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Around Here: March 2018

Art Journal Every Day: Thinking About a Traveler's Notebook

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day #artjournal #artjournaleveryday

If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, there is a short introduction here.  All of the previous posts can be found archived here.  Remember, it's just ten minutes of nourishing your creative self every day!  No need to finish anything or even like it. If you've done some art journaling this week, use the hashtag #artjournaleveryday so that we can all take a peek.  Even if you're not on social media, you can see everything (from twitter, pinterest, instagram, and facebook) that uses that hashtag here. 

I've got a new OBSESSION, you guys!  I fell down an internet rabbit hole this week and I'm excited to share.  But, let's begin at the beginning:

As previously shared, I love Bullet Journaling.  I picked up the Bullet Journal habit last year -- around this time, actually.  Over the past 11 months or so, I've settled into a happy relationship with my Bullet Journal.  I use it multiple times every single day.  It keeps me organized and on track.

However (you knew there had to be a "but" in this love story didn't you?) I switched to a new Bullet Journal in January when I used up all the pages in my first Bullet Journal.  I read a lot of information about "Bullet Journal Migration" before I made the switch.  I thought I had prepared myself properly.  And for the most part, I did.  My index clearly and easily redirects me to the correct page in my first journal.

However (there's that word again), I travel a lot.  So, I can't always grab that first Bullet Journal to see the information I'm looking for.  This is a problem.  At first I thought I could just take both Bullet Journals with me.  But thinking about the problem in a long-term way (i.e. I'm planning to Bullet Journal for many years and thusly fill many notebooks), I decided that I needed to find a better solution. So, I started to research alternate types of Bullet Journals.

As a result, I am Traveler's Notebook obsessed.  

What is a Traveler's Notebook?  (Also sometimes called a "Midori.")

It's many things, of course.  But, in essentials, it's a book cover that has at least one elastic band running down the spine, and often more than that.


Sometimes it has pockets -- like the one pictured above -- and sometimes it's just a plain cover -- as below:


They're almost always leather, with some exceptions:


The elastic bands are meant to hold "inserts" -- usually notebooks, but also folders, pockets, and other items.  You can see the elastic band running through the center of the notebooks in the photos below:



Here are some photos of fully stuffed Traveler's Notebooks:




There are tons of tutorials on how to create your own Traveler's Notebooks as well as how to customize store bought ones.  There is a very long and comprehensive (and slightly slow IMHO) video about the Midori Traveler's Notebook here.  Two of my favorite DIY insert videos are here and here

There are products galore from pen holders to stencils to stamp sets to specialized notebooks to printables and on and on.  But that's a much longer conversation for another day.

At the moment, I feel like a Traveler's Notebook is the perfect solution to my conundrum.  It will allow me to keep Bullet Journaling the way that I want to while at the same time dividing things up in a way that will provide greater continuity.  For instance, I run through weekly pages quickly. But there are some lists and notes that are slow building and I'd like to keep them around for longer than the lifetime of single Bullet Journal notebook.  By using a Traveler's Notebook I can have an insert for weekly pages and a separate insert for business notes.  BUT, they're both in the same place -- inside my Traveler's Notebook.  As I progress quickly through the weekly pages, I can replace them, while keeping my business notes in place.

I feel like 5 inserts would be the perfect division for me:

  • Folder (for keeping bits and pieces)
  • Personal Notes
  • Business Notes
  • Weekly Pages
  • Sketchbook (possibly even watercolor paper)

It's all theoretical at this point, but my goal for the coming week is to make my own Traveler's Notebook and inserts and see what happens!  I'll leave you with some eye candy from some pretty Traveler's Notebooks:



Thanks for stopping by!  And let me know if you're a Traveler's Notebook veteran.  I'd love to hear about your experiences with it!