The Midori Travelers Notebook: my review.

The MTN have been on the top of my wish list for a long time. I remember wanting one, when I started to get into fountain pens almost three years ago. But I didn’t have the money for at the time, and forgot about it. Until I saw a blog post with a picture of one, earlier this year. Which made me move it to the top of my list.

I think that there are room for more than one size of notebooks for most people. But what people need is very individual. My personal preference is to have three different sizes, plus a planner.

  • Field Notes(or anything in the “passport” size would work) for tasks, and short notes.
  • Large A4(similar to the letter size in the US) notebooks, preferably with many hundred sheets for journaling, studying and taking notes at home, in meetings and during lectures / seminars.
  • The thing in between. Field Notes are a excellent tool for keeping track of tasks, and to write down stuff you need to remember. But they are too small to be efficient when it comes to either journal, writing or taking notes. The huge A4 notebooks are great, but they are heavy, and is therefore not something I want to bring everywhere. I have found the MTN to be the perfect thing in between the two.

Format. I have tried many different notebooks formats over the years. My personal preference is as stated above: a pocket sized for capture and organising tasks and projects; the biggest notebook I can get my hands on for hardcore studying or writing; and the thing in between for when you want to write a little bit when waiting, or traveling, or just want to get a beer and write a little bit.

The format of the regular version of the MTN is perfect for this. You have enough room on the page, while you still at the same time have a format that is compact enough that you can fit it in the inner pocket of a winter jacket or you can put it in your bag without noticing it.

Flexible. The thing that really sold my on the MTN was how flexible the system is. Mine is currently extended to have three refills(lined) and a pen holder.

One thing that always drive me nuts with various other notebooks I have used, for example the Field Notes Arts and Sciences Edition is that: I usually need lined paper, that is 90% of the time, but there are times where blank or grid paper is nice; I like to have the option, but to alternate between the two of them doesn’t really solve anything.

This is the cool thing about MTN. You can fill it with one blank, one lined and one grid refill if you want to. Or two lined and one blank. Or you might want a planner refill. You have many first party option, including pockets and all kinds of other cool and weird stuff.

And a added benefit of the flexibility of having different kinds of refills is that you can alter the content of your MTN as needed.

Paper. The paper quality of the refills are excellent. I haven’t seen any bleed through or feathering this far.That includes writing with my Lamy 2000, and that pen is a wet mother fucker. I have written in it with both my Lamy 2000 and my TWSBI 580AL(medium nib on both) with Pilot Iroshizuku Take-sumi and it takes a few seconds to dry. One of the advantages with the narrow page width is that you don’t have to move your hand that much back and forth.

My only problem with the current line up of refills for the MTN is that I wish they had more than one lined refill. Some people like tiny lines, some like something in between, and some of us like bigger lines.

Design. There isn’t much to say about the design; you have four options: black or brown leather; passport or regular size. The thing I like about it is that it is as simple as you can get away with. It looks cool and works great.

Number of refills versus writing comfort. A MTN have two bands that you can use to attach refills. This means that you can extend it to hold up to six(!!!) refills, if you buy the pack of rubber bands. I have tried using it with different configuration during the weekend to find out what the ideal thing is for me.

Six refills are too much in my opinion. The sweet spot in my experience is two, but I think it looks much better with three. So, three it is.

Conclusion. I think it is a fantastic notebook, and it will without doubt be something I bring everywhere from now on. It is the thing I just grab when I want to write something.

The next thing on my list is to find some extra accessories to make it even more useful. I’ll write more about it when I publish a follow up to this post about how it was to travel with it.