Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Midori Traveler's Notebook: My Life Planner

If you haven't noticed, I've been planner-obsessed lately. I fell down the rabbit hole into the world of creative planning, and found a new hobby. It couldn't have happened at a perfect time. I've been feeling stressed, and planners have become one of my outlets. I actually have three right now: a journal, a work planner, and my life planner -- a Midori Traveler's Notebook. 

Midori is a Japanese stationery brand that sells paper products and accessories. It is best known for the Traveler's Notebook though, which is why when people say "Midori" they usually mean the notebook. It's a leather notebook that can be used for anything -- a journal, a planner, a sketchbook, or all of the above. It is customized with refills and accessories, and is held together by a simple elastic band.

I was looking through the planner hashtags on Instagram (#planner, #planneraddicts, #plannerjunkies) when I came across the Midori. I didn't understand it at first. I thought it was too flimsy to be the sort of planner that you could carry around, since it's a mere sliver of leather wrapped around a bunch of paper. Then I came across The Reset Girl's Midori 101 video on YouTube, and I realized just how much the Traveler's Notebook can be made my own. After that, it was pretty much a slippery slope for me. I was using what is now my journal as my life planner back then, and I was finding it sorely lacking. I didn't have "planner peace" -- a term used by the planner-obsessed that basically describes the feeling of not being satisfied with a planner. I surfed the Net, watched endless Midori setup videos on YouTube, and scrolled through Instagram nonstop for days until I made up my mind that it was the planner for me.

I was so obsessed, my awesome husband got it for me as a Valentine's Day gift. We trooped to Scribe Writing Essentials in Shang and spent a while there just looking at the Midori shelf. I was in planner heaven! I ended up with a black, regular-sized Traveler's Notebook that came with the 2015 Diary Pack. We thought it was nice, since it had an entire year's worth of weekly refills (January to June and July to December) in it. Plus, it was being offered at a discount because it had 2015 refills, and it was already February. The deal made me feel like it was meant to be, heh.

The entire kit came in a minimalist, yet practical box with an elastic band keeping it together, of course. I love Japanese packaging!

The box opens up to reveal a cloth pouch and an extra red elastic band. Inside the Traveler's Notebook are the two refills that are part of the diary pack.

I had to get refills and accessories, of course. The best thing about a Midori Traveler's Notebook is that you can customize it according to your needs and wants. You can use just one refill in it and keep it plain, light and simple, or you can stuff it and decorate it to the hilt. (Here's a list of official Midori refills and accessories.) I ended up with a starter kit of sorts that day. Here's a rundown of what I got:

  • 009 - A set of colored elastic bands
  • 005 - Daily Planner Grid Refill with planner pages with blank months and days (day on one page)
  • 018 - Free Diary Weekly Refill with a week in two pages and time columns
  • 2015 Monthly Planner - Month on two pages, with a calendar-type boxed layout
  • Mushroom Clips - A pack of 18 pastel-colored mushroom paper clips (each one can hold 10 Midori pages)
I also ordered a bunch of accessories from Planners and Journals (@plannersandjournals) on Instagram. (I thought it would be convenient to get all my initial accessories before I started customizing my Traveler's Notebook.) The seller was so cute and sweet! She even added a little note and threw in a couple of freebies -- a Midori rubber band that I've since put to good use, as well as some vintage stamp stickers. Here's the loot:

  • Blank refill
  • Card holder with zip pocket
  • Kraft folder 

I set aside a weekend to work on turning the Traveler's Notebook into my life planner. It was such a rush! I loved decorating it and figuring out the best way for me to use it. That's going to be for another post, but here's a sneak peak of my Midori decorating day:

It didn't stop there though. My Midori is constantly evolving. I keep adding stuff to it, and it just keeps getting better and better. Since I got it, I feel like I'm more organized, I'm not forgetting things, and it makes me feel accountable and I try my hardest to stick to the plans that I write in it.

I take it with me everywhere. Whenever I find myself waiting or killing time, I pull it out and jot down thoughts, plans, ideas. I love it, I'm completely obsessed, and right now it feels like I'm going to have it forever.

I'll post in detail about how I use it and how I decorated it soon.

What do you think of planners? Let's talk.


  1. Wow, this has been very helpful and inspiring! After 6 months of looking for "planner peace" and actually getting it from a fauxdori... I'm giving in and getting myself a blue midori. Just in time for my birthday next month. Hahaha.. I know, a little advance but I need some sort of excuse why I need to buy it. :) How are you and your Midori now after 5 months? Do you still use your midori? Is it holding up to your planning needs? I use my fauxdori as a wallet / planner.. I'm hoping the blue midori will fit everything I currently have. :D Cheers!

    1. Hi! Thanks for dropping by! I love getting to talk to planner peeps. :) Yes I still use my Midori! I actually swapped out a couple of inserts recently because half of the year has passed. My Instagram (@liatenshi) has some little updates on my planner. I know I'm due for an update, but I haven't had the time to blog. I promise I will soon. How many inserts do you have in your fauxdori right now? I have six (http://www.thebluepurse.com/2015/03/midori-travelers-notebook-my-2015-setup.html). There's a bit of overflow but I'm okay with it.

  2. Hello again! I have my blue midori already and I'm loving it... although my inserts need to be lessened. I have my dashboard, card pockets (2 sets), a zip envelope, memopad on clear pocket, 3 inserts (monthly/trackers, weekly and journal) and another zip envelope for my stickers and journaling cards... seems very efficient but there is a bit of overhang. :) I'm going to check out your setup in a while. Have a nice day!

    1. Nice! Yay for the update! You went insert-happy, I see! Haha I would totally do the same thing! I have a bit of overhang from 6 inserts but I can live with it. Are you going to take out some? I'm amazed you got 2 zip envelopes and 2 card pockets to fit, along with 3 inserts! I haven't done an updated setup post but I will soon. I'd love to see your Midori! Do you have any pics online? :)

  3. I haven't taken any pictures yet, too scared that people might think I'm slave-driving my TN and stuffing it to it's limits.. haha! Well, good news, I took out 1 zip envelope but I had to because I needed an insert for my kids' homework and to-do lists... so I guess it's back to square 1. I will be posting pictures soon.. I'm a member of All about planners and journals group and @craftingjoys on IG. Haven't posted much though.. busy with kids' school activities.

    Anyway, I've been browsing through your other posts and my!!!, your Midori is so neat and organized! I love the way you set it up...amazingly neat!! (if only I can do the same on mine..) hehe, I will be purging after a month so I can see what I really need and what needs to go. :)

    1. Oh thanks for those IG leads. I'm already following a ridiculous amount of planner people there but I'll add those to the long list! :) I'm liatenshi over there. My IG more updated on what's been happening with my planner than this blog. Looking forward to those pics! And psssh there's no such thing as Midori abuse haha.