Succotash at the Studio

Tips for How to Use Your Travelers Notebook

From agendas to journals; and even wallets, Travelers Notebooks allow you to do this in the most flexible and stylish way. These leather notebooks from Japan are highly coveted and often imitated. They have been around for a dozen years. Simplicity and balance are key to their philosophy. The notebooks and various inserts have been designed for ones daily travels in life. Whether you use them for planning and organization, sketching, or journaling, you are free to customize them for your own needs. Created around the famous MD (Midori Diary) Paper. One is assured of the smoothest highest quality paper for most any medium.  See more of the entire line from Travelers Company.

customize your travelers notebook

Here is how some of us use our notebooks, we hope you will be inspired and show us how you use yours.

Cowboy Alex uses his Travelers Notebook as an agenda:
"Sometime four or five years back, I decided that I liked having a paper trail of my weekly appointments. I am a visual learner and will always remember my schedule if I recall what the pages look like - either blank or with names and times scribbled on them. Putting things into my phone just didn't help me retain them to memory, and I prefer to have a general idea ahead of time of what my days or weeks are shaping up to look like.

Anyway, my first paper agenda was a year-specific one, and thus one I had to trash after the year was over. Then, I learned about Traveler's Notebooks, which combine beautiful leather covers with interchangeable inserts, one of which is a weekly calendar. I was hooked!

First I had a regular-size black one with a red binding cord, then I switched to a limited-edition olive, which has aged beautifully and still smells divine. 
Often, I get compliments on it, even though paper agendas are still (sorta) a thing of the past. Along with a Blackwing pencil, the writing from which I can erase if necessary, I keep all my most important dates and notes in my TN. I even decorated my weekly calendar pages with some custom tape I found in the studio that says: 'You are loved. You are awesome. You are enough. You are lovely. You are worthy.' "

how i use my travelers notebookmy travelers notebook

Regular attendee to the Midori-Travelers Notebook, Heather, uses her passport as a wallet:
I went to a Travelers meet-up at the Paper Seahorse.  A couple of the participants were using their Passport size Travelers as a wallet.  I decided to give it a try and purchased a dark brown color.  It has worn extremely well.  I really enjoy using it for my wallet.  It appears streamline and helps me feel organized.

travelers notebook wallet
Cowgirl Dani loves the smaller passport size for traveling:
"One of the new ways I've started using my Passport TN is to keep a mini travel journal with the 003 inserts.  When I travel with friends, I've started taking extra inserts so I can "collect" things for them.  On a recent trip to Yellowstone and other National Parks, I gathered the park stamps in these.  Then, I create travel journals for each of them.  They are just the right size and give each of my friends (who don't journal!!), a memory of their trip and our travel times together."

I personally have four notebooks and an insert helping my through life at all times. I am an analog gal and the digital calendar and agenda never ever worked for me. Pen to paper is faster, more tactile and fulfilling for me. I love that I can be colorful and creative and express myself through pen and paper:

Once a week, on Sundays, I use my Camel notebook with green cord for my reflective journaling practice. I "theme" my week and capture the highlights, often sketching or pasting in treasures along the way. I have been doing this for three years now. Each of the inserts I use hold six months at a time. I love it because they are small and yet hold so much. I cover the inserts with handmade paper or wrapping paper according to my mood of the season. I started out with the 019 inserts but now use the 003 inserts.

camel travelers notebook journaling
My daily planner is the limited edition Olive color (my favorite color of all time and I can't believe they made a notebook just for me!) I use the monthly insert (017), a kraft folder insert (020), the weekly insert (019) and sometimes a blank insert (003) for notes. It has all of my appointments, to dos, birthdays to remember, ideas and things I want to remember like gifts for people, movies or books I want to watch. Besides my iPhone, this is the item I have with me most of the time. I have a cute seahorse charm for my paper marker and I also cover my inserts with handmade paper.

olive travelers company notebook
My Brown regular size notebook was my first planner. I now use it for my self development in a kraft insert (014) I take notes of books I have read and quarterly I do a vision / mood board to check in with myself.

customized travelers notebook diary
I also use the kraft insert (014) for my travel vision board. I collect all the images and article of places I intend to visit. All the international places is in the front and all of the places in Florida is in the second half. I am inspired every time I open this book to add something. I am a big believer in creative visualization and positive affirmations. I used to collect inspirational images and saying and keep them in a folder, how silly is that? Now they are in my notebook and it is a living thing I use and look at all the time.

customize travelers notebook insert
And last but not least, I have Camel passport sized notebook that I use when I travel. It is small and yet holds alot. A zippered insert (004) makes sure loose items are safe. The kraft folder (010) keeps items organized. A lightweight bland insert (005) for taking notes and of course my actual passport! Right now I am tricking mine out for my trip to Japan. I am sure I will find some cool items to add to it. Stay tuned!

Penmanship for the 21st Century

It National Letter Writing & Poetry Month! While we celebrate penmanship all year long, its nice to really dive in and enjoy all that letters and handwriting offer us.  Handwritten letters are heartfelt, make you smarter and more mindful, we could all use more of that.

So why write? Jake, a master penman, tells us why in this great TedTalk. He shares some insights that will inspire you to pick up that pen or pencil right now!

Mindfulness To Go: 12 Easy Ways to Take A Digital Detox


Are you anxious, depressed or feel like you can't get everything done?  Is time flying by too fast or you don't know where to begin?  A digital detox might be the answer. In today's world we are so plugged in and everything moves at the speed of light, social media does not help.  We mindlessly scroll and avoid being bored, we are often victims of how many likes and comments someone makes in a virtual world. We are bombarded by too many images and stimulus that as humans we were not made to process.  

Let's be real, technology makes the world go round and it does have its time and place.  We just need to be more cognizant of how we use it. What if we took a break and slowed down? Got offline for a bit so we could get back online in a healthy way?  Try practicing mindfulness. Meditation does a mind and body good.  Here are a dozen easy ways to incorporate mindfulness, we call them "mindfulness to go" tips:

1.  no smart phones at the table - this goes for meetings in an office, at restaurants and at the dinner table at home.

2. limit email to 2xs a day only - avoid checking and scrolling multiple times an hour.  Multitasking is a lie, we are not focused and ineffective when trying to.

3.  start a journal - learn to document without a picture posted to social media

4. practice gratitude - before you go to bed, write down one thing you are grateful for.  It is a nice way to unwind, be positive and who knows you might find one or two more things to be thankful for each day. its just for you, not the whole world.

5. mindfulness through making - take a creative class, learn something new, use your hands for making, not typing.

6. have a party where people leave their smartphones in a bowl by the front door - have an "i wonder" moment instead of looking the answer up immediately

7. write a letter - connect with someone instead of by text or email.

8. limit screen time on your smartphone, TV, iPad, and computer - replace these with one hour of listening to music, reading, or walking.  Social media will still be there when you get back.

9. spend more time with your four legged friends - I bet if your furry friends are like mine, they would appreciate some more time with you.  Go outside for a walk, play more or just a scratch on the head or chin is all they want from you. Do they want to be instafamous or do you?

10.  say no and don't over commit - we are never going to be perfect, its overrated anyway.  You will have more time and when you do spend time with others it will be more meaningful.

11. travel and unplug - take a trip and set your away message on your email, only take a few pictures, resist posting to social media and better yet, don't have data or roaming! Immerse yourself even if it is a car trip or weekend get away.

12. practice silence and calm - ten minutes or half an hour to start. meditate and stare into space, you don't have to close your eyes or repeat some mantra (that can come later) just for now, be alone with your thoughts.  No music, no talking, no reading, no watching, no thinking, just staring and peacefully slowing down your breathing for a few minutes.  you will be amazed at how calm you feel.

Bonus points:  Try 7 days of being offline - experiment with a week of analogue adventures. Start with TV, ipad, give up social media for lent!  Of course you may have to check email for your job.  That's ok. Just start with one thing and see how it feels.  Let us know what happens.  Keep in touch!