Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Midori Traveler's Notebook - My 2015 Setup and How I Decorated It

Hi! I'm J and I'm a planner addict. Well no, not really. I'm just really obsessed with my planners, especially my life planner, the Midori Traveler's Notebook. In my last post, I talked about how I chose it as my life planner, and what I got for my initial kit. Now I'll be sharing my setup for this year, and how I decorated it.

First, I thought about how I wanted to use it. I planned out what to do with each refill, and what order I would want them in. Since the Traveler's Notebook only has one elastic band attached to it, I had to figure out how to bunch up the refills together in elastic bands. I also had to put them together with the main elastic band in such a way that worked for me. Honestly, this took a while, because I'm pretty obsessive-compulsive. I kept redoing everything until I was perfectly satisfied.

Then I laid out all the things I wanted to use to set it up and decorate it. Since I got it, I've been hoarding refills and accessories, so I had everything I needed. I do Project Life too, so I had a ton of scrapbooking things to use for decoration.

I actually set aside an afternoon to set up and decorate my planner. I spent a few happy hours in a creative haze. My dad and hubby actually watched me a bit during the process and they were thoroughly amused about everything, heh. When I eventually looked up, I had a fully functional and decorated life planner!

The first thing I did was to swap out the black elastic band for an orange one. I really like the Midori Traveler's Notebook because it has that grown-up look to it with its black leather. Plus, its compact size makes it quite handy. I can actually carry it around with me without looking ridiculous. At the same time, I can make it super cute on the inside and fill it with all sorts of kawaii things.

I tied a little brass charm from The Bead Shop to the page marker to weigh it down and make it easier to find. It's so me -- I make it a point to enjoy the little things!

I have a pretty stuffed Midori. I managed to fit six inserts inside of it -- a card holder with zip pocket, a kraft folder, and four books. There is a teensy bit of overflow on the sides and the back but that doesn't bother me at all.

Like I mentioned, the Traveler's Notebook has one elastic band going down its spine. At first I was stumped on how I could fit all the inserts I wanted into it, but it somehow just worked out. I don't know if I can explain it well, but here's how I did it:
  • I tucked the first insert inside the card holder and kraft folder with an elastic, then slid it into the main band. 
  • Then I put an elastic around the second and third inserts, and then slid them into the first insert group's elastic.
  • I attached the last book to the third book with another elastic, and that was it.
I have no idea how I stumbled upon the right configuration of elastics and inserts, really. It just happened.

Opening up my Midori reveals the transparent card holder with a large front pocket. I use it to store my page flags, and I have a little baby seal magnetic bookmark on it.

The inner side of the card holder has three pockets. I have washi tape wrapped around an old Figaro coffee card in one. This way, I have washi tape when I'm on the go. In the second pocket, I have the Spring 2015 Starbucks card, which I can use to cut washi tape in a jiffy, and to pay for coffee, of course. Since there was still space in the two pockets, I stuck a couple of my favorite Project Life cards in them just to make them pretty. In the third pocket, I have some Kokeshi (Japanese doll) page flags that I will probably never use because they're too cute. 

On the right is the kraft folder, which I use to store various things. I decorated it with washi tape, a couple of Project Life cards, some stamps, and an orange Midori mushroom clip that serves as a marker so I can find it easily. 

The left pocket of the kraft folder has a few sheets of orange Post-Its, my little hipster guy clip, a metal clip, and a cupcake magnetic bookmark. It holds a piece of ripped out notebook paper that I stuck the ingredients label of a Starbucks veggie stick cup on. I'm ambitiously dreaming of replicating the blue cheese dip that it comes with. 

The first book has a cupcake marker on the cover, plus a typewriter card attached with washi tape that I love so much. 

Book 1 (Midori Weekly Memo refill) is my domestic planner of sorts. One side of the spread is a week on one page, which I halved down the middle with washi tape. I use the left side to plan the meals I cook at home (which I need to do because I'm very culinary-challenged) and the food that the hubby and I take to work sometimes. The other half is for chores we need to do (our unfuck-our-lives list). The right side of the spread is where I put in grocery lists that go with my meal planning, plus other shopping lists.

Next is the other side of the kraft folder, which houses all my other metal clips, another cupcake magnetic bookmark in case I need any, and Project Life cards for random notes I want to give people or stick onto gifts.

I made the back of the kraft folder my sort of dashboard for my Matryoshka (Russian doll) sticky flags and notes. Next to it is the zip pocket, which is the back of the see-through card holder. I keep a bunch of stickers in it, plus Project Life cards I love, and a little square envelope for "stuff." 

I also keep another pad of Matryoshka sticky notes in it. The second book has another card on it, hipster washi tape, and a red mushroom clip. 

Book 2 has the week in two pages. It has blank time slots on it, so I just fill in the week's dates. This is cool because I can skip a week and not worry about wasting paper. I use this book to plan out my everyday schedule -- appointments, meetups, and such. I use sticky notes for plans that aren't set in stone so I can move them around when I need to, and I mark the current week with a magnetic bookmark.

The third insert has a card that says "Do More of What You Love" with washi tape borders, and blue flipflop paperclips. Book 3 is my notebook for all my creative projects (which is why I used that particular card for the cover). I jot down all my ideas in it, as well as any to-do lists and shopping lists I need. 

Here are my notes for my cousin's bridal shower. I use metal clips to mark where everything is, so I marked this spread with a pink "OMG!" metal clip. 

The Blue Purse notes are marked with a blue "Inspires Me" metal clip. This is where I schedule and plan for my blog posts, and I list down any ideas I might do in the future.

This picture has a blank page because I took the photo before I filled this spread out. Pages marked with an "I Want" metal clip are for the things I want and have to remember to buy sometime. This is different from my shopping lists in the first insert, which are things that I have to get as soon as possible. 

The fourth insert has a yellow mushroom clip on it and says "Live. Laugh. Love." It's an everyday reminder to myself to make the most out of life.

Book 4 has a month in two pages. This is where I schedule stuff way in advance. It's easier for me to plan my life when I can see entire months at a glance. This spread shows my first days with the Midori. I mark it with a magnetic bookmark so I can flip to it a second.

At the back of Book 4 are some useful charts for travelers -- measurements, clothing sizes, temperature, a ruler, and even electrical systems. Then there are several blank note pages until the end of the book that I use to keep track of finances. I track down expenses and bills, and our budget in there, so I use a baby seal magnetic bookmark to clip the pages and keep them private.

This is what the back of the Midori looks like. People love how the leather gets soft and scuffed because they say it shows character. I'm still trying to make my mind up about it because I want it to look perfect forever. It's definitely growing on me though.

That's how I use my life planner. What I love about the Midori is that I can always adjust how I work with it. I can customize it further, or just change how I plan. I'm constantly refining my process with it, and it just keeps getting better and better! I'll be back with an updated post on how I use it now soon.

How do you use and decorate your Midori? Do you want one? Hit me up in the comments! 


  1. This was a great post and I would love for you to do an update on how you are currently using your Midori planner. You've seriously started an obsession for me!

    1. Thanks! I plan on doing an update post soon because the way I started using the Traveler's Notebook is so different from how I ended up using it a few months in. It's a pretty useful obsession though! I get my creative fix and I'm able to organize my life at the same time. I hope it ends up being the same for you. :)

  2. Great post! I'm using Blue Edition too and enjoying creative jounrnaling recently:)
    I've noticed your back stamping on the leather is "midori made in thailand" instead of what I normally see on blue leather "traveler's notebook made in thailand" is it because your vision is from the yearly package "2015 dairy pack"?

    1. Hi! The blue one is so cool! It's making me want a second Traveler's Notebook. That's interesting. I didn't know that the Traveler's Notebooks had different stamping. It may also be because yours is a limited edition one.

    2. This is super, super late, (I'm just viewing this blog post now) but I think her Midori is black and only looks blue because of the lighting.

    3. Oh yes, it's black. I thought I clarified that in my reply above. :)

  3. Thanks for the fantastic posts about the Midori! I've been using the Erin Condren planner, and although I have been happy with it, I'm going to switch to Midori for 2016 as the size is so much easier to throw in my purse.

    1. Thanks for dropping by! I'm really due for an update post. My Midori TN has changed a lot over the past few months. I really want an Erin Condren! I'm thinking the Midori TN will be the one I can bring around with me for work planning, etc, while the Erin Condren will be my planner for home stuff next year.

  4. Hi there, love your midori! :D
    Can you tell me how you tie your brass charm to the end of your bookmark? Did you untie it first then tie it? I'm a newbie mtn user, thank you for your answer! :D

    1. Hi, and thanks! :D Nope I kept the original knot. I just slipped the bookmark with the knot into the charm, and then I tied a couple of new knots to secure it.

  5. I recently bought a midori tn but don't like the way my inserts poke out at the sides,you mention that you don't mind this but I don't know if any books/inserts will fit neatly in mine, so I'm really disappointed in it, I have ordered a dori that fits things in easily but don't know what to do about my midori now as I won't use it like that, yours looks ok, is this a general problem with a midori x

    1. Aw sorry to hear that. Maybe you could use less inserts? I like mine stuffed and overflowing, but it's a matter of personal preference I guess.