Travelers Notebook to Moleskine – A Change In Notebooks

Why can’t we notebook lovers just stick to something simple, stick to one brand, stick to one system? 

Because it’s too much fun to try new things, that’s why.

And I, apparently, am easily swayed.

A few months ago, I wrote about my Traveler’s Notebook.  Simply put, I was using it as a spirituality notebook.  I had three books in the leather cover—one for a church committee, one for a second church committee, and one for motivational quotes and gratitude lists.  It was great having all of these things in one book.

However, I noticed that it was difficult using this notebook as whole, especially when it came to writing in it while it sat on my lap.  I found that the books would shift, moving off of the notebook behind it.  In addition, using the front and/or back notebooks meant that one side was much higher than the other.  Basically, I spent more time fiddling with it than I did actually writing in it. 

As much as I loved it, it was distracting.

The reason for this could be that there’s only one band in the cover itself, so I had to attach the first and third notebook with separate bands.  And since the bands are thick, that added to the problem.  I tried different ways of attaching the notebooks to each other, all with the same result, some worse than the first.  I tried removing a notebook, then two.  But the cover is just too big to look right with only one notebook.

So while I was trying to decide what to do, somehow, for some reason, I thought to try a Moleskine.  I have known about these notebooks for some time, and while I’ve always been attracted to them, I never tried them. 

For my birthday, as friend gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble, a store I knew had Moleskines, so I decided to give one a whirl.

Let me just say that I went from buying one to try to owning six of them, all within a matter of a few weeks.  I love them.  I feel so studious, smart, and in-the-know with them, a member of an elite club.  (This, of course, is all in my mind.  But I digress.)

So, how am I using them?

I have a hardcover ruled white notebook that lives at work, which will go to and keep notes for committee meetings.

I also have a hardcover ruled green notebook that now serves as my health notebook.

I have a hardcover quadrille black notebook that I use for all church items—meeting notes, general notes, and projects.

I also have a softcover version of the black that I use for my inspirational quotes and gratitude lists.

A teal softcover ruled notebook is currently serving as a backup notebook for when I run out of room in any of the others.  However, I’m considering putting that to use as well, but I’m still mulling over my idea for how.

All of the above mentioned notebooks are the large size, perfect for taking ample notes and an array of lists.

Finally, I have a small (pocket) version of the hardcover white notebook for a project I’m working on, one that I’m not yet ready to share.  (But look for details here for when I am.)

I have to say that these notebooks are working out quite well!  However, when one has so many notebooks in use, one needs a good storage solution.

Enter the Thirty-One Double Duty Caddy.  With a pocket on either side of the handle and 4 small mesh pockets on the sides, this is the perfect place for all of my notebooks.

When I need more than one of these notebooks, I just grab the entire thing and go.  Or, I can swap out what I don’t need for what I do and grab-and-go from there.

I do sort of miss having some of these subjects in one book—anything spiritual-related (church, gratitude lists, motivational quotes) could really live together in one place.  And I do still think about moving back in that direction.  I’d be lying if I said that I was not (very) intrigued by the new Van der Spek Nomad notebook covers.  I am especially curious to know if the fact that it has more than one band would make the three notebooks function better as far as writing surface goes.  But unfortunately, at least for right now, my budget does not allow for this purchase.  Perhaps one day.  Then, I could rethink where my spirituality lists live.

In the meantime, the Moleskine notebooks work wonderfully. 

I will detail the use of each one in separate posts in the near future.

*Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with or getting kickbacks from any of the companies mentioned.  I am merely a happy customer.  All opinions are my own.


  1. Hi! Thanks for covering this topic. I liked what you said about Midoris/Traveler's Notebooks -- I thought I was the only one who thought the design could be problematic. I considered getting one in the past, not going to lie, but ended up dismissing the idea. I think it's one of those things that look pretty from afar, and it's cool, but not for everyone. At least, that's what I think.

    On the moleskines, I like that you used them mainly for lists and projects. When I left that comment on Instagram with the request, I had 3 Moleskine-like notebooks still blank. Recently I started one (a beautiful navy-blue one) which holds now my career ideas (I'm about to graduate from college and I still haven't decided lots of things), like lists of things to do, master's to check out, degrees I want to get, etc. The other two remain unused for now, and I bought another one! LOL What can I say? I'm a paper junkie. I'm not the only one, right? In fact, I went to buy a real Moleskine, an A5-ish one, to replace a journal which is running out of pages, but left the store empty-handed because I couldn't choose between Moleskines and PaperBlanks (have you heard of the latter? They seem a little overpriced, but the quality and design is awesome -- it stands ink pens with no bleed-through... who else can say that?).

    I love how you arranged that caddy, and love that VdS notebook cover. I just love simple yet luxurious items like that.

    Keep sharing your adventures in planning!


    1. Thank you for your comment, Becky! I have to say that I am the only (that I know of) who has had this problem, so it could just be me. I know plenty of people use the travelers notebooks with no issues.

      In regards to the Moleskines, I have to keep things compartmentalized for my own good. If I have overlap in subjects in different notebooks, then it all becomes befuddled in my mind. I won't lie -- I have thought long and hard how I can use each and every one of them. I tend to buy notebooks before I have a use for them, as opposed to the other way around, which would make more sense. But, you know, when do notebook lovers buy things just because they actually NEED it? ;)

  2. What always intrigues me is how you are able to juggle so many different planning books. It seems so elegant and is doubly impressive to me as I seem to only be capable of maintaining one book, with all annex books quickly turning into inaccessible, inscrutable, and generally-disorganized disasters in short order! Glad to hear you're enjoying the moleskine notebooks. I have a few cahiers but have not begun using them yet. Interested to hear what you plan to use the little white one for.

    I have watched the Midori/elastic-bound notebook obsession in the community with some curiosity. I don't quite see the appeal but they are SO popular it makes me wonder if I could/should try one out. The ones I have handled, though, seem prone to closing themselves (the notebooks, that is) which would probably drive me crazy.

    1. Ah, but here's the secret: I don't use anything but my planner for planning. Everything else is just projects or lists or reference. It's true that I have many books -- too many, I will admit. And sometimes I think it's way more than I need, that I make it all too complicated. But in the end, I like working on these projects. I like the physical act of writing.

      Hmm, the little white one. I hope it's a project I can start soon, but we will see...

      I have to say that I love the way other people's Midoris look, with the leather, the inserts, the add-ons. But it seems to me that people have to add an awful lot to get what I get out of my little compact. Of course, what makes all of these books and planners and accessories, as well as the community, great is that we all do it differently.


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