Welcome back for the second installment of my Making the Move From Bujo to TN series, where I will be going over everything traveler’s notebook. I am going to hop right in by posting the questions that I had and the answers that I found.
Check out the companion video to this post on the Neta Marie Designs YouTube channel!
I just want to note that I am not the authority on traveler’s notebooks. I have just been researching them like crazy, and thought that I would share the knowledge. Going forward, I also wanted to note that I may see abbreviations like TN for traveler’s notebook and bujo for bullet journal because it is just quicker to type.
Let’s dive in!
What is a traveler’s notebook?
Traveler’s notebooks are comprised of:
- external cover that can be leather (like a traditional Midori), fabric (like fauxdoris), or a faux leather (like the Webster’s Pages TN that I have), or other materials
- external elastic closure
- internal elastic bands
What’s the big deal?
I started bullet journaling in a traditional notebook. I like to track many different aspects of my life including my blog, my work, general planning, fitness, meal planning, holidays, birthdays, health, and more! As my planning has expanded, I have found that I needed more space and separation. While I have been in my Scribbles that Matter notebook (since April), I gave a multiple, notebook system a shot and it worked better, but lead me to believe that I needed to revisit the thought of doing my planning and tracking in a TN. The main reason for this is because the notebooks are interchangeable, and can be swapped out without me having to redo all my standard spreads like calendars and yearly trackers.
Who makes traveler’s notebooks and where can I get one?
You can make your own TN by using one of the many YouTube videos out there (link to playlist) or you can purchase one from a wide variety or manufacturers. My TN is from Webster’s Pages that was purchased at JoAnn’s. I liked this particular one because it was large enough to use Moleskine Cahier notebooks, and it has a fairly firm cover along with a bunch of pockets and extras.
The manufacturers/makers I can think of off the top of my head are (click names to go to either the manufacturer website or a link where you could purchase the TN):
There are so many more, you just have to look. Purchasing a TN couldn’t be easier. They are widely available at craft stores like Joann’s and Michaels, but can also be found on online retailer sites like Amazon and Etsy.
What sizes are there?
Every size – haha just kidding. I, personally, own Webster’s pages notebooks that is considered a larger TN. There are so many sizes available that it is insane. The only hard part is when you are going from brand to brand, they may name their sizes differently. I have researched and compiled the table below of some sizes along with their associated names and associated manufacturer names.
While we are talking about size, it is a good time to talk about the spine or thickness of your TN. Here are a couple questions to ask yourself:
- Do you like a chunky TN?
- How many notebooks are you planning on having?
TNs generally come with four elastics and can accommodate about an inch worth of notebooks. If you need more than that, I suggest going for a wide option.
Note: Although there are four elastics, if you are using thin notebooks, there is a hack to add more notebooks to a four elastic system. Click here to read about it.
What else do I need?
Inserts or refills… a.k.a notebooks, calendars, planners, trackers etc. Choosing the correct insert for your TN is vital. There are many choices to consider including:
- Paper quality
- Ruled, plain, grid, or dotted
- Glue bound, stapled, or sewing bound
- Pre-Printed or template insert PDFs (like those available from planner 1407 and on Etsy)
- What are you planning on using the insert for?
When you are picking inserts for your TN, I suggest selecting an insert that is at least 1/4 inch smaller than your TN on top and bottom, and at least 1/2 inch smaller on both of the sides (left and right). If you can size your inserts to your TN in person, it would be best. For my TN (a Webster’s Pages notebooks), I found that the Moleskine Cahier notebooks in large size fit perfectly!
What is this ‘dashboard’ of which you speak?
Dashboards are a part of the traveler’s notebook system that are functional, but can be completely customized to fit your needs. They slip in your TN either on their own or around the outside of a notebook and can store planning items and be decorated in any way you like.
How? I am glad you asked. These are my dashboards that I created:
Dashboards can be made out of scrapbook paper, cardstock, velum and more. They can even be shaker-style and be filled with glitter and sequins. My dashboards are laminated to extend their life and protect them from wear and tear, but they don’t have to be. There are tons of spots/shops that you can purchase dashboards from as well.
What other goodies are there?
I am so glad you asked. These along with personalized dashboards are my favorite parts of creating a TN.
Here is a list of fun things to think about when you venture out on your TN supply gathering journey:
- fun paperclips
- binder clips
- washi tape
- washi cards
- decorative cards (like the Happy Planner cards)
- sticky notes
- adhesive pockets
- zipper pockets
- card holders
- elastic charms
- extra elastic
- pen loop/ holder
So, that is all I have for this Traveler’s Notebook 101. I hope you found it useful.
Have a beautiful day!
Supply Links :
P.S. – I started using Bitly to shorten some of the links down because they were sooo long, but if you would prefer the original links, just let me know.
Yes, some the product links are Amazon Affiliate links. All that means is that if you make a purchase, Amazon gives me a percentage of the earnings (at no extra cost to you), for referring you to their product/site. If you do chose to order from Amazon, make sure you give Amazon Prime a try, click here to take advantage of a 30-day free trial, so you can get free 2-day shipping too!