Midori Traveler’s Notebook Part Three: Making It Your Own (and a Giveaway)

Midori Travelers Notebook fully loaded

That the Midori Traveler’s Notebook has such a loyal following is due to: high quality products; clever branding; and the infinite variety of ways to make it your own.

In fact the notebook becomes uniquely yours very quickly as the cover picks up scuffs and scratches and rapidly develops personality. I can only think the cover’s been made especially to age like this and to do so with style.

This is only the beginning. The Traveler’s Notebook is its very own rabbit hole. I have so far only dipped my toe into it, if it’s possible to dip your toe into a rabbit hole. (I suppose it is.) I swapped the black elastic band for the included orange band. Adventurous, heh? (The black notebook comes with a red rather than orange band. This will be relevant later.)

I’ve spent more time thinking about how to configure the refills. I have: a plain refill for sketching in (I have a sketch paper refill ready for when I use this one up), a lightweight paper refill for journalling and a grid refill for jotting down ideas and working on projects. These are bunched together around one band. I wrote about all these in part two. Around the second band I have a Kraft paper refill for very sporadic scrapbooking and a plastic wallet refill for whenever it might be useful (not often, so far, I’ve found).

Midori Travelers Notebook Refill zipped plastic wallet

Here are some of the other Midori-made refills you can choose from: lined paper; a Kraft file; a card file (credit cards, business cards); just about every diary configuration you can imagine; and a page of sticky notes.

Here are some of the Midori-made accessories you can spend your money on: various charms to attach the the elastic band; stickers (mostly travel orientated); pocket stickers of all shapes and sizes (to stick to covers or pages so you have pockets to stuff things into); lettering sets; masking tape; pen holders (various sizes); beads to put on the bands; various colours of bands; and stiff plastic inserts. I’ve got one of these inserts, I bought it really because I didn’t know what it was. It turns out it’s a very useful piece of stiff plastic that you can slip behind the page you’re writing on, making it all a lot easier if you’re squashed into a corner on the train from Waterloo.

Midori plastic insert

These are just the official accessories. Boy oh boy are they just the tip of the iceberg. I’m not the person to advise you about this, I like plain and simple objects on the whole (as my taste in pens may have told you) but fortunately I can point you towards some amazing resources instead:

Midori zip pocket

A few months ago The Journal Shop sent me a starter kit so I could get to know the Traveler’s Notebook and share my experiences with it. I’ve fallen in love with the notebook because of it’s simplicity, beauty and quality.

If you missed them, be sure to check out parts one and two.

So … would you like one of your own? For free? You would? That’s fantastic because I have a black notebook (cover, plain refill, spare red elastic band, cloth cover) to give away, courtesy of The Journal Shop. This giveaway is open world wide (but I won’t be held liable for customs charges or dodgy postal services) (I also won’t be held liable for all the time and money you will spend on it all once you’ve got it).

All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post, saying thank you to someone. Thank anyone you like as long as it’s an actual living person. You can only enter once. The giveaway ends at 9am GMT Sunday 8th March.

Good luck!

This is what you can win.


  1. Is it a cop-out to thank you for this giveaway? I don’t see why it would be, but I get the feeling some might see it as that. Hmm… either way… thanks for this give away!

  2. I would like to thank my parents, Sükran and Memo, for teaching me at a very young age the joy of reading, writing, using pens, pencils and notebooks, and for sharing my joy for 54 years of my life.

  3. The black one looks so classy 😀
    I would ultimately like to thank my mother and my step mother for encouraging my love of stationery instead of ridiculing it because it’s made me some top friends.

  4. I’d love a chance with the Traveler! Thank to you (Ian), obviously, for the giveaway, but also my dad. He kind of started my pen obsession.

  5. I would like to thanks to Stu Hazley (informal scribble) for his malevolent introduction to this remarkable and exorbitant wold of pens/paper/inks and wonderful people! It came at a time where I was encompassed in a world of white & silver shinny apples (think about it) and it’s turned into a great friendship!

  6. I’d like to thank my wife of four months, Elizabeth, who will be getting this if I win it! I love you so much princess bunny! 🙂 We shall take many trips to fill this notebook! 🙂

  7. I’ll say thanks to you, both for the giveaway and for the great site, and to Myke Hurley and Brad Dowdy for leading me down the rabbit hole and introducing me to high-quality writing tools with the Pen Addict podcast.

  8. I would like to thank my MA advisor, Dr. Bodkin. She was one of the people who first helped me fall in love with journaling — in a professional/academic sense and a personal one — by helping me embrace my love of fountain pens and encouraging me to play around with the experience of writing on different papers/in different notebooks.

  9. I would like to thank my fourth grade teacher for inspiring my love of reading by recommending The Giver to me 20 years ago. (I refuse to see the movie.)

  10. I’d like to thank Julie from the Frontier Trading Post in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Your simple act of kindness truly made my day magical.

  11. Thank you to the folks at theJournal Shop. I’ve used their services a few times now and they stevetycustomer focussed

  12. I would like to thank my kindergarten teacher for teaching me cursive, which led to my enduring love of pens, pencils, and paper.

  13. Thank you the lady at Dome Papeterie in Paris for recommending me the lovely Herbin Rose Cyclamen ink I’m using today.

  14. Thanks to you Ian for this great site, lots of info, great drawings and super photos, all for our benefit, hope you get lots and lots of comments!

  15. Thank you to my husband Greg for appearing to be interested whenever I go on and on about fountain pens. 😉 And thank you to you for offering this giveaway!

    – Tina

  16. Thank you to the kind workers at my post office who put up with me checking my P.O. Box twice daily and asking them again what time the mail gets delivered. I really appreciate your service!

  17. Thank you to my grandmother who gave me an old but unused accounting notebook from when she owned a pharmacy. I didn’t know what to do with it so I thought I would start writing my to-do lists in it, and since then I’ve been notebook-ing almost everything!

  18. I’d like to thank my husband for introducing me to the world of pets. I never knew what wonderful things I’d been missing on, and I wish I had grown up with pets. I’m making sure that my daughter will always have these awesome companions as she grows up.

  19. I’d like to thank all the people in the communities of interest I follow. (Stationery, art, cycling, photography…I have too many hobbies, as my wife often reminds me 🙂 ). The degree to which people give freely of their knowledge and experience is humbling and inspirational.

  20. I would like to thank my daughter Maggie for making endless quotable thoughts for me to write down.

  21. I would like to Thank my husband Andy for being so supportive and understanding through what’s been the worst 12 months.

  22. I would like to thank my husband Chris for supporting my stationary habit which has come back to haunt me 🙂

  23. Obviously, thank you to YOU for hosting this giveaway… but if that is not allowed, then thanks to my mom for introducing me to fountain pens!

  24. I would like to thank my headmaster, Mr Warren (RIP) who around 40 years ago gave me a selection of coloured papers inside a pink wallet which started my addiction to stationery 🙂

  25. I’d like to thank my husband, Andy. For not only supporting my Kaweco pen and Diamine ink buying habits, but joining in with his own too. Oh, and for being gracious about the fact he covets my pencil case!

  26. First of all, thanks to you, Ian, for that review in 3 parts. I had great expectations about this review (especially part 3), as the hype of these was something really odd for me.
    Now I get it a little bit, I guess. I especially enjoy that idea of the plastic insert to slip behind a page.
    I’m not suprised about the leather taking a special (and personal) look. Everybody comments about that, and I really would like to see that by myself. hum hum…… 😉

    My wife is definitively the person I would like to thank. She left her carreer to homeschool my little girl (8 years this April). Homeschooling is not as easy as it seems, and she is working really hard to find the programs that will work fine with my daughter. She indeed has special needs, and she had to try several “ideas” to finally find one that works. This for the writing skills. Same thing for math, langage and reading, etc.
    Really, she’s working hard, allowing me to concentrate on other things. And… I don’t know if she will read this one day. I’m too unconfortable to say thanks face to face sometimes. Yeah, I know. Shame on me.

    And a global thank to all people that allow this giveaway! Penpaperpencil and The journal shop.

  27. Thanks to my wife for supporting my craze about notebooks and pens, and writing/doodling on paper.

  28. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wife for being such a fantastic person to share life with.

  29. I stumbled across you blog by doing a google search on Midori Traveler’s notebook reviews, its at the top 🙂 Thank YOU for all 3 posts on the MTN. I had been wondering if it would be useful to me at all and now I believe I would benefit from it as a system. Your posts have been informative and now I know what refills to look for. Thanks again for writing about it. Your posts have been the most indepth from all other reviews and have made me feel like it’s worth making the jump.

  30. I would like to thank my Rocky Horror cast! For being the best and for always being supportive (and putting on a great show)!

  31. I’d like to say thank you to my friend and podcast co-host Andy Welfle for helping me make the show we both wanted to make but didn’t know how.

  32. I would like to thank you, for having such a fantastic site! I would also like to thank my hubby for helping me through the crazy toddler years 🙂

    Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com

  33. I would like to thank you for making this giveaway available to us, and to my parents for enduring my growing obsessions for pens, paper, and ink.

  34. I’d like to thank my sister, then, for supporting my stationary addiction every year on my birthday, without fail.

  35. I would like to thank my son and my husband because they support my with my studies and my passion with pens.

  36. Thanks to Mrs Binley who taught me how to write 50 years ago, and Mr Selly who taught me how to write proper italics 45 years ago.

  37. I would love to get a midori. Mainly because I just started journaling and starting with this would be amazing!

  38. Thanks to you for a great site and a grant chance to win. I’d also like to thank those workers (police, firefighters, EMT’s etc) for doing what they do everyday.

  39. I’d like to thank you for this giveaway and thank all those people who love pens, paper and writing for helping keep the supplies flowing!

  40. Thank you to my parents for adopting me. I wouldn’t want any other parents but you.

  41. I’d like to thank my husband and children for the forthcoming midori related presents they will be giving me this mother’s day … that I have yet to tell them about

  42. I would like to thank my co-workers who now think having excessive amount of pens and paper is normal.

  43. I would like to thank my colleagues who helped me discover the midori brand and organizers.

  44. Thank you for the chance to win! And thank you to friends who randomly ask you out to spend a couple of days at the beach and to awesome workmates who let you work really flexible hours for said random beach holiday.

  45. Thank you to my wife for all her constant support. And to every single person, who make a habit of being kind and friendly to the people they meet – the world is that much better for it.

  46. I would like to thank my fiancée who has joined the youth organisation I do a lot for and is now an integral part of it and joins me on all the different activities that I do that enables the kids in my charge to be able experience things like camping,gaining their Duke of Edinburgh award, getting BTEC’s and learning to play instruments.

  47. Thanks for the giveaway, i like to thank my boss for a real slow starting monday that gave me the chance to read this post.

  48. I want to thank my parents for giving me the chance to travel abroad. Since that first trip, I’ve got the travel bug, and don’t intend to stop. Thank you for the posts as well.

  49. I would like to thank Kate for staying with me and keeping me up in really hard times.

  50. I want to thank my wonderful daughter, who is currently in possession of my Field Notes size dori. She is a delight, and a hard working, sensible college student, and only causes us the most minimal worries.

  51. I would like to thank my cardiologist for having amazing taste in music and film. Oh, and for helping me finally get control of my hypertension. That’s important too.

  52. I would like to thank my mom for letting me travel and see the world, hence give me something to write in my TN, and indulge me in my crazy obsessions with planners, fountain pens etc.

  53. Thank you to my two wonderful daughters who have grown into wonderful, adults, and fabulous moms!

  54. Thanks to Laurie of plannerisms.com for starting me on the path to thinking about actual planning that would work for my life instead of just playing with various interesting notebooks.

  55. I’d like to thank my Mom for being so organized when I was young, and giving me all the best stores and websites to fill my obsession with pens and paper products!

  56. I’d like to thank my the folks who post to these sites and provide information about all these neat products.

  57. I would like to thank my sister for being there for me whenever I’m on the edge and hanging by a thread. Why is that my family can’t understand why you need more than one pen?! 🙂

  58. I would like to thank my husband, David Cherry, for eyeing my Midori and casually commenting “I might like one of those.” If I win, this one is his!

  59. i’d like to thank Jenn, my better half who puts up with and encourages my obsessions with things like pens and journals.

  60. I would like to thank Tom Robbins for being the first author I read that made me want to sit down and try to compose beautiful sentences. Since then I have found others, Twain, Bradbury,and Fitzgerald as well, but alas they have all passed on and thus are not qualified to be be thanked here. A pity.

  61. I thank my grandmother Janet for encouraging me to write, making me love fine handwriting, paper, and pen, and giving me the enthusiasm for taking time to myself to reflect and write my thoughts.

  62. Thank you to Brian Goulet of Goulet Pens! His videos and customer service got me started down the rabbit hole that is fountain pens.

  63. Thank you to my patients I took care of today, because they help me realize that things aren’t bad after all. Also, thank you to my fiance, for getting me into fountain pens, ink, and MTNs (though I still don’t have one!)

  64. Thank you to my friends for keeping me sane when I feel like my brain is exploding. Love them so much.

  65. Thanks to my roommate, for being an all-around awesome person, and helping me through some rough times! (Also, thanks for making this giveaway possible!)

  66. I’d like to thank my sister for bringing humor and joy into my life every day!

  67. I’d like to thank my coworkers for holding down the fort so I can have a 4-day weekend!

  68. I’d like to thank my husband for tolerating my infatuation with all things paper!

  69. I would like to thank my Dad, a man who was never without a pencil, a man who could draw an unbelievably true freehand straight line, a man who opened the world of design & aesthetics to me

  70. I’d like to thank my grandmother for raising me when I was younger; my parents were both working full time when I was a young child and so she was the one who would pick me up after I ended school, and spoil me with ice cream during the hot summer days. Now, she has dementia and has forgotten many things but I’m grateful that she still is able to remember me. I know that she will never see this, but I am extremely thankful to have her in my life and I love her so much.

  71. I would like to thank my parents, who are both stationery nerds, for giving me my love of paper, notebooks, pens, and the like. Every time my mom tells me I have a problem, I remind her that it’s genetic. 😀

  72. Thank you to my Dear Husband for always staying true in the good & hard times that life can bring, for teaching me a new perspective that has helped me grow. It’s always such a joyous & wonderful adventure when you are around! <3

    1. Thank you to the fluorescent clad 40
      Year old newspaper deliverer who waves me each morning on the way to work. Who is he? I don’t know but if he’s happy each of these dark mornings at 6:45 am come rain or shine, then so can I be. Each day is a new journey for him. Thank you

  73. Thank You to my dear husband who puts up with my fountain pen purchases, still.

  74. Thank you to my boss for letting me work from home when the weather is this wretched. And understands my obsession with stationery because she’s almost as bad.

  75. Thank you to Witch, Miche, Polly, Dorkeh, Amie, and G for not letting me lose my ever-loving mind. And for sharing my love of writing, pens, paper, and knitting of course.

  76. I would like to thank my husband, who taught me, the daughter of tightwad immigrants, the joy and value of travel. I had not been on a true travel vacation in 15 years when I first met him at 22. We recently had a 2 month non-compete period on our hands, and took off (and eloped!) to SE Asia. We did and saw everything. My ONE REGRET, was not journalling our adventures. Hence me wanting to put a Midori together going forward.

  77. I’d like to thank the toddler in my life for reminders about little things like looking down and the joys of wearing what you eat. I would love to document our adventures with a Midori!

  78. Came across this post when I was googling reviews. Thank you for this! I’d also like to thank my friend who sent me a birthday present from New York (I’m in London) which arrived during a very long week.

  79. I’d like to thank my husband who, many decades ago when I was starting grad school, said that I should get a Sheaffer cartridge pen (that came with 5 black ink cartridges) because I would be taking so many notes and using one good pen would be so much better than the cheapies I was flying through. And many, many, many pens later – great idea, dear, and many thanks!

  80. I’d like to thank my friend Pat for instilling her stationery addiction in me.

  81. Thank you to my sister for putting up with me as I revise for the BIG exam (Part 1).

  82. I would like to thank my boyfriend for his patience and kindness. I had a pretty diffuclt day today and he really helped me get through things.

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