Book reviews, musings and waffle from a British lit addict

Ode to the Midori Traveller’s Notebook

I’ve now had a pretty well stocked Midori Traveller’s Notebook since about June and it’s about time I shared the love.
I’ve never really found a planner/notebook “system” that has worked for me. I’ve diligently bought a diary every year, I have about 5 part-filled review notebooks and a couple of journals that I’ve started whenever I’ve been feeling particularly introspective. My problem with all of those is that it’s tricky to carry around a diary, a review notebook and a journal in your handbag when you also have to carry around a book to read (you know, just in case) in a handbag already pretty well stuffed with crap. All of that meant that I kept typing stuff in my phone to note down later, most of which then got forgotten about. 
The Midori Traveller’s Notebook is my perfect solution. I’ve been getting into the habit of carrying it everywhere and I LOVE it. 
For the first few weeks, I carried it around in the little cotton sleeve that it was delivered in because I wanted it to stay neat and tidy.  Character schmaracter, was my thinking.  And then *dun dun duuuuuun* the sleeve got lost.  So I had to start carrying it around all by itself.  And it’s starting to look so lovely!  I was wrong to imprison it.  All of the reviews are right – the leather ages perfectly.  It’s got tiny little grooves all over it and it’s got some fine creases down the spine and for some reason, it just doesn’t bother me as it would normally.  It’s just so pretty!
So far, I have it filled with four notebooks:
1.  Planner:  I have an “official” Midori planner with the days of the week on the left hand side and grid paper on the right hand side.  I’ve been a page-a-day girl myself before but then I end up missing things because I forget to flip forward far enough.  This is the perfect combination because the grid page is perfect for list-making, which I love.  Plus, everything I have from Midori has been such great quality.
2.  Journal:  This has been the real surprise success.  Having somewhere to jot down idle thoughts and stick in cards from restaurants I’ve visited and tickets to films and plays I’ve seen is so relaxing.  I find it easier to let things go once I’ve written them down, which is liberating.  Plus, I feel like I’m making something lovely that I can keep and look back over when I’m older *enter Washi tape obsession*  I’m using the plain paper Midori insert that came with my Midori.
3.  Books and Blogging:  Another love.  I adore having a review notebook with me again.  I can jot down quotes before I forget about them.  I can scribble down my gut reactions to the books I’m reading so that when I eventually get round to writing a review months later, I can remember exactly why I was disgruntled with the characters or in love with the plot or whatever.  Seeing as I’m a lot less whimsical when it comes to my blogging notebook, I’m using a lined Midori insert and, as ever, it’s superb.  I write in biro (because my handwriting is tiny and ball pens and fountain pens either make it smaller or just make it into one big smudge) so I’m not really testing it out for bleeding or whatnot but the paper really is excellent.

4.  Notes and Miscellany:  I’m not sure about this one.  While we were away recently, my fourth was a gorgeous 100gsm cream insert that I got from CraftyAliCat on Etsy that I used as a travel journal.  Normally, I use a green 45gsm insert as somewhere to write down random things that I want to remember, like lists of albums that I want to buy and ideas for trips away and restaurants I want to go to.  It’s handy but I feel as though I could be doing something better with the space.  We’ll see.

I also have a kraft folder insert that means I have a pocket in the front and in the back that I keep bits and pieces I want to stick in later.  I also have things like stamps and passport photos and my double-sided sticky pads for when I do get chance to journal while I’m out and about.
In the end, what has really made me a complete Midori fangirl is the quality.  It feels like I’ve bought something that I can use and adapt for years.  I like that I can use actual notebooks that I’ll be able to pull out and keep when they’re full.  I find it easier to write in than a Filofax, say, because there isn’t anything in the middle but a few bands of elastic.
Want one of your own?  You can buy them on Amazon for about £30 but I’d really recommend a bit of patience with international shipping and using Pencils.jp.  Even with paying shipping costs from Japan, the prices are excellent and they stock an amazing range of Midori stuff.  Using the current exchange rate, you can get a Midori with a plain notebook insert for about £20.  A six month undated planner will set you back about £8-9 on Amazon; you’ll pay half that from Pencils.jp.  You can also get some gorgeous washi tapes for less than £1.  There’s a minimum spend if you want shipping to the UK (which I think is about 2,000 YEN/£10 but I can’t quite remember) but you’ll get a lot more for your money if you can spend that.  The service is great – you’ll get an accurate shipping quote  based on the weight of your chosen items before you commit to the order, update emails and a tracking number.  I’m in no way affiliated with the site; I just think it’s brilliant.
So to sum up:  I’m kind of addicted to the whole Midori Traveller’s Notebook set up.  Let’s talk planners, paper and washi!