Are you ready to purchase your journal?

So if you’ve been reading through the previous posts, you’ve probably made some discoveries about your planner needs. Does that mean you are ready to purchase your next journal or planner? Let’s recap what you’ve thought through so far:
1) you know what topics you want to capture
if you missed the “get started” post:
2) you know your preference on the scale of practical vs pretty
Now you need to decide if you want a portable planner or a large size to keep at home.

Does the size make a difference?

This last decision will help you narrow down the options for what type of planner/journal you purchase. If you want a portable one, decide what size will work best for your pocketbook or briefcase. On the other hand, if you want to keep your planner at your desk, then you can choose a larger size which probably expands your purchase options . Since the topic of this blog is traveler notebooks, then you know already that I use the portable option.

Moleskine Cahier Journa is my journal of choice

Traveler notebooks started with the standard size of 4-1/4” wide by 8-1/4” tall. My first traveler notebook was this size and it was fine. But I found it didn’t fit easily into my pocketbooks. It was just a bit too tall. The other thing that didn’t thrill me was the width. It was just a little too narrow for my liking. Previously in my planner purchases, I had used a 5”x7” hardbound and I loved the size of that for portability. But it was hardcover which made it heavier than I prefer. Enter the traveler notebook discovery and voila – now I can have inserts to fit my 5″x7″ artisan cover. This size fits my pocketbook great and yet the pages are wide enough that I can easily write my lists and weekly spreads.

The cover is typically called a traveler notebook, which contains several elastic straps on the inside. The inserts or journals that slide onto the elastic straps are available in lots of different options. My preference for the inserts is the Moleskine Cahier Journal which is 5″ wide x 8-1/4″ tall that I cut down to my 5×7 preferred size. I use the squared or grid insert, but there are a variety of options from various companies. Obviously, if you prefer, you can use a spiral notebook or glued notebook as your bullet journal planner. These however, may not fit inside a traveler notebook cover.

Options are always good

As a scrapbooker, there are some companies that have recently joined the world of traveler notebooks and inserts, so I’ll list a few.
Prima Marketing
Dylusions by Ranger
Elizabeth Craft Designs

With the exception of Elizabeth Crafts, most of these are the standard 4-1/4” x 8-1/4” size. They have a wide variety of notebook covers and most have numerous insert options for pages such as blank, grid, lined, white, kraft and even black. By the way, black is great if you are artsy and like to create with beautiful color on your pages.

Elizabeth Craft Designs recently came out with their planner line that has a couple cover options which are ring binders. If you are a crafter at heart, their planner line includes a great assortment of stamps and dies to create your own pages exactly how you want them. This line is perfect if you have the mindset of keeping your memorabilia along with your planning because of all the stamping and die-cutting options.

I make my artisan covers that hold my three inserts. I taught classes at my store on these so the ladies could decorate them as they liked. Stay tuned for future information on those. If you prefer the look and feel of leather, some cover options include Foxy Fix, Chic Sparrow, and Planner Perfect to name a few. There are also covers made out of fabric that can be found on social media.

Decision time

So now that you have more information on options, you should be ready to make some last decisions:
1) insert & cover size
2) brand/style, i.e. Moleskine stitched insert
3) grid, ruled, plain, or a combination
4) make that decision so you can purchase and get started!
Once you have a week or two written in your insert, you’ll get a feel for what works for you and what doesn’t. Then you can tweak it for the next week or month until you find the spacing and layout that work best for you.

Yes, you can change your mind

So have no fear, if your first week’s layout doesn’t wow you or give you the right amount of space, it’s not a problem. If there’s a certain day of the week that has more going on, you can adjust your layout to best suit your needs. For any of you who are familiar with Dyan Reaveley, a designer for Ranger Ink, you may have heard her say in her lovely English accent: “It’s only paper – they’ll make more!”

You are on your way to keeping track of your life better than ever before!

So are you ready to purchase your journal? If you decide to create your own bullet journal rather than purchase a planner, follow along for the how-to. Read this blog post where I explain the three inserts in my artisan cover: one insert each for weekly, monthly, and notes/lists.

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