Table of Contents
- What is a Traveler’s Notebook?
- Traveler’s Notebook Starter Kits
- Traveler’s Notebook Size Comparison
- Traveler’s Notebook Refills- Regular Size
- Traveler’s Notebook Refills – Passport Size
- Traveler’s Notebook Accessories
- How to Install Multiple Traveler’s Notebooks
- Traveler’s Notebook Special Editions
- Traveler’s Company Alternatives
- What to Put in Your Traveler’s Notebook
For an updated version of this post, visit my new site, Must Have Stationery.
The Traveler’s Company traveler’s notebooks are a great place to keep your memories, plans, or notes. This high-quality notebook features smooth, creamy paper and is encased in a luxurious leather cover that ages beautifully with use and time. With a variety of refill options and accessories, you can personalize and build your own custom notebook or planner that fits your lifestyle. It’s a keepsake you’ll look back on for years to come. This guide to Traveler’s Notebook for beginners will help those who feel overwhelmed with all of the options, and those who are looking for new products from Traveler’s Company.
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What is a Traveler’s Notebook?
Before we get into the different refills, I wanted to start by talking about what a traveler’s notebook even is. Sometimes called the Midori Traveler’s Notebook or Traveler’s Notebook Midori, because Midori rebranded this popular line as its own company, travelers notebooks have notebooks, planners, and other inserts that help you create your own planning system. The great thing about the Traveler’s Notebook system is that they are fully customizable. You can add up to four inserts comfortably at a time and swap them out as you wish for different needs while still keeping the same luxurious leather cover. This is obviously a favorite of travelers because of how easy it is to swap inserts out to write or scrapbook about your current travels.
Traveler’s Notebook Starter Kits
Whether you’re using it to record memories, keep track of travel itineraries, or jot down random observations while on the road, the Traveler’s notebook is an excellent companion to bring with you wherever you go. Its simple and elegant design needs no further embellishment; the beauty of the leather cover speaks for itself. Available in a larger Regular size and smaller Passport size, the Starter Kit includes a blank notebook that features Midori Diary (MD) paper, made with care in Japan, where you can write or sketch to your heart’s content. An elastic band stretches along the spine of the cover, holding the notebook in place, while another band keeps the notebook shut. While the Traveler’s notebook sizes aren’t standard (like a5, b6, etc.) there are plenty of options both from Traveler’s company and alternatives.
This Starter Kit is the perfect starting point for you to customize your notebook. Now you’re ready to add extra notebooks, attach a pen holder, insert zipper pouches, pockets, and the other accessories you see below! Also below, you can see special edition covers from collaborations with Japanese brands or from Traveler’s Factory stores.
Or, for more options, shop on Amazon Japan.
Traveler’s Notebook Size Comparison
As you saw above, Traveler’s Notebooks come in two sizes: Regular and Passport. The Regular size is similar to an A5 Slim at 9″ x 5.7″, while the passport size is unique to Traveler’s Notebook at 5.2″ 3.8″. These two compact sizes make them great for travel or using as your daily carry.
Traveler’s Notebook Refills- Regular Size
Midori Diary Paper Notebooks
Midori put a lot of thought into their signature paper. After much testing and many iterations, the paper is bleed-resistant, feather-resistant, and fountain pen friendly, all contributing to a pleasant writing experience. Refills for the Traveler’s notebook are available in these styles:
Cream – Blank
This is the cream-colored version of the Blank refill. Softer on the eyes, it’s a great alternative to white paper.
The Traveler’s notebook can be used as a planner, and Traveler’s Company offers a variety of styles for you to keep your schedule organized. All options are printed on smooth Midori Diary paper.
Weekly Planner with Memo
For those who like everything to be written down, the weekly planner with memo pages are the best solution. With six months’ worth of pages, this planner features days of the week on the left side and a grid on the right side where you can fit extra memos and notes.
Different types of specialty paper are also available for you to include in your Traveler’s notebook.
Specifically made for watercolors, this refill is perfect for en plein air artists. Grab a couple of watercolor paints, a trusty water brush, and you’re good to go. The paper is thicker and more textured than the Sketch refill, but it’s also great for pencil and pen sketches. The pages are perforated, so when you create a masterpiece, you can frame it or send it to a loved one!
Traveler’s Notebook Refills – Passport Size
Midori Diary Paper Notebooks
The refills in the smaller, passport size feature the same fantastic Midori MD paper as in the regular size refills. Here are the MD refills that are available in Passport size:
This paper features a 6.5 ruling, great for archiving memories, travel notes, and more.
Although it’s named Dot Grid, the sheet style is actually a subtle reticle grid! We are huge fans of this style — it provides guidelines when you need it, but doesn’t get in your way when you don’t. You can write, draw, or even section off pages for pasting mementos.
Like the regular size refills, Traveler’s Company offers planners in the passport size. Here are the planners:
Traveler’s Company created the same specialty paper refills for the Passport size as the Regular size, shown below. (The photo above features the Dot Grid & Cream MD refills.)
The Watercolor refill is perfect for artists. It’s thick and textured to handle watercolors with ease, but it’s also great for pencil and pen sketches. The pages are perforated so after you’re done drawing, you can take it out and send it to a friend as as hand drawn card.
Traveler’s Notebook Accessories
Traveler’s Company offers an assortment of accessories to pair with your Traveler’s notebook. These accessories add convenience and utility to your notebook, and you can pick and choose which you need. This allows you to truly create a notebook that’s entirely your own.
After you finish with a notebook, don’t throw it away! Available in both Regular and Passport sizes, this binder stores all your finished notebooks in one place, making a wonderful archive that you can refer to again and again to remember past events. A Traveler’s Notebook binder is perfect for those who want to organize and display your works.
These vintage-inspired clips help keep your Traveler’s notebook open as you use it. Simply open up to the page you want and clip them to the side of the notebook along with the cover. Because they’re made of solid brass, they will develop a patina as you use them. Choose from the TRC logo or an airplane design.
If you use your Traveler’s notebook on business trips, this card file is a handy place to keep all the business cards you acquire. There are 12 business card pockets that accommodate both standard U.S. and Japanese business cards. This is only available in the Regular size.
You can keep all of your essential notebooks in one place. These connecting bands let you hold two or even three notebooks in one Traveler’s notebook cover. This is an ideal option for those who need more than one type of refill in their notebook.
Film Pocket Sticker
Like the regular Pocket Stickers, Film Pocket Stickers create useful places for you to stow small memorabilia. However, the Film version is more versatile as you can stick the pockets right into your notebook and adjust the number of pockets you have on each page. You can even create a miniature photo album by having a spread with just Film Pocket Stickers.
Are you always fumbling around for your ticket or membership card? The Pocket Sticker provides a place for you to put small miscellaneous items, such as tickets, cards, or memo notes. It adheres to the inside of the leather cover, so you can access it easily. The Pocket Sticker Set contains three small pockets, while the Large has one that fits in the regular size Traveler’s notebook.
This repair kit is useful to have in case the elastic band on your notebook gets loose. The kit has extra bands and a metal clasp to repair the spine band that holds the inner notebook in place. You can try out the different colored bands included in the kit to see which suits your style. The elastic bands can also replace the center band that holds the notebook shut.
Sticky notes are great for for jotting down notes, quick to-dos, or leaving reminders for family members and friends, and you can keep them on hand with this convenient Sticky Note Set. It comes with a variety of sizes and formats, so you can choose which to use based on your mood or need. Both Regular and Passport sizes are available.
Keep your essentials safe in this zipper case. You can store small flat items, such as tickets and cards securely in the zippered pouch. The other side features pockets for maps or other miscellaneous items. The passport size zipper case has one inner and two outer flap pockets while the regular size zipper case has two large flat pockets.
Pencil boards are a great way to protect the paper underneath the one you’re writing on, and also give you a smooth flat surface to write on. They can also be used as a placeholder to mark your current page.
How to Install Multiple Traveler’s Notebooks
You don’t have to limit yourself to just one notebook! There are multiple ways to include more notebook refills in your Traveler’s notebook. While we’ve seen notebooks stuffed to the brim, we recommend filling up your notebook with no more than three or four refills depending on the thickness of each refill for ease of use.
Traveler’s notebook Connecting Bands
Traveler’s Company offers these nifty elastic bands to help install multiple notebook refills in one cover. First, insert a refill between the existing rubber band and cover. Then, place the second notebook next to the first. Open both notebooks in the middle and grip those middle pages together. Slide the connecting band through those pages. To install another refill, take the second and third refill and follow the same steps.
Alternately, you can use the connecting bands to attach the first and second refill outside of the notebook, then insert them into the notebook afterwards. The back cover of the first refill and the front cover of the second becomes the middle of the notebook with this arrangement. This provides a more balanced look to your notebook if you only have two refills, but you can continue adding notebooks to your notebook using the techniques above.
Using the Existing Elastic Binding
You can also use the existing binding on the notebook to add an extra refill. Insert the first notebook through the first elastic as usual. Then tug on the second elastic to give yourself more space, and slide the extra refill in.
Additionally, the elastic that comes with the box can be used to add an extra refill. Remove the elastic band from the box and slip it through the cover. Then, insert the refill through the band as you would normally. The downside to this method is that the elastic is visible from the outside, detracting from the clean look of the cover.
Traveler’s Notebook Special Editions
Traveler’s notebook 2021 Planners
Traveler’s Company comes out with dated planners every year as well themed accessories. The theme for 2021 is inspired by books.
Traveler’s Company Travel Tools Collection
2020’s theme was “Travel Tools”, and Traveler’s Company debuted a special Travel Tools Collection. It includes notebook refills, letterpressed stickers and cards, washi tape, and more. This collection is limited edition so grab the items while you can!
Traveler’s Company Factory Green Collection
Traveler’s Company released a collection of pens inspired by inspired by the Traveler’s Company factory, whose doors, floors, and shelves are painted in a similar light green color to evoke a sense of safety and peace of mind. Today, the paint is faded in some areas and darkened in others—a testament to many years of hard work and productivity. In much the same way, the finish of this pen will develop a unique patina over the years, reflecting how you’ve used it. As the paint wears away, the brass underneath will begin to show through.
Traveler’s Factory Limited Editions
Traveler’s Company have Traveler’s Factory stores in Japan that sell the same merchandise listed in this guide, as well as limited edition covers, refills, and accessories that can only be purchased in store and in the specific store you’re in.
If you’re a true Traveler’s Company junkie, the Traveler’s Factory stores should definitely be on your bucket list. There are three locations in Tokyo: Tokyo Station, Narita Airport, and the flagship store in Nakameguro. There is a fourth store in Kyoto. Each location is unique, and a treat to visit for stationery and travel lovers.
I would highly recommend visiting a store yourself if only for the experience, but at the time of writing (June 2021) most travelers are not able to make it to Japan. So if there are certain special edition notebooks you’re interested in, you can purchase them on Etsy from local sellers who go to the store and can ship them to you.
Fair warning though, these special editions are expensive to begin with (even more so than the standard leather covers) so the prices from these sellers are even higher because of their exclusivity and popular demand. So unless you’re an avid collector or lucky enough to have a large budget, I might stick to the standard covers or save up to visit Japan in the future. Depending on where you’re traveling from, it honestly might just be cheaper to fly to Japan to shop for yourself, plus you get the experience of Japan and the Factory stores.
Some of my favorite shops are inukshuk Japan, Stationery Station, and Japaneasy Shopper. All are based in Japan and have a huge selection of Traveler’s Notebook, Hobonichi, and anything else you can only find in Japan. If you’re interested in what else I like on Etsy, check out my profile.
Some of the best limited edition items are the Traveler’s Factory Airport Edition, Traveler’s Factory Station Edition, Traveler’s Factory Kyoto Edition, and the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo Collab.
Read Also: Guide to Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo
Traveler’s Company Alternatives
If you’re looking for a refillable notebook that’s more affordable, not leather, or a different size, there are a few options that you can also consider.
|Product||Cover Material||Size||Refill Included||Price||Buy Now|
|Kokuyo Systemic Twin Ring Notebook||Canvas||A5||Yes||$$||Amazon|
|Robrasim Classic Vintage Leather Journal||Leather||5.4″ x 4″ (~Passport TN size)||Yes||$||Amazon|
|September Leather Traveler’s Notebook||Leather||8.5″ x 4.5″ (~Regular TN size)||Yes||$$||Amazon|
|Barns and Noble Voyager Notebook||Vegan Leather||7.75″ x 5″||Yes||$$||Etsy|
|Handmade Vegan Fauxdori||Vegan Leather||Various sizes||No||$$$||Etsy|
What to Put in Your Traveler’s Notebook
There’s no end to the possibilities of your Traveler’s Notebook. One of the greatest thing about the TN system is that you can mix and match, swap out, and customize to whatever works best for you. But if you’re at a loss for what to do with your notebook, or you’re looking for new ideas here are some of the top ideas.
- Journal. Spend a little time each day writing down your thoughts or jotting down your notes. Doing all of this in a beautiful leather cover makes it that much more special.
- Daily Organizer. Use the calendar insert to keep track of your schedule, add in some pouches or pockets to keep receipts or notes from work or school, and add in another notebook or two to write your to-do lists or
- Work Hours or Expenses. Use the notebooks to log your work hours, your expenses, and your overall to-do lists. Keep receipts for taxes in a pouch or added pocket. It’s so easy to use your Traveler’s notebook for work as you can customize it to fit your needs.
- Wallet and Appointment Book. I know a few people who actually use a TN as a wallet with pouches and zippered pockets or IDs, cash, and important documents. They also add a notebook to write down anything they might need to remember while away from their main planner or desk.
- Health Journal. Keep track of your fitness goals, medical concerns, or overall health.
- Art Journal. Paint, draw, or design your notebooks any way that makes you feel creative.
- Travel Journal. And finally, the most obvious. Most people probably use the Traveler’s Notebook as an actual travel journal. Because of its slim size and easily interchangeable notebooks, you can take it anywhere with you and switch out the refills for your next trip. Keep track of your itinerary, write down your bucket list, or collect souvenirs in the pouches. The possibilities are endless.
For help with creative journaling or trying different art techniques, I definitely recommend Skillshare. It’s an invaluable tool or ever-increasing courses where you can learn just about anything. You can learn how to watercolor or try calligraphy, and then learn a new language or how to start your own business. Get one month Free Now.