Category Archives: Journey

The journey to TN – Natalie

My journey to Traveller’s Notebook began when I was a teenager back in nineteen seventy thrump when I was given a five year diary with a lock and key for Christmas.

I progressed through ordinary page-a-day diaries (and my daily journal keeping never lasted longer than a month) until I started nurse training in 1980 and needed somewhere to record my shifts. In those days we worked either an Early (07:30 – 16:00) or a Late (13:00 – 21:30), and recorded it in code; ELEOOLE EOOLLEE LELEEOO. Woe betide you if you turned up on a Late when you were meant to be on an Early. This was in the days before mobile phones and it was quite likely that you wouldn’t discover your mistake until you walked onto the ward to a very frosty reception from Sister.

So I bought a Filofax.

At about the same time I acquired something VERY unusual while on holiday in France. A little brown cloth covered notebook, about 10cm wide by 14 cm high, which had (be still my beating heart) SQUARED PAPER, and the sort of brown elastic strap which we now associate with Moleskine and Leuchturrm1917.

I put everything in this wee book – ideas, travel plans, books to read, drip calculations for intravenous fluids in drops per minute, a recipe for banana loaf and a master grocery list. I carried it everywhere for about seven years.

After it fell to bits (a sad day, I’m sure you understand) I didn’t replace it, and instead I turned to my Filofax. The was in the heyday when it was still possible to buy recipe pages and shopping list pages, but it just wasn’t the same. The Filofax was stiff and didn’t slip into my coat pocket, and I missed that lovely squared paper. I persisted but was never really happy with it as a planner system, and only my stubborn streak kept me using it.

In the early 2000’s I was doing a job where my work planning required me to use a standard A5 page-a-day diary, to record client names and visits but no other information (in case it was lost) and this diary had to be kept for 21 years as a legal record. My old black Filofax was relegated solely to home planning and I rattled around in it because I simply do not have the stuff-as-much-paper-in-as-possible gene. I discovered Google Calendar in 2009 and finally abandoned the now battered but still very, very, very stiff black Filofax.

I came back to Filofax a couple of years ago, into an A5 Holborn Zip, buttery soft and delicious, but I still wasn’t happy.
Clearly, my middle name is Goldilocks.
An A5 was too big.
A Pocket was too small.
A Personal size was not right either.

And then last Summer I discovered the regular size Traveller’s Notebooks.

I needed pockets, so I made pockets!

A friend asked me if I would make one for her.

And she asked for pockets too!

In June 2014, we went to Japan. I promise it wasn’t ONLY so that I could visit the TN factory!
Maybe I’ll post about that another time.

And this is my Traveler’s Notebook today with sixteen months of daily use. It has been out in the rain, dropped in a puddle, been to movies, libraries, supermarkets, on planes, trains and even out on my bike.
I use it to brainstorm ideas for work, to plan meals, record where I am in the current knitting project and at the moment it’s being used to plot and research a novel.

It’s tall enough to use up and down, and wide enough to use sideways.
There is a pen clip and a pencil.
What more does one need?

I’m home.