Converting To A Travelers Notebook Planner System

Travelers Notebook Planner

Preparation & Preplanning is crucial to the effective setup when you are converting to a travelers notebook planner system (or to any planner notebook system).

In this case, I am currently using a bound notebook in a Happy Planner cover.  You can watch the video of this planner for insight about the setup of a bound notebook planner system.


Prior to receiving my A5 travelers notebook, I hadn’t placed as much value on a planner cover.  I didn’t realize how much your planner cover impacts the setup and overall usage of your planning system.

Top Priority

The main part of your planning system is your top priority.  You must get that part up and running before doing anything else.  Decide what insert you’re going to use and get it setup.

Stalogy 1/2 year notebook is my main part of my planning system.  I use daily pages for the bulk of my planning.

To setup the insert, review what you’re currently doing.  Continue using what’s working and adjust or delete what’s not working.

I don’t recommend layouts on the main part of your planning system. This part is where the major planning happens and needs to be ready to use.  However, if you choose to use a layout, keep it simple.

I draw one vertical line 4-grid boxes wide on each of my daily pages- the space is used for coding.

4 columns of coding:

  • signifier for task (t), note (N), or appointment (@)
  • time- morning before nap (M), nap time (N), evening (E), late night after everyone is asleep (L)
  • location- indicate downstairs (D), all others are understood to be upstairs
  • coding- simple graphic signifiers (home, follow-up, research, idea), initials for people, colored pencils for a few categories (blog, YouTube, blog better)

Converting to Travelers Notebook. I talk about the pros and cons of a travelers notebook, personal and A5 size, inserts, and how to setup a travelers notebook. I also show tools for making your own, adjusting a cover, or de-ringing a cover.


Personally, I call these pages ‘remaining pages’.  The remaining pages or inserts (in this case) need to be organized as well.  Typically, I put more effort in regards to layouts and decoration on these pages.

If you have a list of your pages, you can circle the page numbers for the items you want to move to your new planner.  Using what I currently have in my bound notebook as a starting point, I write the page titles on sticky notes.  I love love love sticky notes.  Using sticky notes allows you to preplan and make adjustments before you ever touch the page with a pen.

Make a two column list with headers ‘long-term’ and ‘short-term’.  Place each of your sticky notes in the appropriate column.  The reason for this sorting is because if you mix long-term and short-term, you’ll end up rewriting your long-term pages.

Function before Decoration. Preparation & Preplanning | Converting To Travelers Notebook Planner System.

Stop to Reflect

Take a few moments to do a flip-through of your current planner.  What pages did you use often?  What pages were created with good intention, but need to be changed? What pages are you not using at all?

Write down what’s working in your current planner.  What do you like about it in regards to the setup and content?  Now, write what’s not working.  These things that you want to adjust or completely get rid of.

Converting to a new planner notebook is the time to make changes.

Set Up Part 1

It’s crucial to the success of using your planner to take some time to decide what to include and which insert to put the information in.

In this video, I have all of my collection pages written on sticky notes.  I created columns to use for planning which pages to group together in inserts.

The column headings were short-term and long-term.

Where am I putting this? Set Up Part 1 & Final Set Up | Converting To Travelers Notebook Planner System .

Short-Term examples would be master to-do lists, ideas, courses, and webinars.  The short-term items will be tasks that will be done in the next month or two.

Long-Term examples would be log-in information, on-going events, books to read, Facebook group information, routines, various logs (for me, blog posts and videos), order tracking, and TV and Netflix tracking.  The long-term items will be recorded information that you need to have handy for a time period of longer than a few months.

I also mentioned using Google Sheets because I feel it’s a waste of time to write out a long website address and so that all I have to do is use the link to access the information.  The sheets are especially handy for websites that I want to read or want to refer back to.  I keep a list of items in my planner for things that I have in Google Sheets so that I won’t forget what I have and where it’s located.

What I call the “Notes Notebook Component” is a huge part of my planning system.  I use letter size single subject spiral notebooks to hold all of my research for content for this blog and my YouYube channel as well as research for blogging better.  I number all the pages and letter the notebooks.  Then I use the letter of the notebook with the page number(s) as a reference in my planner to indicate where information is located.  For example, for this blog post article, I referenced “A-69-71” on my daily page so that I knew where my notes are when it came time to write.

I keep an index for each of my Notes Notebook Components in my travelers notebook planner.  I can quickly refer back to the index to know if I have notes on a certain topic.

After I had assigned my collection pages under the appropriate columns, I looked at my travelers notebook inserts to determine which insert I was going to use for each.  Sometimes certain topics “fit” easier on dot grid, square grid, blank, or lined paper.  So I used the type of paper to help determine what insert to use.   Also, a number of pages inside the insert serve as a determining factor.

Make a Decision. Set Up Part 1 & Final Set Up | Converting To Travelers Notebook Planner System .

Once I had determined which insert to use, I put a sticky note on the front of the insert. For this initial set up, I chose square-grid paper for long-term and lined paper for short-term.

A quick tip: Put the most used inserts in the middle of your travelers notebook.

At the end of the video, I indicated that I was going to continue reviewing my collection pages list for any additional items I missed.  Also, I was going to begin adding sticky notes to the pages of the inserts for what was going to be on that page.  Last, I was going to flip through my travelers notebook to see if the set up made sense before writing anything.

Fully Utilize Weekly Planning for Productivity.

Final Set Up

Holy Moly!  I absolutely love, love, love my travelers notebook and the contents!!!

A few products that I forgot to mention in my Supplies | Converting to Travelers Notebook Planner System Video are vellum paper, acetate paper, and colored pencils.

Vellum is a fantastic choice for a thin addition to add pattern, texture, and color for planner customization.  Mambi Sheets are also a fantastic choice!

Acetate is great for adhering with double-sided sticky tape to the dress-up the covers of your inserts.

Colored pencils are my new highlighters for my planner.  I still use highlighters in my Notes Notebook Components.  The Pentalic colored pencils with 12 colors in a thin tin storage case are a game-changer for me!  Colored pencils are great because you have no worry about bleeding, ghosting, or smearing.

My inserts at the time of the Final Set Up Video: weekly planning insert, tomoe river paper square grid paper insert, Stalogy daily planning insert, 6-pocket folder, and another thinner square grid paper insert.

So, you have made a lot of decisions at this point.  Take some time away from the preparation & preplanning process.  When you come back, you will have fresh eyes and perspective to move to the next part of the setup of your new planner notebook system.

Don’t say “I’m going to put this here for now.” Handle things a minimal amount of times, hopefully only once.


These are the supplies (or similar) that I mention in the Supplies | Converting to Travelers Notebook Planner System video.

A5 Inserts

Stalogy 1/2 year notebook

Kraft Folder Insert

Month Calendar Insert

Square Grid Insert

Lined Insert

Dot Grid Insert

Clear Zipper Pocket

Other Accessories

Sticky Notes

Pentel Mechanical Pencil

Hobonichi Ballpoint Pen



Washi Tape

Decorative File Folders

Bold Color Markers

Scrapbook Paper

Mambi Paper Sheets


About Christina Davis

I have used various types of planners, inserts, and supplies over the past 26 years. I am also fascinated with personal development; specifically time management. Managing responsibilities and happiness (or contentment) are equally important. So naturally, I want to help you discover how to do the same! Contact Me and let me know how I can help you!

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