The Midori Travelers Notebook

or How I learned to love carrying a brick

The Midori Traveler’s notebook (or just Traveler’s notebook now with their recent rebranding). has become a bit of a phenom in productivity circles. A highly customizable design and adaptable nature have made the Traveler’s notebook become the tool de jour to the productivity obsessed.

I purchased my notebook several months ago.  A black leather cover with a red elastic band to hold it closed; without contents it’s not particularly impressive. It’s when you start to add inserts and other features within it’s fold the true benefits arise.

What is in my notebook

My notebook is comprised of three inserts – one two-month daily planner, one kraft paper insert for The Idea Pump and one lined insert for personal notes.  There’s a clear plastic zip folder in the front and a plastic slip folder in the back for various other items.  A pen loop on the side and I’m ready to go.

But see, this is where the issue starts to come in.  With all the things I can keep in the notebook it’s started to get a little…husky. I’ve even gone so far as to start keeping my spare phone battery in the zip pocket just in case I need it. Since the notebook is a bit large to carry absolutely everywhere I slip a Field Notes notebook under the front cover and then grab it when I might need to take some notes but just can’t carry the whole thing. More than once I’ve looked at my notebook and thought, “well at least I’m not the only thing bulging at the middle.”

The notebook has a tendency to change depending on my mood (that and because I’m a fidgeter and tinkerer while I think.) In the beginning I put the planner in the middle and the inserts on either side.  Now the planner has moved to the front and the inserts work towards the back. Contrary to most Travelers notebooks you’ll see on Pinterest, mine is free of drawings, doodles, Washi tape, and other accouterments. Not that I don’t like those mind you, they’re just not my style. My notebooks tend to reflect me…lots of words and cycles of thought.

Would I recommend a Traveler’s notebook to others?  Absolutely.  Would I recommend it over other notebooks.  Nope.  You see, to me, notebooks are as personal a decision as your preferred pen or your favorite flavor of ice cream.  There is no right, no wrong, no better, no best.  The notebook you choose to use should do three things for you: it should work, it should make you happy to use it, and it should be adaptable to you rather than the other way around.

In the near future I’ll talk more about how I use my notebook specifically for personal and professional uses, but for now I’m just going to enjoy my productively pudgy friend.