The current state of my Midori Traveler’s Notebook


I made another video about my Traveler’s Notebook. I am excited because I have found something that has worked for me! Because of this, I am feeling much less scatter-brained lately. I love how the Traveler’s Notebook has evolved and changed with me as I develop what works. I thought it would be fun to show you that evolution.


Here are some links to things addressed in the video.

  • Bullet Journal. I have been doing this with great success. My favorite thing about it is the index. It’s brilliant. Now those scatter-brained ideas can be found! I love using the Midori 2 month blank calendars for this. They work perfectly with the Bullet Journal system.
  • Chronodex. Still not completely sure what this is all about but it seems to be working for me. I guess I like the visual representation of my day. I can take one look at my Chronodex for the day and know where I am supposed to be. I also like my ritual at the beginning of the day of coloring in the different spaces. It’s a nice way for me to get focused on work in the morning. I started out with the journal that Patrick Ng graciously provides for free but have moved on to my own way of using it. I simply tape in a printout of the blank Chronodex template for each day. I don’t use it to track what I am doing each moment (as it is supposed to be used), I use it to help me keep track of where I am supposed to be during the day.
  • I’ve been buying my Midori stuff at Baum-Kuchen.

I should note that I just bought a passport-sized Traveler’s Notebook. I am planning on using that for my Bullet Journal/work stuff. The small size lends itself well for carrying around in my pocket all day.  That is the plan, anyway. I will let you know how it works out!

In the meantime, I will use the regular-sized Traveler’s notebook for creative stuff. Sketching, photography, etc.



My Term Student Mandala

I went through a Term Student program at my Sangha this past Fall. This is, simply, a period of time when you focus a bit more intensely on your practice.

I learned so much about myself during this time. I will blog more about it – if I can find the words to say about it. Much of what I learned is still percolating inside of me.

On the last retreat our teacher had us draw a mandala that represented what we learned during this time. The photo above is what I drew. Honestly, it is kind of hard to express in words what it all means. I did have explain my mandala as part of the retreat , but I had a hard time finding the words for it. Drawing it came from a different part of myself, the part of myself that doesn’t use language to communicate.

As I drew this particular mandala I felt a familiarity.

On maybe (perhaps) being a reluctant notebook person


So, there has been some lighthearted Twitter arguing discussion about notebook vs. no notebook in the pinhole photography community (you should watch this very eloquent video SquarePegPinhole made in  response to this discussion). I have been a vehement notebook denier. I have never seen the need and find them cumbersome and distracting.  I feel like they break my creative flow. I have even tried a few of the really great iPhone apps and they never work for me. I inevitably forget to jot down my exposure information.

I have reluctantly changed my tune. In a way.

A few months ago I bought a large format pinhole camera, a Zero 45. There are several options one can use with it from zone plate, to pinhole. You can add extension frames. You can use different backs (which means you can use sheet film as well as 120 roll film or even Polaroid). The first time I took this camera out I tried almost everything with it.  It was fun, but when I developed my film and looked at the images I had no idea what I did. I was kind of mad at myself because I was trying out this new camera and was left at square one, not knowing how each setting affected the photo. This is when I began to question my non-notebook ways.

I asked around and a a friend suggested the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. It looked like it was right up my alley. I have been using it now for a couple of months and I love it. I carry it with me everywhere and I use it for photography, but I also use it for work too.  I use it to keep my to-do list every day which has helped me stay focused. Also, I like to hand make my own books and there are great tutorials on how to hack your own Midori insert. I love this! It totally appeals to my creative side.

As for the photography journal part of it: I still can’t seem to write down each exposure. When I am shooting photos I am using the creative side of my brain and it is very difficult for me to turn that side off and go left brain with the technical details. Instead I am taking notes before and after I shoot and I write down as much as I can remember.

Here is a video about how I organize my Midori notebook.

Here are some links referenced in the Video:

Baum-Kuchen for Midori resources. Specifically the leather charm on the front.

Check out Chronodex here.