Bullet Journaling · Month-in-Review

[Bullet Journal] Introducing the Traveler’s Notebook BuJo!!

Important Note: This post has not been sponsored by any company or other entity. These are my own personal opinions on my experiences with the performance of the products as well as any company I may mention, and no compensation or payment has been received for anything written below. Trust me…I’m not a blogger anyone would want to sponsor at this point. I simply write for my own pleasure…and hope that people will enjoy what I write.

We interrupt the current “Capsule Wardrobe Chronicles” series to bring you a news bulletin!!

As of June 2016 (one year into my bullet journaling endeavors), there has been  complete upheaval in my bullet journal system.

I have gone from THIS…

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my new notebook system, it is the Traveler’s Notebook system (formerly of the Midori Company, but now simply under their own brand name). It’s a flexible, leather cover with an elastic band system that allows you to insert correctly sized notebooks/accessories in order to customize it to exactly what works for you! For more information, you can visit the product information page at the Traveler’s Company website here.

I purchased MY notebook from the Goulet Company, and they give a great information guide/tutorial on how to use the system.

Just a side note – this is an AWESOME company to purchase from. They take special care to make sure you receive your products as quickly as possible and as pristine as possible. I have not only purchased the Traveler’s Notebook from them, but also notebook inserts (more on that below), a fountain pen, fountain pen nibs (their own brand of nibs is my FAVORITE!!), and more! I have had nothing but good experiences purchasing from them.

Ok…I had my #fangirl moment…moving on…

I had dabbled with the idea of making this change early in my BuJo journey, but always felt it wouldn’t work for me. The page size was what really concerned me. Knowing my love of scrapbooking and the kind of spreads I like to have in my bullet journal, would the smaller page size even work? And wouldn’t I rather just stick to one notebook over the year (or 6 months) instead of having to switch out the much smaller insert notebooks? These were the two main reasons I hesitated (for almost a year) on purchasing the Traveler’s Notebook.

But come May of 2016, I found myself searching YouTube and blogs constantly for anything having to do with the Traveler’s Notebook, and realized I had fallen in love with it. So I finally bought one of my own, not knowing if it was really where I wanted to take my bullet journal once June 2016 began (I pretty much finished up the Mead Composition Notebook by the end of May anyway).

But I bought it…so I knew I had to use it. Thus, the Great Traveler’s Notebook Experiment began. The month of June would be the test run to see if it would work.

Here are some pictures of the experiment:
Photo Jun 29, 10 51 12 AM
Every month starts with my goals/monthly reading/index page. I also have a “month events” as well as a #PlanWithMeChallenge prompts list as part of my monthly spread that not shown here.
Photo Jun 07, 9 27 08 AM (1)
I did bring my weekly spread over from my previous bullet journal…of course adjusted to fit the given page size. Every Sunday, I will sit down and plan for the upcoming week using this spread.
Photo Jun 30, 2 28 29 PM
My dailies are now on a 2 page spread! And, truthfully, this is all the space I need for my daily tasks. I don’t journal on a day-to-day basis, so there was no need to try to put one day on each page. This also allows me to fit at least 2 months into on notebook insert.
Photo Jun 09, 10 29 06 AM
Me on vacation – didn’t have task lists since I didn’t want to worry about “getting things done” and simply relax. But I did take the necessary photos/kept scraps to document the special moments had during this trip. I decided I really liked these journaling/scrapbooking spreads in place of my daily task lists to commemorate special days.
Photo Jun 29, 10 16 52 AM
What? You don’t keep the vintage design wrapper of your candy bars? #sucker #imweird
Photo Jun 15, 3 12 08 PM
I keep a second notebook insert for collections and lists that I would like to keep in my Traveler’s Notebook beyond the 2+ months that my bullet journal insert lasts. This is an example of a “collection” (BuJo lingo) that I want to keep around.
Photo Jun 24, 8 42 46 PM (1)
I’ve honed my tracker system for the daily activities I want to make sure I get done, but don’t want to write over and over again. One such activity is hitting my 12,000 step goal (upped from 10,000 steps recently) every day.
Now that we are at the end of June 2016, it’s time to evaluate the Traveler’s Notebook.

First, the notebook itself is AWESOME!! I could not be more pleased with the minimalist/versatility of the system. The cover is gorgeous and wearing well (it does scratch easily, but that just adds to its rustic charm). I have no regrets of purchasing it so far…but we’ll see just how durable it is and how long is lasts me.

My current notebook insert of choice is the “Goulet Notebook w/ Tomoe River Paper.” Compared to the trademark Midori notebook insert I also have for my “collections” insert, the Goulet notebook is head-over-heels better!! No bleed through, minimal ghosting, no feathering when I use ANY of my pens/highlighters/markers (this includes my Jinhao x750 fountain pen with a 1.5mm Goulet stub nib and the Noodler’s Black ink). I’m sure a regular Sharpie will bleed through or something, but I don’t use them in my bullet journal.

Yep…I’ve given the Goulet Pen Company a LOT of my money in the past few months. #shutupandtakemymoney

The only issue I have with the Goulet notebook is that it is a tad pricier than other inserts online (including the Midori one, but that is to be expected considering performance). I’ll be trying out a different brand of  Tomoe River Paper notebook insert I found on Amazon starting August. It’s about $1.50 cheaper per insert. We’ll see if that one is comparable and, therefore, can save me some money. But if it comes down to performance, and the Goulet notebook, again, reigns supreme in quality, I am more than willing to spend the extra $1.50 per notebook insert.

Second, as a bullet journal, here are the things I learned from the experience with the Traveler’s Notebook.

  1. I’m someone who likes newness…in this case, starting a new notebook. So, knowing that I could move onto a new notebook insert after a couple of months makes me all the more excited to keep going with the bullet journal and to use it on a daily basis.
  2. I actually like the smaller page size better! The pressure to fill all the white space on the page is reduced (because there is less white space to be had), and I don’t have to constantly be doing something in my bullet journal in order to fill it up. I can actually look outside of it and get things done.
  3. I’ve learned that I don’t need to create tasks for the sake of creating tasks in my bullet journal to fill up white space. If there is a day I have no tasks, I feel I can relax and simply enjoy the day…because the white space is minimal and I don’t mind filling the little bit with a photo/quote/thoughts from the day.
  4. The smaller size (compared to a Mead Composition notebook) definitely is a bonus for carrying around. Takes up MUCH less space in my backpack!
  5. Being able to keep separate notebooks for the monthly/weekly/daily bullet journal and my long-term collections makes for easier access to all of my lists, meaning I will be looking at all of them more frequently. Definite bonus, since I had been forgetting about some of my collections earlier in my previous bullet journal due to it being buried in the masses of pages.
  6. It just makes my minimalist heart sing to have this system!!

So in conclusion, the Traveler’s Notebook will remain my bullet journal until an unforeseen life change deems a need for something else.

While there are loads of blogs/videos/photos about many different uses for the Traveler’s Notebook, I’ve found that the information about using a Traveler’s Notebook as a bullet journal isn’t quite as readily available as I would like. There are a few people out there who have shed light on this journey (my favorite being Jessica at Pretty Prints & Paper).  But more so than not, I’ve been figuring out a bulk of it out for myself. I suppose that is the nature of the bullet journal system – figuring out what works best for YOU, and not simply copying someone else’s method.

Still, if you are interested in stepping out into the Traveler’s Notebook Bullet Journal world  and learning more about it with me, feel free to ask any questions or raise any suggestions in the comments below! It would be awesome to find a larger community of TN bullet journalers to bounce off ideas with.

Until next week…keep on living to learn and love!


2 thoughts on “[Bullet Journal] Introducing the Traveler’s Notebook BuJo!!

    1. Thank you for reading! Yes, it is possible. I really did enjoy my time bullet journaling in my Traveler’s Notebook. I may have moved on into an A5, but only because life and job became so complicated, my system needed to change as well. But the TN version definitely served me well.


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