Often, we make purchases with the optimism that an item will become a staple in our daily life, never fully knowing what will come to fruition—a new favorite or an ultimate mismatch. The ability to accurately predict the outcome of any given purchase would be a powerful and prized asset.
Items we receive as gifts have an even worse ‘success ratio,’ simply because an external buyer is making his or her best guess as to what will tickle us with delight and what will fall flatly by the wayside.
It is those in the former category that become cherished and appreciated, and remind us of those who were thoughtful and attentive enough to give such a fitting gift.
Before I left for Italy, I was already using a leather-bound booklet agenda to jot my weekly appointments. In Tampa and with the job I had, it was mostly lunches, social engagements, and doctor visits rather than a critical tool to keep me organized, in the right places at the right times, and where I could scribble random thoughts.
My good friend, mentor, and spiritual role model Tona stocks the Midori Travelers Notebook in her paper and crafts store so as a going-away present, she told me to choose a leather cover and several inserts to take with me on my adventure abroad.
The large Midori travelers notebook is larger than what I had before, but I rapidly began to appreciate its balanced size: small enough to carry in almost any bag and large enough to write in, in my large-medium swoopy, cursive-ish handwriting.
In approximately seven months, I have completely filled the first 64-page blank page insert, as well as one 28-week (half year) weekly planner. The brilliance of the Midori travelers notebook is a permanent leather cover, which develops an exquisite softness and patina, with inexpensive, swappable refills, held together with elastic bands.
I pair my Midori with black ballpoint 0.5mm gel ink pens from Muji. Tona has tried to convert me to some of Midori’s own beautiful brass instruments, but the ink flow of the pens from the other Japanese company have my heart—and are cheap, come in an array of colors.
The joy of the Midori travelers notebook is its simplicity and durability, neither of which diminish its beauty. The (black or brown) thick calf leather shell is aromatic and meant to be tossed around. The decidedly analog method of construction and use over time is a welcome change from the digital onslaught we all face. And, because its Japanese, its a high-quality product made from gorgeous paper and without excessive branding.
Its a platform that gets out of the way once in place.
As an added leg-up, Midoris can be endlessly customized with inserts, writing instruments, clips and bands and holders, and also pockets to hold papers, tickets, passports, etc.
It’s been a pleasure to use since I moved across the world, and holds the contents of many a train of thought. More importantly, it allows me to record the things I don’t want to or can’t remember, so I can focus on more valuable details and concepts I may be brewing upstairs.
Among the many gifts one gets in a lifetime, for me this has been a top ten in terms of compatibility with my life, my tastes, and my personality. If you enjoy writing, love leather accessories, and enjoy visualizing the flow of your time, a Midori travelers notebook may be perfect for you too!