Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How to add extra booklets to a Traveler's Notebook

I received several questions about how to add extra booklets to your traveler's notebook and since this is rather difficult to explain with just words, I thought I'd make a blogpost about it with pictures to make it easier to see.

As an example I used my Fieldnotes/Pocket sized Traveler's Notebook, with just one elastic (1 long and 1 short)

I took it completely apart, to show you how I add the notebooks to my TN and took lots of pictures...

When full it looks like this.

With a zipper file around the first booklet

A file folder with pen-loops around the second.

And lastly just a plain booklet.

Normally a Traveler's Notebook comes with 1 long and 1 short elastic down the middle. You can use the long elastic to insert one booklet and maybe the shorter one to inserts another.

I want to insert 3 booklets, a fie folder with pen-loops and a passport sized Midori zipper file 

For this you take the two booklets you want on the outside and, in this case, fold the zipper file around the booklet you want it. You can add the zipper file any way you like, but this is how I have it in this TN.

Open the booklets in the middle and put them back to front. Take an extra elastic, either the Midori type elastics or a thin, knotted, elastic cord (which is what I use) and slide it over the back of the first and the front of the last booklet. Effectively pairing the booklets into a set.

Then take one of the booklets and slide it under the long elastic in the TN.

Pulling it all the way trhough, so that each booklet sits on either side of the long elastic.

Take the remaining booklet, fold the file folder, with the pen-loops, around it and slide it under the long elastic in the middle of the two other booklets.

You could also do this first and then slide the set of two booklets over this one, but by doing it the way I showed, the two outer booklets will sit more securely within the cover.

Both ways work though and some prefer the outer booklets to slide over.

The result will look something like this. You can take the bookmark and place it in your booklet.

Since my TN's have a slit at the top and bottom hole, I always tuck the bookmark between the bottom slit, thus securing the booklets even further.

You could also piggy back a booklet onto the spine of another, like with the file folder, but that would split this booklet in half and it will push the first booklet out in front. If this is not a problem for you, then this is another way to add more booklets.

Also If you like to have 4 (or more) booklets onto 1 elastic, you can repeat the pairing of the booklets any number of times. You can also Pair two sets of two by adding a third elastic through the middle of the sets and slide one whole set underneath the long notebook elastic as you would with one notebook of just the single set. This way you'll have a set of two notebooks on each side of the long notebook elastic.

You can go even further and attach notebooks with extra elastics to the other notebooks.

By increasing the numer of booklets in the TN, you will increase the width of the spine, which decreases the width of the cover and it will increase the weight of the Traveler's Notebook. =)

I make all my TN's with 2 long and 2 short elastics, so you can repeat this procedure on the other elastic in any combination you like. (In another blogpost I will show you how to add the elastics and bookmark to your cover.)

You should also remember that by using your inserts, they will get thicker, sometimes twice (or more) as thick. When you use your TN, bits and bobs will get tucked in, kept in the file folder or in the zipper file, these all add to the thickness of the TN, making it increasingly difficult to write in. So you may want to stick to 3 booklets, it might not seem a lot at first...but just wait and see, it'll fill up in no time =)

So yes, as the little card says, thanks for being lovely and I hope you enjoyed this. Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Have a lovely week.


  1. Very cool!
    And just a lovely travel journal, too!

  2. Monique, your printables are unique, very easy on the eye, and look extremely professional, so please be patient with this Englishman. I wanted to print out the passport sized Month On Two Pages, but I can't see how to do this onto A4 paper. I know you say print out normally and flip on the long side, and don't use booklet mode. So do I just print all 52 pages, or am I missing something? Obviously the full size inserts are very easy, and I have done those without problem. Thanks.

    1. Thank you Steve. For the passport word files (and their corresponding pdf, which I'm making) you should use A5 paper. If you don't have A5 paper you can easily make this with A4, by cutting them in half. These files you print with booklet mode, flip on the short side (or left binding)

      For the pdf's where there are 2 inserts on one a4 (one on top and one at the bottom of the A4 paper) you print those with a4 paper, you don't use booklet style and you flip on the long edge.

      I think the MOTP design is for a5 paper, so you should cut your a4 in half...please remember to check if you printer takes a5 paper for double sided printing! And then print them in booklet mode, left binding.

      Hope that helps. I am making the pdf's. sometimes it's easier to see how you should print with the pdf settings =)


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