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You may or you may not remember but in my first ever paper haul I complained about a flimsy journal that I regretted paying full price for, $8.00 😂…. Well that gem is currently my favorite and I am so happy I did not return it! Little did I know I was diving into a pool of amazing! You may have heard of it or you may be late to the game like me but it is called a Midori travel notebook, Japan’s famous stationer. If you haven’t heard of it and you like journaling, planning or sketching, you have got to get your hands on one! You will instantly become obsessed! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
What is it???
The brand name, Midori, cost more than the measly eight dollars I spent because they are genuine leather. The version I have is considered a fauxdori and it works just fine, although I am dying for a real leather one. Mine is made from vinyl, I believe, but people are making them from fabric as well. What’s all the fuss about? Well, I’m about to tell ya!
Midori or fauxdori travel notebooks are a system that allows you to personalize the inside contents by adding what are called inserts. Inserts are thin notebooks with different types of paper or you insert folders with pockets or dashboards (decorative dividers). Depending on how many strings your Dori has determines how many inserts it will hold. Are you still with me?
Strings? What are the strings? Strings are located in the fold (spine) of the Dori allowing you to add the inserts in order for it to suit your needs. Ok…. How are the inserts added to the string? I’m glad you asked. You will find the middle of your insert/notebook and loop the whole thing through the string so that the string is holding your insert in by the middle of your notebook. A different way of explaining it would be that the middle of your insert is straddling the attached string. Attached string? Yes. The string is attached through holes, at the top and bottom of the fold, that are punched in order to loop the elastic string through.
Now that you have a visual, did you notice the closure? It is an elastic string as well that loops around from the back, middle of the cover around the notebook, holding it closed. My fauxdori’s closure is inserted in the middle of the fold, its spine, looping around holding it together. This is on the same seam as the other string(s). I’ve noticed that a lot of people who make their own Dori prefer to make it with the closure threaded through its fold instead of the way the original Midori does it. Whatever your preference.
Back to the cover. The cover, of the original, is made from genuine leather and measures 8.25 x 4.33 inches (pictured). A slender, portable size. The leather is measured and folded length lengthways and then the elastic string(s) is added. From the original version, others have created multiple sizes including passport, personal, A5, B6 slim, B6 wide….. to suit their individual needs. If I’m not mistaken the “real” Slim Shady… I mean Midori cover does not come with pockets prompting them to be added via insert. The other spin-offs will generally add pockets to the inside front and back of the cover.
Why would you want or need so many inserts?
They are each to be used for different purposes such as a calendar, sketchbook, journal but you can use them however you chose. That’s what is so brilliant about this system. It is easily customizable allowing you to determine how you use each insert. It is recommended to record your travels hence the travel notebook description but can be used in a plethora of ways. An insert for budgeting, one for your artwork, one as a to-do list, one for your blogging ideas, the possibilities are endless.
As with most trends, new versions are created and add to the flair creating a craze. Embellishments can be added to the pages like scrapbooking paper, charms hang from pages and bookmarks and the edges of paper have frill added to them dazzling up each travel notebook uniquely. Studios send out monthly kits intended to be used in decorating, adding to memory keeping pages. Stamps, junk and watercolor art make each insert a personal memory tracker. Etsy shops and bloggers sell homemade inserts or offer free printable downloads to fans of this new concept in journaling. A truly customizable experience for the owner.
My personal fauxdori is made with a single string but through methods discovered, I have been able to add multiple inserts using only an elastic hair tie. I bought a package of three inserts and use two of them. One with blank pages that I decorate and use as a weekly calendar spread and the other has dotted pages used for blog related material. The third insert I made myself with eclectic paper similar to what is used in junk journaling. Papers that I have coffee dyed, vintage book pages, scrapbook paper and much more complete my journaling insert.
These vintage paper inserts will soon be available for sale from yours truly🙂
Once I fill the inserts I purchased I will only use those that I make. The plan is to theme sets of three yet use them individually for specific purposes.
If you are anything like me and prefer to customize every notebook you’ve ever owned then this system will become a healthy obsession. Having a designated place for your thoughts, your priorities, and your ideas all in one easy to carry notebook allows you to write your experiences at the moment. Doing so can help with coping skills as well as helping you explain, in detail, your raw emotions to your doctor. Journaling and planning have more benefits than most realize. I strongly encourage finding a system that works for you. Having done so myself has improved my scheduling, my mental health and enhanced my creativity.
Will you give the travel notebook a try? If so, click on any link and it will take you to it! I added links for each item I use. Let me know your experience with the travel notebook!