For all the travelers who have a free spirit.
February 4, 2015 7:50 PM   Subscribe

Many people use the Midori Traveler's Notebook system as an organizer, planner, GTD tool; other people use it as a scrapbook-style journal (or journal-style scrapbook?). Because it is so simple, it's pretty easy to make your own.

Home made Traveler's Notebooks are commonly called "Fauxdori." You can make your own saddle-stitched inserts using high quality paper and/or printing custom inserts, like calendars, directories, etc, and other clever inserts like this craft folder. There are, of course, enormous groups of people sharing pictures of their fancy MTNs on flickr). If you're interested in making your own, be sure to check out the facebook group Midori Traveler's Notebook resources.

Note: I kept the links pretty simple, but honestly there are a TON of people talking about the MTN online. If you need an ASMR break, just start clicking around youtube videos of people talking about their notebooks.
posted by rebent (31 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is way more interesting then I thought it would be when I clicked.

I got sucked right in.

Now I want one....
posted by Jalliah at 8:27 PM on February 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Then make one!
posted by alms at 8:29 PM on February 4, 2015



Ha, now I want a bunch of leather tools as well.

Lol. This post is evil!

I'm thinking though that this sort of thing would make neat handmade gifts so I could justify getting the basic tools.
posted by Jalliah at 8:44 PM on February 4, 2015


It seems like a neat idea but all the customization is really confusing. Basically it's a leather folder with a notebook inside?
posted by orrnyereg at 9:18 PM on February 4, 2015


This is one of those things I imagine would be really useful and make me look more Interesting and Romantic and will spur a sudden ability to sketch and write with interesting handwriting and sit in diners with the sun dancing in my (suddenly) auburn hair, and the old man drinking his coffee and thinking about his wife when they met will see me and smile and I will have an Irish setter and wear only clothes from Anthropologie (but they will fit and look awesome and interesting)... but is actually just a kind of fancy notebook that I will lose.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:26 PM on February 4, 2015 [70 favorites]


(which is to say, these are super cool! But ... probably not something that I would put to good use.)
posted by ChuraChura at 9:27 PM on February 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: super cool! But ... probably not something that I would put to good use
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:29 PM on February 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw these at a japanese stationery store last weekend... thankfully the leather covers were behind the counter, otherwise... well, I don't need another notebook really. But they do look awesome.
posted by GuyZero at 9:40 PM on February 4, 2015


I think I could use this or something like it (famous last words, but maybe?), so thank you! It's hard to set up a 2D organization system that can echo the more dynamic, 4D systems we're used to with apps/online calendars, but this is neat. (I think if I do try it, I may have to take lessons from the person at the first link. The YouTube videos are pretty long, though - 15-40 minutes, excluding unboxing, and including a lot of love for particular pens and clips. This is potentially a terrifying yet highly appealing wormhole for me).

Basically it's a leather folder with a notebook inside?

I guess it's a leather folder that can fit all the notebooks you want inside. You don't have to choose just one.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:41 PM on February 4, 2015


This sort of thing is like crack for me. If I had the funds, I would have one of every single planner/diary system on Earth. I may already own one or two. I find written planners far easier to use than digital ones, but I do tend to flit back and forth between written ones too, more often than not seduced by videos of other people busily using theirs. I just bought a new one for my Xmas present, and I'm currently regretting the colour I bought (lilac) and seriously coveting a MTN. In brown.
posted by mythical anthropomorphic amphibian at 12:07 AM on February 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


The blog you linked to, Scription? That's great, thanks.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:21 AM on February 5, 2015


I so want to like using notebooks. These are beautiful. Every time I've tried I end up with a mess, though, and one I got a smartphone I slowly stopped making use of paper notes, to the point now where I don't even carry a pen around most days. It kinda makes me sad, since these tools are so well-done sometimes. Thanks for the links!
posted by odinsdream at 12:21 AM on February 5, 2015


YES! YES! This will be the paper system that sticks!

jeez, neglected bullet journal with 90% blank pages, why'd you gotta look at me like that.

I think I have a problem with organisational systems.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:37 AM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


So... This is like a Trapper Keeper for grownups?
posted by Gordafarin at 1:41 AM on February 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


But what if you have Things to Get Done that aren't related to curating your obsessively effortless daily planner?
posted by scruss at 3:18 AM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


This was all pretty interesting, and the journals/planners/books are all really nice to look at. But, yeah, how does one find time to actually do things other than plan and organize when it clearly takes so much out of a day to operate one of these books? And, for traveling, I would be wracked with anxiety knowing that I had all of that stuff with me in one single book/folder. Real minimalism while traveling is the only way for me to reduce travel anxiety.

Also, I can't help but cringe at 'mindmapping' every time it comes up. Not sure why, but it just reeks of the convergence of new age woo and an MBA.

That said, I love small leather goods and this made me want more.
posted by still bill at 5:03 AM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have one of these. I use it as a wallet with a diary insert. I LOVE IT. It looks like something Indiana Jones would carry on an expedition/grave robbing. I didn't think I would become as attached to a piece of leather and rubber bands, but it really is a genius design.
(The Midori paper is really lovely. After years of wondering why Moleskine paper was all feathery and bleedy with fountain pens when it was supposed to be great, the Midori insert was a lovely surprise. I've also got some Banditapple Carnet inserts from Goulet Pens that are nice.)
posted by Lemmy Caution at 6:15 AM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, I can't help but cringe at 'mindmapping' every time it comes up. Not sure why, but it just reeks of the convergence of new age woo and an MBA.

Nah, it's been around for eons. I first learned about 25 years ago. It's not woo, just a way of organizing thoughts and doing things like brainstorming for people like me who work better thinking in a less linear way. Plus, the way I learned it I used pictures and symbols as well.

I used them a lot a Uni for studying. For visual thinkers they can be awesome for information recall. I still have the 'map' pictures for some subjects in my head. When doing exams I would picture the map and move around it visually to access what I needed.

Over the past while it's crept more and more into corporate world but compared to how I do it MBA version is so boring and dull. Suppose that's to be expected.
posted by Jalliah at 6:44 AM on February 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hmm.

I clicked on this thinking that it would solve my current "travel journal" problem. But it doesn't seem it will.

Okay - the past few travel journals I've had were cheap things I got from Barnes & Nobel - and they were PERFECT. They usually started about 20-30 pages of useful fill-in-the-blank info and reference pages in the front - a packing checklist, a couple pages to write your list of addresses, time zone map, maybe a place to write addresses for things you wanted to see or restaurants you wanted to go, maybe a place to record your expenses - you know, boring-but-useful shit like that. And then the rest of it would be a HUUUUGE swath of blank lined pages. These are PERFECT for me - the pages of "boring but useful" are good for doubly satisfying my "I must plan things out on a granular level" urge, which usually comes out the night before I go on a trip, and also as a reference en route ("oh, crap, I forgot how many hours ahead we are - oh, wait, I'll look it up here"), and as for the blank pages - some of the best writing I've ever done in my entire LIFE is in my travel journals. It's where I wrote down the story of crashing an Irish radio broadcast, it's where I wrote the first draft of a story I've rewritten about having a Jungian collective race memory moment in an Irish field, it's where I wrote down the details of the conversation I had with David Tennant, it's where I wrote about the drunken night I had celebrating my birthday on Mardi Gras - it's all there.

And I cannot for the LIFE of me find travel journals like that any more. And I've looked - at one extreme, you have the ones that are lined journals and nothing BUT, and maybe they have a map or a plane on the cover. Or they get all cutesy and decorate all the pages with passport stamps or clip-art of beaches or crap like that, and it takes up half the page and there's nowhere for you to actually flippin' WRITE. Now, I COULD probably paste a map in, or make one of them be a page o' addresses, but I like the "fill in the blanks" approach because I'd most likely forget something if I were left to my own devices like that. And then at the other extreme is the Moleskinne Travel Journal - which is almost nothing BUT the fill-in-the-blanks part. They do have space for you to write down your notes, but WAY too little - they divide that part up into three sections, for "weekends", "short trips", and "long trips" - and for the "weekend" section, you only get ONE PAGE to write the notes down for each trip. I need WAY more than one page for a weekend trip. (To be fair - Moleskinne did recently release this thing, which is ABSOLUTELY the kind of thing I'm looking for, and I just got one even though I'm not slated to go anywhere big for months.)

This looks like the nothing-but-lined-pages approach, only in a fancier cover. If they made inserts that were pre-printed with things like addresses and packing lists and what-not, MAYBE I could go for this - get one of the preprinted blanks, and then a buttload of the ruled pages. But doesn't look like they have that.

(In closing - if anyone knows the kind of travel journal I'm talking about and can point me to one, lemme know.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:50 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Poke around in here, EmpressCallipygos.
posted by cashman at 8:10 AM on February 5, 2015


EmpressCallipygos, Ray has a travel journal that might suit your needs? Or perhaps get close to. I know you are looking for more planning prompts - ill keep my eyes out for more.
posted by rebent at 8:10 AM on February 5, 2015


Rebent: Ray's thing looks like a copy of the Moleskinne travel thing which I DIDN'T like:

"Then follows a two-page spread for each day of your trip."

I need way more than two pages to talk about what happened to me on each day.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:15 AM on February 5, 2015


I've made my own - a few, actually, as I make one and then realize how to improve upon it/adjust it to fit my needs even better.

My current one is A5-sized and has a cover of pink marine vinyl (cheaper than leather and just as weighty). In it I have my planner book, my work notebook, my journal, my notebook of lists (books to read, movies to watch, etc.), my roller derby coaching book (and copy of the rules), and my genealogy notebook.

It really didn't cost that much - just the vinyl (and backer fabric) and a few pieces of elastic to hold the notebooks in place.

It's awesome and I love it. I agree with Lemmy Caution, it does make me feel like Indiana Jones when I pull it out of my bag and flip through its many notebooks and pages to find the right place to write that "Kingsman: The Secret Service" is coming out on February 13.
posted by Lucinda at 8:27 AM on February 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


(Oh, I should apologize in advance if anyone makes travel guide suggestions to me and I rip it to shreds - this is just something I am EXTREMELY and ANNOYINGLY fussy about.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:50 AM on February 5, 2015


You can do all this with a pad of post-it notes. When the top note is full, peel it and stick it on the back.

I'll give you a starter text to write on Page 1, to get you going.

To Do

1. Stop writing damn To Do lists and go do something.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:25 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is one of those things I imagine would be really useful and make me look more Interesting and Romantic and will spur a sudden ability to sketch and write with interesting handwriting and sit in diners with the sun dancing in my (suddenly) auburn hair, and the old man drinking his coffee and thinking about his wife when they met will see me and smile and I will have an Irish setter and wear only clothes from Anthropologie (but they will fit and look awesome and interesting)... but is actually just a kind of fancy notebook that I will losethis year's Moleskine.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:08 PM on February 5, 2015


well EC, I haven't found anything that matches what you describe. but, i think it would be possible to make. the link i posted was made by somebody, and Scription makes his chronodex. You could probably type out the first few pages of whatever notebook you wanted, and print in booklet format, and slice to the right size.

And, if your biggest concern is the number of pages included, well, that's the beauty of the midori - you can add more and more booklets inside. exhibit a
posted by rebent at 6:59 PM on February 5, 2015


It looks a lot like the Filofax I used to carry everywhere before I got my Handspring. (I am middle aged.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:39 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some day, if you're bored, go look up people's customized dayplanners on Pinterest. Like a cross between GTD and scrapbooking. I don't understand how people have TIME for that kind of detailed coloring and washi tape placement and still have a day worthy of needing a planner for it.

But my god I do some some washi tape.
posted by marylynn at 5:45 PM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


But my god I do some some washi tape.

I remember looking online for an obscure paper tape product and the manufacturer directed me to a local scrapbooking supplies store. I went there and they had an astonishing variety of scrapbooking stuff and tons of customizable day planner book pages too. I asked the proprietor, hey where did this stuff all come from? I never heard of a whole industry of scrapbooking products. I've seen a few things in art supplies catalogs, but never this huge variety, enough to overflow a retail store. What she said astonished me: it is all because of Mormons.

I decided (against my better judgment) to search online for washi tape. I believe that term is generally inaccurate, it would be better described as chiyogami tape.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:10 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just a note to anyone in the future who may come across my travel journal wishes and think "yeah, I'm looking for something like that too" -

I found what I wanted here.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:34 AM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


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