Have I Shown You My Midori Traveler’s Notebook? Have I Told You How Much I Love It?

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I have long been a record keeper, from trips to France as a child, to the horrible years before my first husband died, and beyond. I have a large selection of Italian leather bound journals, Moleskines, and various notebooks from places such as the Art Institute of Chicago. But none of them seem quite right because once filled their purpose seems largely done.

However, the Midori Traveler’s Notebook from Japan is more ideal than any I have ever used before. If only you could feel the patina of the cowhide leather, turning to velvet beneath the repeated touch of my hands. I have my name stamped in gold on the bottom cover, and a charm hanging off the bookmark such as Japanese girls like to hang on their phones.

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Inside are various inserts, such as the 2017 Weekly Diary which I use as a calendar and memory keeper,

as well as lined inserts which I use as a type of commonplace book: one for scripture verses I love, and one for a book journal.

But, the possibilities are endless! Once an insert is finished, it can easily be removed and replaced with another. There are all kinds of inserts to choose from: lightweight paper, grid, lined, sketch, or kraft. They are only about $6.00 each, and they all hold up to fountain pen ink without bleeding through.

My favorite shop is Baum-kuchen in Los Angeles, where Wakako weaves magic in the merchandise she sells. Today, this package arrived containing the items I had ordered all wrapped so beautifully.

There is a new lightweight paper insert (#013), a roll of 4 Season washi tape, a box of brass paper clips, and an Essential wallet to carry valuables such as credit cards and money.

 

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For I, too, believe that, “logic will take you from A to B. imagination will take you everywhere.”

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33 thoughts on “Have I Shown You My Midori Traveler’s Notebook? Have I Told You How Much I Love It?”

  1. Wow! I love your Midori. I think its so great you found something to suit all of your needs. I usually buy journals whenever I find one I like. I ended up buying a Midori recently, because I wanted something special to journal in. I just haven’t used it yet, because I’m hesitant to write in it. I’m not sure now if I want it just for personal entries or if I want it for other things. I love that bookmark you have – such a great idea 😉 Looking at your photos makes me want to use mine ASAP. I think I’m just going to start writing in it and see how it goes and I’ll just use it as my mood dictates. Thanks for sharing about your Midori 🙂

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    1. I smiled when I read that you have one, too, Nadia! Of course you do! The good thing about the Midori, one of the many actually, is that if you shift your purpose you can simply take out an insert and add a new one. Then you’re only out the cost of a refill, not a whole leather journal (handmade in Italy like a few of mine)! Let me know what you decide to write if you feel like it. Or, do a deadly search on Instagram which is a rabbit hole which has swallowed me whole many a night.

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  2. Meredith
    I am a huge fan of Midori was well. My wife got me one last year for Christmas . I only wish that I had purchased the blue one that came out 2 years ago. It was limited edition PanAm special. I have noticed they limited edition this year is olive. It’s not PanAm blue but still looks sharp.
    Joe

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    1. I love that your wife knew to buy you one! I haven’t seen the Pan Am edition, only the stickers which are constantly sold out. I do remember flying on Pan Am, though, as a child. My father even had a blue Pan Am carry-on as I recall. I can’t decide if the olive looks too military for me…

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  3. Oh, this is great! I love notebooks, so now I am going to want one of these. lol Something tells me they are not as cheap in Canada as the US, though. The exchange is crazy right now. I will maybe peek later. 🙂

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    1. The exchange rate can be so annoying! My rent in Germany almost doubled one year when the mark rose and the dollar fell. Anyway, perhaps you could check out Amazon Canada? There is such a thing, right? I know Amazon sells all things Midori.

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  4. I have lately become a little bit obsessed with journaling in all its forms. I do not have a Midori, but they look great. I got o Moleskin travel journal from my husband for my birthday, and I now use it for up-coming trips. Imwish Inhade, like you, made notes all these years.

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    1. Oh Lisbeth, don’t be disheartened about what you haven’t done. I get those wistful feelings too, wishing I had kept a notebook between my son and I when he was small as I saw on the Baum-kuchen site. But we have to be glad about what we did do and what we can do in the future, right? I like the concept of a travel journal, while keeping in mind that even if I don’t leave the United States where I live, every day is its own journey. It’s own adventure.

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  5. i’ve bought quite a few beautiful notebooks on my travels -and then not wanted to spoil them by writing in them….. I did start a journal at the beginning of the year but best intentions have not worked out and I hardly write it in. I’m actually not sure what to put in a book journal – any tips?

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    1. I don’t think a journal is supposed to be an obligation which weighs you down. If you aren’t getting meaning from it, perhaps you could change up what you’re writing. For example, you may wish to keep a simple gratitude journal, writing something short every day (or when you feel like it) for what is a spark of joy. That is such a blessing to review from time to time! As for a book journal, my best intentions have become rather muddled. It’s a catch-allnfor books I’ve received from publishers to review, quotes, and notes from a class I’m taking Saturday morning on C. S. Lewis. But, I learn by doing, and with the next insert I plan to write the title of each book read, with the date I finished it and a short reaction to it. I’m open for ideas, though, if you have any you want to throw this way.

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      1. I like the idea of keeping it simple – that way I am more likely to keep it up – so your thinking about just title, start/finish date and quick reaction sounds great. I saw some blog article yesterday on a new development which is a bullet journal – sounds very complicated to me

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        1. Ah, a true bullet journal sounds complicated, but I have tried it and I love that, too. The only thing is I prefer my Midori for having the calendar already prepared. I do not have the desire to create one for every week as bullet journalers do, along with gorgeous (and often complicated) lettering and/or art.

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  6. Lovely!! Simply lovely! I am a note taker too…from travels to heartbreaks, all put down and documented! They are a great outlet!! Enjoy your Midori Journal!

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    1. You know what I mean then, about the joy of recording one’s life. Or, at least the meaning it holds at least for the writer. However, I can’t imagine what will become of all these books of mine when I will leave this world! I mean, who will really care about their contents but me?

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      1. I know…I have a vague feeling I will have them burned…maybe not the travelogues, but other journals. Maybe someone in 23rd century will discover these notebooks and enjoy a good historical read! 😀

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  7. Oh, how beautiful. Not only your journal, but the package in which your new goodies arrived. I’m not a journal except when I’m traveling, but it might be fun to get a Midori to start writing about my new adventure in Oregon later this year! Off to peruse the shop.

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    1. Lesley, you are the one who keeps a reading log (journal) which has had me gasping with envy. The good kind. 🙂 I really wish I had kept an in depth record of what I’ve read such as you have. As it is, I simply have a list of titles for the years from 2006 forward.

      I think you would love one of these for your upcoming Oregon adventures! You could record your feelings, thoughts and details, of course, but you could also add your lovely photographs and a caption. The great thing about the Midori is how you can customize it to suit your needs.

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  8. I admire your deligence in journal writing.
    I write on spiral notebooks mixing reflections,travel, poetry, and snippets of phrases.
    You have given me ideas.

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    1. I can’t abide spiral notebooks for the simple fact that pages tear out of them so easily, and they look ghastly on a bookshelf. But, that is my own opinion and journal writing is so individual. I think what is most important is the records they keep for us, and the way they help sort ideas.

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  9. Your Midori is WONDERFUL, Bellezza. And what exquisite wrapping! I know you will enjoy your notebook ( if anyone can stay dedicated and organized, it’s you). Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos.

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  10. I love looking at journals – your Midori looks very loved! I have a fauxdori mainly because I wasn’t sure how much I would love it and I do. Now I really like that wallet you ordered. Looks wonderful. Keep on journaling!

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  11. What a beautiful Journal to have, and Japanese note books are just divine. I have a significant birthday later this year, so I think this will be on my list. It would be the right time to start something like you’re promoting….note taking.. These days I use my blog and my Instagram as a daily note keeper, which isn’t the same is it? I saw something recently about children loosing their writing skills and wondered if I was also loosing my comfort with writing. I have a crate full of note books from my younger years, early marriage and uni years… but the time, the focus, and the value for keeping those daily thoughts & notes is such a lost art…. thanks for posting this… i think I’ll write some lettters soon too .

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    1. I feel concern about children losing their writing skills, too. I am the only teacher at our school who teaches, and requires, cursive writing which is becoming a lost art. They never have to use it after they leave my room, but at least the students will know how to write properly.

      And, because I learned old fashioned ways, keeping an analog journal works so well for me. I love being able to flip through my notebooks at random, rereading and remembering the events of my life. The only problem becomes storage. Where does one put so much of one’s recorded life?!

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  12. It was from you I learned about bullet journaling, and I am still keeping mine, but it is a sorry version if compared to those beautiful ones people can actually post photographs of. I started out using my lovely colored pencils to give it a little color but nowadays it is very simple and basic, and half the time I can hardly read my own writing, I am in such a hurry. Nevertheless it is working well for me in that it consolidates everything – so I thank you again!

    But… I don’t sound like a very good candidate for that gorgeous Midori, do I? 😉 I hadn’t heard of those before, either! Still, I know I will have to at least window shop, because being elegantly organized is a compelling vision.

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    1. I am very taken with bullet journaling, as you know, and torn between the two. The nice part about this system is the removable inserts, but because they are only roughly 70 pages, one does go through them fairly quickly. Then what? I do keep them all in a box, with the front covers labelled, but there is such a plethora of categories: book journals, scripture journals, calendars, and diaries. Yikes! I need to mainstream. The problem with bullet journaling came in having to draw out the week (or the month) every time it came around, and that wasn’t helpful with advance planning. Well, I love my Midori. I love the leather, and the ease of inserts, and the way each insert can be specific to each topic. Perhaps there is no perfect way, which I should have known, but somehow keep searching for. You’d think by now I’d recognize that perfection is elusive in this world. xo

      Do take a visit to the shop, though. It is quite special, even though I’ve only visited it virtually.

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  13. I am a hard-core online note-keeper (Evernote) simply because I always have my phone with me, and also because I have horrible hand-writing.

    But this Midori one looks beautiful. Question on how you manage your inserts. Do you archive all your filled inserts that you remove from the notebook?

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    1. Midori sells a binder which fits five inserts. They also have brass tabs with which one can label each insert. I have bought neither of those things. For now, I have labelled the front, and put them in all in a drawer. But, I can forsee tying the categories together with a ribbon, and keeping them in a basket perhaps. You know, all the book journals together, all the calendars together, all the scripture keepers together. It’s still a work in process for me,as you can see.

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