So, let’s talk about Traveler’s Notebook Sizes. I honestly think this is the most common question I see in the TN world, and it runs everywhere from “What are the dimensions of X size?” to “How does this size compare to that?”. I’m going to pull from an amazing collection and show you a visual difference in size dimensions, as well as talk about some difference within the same size category.
While this guide isn’t TOTALLY exhaustive, its relatively thorough. I’ve pulled a wide, a standard, an original Midori,a personal, an A6, a field notes and a passport.
The dimensions of each are generally agreed upon, however there is slight variability from maker to maker. For the most part, I would say choose what size inserts you are most comfortable using. Next, choose how many inserts you need to carry at one time. The TN’s below all fit the “standard” Midori inserts (4.3 x 8.25 inches) but will not all fit the same quantity of inserts. In fact, the original Midori brand only comfortably fits two!
So let’s run through sizes, and what inserts correspond:
First is the “Wide” next to a “Standard”. I like the wide best because it fits my favorite notebooks by May Designs. These notebooks are 8.5 x 5 inches. You may of course also stuff any “standard” size inserts in, and have tons of extra room to expand. Just a reminder, standard inserts are typically 8.25 x 4.3 and go with the standard TN pictured below.
Next step down is the “personal” size. Personal size is a newer addition to the TN community, and seems to be based off of Filofax sizes. If you have previously used a Filofax and loved the layout, but want to try a TN, this is for you 🙂 The dimensions are 6.5 x 3.75 inches. Personal size is shorter and skinnier than your standard size.
After “personal”, we have “A6”. A6 is a standard paper size, and is exactly what you would expect. This notebook fits inserts that measure 4.13 × 5.83 inches. As you can see it is slightly shorter and wider than your personal size.
After A6 is “field notes” or “pocket” size. Field Notes are an amazing brand of notebook based out of Chicago that I adore, and these notebooks fit them perfectly. Of course the insert size is relatively universal, and several other companies make these inserts at 3.3 x 5.5 inches.
Finally, out of the most popular size TNs, comes the “passport”. The passport size is exactly what you may expect, and fits inserts the size of a standard passport. Coming in at 4.9 x 3.5 inches, it is shorter and more compact than your Field Notes.
I love all the different sizes available for TN’s, each for a different reason. It’s amazing the difference an inch makes on how a notebook feels in the hand, or in a bag. I tend to get hooked on a certain size insert and use a notebook for a while, but its completely reasonable to use one as a journal, another as a wallet, a third as a planner. Each in a different size for those specific needs. For now, I think I’m stuck on Maybooks and my wide Buteo 🙂
PS. Here are links to all the makers above!
Foxtail Threads: foxtailthreads.etsy.com
Buteo Bunker: buteobunker.etsy.com
Chic Sparrow: Chicsparrow.com