Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the notifications and icons on your phone? Are you the kind of person who lets your emails pile up until you have 10,289 email notifications popping out at you on the screen? I am. My husband will be the first to tell you we’ve had many conversations about the fact I leave my notifications on my phone for months.
Honestly I get a little overwhelmed by all the ways my phone and laptop have of reminding me I’m just too slow to catch up. There’s always something going on, always another email or appointment reminder, always another Facebook notification, and it just wears me out. I’ve always liked going at my own pace, and that pace has never kept up with this digital age.
I’ve always loved to write by hand, ever since I first began to learn to write. And I’ve always had a passion for the written word and seeing my handwriting on paper. Sure, computers help you get the words down faster for things like blog posts, but when it comes to journaling and pondering my to-do lists, I’ve always preferred to write by hand.
Several months ago, I discovered a…system, I suppose you would call it, that combines all of my favorite things: long form writing, scrapbooking, memory keeping, planning, journaling, and to-do lists. What is this magical system? It’s called Traveler’s Notebooks, and it’s been one of my new favorite hobbies since I received my first Traveler’s Notebook for my birthday last year.
You might be wondering what a Traveler’s Notebook is, so let me elaborate. The traditional Traveler’s Notebook came out of Japan by a company called The Traveler’s Company (formerly Midori) and is a system where leather covers are combined with elastic strings to create a notebook cover that can hold multiple inserts (notebooks) for you to write in.
It sounds simple enough, however, I absolutely love this system because it offers flexibility and functionality I haven’t found in other planner or journal systems. If you’re like me and trying to find a planner system the works for you, perhaps you’ve tried things like Erin Condren or the Happy Planner or even bullet journaling. I’ve tried different planners and bullet journaling, and discovered that this system of using multiple Traveler’s Notebooks has given me a sense of both planner peace and relaxation as I use them.
So for what can you use a Traveler’s Notebook?
The beauty of this system is that it’s as varied as the number of notebooks you can find to purchase for it.
Here are just a few of the different types of inserts that are available for purchase on Amazon, Etsy, and even Wish or AlliExpress:
- Blank Notebooks: Sellers have blank, dot-grid, lined, and graph notebooks available for purchase that can be customized to meet your needs.
- Planner Notebooks: From monthly, weekly, and daily planners to different layouts similar to those in the more popular planners, you can find something that works best for you.
- Gratitude Notebooks: Some makers sell gratitude journals you can put into your Traveler’s Notebook to help you remember all the things for which you’re thankful.
- Fitness/Food Journals: There are fitness and food trackers available to help you keep up with your workouts and diets.
- Meal Planning Notebooks: Some companies create specific meal planning notebooks that allow you to jot down your plan for each week and build your grocery list.
- Goal Setting Notebooks: These are always fun because they combine your traditional planner with goal setting notebooks. You can create large goals and then break them down to smaller steps with deadlines in these inserts.
- To-Do Notebooks: Last but not least, there are a myriad assortment of “to-do list” inserts available if you, like me, enjoy jotting down and crossing off a to do list each day.
As you can see, there’s as much customization as you can imagine available for these notebook covers, and it really helps someone like me who enjoys being able to categorize and utilize multiple notebooks for different purposes while housing them in a central location.
I have three Traveler’s Notebooks in regular daily use right now. I have one that is a leather notebook with my planner inserts in it. It has my monthly planner and my weekly planner inside it, and I use it to input appointments and jot down anything of interest that happened during my day.
My second notebook has four inserts and is used for Bible study. I use one insert to write Scripture, another for prayer requests, and the third insert for sermon notes at church. The last insert isn’t a notebook but is a folder that keeps special newsletters from missionaries that I like to hold onto.
Finally, my last Traveler’s Notebook is my personal favorite. It has four inserts as well as a small pen pouch. I use the notebooks for language learning, journaling, collections (similar to the bullet journaling method), and tracking my reading goals for the year.