Category Archives: Travel

Letts Travel Journal – Review

At Plannercon Europe this year I was given amongst many other things, a Letts Travel Journal. I’ve only recently had a chance to take it out of the packet and look at it in more detail. I’m glad I did because it will prove very useful for me when travelling around Europe.

The journal measures 130 mm by 200 mm which isn’t an ISO page size, but that matters less when it is a bound book. It’s not too big and not too small. It is fairly close to A5 in dimensions. The covers are card hard covers, so it will slip neatly in to your bag or backpack and it should be rugged enough to survive many journeys.

The journal is made up of 192 pages of 90 gsm paper and they claim it to be fountain pen friendly. The paper is very nice to the touch and it is stitch bound.

The introduction page gives you background to Letts of London which is one of the oldest companies still in the book binding business, they also claim to be the first commercial diary makers.

The personal notes page contains the usual headings for you to fill in as you wish.

There is then some contents pages, the main pages are numbered, so a contents/index pages will prove useful in coming years for finding your notes about specific trips.

This is one of the main journal pages, they are nicely lined with essential headings only. I personally prefer lined pages, my writing and hand/eye co-ordination doesn’t work well on blank pages for writing anything approaching ‘neatly’

After 148 journal pages there is a 12 month year planner spread over 4 pages. This isn’t year specific, so there are no days against the dates.

The city information is quite comprehensive covering most of the major cities in the world. You could of course add in information about the towns/cities you are going to be visiting in your travels.

A World Time Zone map is always helpful when it comes to knowing what time it is at ‘home’ before you try to telephone home only to later realise it is 03:30am!

There is some conversion/information/clothing size information on a couple of pages followed by Expenses pages. Useful for business travellers.

Dates to remember could be used for recording information you need to remember whilst you are away, or to provide an overview of your travel plans. It’s a flexible enough layout that you could use it as you wish.

We all meet people on our travels, my memory for names is terrible (old age!) so these pages will be useful for remembering who it was I chatted with in a bar/restaurant or on the train on that trip 6 months ago!

There are then some notes pages on un-numbered pages.

And finally in the back cover there is a slip pocket that you can use to save tickets or other paper ephemera from our travels.

Overall I’m very pleased with this journal and thank you to Letts of London for this sample.


Minimalist Every Day Carry

There are quite a few times I don’t want to carry my usual planner and ‘man bag’ such as one day this week when we were going out to lunch.

So I adapted what I really needed for a short trip out of the house for a few hours.

So I grabbed my Gillio Intelligent Wallet, this holds 6 cards and has an internal storage slot for paper money, my iPhone 6 and my Filofax Flex Leather Slim Notebook cover.


The Filofax Flex has a gusseted pocket on the front inside cover which will take my iPhone 6 easily still with its case on too. Tucked in there it wouldn’t be a distraction during our meal! The pen is my usual Uniball Vision Elite rollerball

The Flex Slim takes notebooks that are 15cm by 8.5cm not a common size. You can of course buy replacements from Filofax but I made this one myself with a simple template and followed the instructions by Ray Blake in his video. I kept the number of pages down to just 12 pages and added a card-stock cover, it keeps it fairly slim and compact. I used Clairefontaine 80gsm paper for the notebook.


The three together fit easily together and fit comfortably in my jacket pocket.


I will be using this combination quite a lot more for short trips out, if I think of something I need to remember I will have a notebook ready to hand every time.


Travel Wallet or potential notebook cover?

We were given this Smith and Canova travel wallet as a leaving present when we left UK back in 2010. It has sat in a cupboard still in the wrapping for a few years. That is until I spotted a video by KateB TPS, the layout was very similar to ours, on looking at the makers name it was the same make as well.

Unlike the one that Kate bought this one has a clasp and two poppers on the front to allow for expansion. In Kate’s video she showed how to use the wallet with notebooks in it. With a little bit of inventiveness I managed to create a simple notebook for the wallet which is 205 mm tall by 11cm wide a size that isn’t that dis-similar to what people are already using in their Traveller’s Notebooks already. I made it slightly shorter so that it would slip in to one of the pockets, but the wallet will take a full height 210mm notebook.

I grabbed a file from Ray Blake’s site and just adjusted the margins a little, and there I had a simple notebook. I had some 160 gsm paper as well to create a cover and with the aid of a long arm stapler I was able to create a simple notebook.

Looking at this wallet though it could easily take two or three notebooks. With the clasp moved to the expanded popper I can get my fingers between the closed covers easily. And the notebooks could be easily held in place with elastic bands going over the outside of the cover.

For me though just the one notebook is fine tucked in to one of the big full height pockets. The wallet has plenty of card slots and outside cover slots for train tickets and airline check in boarding cards as well. There are pockets for your passports and small zip pockets for coins too. And all in a nice leather cover.

The travel wallet is still available at John Lewis in UK not this colour but the brown one as shown in Kate’s video.

The Front with a full height slip pocket on the left

Two poppers to allow for expansion and the left hand
one is still covered when the right hand one is used

Lots of pockets and card slots and a pen loop too

The diagonal topped pocket is ideal for boarding cards and train tickets

The notebook I made.