The Traveler's Notebook is something I heard about very early on in my fountain pen journey, but I never quite understood the hype until I actually got one in my hands a few weeks ago. Now that I've had the time to learn the whole "system", I see how cool these things really are, and I'm thrilled to be able to share it with you here. (In May 2016, the Midori Traveler's Notebook was rebranded to the Traveler's Company brand.)
Here's what I cover in the video:
- Traveler's Notebook "unboxing" (1:23)
- Replacing the outer strap (2:55)
- Notebook dimensions (4:19)
- Accessories, replacement binding straps, adhesive pocket inserts, business card holders (6:00)
- Pen loop (7:50)
- How the notebook is assembled (10:00)
- Putting two notebooks inside (11:55)
- Putting three notebooks inside (14:32)
- Testing the paper (17:50)
The essence of the Traveler's Notebook is a removable paper notebook, wrapped in a thick flap of leather, held by an elastic band. That's the very abbreviated version of what it entails. But it's really more than that, because of the accessories it has available.
There are two different sizes of notebooks, available in black, brown, and camel. The leather is tanned using tannins from plants, but it does have kind of a strong smell at first. Once it airs out for a couple of weeks, the strong smell goes away and you get that awesome leather smell. The overall look of the notebook is very rustic, it very much feels like the kind of thing you'd take with you on an excursion. The notebook will undoubtedly build up more character over time, as you knick and scratch the leather, and wear away the edges of the paper a little bit. It will get its own stamp of personality based on how you use it.
You can put one, two, or three notebooks in it, and add things like pocket inserts, pen loops, zippered pouches, and business card holders. Check out all the Traveler's Notebook accessories here. Because of all of the unique things you can add to your notebook, it makes it a highly personalized system with a lot of utility and flexibility
There are several different types of paper, and they're basically all really good. They're surprisingly fountain pen friendly (I was expecting there to be some typical bleed through and possibly feathering), I am honestly impressed with how the paper handles.
There are different variations of white, ivory, watercolor, sketch, and kraft paper, with blank, 5x5 graph, 6.5mm lined, dot grid, and perforated. There are also planners available in either Weekly or Monthly options. I don't have information about the specific paper weights, but they seem to be somewhere around 70-80g, with the exception of the sketchbook (100g or so) and the thin paper (around 60g, I'd guess). Be sure to check out here for the latest Traveler's Brand refill offerings.
I tried to be as complete as I could in the video, so you can understand how the system works as a whole. I didn't go into great detail about all of the specific notebooks and accessories because it's just way too much to try to cover at once. If you have any specific questions about anything, just let us know!
After publishing the original video at the top of this blog post, I received some great tips on alternate ways to arrange notebooks, some of which didn't even require the rubber bands! I played around with a lot of different ways, and I settled on a few good techniques that I show you here in the video for arranging 1, 2, or 3 notebooks inside the cover, all just using the materials that come with the leather Traveler's Notebook (except the additional notebooks, that is). I use my personal Passport Traveler's Notebook, but the same techniques work with the Regular one, as well. Enjoy!