Sunday, July 12, 2015

Notebook Review: Traveler's Notebook Blue Edition

I've been using my regular-sized Traveler's Notebook since 2011, and I am happy with the customization I have done with it. A brown TN looks nice, but I kept to my black notebook because it looked better and better as I used it. In February, I read Midori's announcement of a new TN in blue leather, and I was smitten.

The announcement said that the Limited Edition Traveler's Notebook Blue Edition will be available in April. After a number of delays due to limited stocks, I finally got my Blue TN from Scribe Writing Essentials in June. The Blue TN is beautiful, and because I have not written a notebook review in two years, it seemed the perfect notebook for a new review.

The release of the limited edition Blue TN marks the transition of the Traveler's Notebook gradually dropping off the Midori name from its branding. Instead of the old brand Midori Traveler's Notebook, it is now called the 'Traveler's Notebook'.

The Traveler's Notebook Blue Edition is available for a limited time in 2015, according to the Traveler's Notebook and Company. It comes only in regular size (5.12 x 8.27 inches).

Like other TNs, the Blue Edition is packaged in a neatly folded box, held together by a blue elastic band. Flyers about the notebook and leather care are included in the packaging.

Inside the folded box are the following: a cotton case for the notebook, genuine cowhide leather notebook cover, notebook refill, and a spare blue elastic band.

This limited edition Traveler's Notebook features a uniquely beautiful leather cover in deep, dark blue. Why blue for the 2015 TN? The Traveler's Notebook and Company gave several reasons for coming up with a Blue TN, citing artists such as Picasso and Yves Klein whose signature color is blue. The news release said that the company's inspiration came from the indigo sky right before dawn, when the first beam of sunlight peeks into the horizon.

The leather cover of TNs is all hand-made in Chiangmai, Thailand. The genuine cowhide leather cover has a lovely texture and will develop character the more it gets used. The TN has a simple and elegant design with an elastic band along the spine inside the leather cover, secured with a tin clasp/fastener outside the cover. The band holds the notebook in place inside, while another band holds the notebook cover closed. 

The genuine cowhide leather of the Blue TN is smoother and softer than the leather in my older TN. I noticed though, that the Blue TN leather is easily scratched and scuffed.

A tin fastener holds both the TN's page marker, and the elastic band that holds the notebook refill inside.
The elastic band that holds the notebook refill inside is threaded in either ends of the leather cover.
The elastic band that holds the notebook covers together is thick and sturdy.

The regular notebook refill that comes with the Blue TN has Midori Diary (MD) paper. Made at the MD factory in Nagareyama, Northern Chiba, Japan, MD paper is one of the best fountain pen friendly paper in the market. The refill has 32 sheets (64 pages) of bleed-resistant and feather-resistant paper.

The TN's inside back cover. I will add more notebook inserts here.
The back cover holds the elastic band that keeps the notebook covers together.
At the back cover of the TN is the Traveler's Notebook logo.
New and old TNs. The new TN without the Midori name, which is in my old TN.

I have been closely following the blog and social media accounts of fellow TN enthusiast Patrick Ng. He was at the Global Gathering at the recent International Stationery and Products Fair in Tokyo, Japan, and he reported that the Traveler's Notebook brand is gradually dropping off the Midori name and will be called Traveler's Company. Traveler's Company will be an independent global brand from Midori.

Aside from the Blue Edition TN, Midori Japan also released a series of new products created in collaboration with the historic US national flag carrier Pan Am. During its operation, the airliner used blue as its corporate color, and the Pan Am items are the perfect accessories for the Blue Edition TN.

The complete set of Pan Am products includes two notebooks (blank and grid), zipper pocket, two sets of stickers, brass ballpoint pen, and pen holder. I wasn't able to get all of the accessories, but I got a blank notebook, a zipper pocket, and a set of stickers from Scribe Writing Essentials. 

The Pan Am logo is printed on the covers of the blue zipper pocket (left) and blank notebook refill (right).
Details of notebook refill and zipper pocket inserts.

The blank notebook refill has Pan Am images, including the logo used by the airline during their time of operation. The images are printed in sepia, instead of the usual dark gray, and I noticed that the Midori logo which used to be at the bottom of the inside cover page of previous TN refills has been taken out.

The inside of the zipper pocket is also printed with Pan Am logos. It can hold stuff in the left part, and various cards on the right. At the bottom is a space for the TN's owner's contact details.
The contents of the sticker set. I'd like to get the other set, too.

The Blue Edition TN and Pan Am accessories were released in Japan in April, and stocks have been sold out in the Traveler's Notebook and Company and in reseller stores, including Scribe Writing Essentials. A lot of people are still looking forward to owning a Blue TN, hopefully more stocks will come around.
Blockbuster hit: the Blue TN and Pan Am items are now mostly out of stock.

The Blue TN is a blockbuster hit! Watch out for when stocks get back in stores and get one for yourself. This special notebook is a must have for any TN enthusiast.

The Blue Traveler's Notebook used in this review is courtesy of Scribe Writing Essentials. The Limited Edition Traveler's Notebook Blue Edition, Pan Am accessories, and other TN accessories are available in Scribe's stores in Eastwood Mall, Shangrila Plaza Mall, Glorietta 5, SM Aura, and SM Megamall. For their complete location/address, contact numbers, and store hours, click here.


  1. Anonymous12:24 PM

    Hi! Where did you get the leather looking pen wrap on the last photo?

    1. Hi! I got it from a fellow member of the Fountain Pen Network Philippines who makes these pen wraps. If you want to get in touch with him, send me an email at archer.rantings (at) gmail dot com.

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