It’s no secret that I love a good traveler’s notebook. And if you’ve ever wondered what to put in a traveler’s notebook, boy do I have some answers and opinions on that.

a hand holding a brown leather traveler's notebook in front of pink flowers with the text "What to Put in a Traveler's Notebook"

The reason I love traveler’s notebooks is because they’re so versatile. I use them a lot for my planning system, but also for simple, creative purposes. The best traveler’s notebook is the one that works for you.

And to that end, I recommend taking a look at your notebook situation as it stands. (If you’re a writer, you always have a notebook situation.)

Could this situation be improved by corralling all your notebooks in one buttery soft leather location? Probably.

For me, that’s the big draw of a traveler’s notebook. I have a whole post on how I use my traveler’s notebook, but that is only the most recent iteration. There’s tons of posts on this blog about different sizes and setups.

If you’re interested in diving into the world of traveler’s notebooks, but aren’t sure what  will work for you, I recommend searching for traveler’s notebook reviews on YouTube, and checking out all the videos people share. People will talk about the features they love and how they use their notebooks, so it’s a great way to learn more.

Different Ways to Use a Traveler’s Notebook

There are so many different ways to use a traveler’s notebook. I’ve used a traveler’s notebook with a passion planner, even though that isn’t a prescribed insert.

I once purchased a used traveler’s notebook in a Facebook group, and had a really cheap personal-sized traveler’s notebook set up.

I’ve used a bullet journal in a traveler’s notebook too. I love having a place for all my planner stuff.

But I’m also working on creative stuff in a traveler’s notebook too. That’s my ideas journal is–a place where I keep tons of inspiration in different notebook inserts.

What to Put in a Traveler’s Notebook

So, you can basically put anything in one of these bad boys. But in case you still need some ideas, I have you covered.

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001: A commonplace book.

A good commonplace book won’t save your life, but it might feel like it does. A commonplace book is simply a notebook where you compile information. It could be anything you need, like notes on books you’re reading, helpful measurement conversions, recipes to try, things you’d like to incorporate into your life, and so on.

You can glue in bits and pieces you need to keep, or you can jot down little ideas that occur to you. Sketching is welcome, and there really are no rules.

Basically, if you need a catch-all sort of notebook, a commonplace book is the way to go. And if you put one in a traveler’s notebook, you’ll always have a place to put stuff that defies categorization otherwise.

002: Useful lists.

I have an insert in my current setup that is simply a bunch of lists. This includes a list of books to buy, conferences I want to apply to speak at, and a list of rewards I want to give to myself when I hit certain milestones.

There are plenty of pages for new lists, and I have tons of space to add to the lists as I go. I’m pretty sure around the holiday, I’ll be adding lists of Christmas presents to buy. And when I start really diving into some creative projects, I’ll probably have a list of things I want to watch and read to make me feel more immersed in the subject matter.

003: A folder to catch receipts.

I have one of these in my traveler’s notebook I use for planning purposes. It’s just a good idea to collect receipts if you have a desire to write stuff off on your taxes.

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Granted, most of my receipts are digital these days, and I love the option to get email receipts that can sit in an email folder that I simply forward to my accountant. But sometimes, you do have to exist in the real world and when you do, you may spend money for business purposes. And this little folder is a great way to stay prepared.

004: A planner or calendar.

I got into traveler’s notebooks as a planner, and to me, they’re still really helpful at separating the bits and pieces of your life. I like having a planner with me at all times, even though a lot of the scheduling I do these days is in Google Calendar. And a good planner gives you space for task breakdown, so it’s always a bit more productive than just scheduling.

005: Your wallet.

I use the Galen Leather Hobonichi Weeks cover, and I love how it keeps my planner and wallet all in one place. There are cheaper inserts for credit cards that Midori makes, and there are tons of really cool things Etsy makers have that can be used as wallets too.

Think about what you need from a wallet, then do a bit of research into what’s out there. And think about how you want it to work in your setup, because some wallets will really expand the size of your notebook, and others will keep it super slim.

006: A tracker or two.

I am not much for habit tracking, but I do track some health stuff in the blank pages in the back of my Hobonichi Weeks. If you need to keep information handy for doctors visits or for your own personal edification, a good tracker is something to consider.

And building a habit is so much easier when you have visual proof of how far you’ve come, and you get the dopamine hit of adding another X to the grid. You can purchase pre-made habit tracker inserts on Etsy, or simply make your own with a grid insert.

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007: A journal.

I talk a lot about journaling. It’s good. You could have an insert for whatever journaling means to you. And since it goes with you wherever you are, you can write in your journal wherever you are.

008: A writer’s notebook or journal.

I’ve been prattling on and on about keeping your writing information together. If you’re wondering what is a writer’s notebook or what is a writer’s journal, you can find out more in the archives. But now that you know what they are and how great a traveler’s notebook can be, maybe you need to make a writer’s notebook or writer’s journal in a traveler’s notebook.

009: Project planning.

Traveler’s notebooks are ideal for project planning. You can have an insert for project idea dumping, one for creating the strategic plan, one for tracking progress, and one for journaling through the process and thinking about wins, losses, and what you’d do differently next time.

And come to think of it, I should probably try this some day…

What Do You Put in Your Traveler’s Notebook?

Do you use your traveler’s notebook for planning or creative purposes? How do you organize your traveler’s notebook? What kind of inserts are you favorite? Do you have a traveler’s notebook accounts you follow on Instagram or YouTube?

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