

I like to record a snippet of my day, big or small. Last year I had been using my Hobonichi Techo to do this, however I now use my Travelers Notebook and the Midori 019 refill. This refill is an undated planner that I use to note down a few small details of my day. Sometimes I include some sort of ephemera, other times it’s purely writing on a page with no decoration. I have found that this format of daily journaling has stuck because it’s easy to do and I can commit to it. You aren’t overwhelmed by a large space on the page and pressure to fill it with something meaningful. A few simple lines will do.

And something with a bit more decoration

And something with a bit more decoration

For those times when I do need more space or have something special to record I use a blank Midori insert. I have been using this as a travel journal, a daily journal and somewhere I can try and be a bit creative with watercolours, doodles and washi. A lot of my journaling in this insert has been inspired by various different YouTube videos and Instagram accounts.

A bit of travel journaling from a recent trip to the Isle of Wight

A bit of travel journaling from a recent trip to the Isle of Wight

My deviation to the Travelers Notebook for journaling means that my Hobonichi Techo has fallen by the wayside. I found I was repeating myself in the two notebooks and at times I couldn’t fill the larger Hobonichi Techo pages - I was just going through the motions. I really enjoyed my Hobonichi Techo last year but as things stand at the moment I cannot see myself finding a use for this planner again this year.

Organisation and planning

The notebooks I use for organisation and planning also take a form of journaling. They are records of things I have done on a specific day or week and can be reviewed in a similar way to my journal. At the moment I have two systems, the first one is specifically related to organising everything related to my blog and studying. For that task I use the Midori 017 free monthly diary and a Keep a Notebook ruled insert. The calendar allows me to schedule posts and plan the time I need for homework. It gives me an overview of the month and from here I can plan out when I need to get things done. I find the monthly one page view really helpful in organising both of these side projects that I have outside of my day to day work.

My calendar view for my studying and blog activity

My calendar view for my studying and blog activity

The Keep a Notebook insert is where I capture blog post ideas and plan them out. I write down the main points I want to cover within each post and list out the photos I want to take. This system works really well and also acts as a capturing tool. I know by using this one notebook I have everything in one place. These two refills are housed in my brown Travelers Notebook and sit on my desk.

Blog post brain dumping 

Blog post brain dumping 

The second, and newest element of my planning, is the Bullet Journal. This is a new system for me and provides me a weekly and daily view of my tasks. This captures everything from when a post will go live that week through to my household chores and any personal or social events. The thing I have found really useful with the Bullet Journal set up so far is sitting down on a Sunday and thinking about my upcoming week. I can essentially empty my head getting all the boring and mundane things that are part of everyday life written down in the Bullet Journal. From there I can figure out what I can do when and try and make sure I don’t miss anything. As I said this is the newest part of my personal organisation but so far this is working well and I hope it is something I can keep up as I think it is helping me to become more organised.

My dailies in my Bullet Journal 

My dailies in my Bullet Journal 

On the go journaling

I have one final form of journaling but this takes a more relaxed format. I use my current everyday carry pocket notebook for writing down a stream of consciousness whilst on the move. I am currently using the Baron Fig Explorer Apprentice notebook in my passport Travelers Notebook. I work from the back of my notebook so that these small journaling entries are kept together. The front of my notebook is then used in the normal way. Entries are usually small notes about how I may be feeling or a little rant about something. Some days I don’t write down anything, other days I write down quite a bit. It's a very simple, no rules style of journaling.

Journaling on the go

Journaling on the go

My thoughts on my journaling habits

I wish I was a person who was able to have fewer organisation and planning systems and find a way to incorporate these things into one, but honestly I am not sure it would be possible. I could perhaps use my Travelers Notebook as a Bullet Journal which would mean one less notebook, but would increase the number of inserts I am carrying, therefore the benefit would be minimal. At the moment this is the set-up that is working for me. Most of these notebooks stay on my desk and I am not burdened with carrying them around. The one notebook that comes with me at all times is my passport Travelers Notebook.

Whilst arguably there is duplication here, all of these systems mean I get to enjoy the tools I love using. Each one enables me to play with something different. My Travelers Notebook and the Midori paper lets me experiment with my fountain pens and ink, the Bullet Journal and the Leuchtturm1917 notebook allows me to use fineliners and gel pens. I guess it’s not all about efficiency, it’s also about having some fun with pens and paper. It’s become a way for me to unwind and relax each day and that is something to be valued.

Video: Travelers Notebook Everyday Use

It has taken me a while to post a new video but today is the day and I am looking at my daily notebook set-up. I had been using my Foxy Fix Wanderlust leather notebook holder for around a month but over a week ago I transitioned back into my passport sized Travelers Notebook. 

Hopefully you enjoy the video. If you have any feedback please leave me a comment below. 

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.