For the last several years I’ve been carrying some variation of a homemade Traveler’s Notebook system. I have gotten my system to perfection for me- one of my simple slim two pocket inserts, a BanditApple Carnet (BAC) peewee, and a Field Notes (FN). This system allowed me to jot down important information on a catch all page in the FN or if I needed more room to take up a whole page in the FN. The BAC allowed me to sketch on the train. The pocket hold receipts, stamps, and odds and ends. This worked perfectly for me for several years. It got me through my last hellish year at the old job and through my first year of GradSchool. But today I realized that it was a little inappropriate for me to carry my journal with me to my internship. It also didn’t work for my needs as an art therapist. It was simply put- too bulky and cumbersome.A couple of weeks ago I bought some Post it “Study” Grid notes and cut them down to fit onto the back cover of my planner- housed in a custom made Davis Leather Works simple notebook cover. This cover is traveler’s notebook style, but holds only a BAC peewee sized planner and a simple slim 2-pocket insert. The gridded post it notes saved my bacon as I was running around the senior center, jotting down notes about supplies the program has, things the director needs, things my supervisor would like to see, what kind of art people like, and other assorted quick notes. While my planner worked well for the day, it’s not a long term solution.
I think that a pocket notebook like a moleskine would be too formal for the setting, and if I lost it would house far too much important information*. I’d like to stick to some sort of Field Notes or Word sized note book, something pocket sized between 48 and 64 pages. Ruling not important. But I’d like to be able to combine it with a pocket system that I can keep post its and index cards in. So basically, I’m looking to make a cover like my planner cover, that holds a pocket notebook and a pocket with a handful of notecards and a few post its cut to size. It has to fit into the back pocket of my khakis.
It feels a little strange to me that the system that I currently use isn’t appropriate for a new setting. I simply assumed it would be good for all settings, since it’s been “there for me” through so much and for so long. It’s strange to think that I’m so attached to my notebook system that I feel a little lost (and admittedly sad) that I won’t have it with me. Instead what I’ll have with me will be a new version of the system, something adapted to work with my new profession. Something slimmer and a little more sleek.
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A classmate took note of my fauxdori a week or so ago in class. After some discussion, she brought up something that I’m really surprised I didn’t think of, or consider about these things, she asked me if I saved money with the fauxdori over new notebooks/journals/sketchbooks. I had never thought of it that way.
I considered my sketching and journaling method previous to using the fauxdori. I either made or bought a Moleskine pocket sized sketchbook. These have 60 pages and around here cost about $10. As for written journaling I usually did that within the moleskine or in a separate moleskine Volant ($4.50 each) or Cahier ($3.30). * The Volant has 56 pages and the cahier 64. My daily carry cost was between $12 to $15.
My current sketchbooks are BanditApple Carnet (BAC) PeeWee. These have 64 pages each. These cost between $3- $3.50 each depending on where I purchase them. For writing I use a Field Notes book and these run about $3.30 each. So I’m spending about $7 on inserts. Clearly there is a savings in just one bundle of inserts.
My current rate for filling a BAC is 1 a month. Considering that they have a few more pages than a Moleskine Sketchbook. I’m already saving. If I were purchasing one Moleskine or HB a month I’d be spending $120 to $144 on sketchbooks alone in a year. I’m filling a Field Notes every 16 to 20 days, depending on to do lists, journaling, and assorted school type stuff. A Field Notes is only 48 pages compared to the volant’s 56 or the cahier’s 64. that being said I always had issues with the last pages of my cahiers falling out and the spine of the my volants tearing and needing repair. I’ve yet to damage a Field Notes to that degree. Part of that is I’m not carrying them around outside of a cover but also, they spend less time in my pocket due to the fewer pages. I’d call this aspect even.
The answer to my classmate’s question of a fauxdori being fiscally responsible is, yes, it is. I save about $80 by not buying a moleskine/handbook every month. I also save myself a lot of aggravation. The cover allows the books to really be treated quite roughly. I’m able to carry both books in my back pocket, sit on them and generally abuse them more than I would be able to otherwise. So I’m saved from gluing up spines, falling out pages, and other nuisances.
It’s probably humorous that I turn around and spend that saved scratch on other things, like sketching pencils and pens… Right?
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I've been using a knockoff of the Midori Traveler notebook system for about a year now. I decided to make one for a friend and while I was working on it I tried a few things and really liked how it turned out. I then decided to make myself a new one and a pocket sized version.
I really like how deep and dark the leather is and how supple it's surface is while remaining stiff. I can't wait to put these through the ringer! For the large I used an edge of the hide that had numbers and letters cut into the surface. I buffed a ton of cold wax into the surface, which I used a light iron to heat into the leather, to really deeply impregnate it with the wax
This time instead of punching a hole directly through the center of the cover I made 2 holes, one on either side of the "spine" area. This lets me use a smaller knot and I like how it holds things together.
While I was at it, I figured I'd make myself a strap for my camera. I made it a touch too long but I do like it. The hardest part was finding a heavy duty clasp to hold it to the camera.
Some construction notes: For thelarge notebook I started with a 9×13 inch sheet of leather and then trimmed it once I had the cover constructed. For the small I started with a 6×9 inche sheet of leather, which I again trimmed down excess once I had the elastic installed. In both of mine I'm using my own notebooks but the small would hold any 3.5×5.5 inch notebook, like a Moleskine Cahier, Doane pocket notebook, Bandit Carnet, field notes etc… Any of the small pocket sized notebooks would fit in the small size, and likewise for the large, any 5.5×8.5/9 inch sized notebook would fit.