Travelers Notebooks--An organizational tool I never knew I wanted or needed

I know this is a bit different for a blog posting, but since I juggle many things all at once, I have often struggled with productivity and organization.  My newest tools in my arsenal are Travelers Notebooks and Planners. 

Now, before you say "I do all that on my phone" you must understand that I am a tactile note taker.  I remember best when I write it down.  However, once I paired these with a modified bullet journal, it became clear to me that this was a great find.

What is a Travelers Notebook?

Designed in Japan, the travelers notebook was designed with a leather cover and removable inserts of paper that the user can use as a journal, scrapbook, sketch pad, or any number of other things. Most TNs, as they're called, can hold up to six notebooks in one leather cover.  The most well known name is Midori.  

These covers now come in a variety of sizes and are made by a wide variety of folks, but mine is approx. 5.75"x8.75" and is by a company called Websters Pages in their Color Crush line.  Here's a photo of my TN.

These notebook covers are closed by an elastic band.  Inside there are four elastics along the spine under which the notebooks slide so they don't fall out.  In this way, you can add and remove at will and change the contents to suit your current needs at any time.  Here's the inside of mine:

The brown notebook came with the leather cover, but the flowered one is a product of the Practical Paper Company.  The brown notebook is being used as my daily planner and the flowered one has lines inside for notes.  Then, I have a third flowered one behind this one for bullet notes of things I need to do for work and tasks that must be completed.  I could put as many as six notebooks in this one cover OR I could add folders to keep loose papers or zip pouches for things like money or business cards, but I haven't found a need to do that as yet.  Notice the left of the leather cover has slots for credit cards and ID, but there are also slots to slide papers or lists into those as well.  You can find all that online, but the idea is that this cover is VERSATILE and I know many who use them as a wallet.

Now, TNs have quite a cult following and it's no wonder due to their versatility.  Many use them as an adult sticker book or an art book, but that's not for me.  I use mine merely as a tool.  Now, that doesn't mean I can't "color it up" a bit.  So, I made my own weekly calendar page with a notes page with some fun stickers from a company in New Zealand called Sugarloop.  Bernadette is an amazing graphic artist and her products and delivery are top tier.

Notice how I have Monday through Sunday in stickers on the right with a horizontal line? You can do yours in cubes, vertically, or however you like, but this works for me currently.  On the left is a "little things" sticker where I put things I need to remember, but not necessarily must do this week, and below that I put a list of things I need to buy.  Out of milk?  Put it in the TN.  Out of cereal, it goes here, too.  Need a new stapler?  Yep, it goes here, too.  That's the beauty of this type of setup.  It is literally a BRAIN DUMP location.  Next week, these two pages will be finished, and I'll begin again with a new set of pages for next week.

In a nutshell, that's a TN setup.  You can find GOBS of photos and videos online about it in much more detail because there is a bit of a cult following, but I wanted to share this here as just a basic concept.  My next blog post will be on bullet journaling and how I've adapted it to my own use.  THAT is where the true magic happens, folks.  It's already increased my productivity and I'm sure it can help you as well. 

Watch for the next installment in a couple of days for "Bullet Journaling 101" and if you want to order anything from Practical Paper with a great discount code, you can use my affiliate code in the checkout box.  Just type in "affiliateFREDA" without quotes in the code box for $10 off $25 or more.  They have all types of paper products, but my favorites are their traveler's notebooks like the flowered one above.   Check them out and check out Sugarloop, too!!