June 22, 2015

The Traveller's Notebook

I've been wanting to share my favourite notebook since March but time hasn't been cooperating much until now so here it is.

Now, since my pudgy fingers can't quite keep up with my smartphone which in return, cannot keep up with my scatterbrain - ink on paper always works best for pudgy me. So earlier this year, as I was running out of pages in my then dog-eared-falling-apart A5 sized notebook, I bought myself a traveller's notebook from Stickerrific.

If you're wondering what a traveller's notebook is - well, you are not the only one. In the world of journalling, trying to figure out what is what is quite similar to trying to make sense of who is who in the Game of Thrones; from the Starks to the Baratheons to the Lannisters. In journalling, there's the Midori, the Filofaxes, the Hobonichis, ... and that's just to name a few. It's quite confusing in the beginning but after a while, it will make sense.

Ultimately, choosing which notebook to go with will depend on what you want to use it for and the inks/mediums you'll be using it most with. For me, I decided on a traveller's notebook because of the rustic look of leather and the character scratches that will develop over time. It's also an extremely customizable system with a huge collection of refills in different paper weights and accessories to make your notebook unique.

A traveller's notebook or TN is a Midori system which comprises of a leather cover that is slightly slimmer than an A5 width wise with two strategically placed elastic bands; one band loops twice around the centre spine and the second secures the contents {called refills} of your notebook in place.

It comes in two sizes - the regular sized TN, which I am currently using (approximately 22 cm x 12 cm) and the passport sized TN (approximately 13 cm x 11 cm). Refill notebooks {or simply, refills} come in blank, lined, grid and sometimes grid-dotted and the papers are usually off-white or ivory. They also come in light weight or sketch paper and brown Kraft or black.

An original Midori traveller's notebook system does not come cheap, which is why I opted for a faux-Midori system from Stickerrific. A regular sized starter TN kit will set you back at least RM160. It comes with a cowhide cover, a simple blank notebook, a cotton case and a spare rubber band. Everything else is an add-on. You will be extremely tempted to customize your TN, and when it comes to leather and brass and all things original, well ... you do the maths.

Right now, my biggest splurge is this original Midori brass label I sewed on the bottom left corner of my leather cover and my Pilot Kakuno fountain pen. I've also changed the glass bead fastener that holds the elastic together to a metal one and added a zipper pouch {all from Stickerrific}.

Inside, I have two refills - a twenty-fifteen weekly calender refill to organize my week and a dot-grid refill for my doodles - both downloaded from My Life In One Place, which I then customized, printed, trimmed and hand-bound with brown Kraft paper.

I will eventually purchase an original Midori system when my current faux-Midori has seen the light of day but until then, I'm absolutely in love with this little leather notebook of mine.