What is a Traveler's Notebook?
Earlier this week, I introduced you to my Happy Planner, just one of the notebooks that I have to help keep my life in check. Today, I'm going to talk about Traveler's Notebooks. I've discovered that it's the absolute perfect medium for my journaling, planning, traveling (and everything else inbetween!) needs. Read on to learn more about these lovely notebooks and how I use them!
Let's start with the basics. Pictured above, you see a Traveler's Company notebook. These leather notebooks originated the term "traveler's notebook," and are well-loved for their simplicity and durable leather. Simply put, a traveler's notebook, as demonstrated above, is a piece of leather cut to size, with an elastic strung through the middle, allowing you to slip a notebook inbetween. Another elastic closes the leather, with the notebook inside, and protects its contents. These standard "Midori" notebooks measure 8.7x4.9 inches. They range anywhere from $35 to upwards of $70USD, depending on the color and edition of the notebook.
This particular traveler's notebook is the Narita Airport edition from Traveler's Company, and I truly loved owning this piece of craftsmanship. I added a lion pen clip, which slid in easily enough because of how thin the leather is. As you can see, there are marks all over the leather after about 4 months of daily use. Personally, I like the rustic feel that the marks add to the leather.
Traveler's notebooks originated as, well, a way for people on the go to jot their thoughts down and keep them safe. They're perfect for writers on the go, memory keeping, and trip planning. But it's easy to imagine other uses for these notebooks! The elastic system makes it easy to swap notebooks in or out, if you've filled one up, or your needs have changed.
Since Traveler's Company came out with their simple, single-strand traveler's notebooks, the classic "Midori" traveler's notebook, there have many businesses creating their own version of these types of notebooks. They're often called "fauxdoris," to pay homage to the original. Some sellers, like Imperfectly Perfekt, name their creations to set them apart from other "fauxdori's" in the marketplace, so hers, for example, are called "keelindori's."
The stack of notebooks you see above are all standard-sized. That means that they are the same height as the Traveler's Company Midori notebook in the middle. However, unlike the classic Midori, "fauxdori's" offer more customization options. For example, my Ravenclaw traveler's notebook in the back has four elastics in the middle instead of one, to hold four or more notebook inserts.
But that's not all, folks! Small businesses offering "fauxdoris" also offer different sizes! If the standard-sized traveler's notebook is too narrow or big for you, you'll be able to find a range of offerings from "micro" up to "composition." One of my favorite traveler's notebook companies is Foxy Fix, and if you're anywhere close to the planner community, you'll have heard of this amazing company.
Not only do they offer a huge variety of leathers and leather colors, stitching and elastic colors, and even embossing options, they have the widest range of sizes that I've seen. You're sure to find a size that suits your needs with them. Here is a notebook size guide from their site:
As you can see, Foxy Fix also offers a single-strap option, so those come only with one elastic strung through the middle, like the Midori traveler's notebook I showed you at the very top of this post. Their compact option comes with four elastics, and a little more wiggle room to comfortably fit 4-6 notebooks. Their wide option comes with six elastics, so you can really stuff these traveler's notebooks!
Foxy Fix uses numbers to denote each size, but here is what each size means across the traveler's notebook community (so you can match them up to other sellers' offerings):
No. 0: Micro No. 1: Passport No. 2: Pocket/ Field Notes No. 3: A6 No. 4: Personal No. 5: B6 No. 6: Standard/ Midori-sized No. 7: Wide/ May Designs Classic No. 8: A5/ Cahier No. 9: Composition
So, you get the idea! If you're even remotely interested in trying a traveler's notebook for your planning needs, you'll definitely find an option that suits you, whether you're looking for your favorite colors, the perfect sizes, or even a specific pattern or embossing. In fact, you might even be overwhelmed! In that case, let me tell you exactly how I use my traveler's notebooks and why I own so many.
My Everyday Carry (EDC) goes with me everywhere- work, errands, you name it. Right now, it's a No. 7 from Foxy Fix. I personally love the No. 6/Standard size as well as the No. 7/Wide size, but I decided that for this summer, I needed some more planning space to keep track of my classes and other projects going on. It holds the bare necessities: A quarterly insert with monthly and weekly layouts, a Projects notebook split into three sections, and a Notes notebook split into two sections.
I keep a No. 2 Foxy Fix on my shelf for my travels. In addition to writing notebooks, I also keep a mini watercolor notebook and Sudoku book in there, in case I get bored on the road. The small pocket size is convenient if I'm wearing a smaller day bag and can't fit my EDC, or small enough if I want to throw it in my purse along with my EDC!
Another No. 7 Foxy Fix holds my writing inserts. This traveler's notebook usually sits at home, but I might throw it in my bag if I'm planning on a coffee break, or have time to spare between errands. This is a one-stop shop where my writing inspiration, notes, journal, and art dump live. Just opening up this traveler's notebook makes me really excited to delve into writing and finding inspiration for that work in progress that's been perpetually in progress!
As you can see, I'm a big fan of the No. 7 size, and I have a few of them that I switch in and out of like purses! They might match the season, my mood, or my needs. For example, I may not need as many notebooks one month, and downsize to a single-strap. Another month, there might be a lot to keep track of and I need to upgrade to a wide-sized traveler's notebook. You get the idea.
These are the top views of two of my traveler's notebook, a compact No. 7 from Foxy Fix, and a compact No. 2 from Foxy Fix. Both of these come with four elastics down the middle, so I can easily slip in four notebooks or inserts. I prefer not to dress up my traveler's notebooks with crazy clips and giant charms, just because I get afraid of them falling out or getting damaged in my purse! But, I can't resist a classy charm to give my traveler's notebook a little personality, of course!
Hopefully this blog post helps explain the mystique surrounding traveler's notebook. It's a truly versatile planning system, and is where I've found planner peace (if there even is such a thing!).
Got any questions for me? Leave them in the comments- I'm happy to help or refer you to sources who can!