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  1. #1
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    In search of the perfect travel journal

    I'm looking for a travel journal for my trip to England. I thought I found a good one yesterday, then found it was discontinued (it was by Poketo). To me, the Poketo journal looked a lot like Ranger's small version of the Dylusions journal:
    Amazon.com: Dylusions Dyan Reaveley's Creative Journal, 5 by 8-Inch: Artwork

    I like the paper in the Dylusions one because it holds up to water media and collage quite well. It's about an inch larger than I would like (I think 5" x 7" would be great) and I wonder if I could get away with removing some of the pages to make it lighter.

    Another journal I'm considering is the Voyageur by Moleskine, but I can find few reviews on it. Supposedly you can print things using a special tool on the Moleskine site and paste them into your journal, but I can't find the template for that particular journal, which differs from others.

    I know people love the Midori Traveler's Notebooks but the price tag for entry is a bit stiff. Also, while I wear leather shoes, I don't like the idea of a leather journal (I'm a vegetarian).

    Any ideas/suggestions? It goes w/o saying this thing must be fairly lightweight.

  2. #2
    Forum Member TavaPeak's Avatar
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    I prefer the smaller, lined Moleskines. Easy size to carry, love the pocket in the back. I used to take the thinner paper ones, but switched back to hardcover. Fits in an SE on the plane. Mine often have quotes pasted in from Eric Maisel's A Writer's Paris.

  3. #3
    Forum Member anarchone's Avatar
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    I just got back from a trip and used a 5.5x8.5" Stillman & Birn mixed media journal. It worked well for me, as I not only write with fountain pens in my journals, but also paint in it and glue stuff into them. I use washi tape to add pages too. I would recommend their sketchbooks. It depends on what all you plan on doing with the journal.

  4. #4
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    I like my Rhodia Webnotebook though I don't generally travel too much or have it specifically for that purpose. My only complaint is that the paper is a bit too smooth, I'd like a little more roughness especially when writing with a fountain pen.

  5. #5
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    Which Stillman & Birn "alphabet" model did you take? I have heard really good things about them from fellow artists.

    I might do a sketch or two using permanent sketch pens (i.e. Sakura) and my Kuretake Clean Color watercolor brush pens. And doing a bit of sticking down ephemera I might find (tickets, business cards, receipts, etc.) Mostly I write (usually using a Pilot G2 gel pen).


    Quote Originally Posted by anarchone View Post
    I just got back from a trip and used a 5.5x8.5" Stillman & Birn mixed media journal. It worked well for me, as I not only write with fountain pens in my journals, but also paint in it and glue stuff into them. I use washi tape to add pages too. I would recommend their sketchbooks. It depends on what all you plan on doing with the journal.

  6. #6
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    I will recommend Midori style notebooks. If you dislike leather, there are some fabric versions on etsy
    The paper in moleskine has been disappointing while midori watercolor book are cheap (kinda) and good

    The template for midori different purposes can be found online. I uses a monthly, vertical and a budget tracker.

    Sent from my N5206 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    I used to carry the hardback Moleskines, but found that I never fill one on a trip, so it seems like a lot of unnecessary weight. Now I prefer the much thinner Volants they make, which are quite a bit lighter and the perfect size. When I can find them, I buy a similar produce made by Leuchtturm 1917 (the Jottbook). They cost about $6 and have much nicer paper. If and when I go to Germany, I will track down a stationary store and come home with enough Leuchtturn notebooks to last the rest of my life

    And by the way, The Goulet Pen Company is a small, family-run business which sells all kinds of pens and stationery. I'm not into fountain pens but I have discovered a lot of good notebooks there.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  8. #8
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    Here's a tangential suggestion: why not use a Field Journal, and add your own favorite drawing paper?

  9. #9
    Forum Member adalangdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbcamp View Post
    Here's a tangential suggestion: why not use a Field Journal, and add your own favorite drawing paper?
    Just my opinion, not @ladyinblack1964 's, but there are a number of reasons why someone would skip the FJN.
    - No longer available
    - High initial cost (compared to a simple notebook)
    - Large
    - Rather heavy

    A lot of people have bought and then re-homed FJNs due to some combination of the aforementioned reasons...

  10. #10
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    Yes, the FJ would be rather heavy. That always seems to be an issue with journals. I need something I will feel comfortable carrying around.

  11. #11
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    I was in a bookstore the other day and took a look at Moleskine's two offerings for travel notebooks. They are cleverly designed, but I'm not otherwise a fan of the Moleskine paper. I love some of the ideas in this thread, though, and after seeing a demo of the Midori style notebooks, it's worth investigating if there are lower-priced fabric alternatives on etsy, as suggested by @jeana.

    And when I do make it to Berlin next March, I'm already sketching out how to pick up more of the Leuchtturm Jottbooks, which are my favorite. I'm eager to see if they offer other products that are not available in the U.S.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 01-15-2016 at 06:16 AM.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  12. #12
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    I love the midori style for its versitality and portability. I have no fabric one though.
    The Midori paper is way better than the Moleskine paper which I am too not very fond of.

    Ilkyway


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  13. #13
    Forum Member Peruvian's Avatar
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    You can also try Word. Notebooks "The Adventure Log" (3.5" x 5.5") available at jetpens.com

  14. #14
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    I'm a fountain pen user, so the compatibility of the paper is important. IMHO, Moleskine paper is unsuitable for fountain pens and water based media. I wouldn't waste time on them.

    You could get just the Midori notebook refills. The paper is good and you don't have to buy the covers.

    You might consider other Japanese notebooks like Apica, Life, Kokuyo, Maruman, etc. Jetpens has a blog posting on FP friendly notebooks. Our Favorite Notebooks for Fountain Pen Use - JetPens.com and Pocket Notebooks: Get Off to a Fresh Start - JetPens.com

    If you're willing to consider a larger book for journaling, Nanami Paper and Paper for Fountain Pens makes outstanding notebooks/journals made with Tomoe River paper, a thin light paper that is outstanding for fountain pens and inks.

    I also like the TWSBI notebooks. They have several sizes of soft-bound notebooks with elastic closure that have FP friendly paper with a little more tooth than Rhodia, which I find to be sometimes too smooth. When the paper is too smooth, I kinda lose control of the pen and it skates unintelligibly all over the page. :-)

    The Pro Art sketchbook is hardbound and a little bigger than you want, but I found the paper to be FP friendly with a little tooth to it. This was recommended as an FP friendly refill for Oberon Design's journals.
    Last edited by DaMacGuy; 01-16-2016 at 12:09 AM.

  15. #15
    Forum Member monkeylady's Avatar
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    Why not go totally minimal? You can buy a Midori TN insert. The light paper version is Tomroe River Paper and about $8. The insert has a craft paper cover. You could give this a try without the investment on the outside cover, which are available in fabric as mentioned above. For my next trip, I'm carrying a cloth cover (to reduce weight and eliminate the possibility of dye transfer in humid conditions), one insert with all my trip info and room for journaling, and a craft envelop to capture odds and ends.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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