Show & Tell | Midori Traveler’s Notebooks

I’ve recently been hooked into the traveler’s notebook craze as I mentioned in my post yesterday where I reviewed and compared Chic Sparrow and Foxy Fix notebook covers.  Today I am going to share a detailed look at the original Midori Traveler’s Notebooks and explain how I use my own.

midori-travelers-notebook-review

It all started (as much does these days) on Instagram where I noticed more and more of my favorite fellow Planner Enthusiasts posting pictures of their beautiful notebooks over the past year or so.  As a notebook lover and dedicated journaler myself I’m always interested in seeing different products on the market and how people use them.  I decided to take the plunge earlier this year and am so glad I did, because now my Midori passport has become my favorite and one and only notebook of choice.  That’s saying something from a gal who usually has multiple, separate journals in use at one time!

midori-travelers-notebook-packaging

The Midori company was established in 1950 in Japan, offering paper products and stationary.  They sell everything from sticky notes to small desktop supplies.  Their notebooks are known for MD (Midori Diary) paper, developed in the 1960’s specifically for diary writing.  It is, as they claim, “paper dedicated to the best in writing comfort” with a nice slip and super fine texture.  One of the best selling products in their lineup is the ever popular Midori Traveler’s Notebook, which was designed as a tool for people to document their travels and life experiences in a simple way.  The notebook can last a lifetime as user’s continue to refill the journals as needed.

The design is simple: a rectangular piece of leather fashioned into a cover by hand in Chiangmai, Thailand, which is strung with elastic, a string bookmark, and a tin clasp along the center binding to hold journals inside.  There is another elastic band acting as a strap horizontally around the center.  The Midori notebooks are made in Japan and crafted with their own MD paper.  The leather cover builds character as it ages, becoming more glossy and uniquely textured with use.  The Midori Traveler’s Notebooks (often referred to as MTNs in social media) are available in two sizes, regular (4.75″ x 8.75″) and passport (3.75″ x 5.25″), and come in two leather colors, black and brown (there is also a special limited edition blue leather only in the regular size currently available).  Both sizes come packed in a muslin bag that is wrapped in both cardboard and plastic with extra elastic, a blank journal, and a description of the product and directions for how to fill it.

midori-travelers-notebook-regular

Here you can see the basic construction of the Midori Traveler’s Notebook, which is the same for both sizes.  The outside of the cover is finished while the inside is left unfinished.  The elastic band spine system is held in place by a tin clasp, which also houses a string bookmark.  The strap that keeps the notebook shut is another piece of elastic knotted and strung through a hole located in the center of the back cover.

midori-travelers-notebook-regular-filled

The regular Midori Traveler’s Notebook appears to be the most popular size in the Planner Community.  There are more Midori inserts available for this size than the smaller passport.  You can purchase other accessories such as vinyl zip pockets and credit card holders, kraft folders, and clip on pen loops for the notebook cover as well.  One to three journals comfortably inside the notebook cover using the included elastic band as well as a rubber band, which you can either buy through Midori or just use your own.  I show how to fill the Midori Traveler’s Notebook in my coordinating video (below).

midori-travelers-notebook-passport

I personally prefer the passport size as it is more manageable for me to carry around in my medium size purses.  My passport notebook cover arrived with a bit of a white coating on the finished side of the leather, which dissipated after about a week or so of use.  Just two months into daily handling the leather has changed considerably, becoming notably softer to the touch, deeper in color, and with a glossier finish.  The inevitable nicks and scuff marks just add to its character.  The leather is wearing beautifully, retaining its original level of give and pliability.

midori-travelers-notebook-passport-filled

Please be advised that some of the links provided are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links.  This does not cost you any extra when you make a purchase.  I very much appreciate your support of this blog in doing so!

Three journals seems to be the limit in the passport Midori Traveler’s Notebook, as you can see from my own example.  I keep a graph journal for notes, a lined journal for my daily gratitude entries, and a blank journal for my diary as well as a zipper case.  I also use a Midori pen holder.  I’ve added a custom monogram closure from Foxy Fix to my elastic for personalization.  I share more about how I use my passport MTN in the coordinating video.

I don’t know of any other brands that manufacture journals that fit as well inside the Midori Traveler’s Notebooks in both sizes other than Midori (please share if you do!).  You can, however, find print-at-home and printed inserts available through Etsy sellers.  There is a nice range of choices from Midori, including different weights and styles of paper, calendar inserts, sticker pockets, in addition to the other kinds of accessories I’ve already mentioned.  Here are a few listed on Amazon currently:

Regular Size Inserts

Passport Size Inserts

Other Midori Accessories

These inserts are on the pricier side compared to similarly sized notebooks.  In fact, the notebook covers themselves are fairly expensive as well and once you’ve put together your whole kit, you can rack up quite a cost.  I found the best notebook cover prices through Amazon with the regular size ranging from $39 to $43 and the passport from $33 to $35 (depending on the color).  This is less than the three other major US online retailers, Goulet Pens ($57.40 and $50.20 respectively), Baum-Kuchen ($56 and $52), and JetPens ($57 and $50).  These three web stores do offer slightly better pricing on journal inserts, but the price difference is negated if you’re an Amazon Prime member with shipping costs (JetPens offers free USA shipping on order over $25).  Please keep in mind that this pricing is subject to change and is only accurate from the posting date of this blog post.

I show the Midori Traveler’s Notebooks in more detail and in comparison to similar style notebook covers from Chic Sparrow and Foxy Fix in this video:

If you missed my last post, I recommend checking it out if you’d like to enter into the giveaway to win one of four traveler’s notebook bundles.

I’d love to know if you’ve been hooked into the traveler’s notebook craze like me!  Please feel free to leave a comment or send me pics via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (be sure to tag me if you do) if you care to share.
Happy Journaling!

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 * Post contains affiliate links.  This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

29 comments

29 thoughts on “Show & Tell | Midori Traveler’s Notebooks”

  1. I recently fell in love with faixdori’s. I bought one from leather planners plus on etsy because she offers a wide range of colors and sizes. I use mine as a planner because I don’t have meaningful thoughts to journal haha

  2. Yellow Paper House (an Etsy store) has all different sized,lined and colored notebooks that will fit in a MTN. I like to buy Moleskeins (cahiers) and have them cut down to size at Staples. The paper is not as nice as Midori but for note taking or bullet journaling it works great.

    1. I love Moleskine paper and have been using their notebooks for years as my journals of choice. What a great idea! I didn’t know Staples offered that service.

      1. I was going to mention that, too. I love my Midori passport and Moleskein so I was thrilled to be able to use them in my passport.

  3. Scout Notes fit perfectly in the passport size and they’re about 10 dollars for a pack of three. They even come in really pretty designs by artists. I got mine on Amazon!

  4. Thanks for sharing this Jen. I have loved these notebooks on Instagram etc but just didn’t understand how they worked! Such a simple system and I love the small size…perfect to carry with you on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing xx

  5. I’m so a journal person. I’m not good with keeping it constant. I’m on and off. I was using the Moleskin that has a hard cover wih the elastic they have small and regular size I seemed to be better and more constant with the pocket size. I’ve bought the small soft notebooks in the past but find I like the leather cover idea. so end up using them for list type of books. when I have bought the hard cover ones I usually have used the grid type paper but it’s harder to find lately. I like the idea of the outside that you can just switch the insider. I used to also be able to get something like that at BN but the ones they now have seem to only be ones that the paper is stitched into it so adding switching isn’t possible. I’ll have to check the notebooks out that you mentioned.

  6. I love this! Great review Jen!!! I had no idea that I could buy notebooks in passport size, I would probably really enjoy that. Thanks again for all that you do and I’ll be looking forward to your next vlog/vid/post!

  7. Thank you for this awesome review!
    I love these Notebooks!
    I m going to watch the video straight now..
    Wish you a wonderful sunday!

  8. Since I saw your video last night, I’ve been trying to talk myself out of getting one of these. Sigh. It hasn’t been working so well.

  9. I will tag you! lol. I actually was gifted a homemade BEAUTIFUL TN from a fellow Planner/YouTube pal who thought I should have one, bless her heart! She also made the inserts which I really love. I am using it exclusively for my Gratitude Journal at the moment. I sort of do a 1000 Gifts Gratitude journal ie. Ann Voskamp but I don’t use numbers anymore just list the beautiful picture memories using descriptive words, so when I look back the image of the moment will pop back into my mind. That will be great for me to remember when I am ancient…happening soon. lol. Love your vids and posts, Jen!

  10. I recently started using a Midori regular size as my planner/journal. I have a calendar, notebook as my journal, zip pocket, card pocket, and mania pocket. It’s pretty full. I do think it is the best system I’ve tried and I tried a lot of them. I may use a passport size next year.

  11. Baron Fig’s Apprentice notebooks fit the passport size perfectly. I just got one and the Apprentice is almost the identical size to the Midori that came with it.

  12. Hi Jen,
    I really enjoyed your post and video of the Midori – I recently discovered it on Instagram and have been looking for reviews. Let me tell you – yours is the absolute best review I have come across. Especially appreciated the tutorial on how to attach the notebooks. I am going to be looking for the brown (original) Midori and go all out. Looks like they only have the blue available everywhere, Thanks for your terrific posts – your love for what you do totally shines through in the thoroughness of your work. Cheers!

  13. Just viewed your review on You tube and now this post. Very informative and fir this I want to thank you. I live I a very remote area in Canada but can get Moleskin which I love. You posts help me to find which Midori or faux midori I will fit Moleskins. Been hunting this information for days.

  14. Thanks Jen. I love your reviews. They are always very thorough.
    I want a vegan fauxdori desperately. It’s the inserts that cost a lot (especially for us Canadians). I am thinking of the pocket size because i think I can get a 3 pack insert for $14. and it’s small which makes it easier to make some quick notes while holding in one hand. Still on the fence because of the expense but your video really helped clarify things for me. Thanks again. I think you are awesome.

  15. Love your planner reviews. Have made significant updates in the planner world to help organize my world. I love the Foxy Fix, but I cannot seem to get one. Every time they open for the day, they sell out so fast that I am still waiting. Now my kiddo wants one as well. Also, thank you for sharing where your additional supplies. I think I might need an Orla Kiely pouch!

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