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5 Top Ways to Use a Traveler’s Notebook

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

I discovered the traveler’s notebook at a trade show. Always on the lookout for the perfect planner, I couldn’t pass up the booth of the professional organizer. And, of course, the natural leather jumped off the table at me. After years as my constant companion, I’ve discovered five ways to use my traveler’s notebook. Let me share them with you here.



Five Top Ways to Use a Traveler’s Notebook


The Traveler’s Notebook for Travelers

The traveler’s notebook earned its name from folks that wanted to record their travels. The typical TN will hold four inserts, which could be used for four different destinations. Or, you could have one insert for your current journey, and use the rest of the space for other useful inserts.


If you want to use your TN for traveling, consider an insert with lined pages to record your experiences. If you plan to collect ephemera (paper mementos from places you visit) or save photographs in your notebook, make sure your insert has acid-free paper. Paper that doesn’t bleed the ink from your favorite pen is a must, as well. After all, who wants to waste creative energy trying to conceal ink splotches on the back of the page.


A nice addition to your traveling insert is information for reference, like a time-zone map or measurement conversions. Of course, the perfect place for that information would be the inside cover.


The Traveler’s Notebook for Artists

An artist never knows when inspiration will strike. Driving through the countryside, you may feel compelled to capture the pastoral scene before you. Or in the city, the homeless person huddled in a doorway may evoke a sense of feeling you don’t want to lose. No matter where you go, your traveler’s notebook makes the perfect artist’s on-the-go notebook.


Having the perfect insert for capturing those moments is important. After all, who wants to sketch all that emotion on the back of a receipt retrieved from your wallet?


When choosing an artist quality insert for your TN, first consider the paper. You want something that receives all mediums you may use—pen and ink, pastels, or watercolors. And as we mentioned above, you want something acid-free that will not degrade over time.


Also, consider the size. “On-the-go” means it’s easy to carry, will fit in your bag or knapsack, and is lightweight.


The Traveler’s Notebook for Engineers

Makers sketch things all the time. Don’t lose all the little slips of paper that show 15 different ways to attach the main pulley to the machine. Capture them all in a traveler’s notebook insert.


Since a traveler’s notebook holds several inserts, you can have one for each project you’re working on. Choose an insert with gridded paper to help you draw things to scale. Also, look for premium paper that will not bleed when you use your favorite pen or marker.


At Alexander Brothers, we include facts for easy reference on the inside covers of our Invent insert. Can’t remember how to calculate the volume of a sphere or the average velocity of a given speed? We’ve got you covered.


The Traveler’s Notebook as a Planner

If you feel the need to plan everything, use a calendar insert in your traveler’s notebook. Put it in the front of the TN so it’s easy to get to. A quick online search finds monthly and weekly spreads. A week on the left with a blank page on the right. Dated or open so you can start at any time. There are many options to choose from.


The Traveler’s Notebook as a Catch-All

Finally, stop scribbling notes and lists on the back of receipts or napkins. Keep a blank insert in your TN to catch all those things. Grocery lists, kids’ clothing sizes, podcast notes, or anything you want to jot down quickly can go in your blank insert.


For this use, look for an economical option. After all, no need to save your grocery lists for posterity, right? So, utility grade paper is okay here. Staples can replace the cotton stitched binding. And, forgoing that hand-painted cover for plain kraft paper makes this insert more affordable.


Now you can see how a traveler’s notebook is the ideal place for everything in your life. From keeping track of your time to keeping track of your thoughts, a TN beats a phone app any day.