Do you have an ink dependence? I can help...

Image Slider

Midori Traveller's Diary 2019


So, I've been using a pair of planners for the last 6 months. The first is a Kokyo Jibun Techo and the second is this one from Midori. It's a little exhausting (and redundant) using two planners each week, but I did it for you. You're welcome! So, let's take a tour of the planner. Don't forget to scroll all the way to the bottom for a chance to win the second half of this planner!

The Outsides

The Midori planner comes as a pair of thin books. This keeps the thickness down, I suppose, but it wouldn't be all that thick to begin with. It is convenient that I can give away the second half of the year to a reader, though. That's cool. Perhaps this is also because the Traveller's notebooks are generally kept in their covers with other notebooks, and those are generally pretty thin.

The outer cover of the Traveller's Diary is fairly thick paper and coated so that it will be pretty durable. I kept mine in a Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter between two other notebooks, so it was pretty safe, but it still doesn't really show any wear. the coating makes it so that  you can't really write on it, though, so I used this little strip of sticky tape to label it.

The Insides

I really like the paper that Midori uses, and this MD paper is quite fountain pen friendly. In fact, it's pretty well everything-friendly. Other planners that use papers like Tomoe River can bleed when used with gel pens, but the MD paper is just fine with them. It's a cream paper, though, and not plain white. Not a big deal, but worth knowing in case you're a stickler for bright white pages. I'm not.

Your first page tells you which months are covered and you can write some things on it if you want to, I suppose. Perhaps you use different planners for different purposes and need to be able to tell which is which?

I also keep a few Post-It tabs on that first page so that I can locate particular pages when I want to. 

Beyond the first page you'll find a yearly calendar layout. I've highlighted a few important dates in each month, but I don't know that I ever came back to this page to check them.

Next, you'll find a few pages with each month and a little space to write things like anniversaries. This replaces the larger calendar layouts that you'll find in other planners. (I like the larger layouts better.)

Next up: This is the part of the planner that I used the most. The weekly layout is Monday-Sunday, and that's a really nice layout once you're used to it. It took me a little while, but I prefer this now. It puts my weekends together instead of bookending the work week, and that really makes more sense.

I like to block my time this way. I chose a page without too much stuff on it because I use this for work and regular life. The blocks for class have a bit of room for notes I might need to make about them, and this is a good way to visualize your day. There's a little bit of room at the bottom for notes.

Sometimes I use that space for making general notes about the day (as shown below). It's good for all-day things like birthdays and such. There's also some room at the header for that, but I didn't find myself using that much.

The last page is just your basic "If found, please return to:" sort of thing in the style of a flight plan. I clearly didn't put much there.

Video Review:

How to Win:

This is what I'm giving away. It's a 6-month book, new and unused. Scroll down a bit more to enter!

Midori Traveller's Diary Giveaway

**Everything here was bought with my own money. The links aren't affilliates, and JetPens isn't a sponsor. It's just an online store that I like a lot.**

Write Notepads Pocket Ledger


 I've been a fan of Write Notepads for a long while, and this new generation of notebooks and tablets is really good. I bought a couple different styles of notebook while I was at the Baltimore Pen Show, and it's about time I review them! I bought mine from Points Pens or Write Notepads, but I can't remember which. They were next to one another at the show, and I know I got paper from both of them. Anyway, it's the same price at each place, and both are good places to get things.

 Check out this 3x6" pocket ledger below.

 The Covers: 

The pocket ledger comes in three different covers. A 40 point board stock cover in black and pistachio, and this kraft cover with a 60 point board stock cover. This thing is quite stiff, and you'll have no issue writing on this pad while holding it in your hand. It's also made from 100% post-consumer waste. Environmentally responsible!

The double wire bindings are nice and stiff. I haven't had them get bent out of shape in the time I've been using it, and a double wire is always better than a single one. I never liked those single bound wire notebooks that I had to use when I was in grade school. The wires always bent and twisted and made it difficult to turn the pages. And those wire ends came loose and stabbed you. Man. This is so much better than that!

On the back you'll see the Write logo, the Born in Baltimore, and their social media handles. Follow them on your favorite social media and tell them I sent you. (Instagram and Twitter)

 The Inside:

 The paper in this notebook is 70lb paper, and it's quite good at handling all sorts of inks. Below you'll see Poor Man's Sapphire (a Strait's Pens ink), some other blue, and a really cool ink from Birmingham Pen Co that was in my friend's super wet and wide OMAS nib.

 The page below is the back of the previous page. I just used ballpoint on that page, but all that fountain pen ink was on the back of the page. You can just see some show through around the middle of the page ("made from cotton..."), but it didn't bleed through and neither did the rest of it. Pretty good start, I think.

So, let's test it with a bunch of different pens!

Everything worked perfectly. Ballpoints, gels, fountain pens, and pencils had zero issues. The addressing pen was less bleedy than I thought it would be. The Sharpie was predictably a little bit bleedy, but even that one didn't have much of an issue. 

Oh, and the ruling on the page is a light green and printed in vegetable-based inks. Environmentally responsible!

Video Review: 

Robert Oster's Pygmy Hippo


This bright magenta is brought to you by Hippo Noto, and it's part of their newest Kickstarter project.  The original Hippo was an A5ish notebook with 500 pages of Tomoe River in various colors, rules, and a couple of different paper hues. The ink with that project was a Robert Oster in a unique hippo color that is sort of maroon/brown/purple.

The newest version is in full A5 or the smaller "Pygmy" A6 size with the option to add on a bottle of this Pygmy Purple ink. Check it out below, and let me know what you think of this one!

Written Review

You get a lot of character in this ink. It's not going to be one that everyone can use on a regular basis, but it's got a bright color, nice shading, and some mild sheen on the right papers. Pretty darn cool, if you're into the color. 

Close Ups

 I wouldn't have thought that the chromatography would be so monotone, actually. This color just sort of is what it is, I suppose.

20lb Copy Paper 

Not bad. Just a little bit of bleeding here. Should be expected from a paper like this. 

Wheat Straw Paper

It looks really good on this wheat paper, I think. Good shading, but no real sheen observed. 

Tomoe River Ink Journal

Color Comparisons

Andrinople is an ink that I hear people like, but it's way too dry for me. Pygmy Purple is pretty close to the hue, but it feels better on the nib.

Video Review

***This bottle of ink was sent out free of charge for my review, and your enjoyment. No assurances are ever given, aside from the promise of a truthful review. YMMV, etc.***

3 Oysters Doldam


I have a few of these 3Oysters inks from South Korea to review (most of them sent out for review by the company), and this one is a strange one. As you'll see below, the color is awesome. As you'll also see below, it's got a couple of behavioral issues that might put you off. Check it out below and let me know what you think of this rocky grey.

Written Review:
As I hear it, Doldam is the name of a district in Seoul that is known for these stone walls. In the pictures I saw online, this color looks pretty consistent with the old, stone walls. It's a good match.


Lots of color depth in this swatch of ink. And an eyelash on the page below.

It's a bit thin, this ink. You can see the dark-to-light shading in these writing samples, and that's because the ink sort of follows the nib across the coated paper before pooling where the nib stops. You can sort of see how I form my letters, if you look at where it's lightest.

This one isn't great at resisting water, but it does leave behind a mustardy yellow where the lines were.


This is pretty special. Look at all of the colors in that strip! It's a grey ink with brown tones, and there's no brown or grey in this chromatography. Crazy, right?

Staples 20lb Copy Paper

This is where it starts to go wrong. It's bleedy. It's feathery. It spreads. It's doing all of the bad things on this (admittedly terrible) paper.

Wheat Straw Paper:

It does okay here even though this paper is uncoated.

Ink Journal Tomoe River Paper:

Of course, it's fine on Tomoe River. Everything is.

Some Staples Sugarcane Paper:

This paper is usually pretty good at handling fountain pen inks, but Doldam feathers and spreads and bleeds on it. It does this on several other uncoated papers of good quality, too.

Color Comparisons:

Video Review: 

** 3 Oysters sent this ink over from South Korea for review. No promises were made, and no guarantees given. Just my honest review. YMMV, etc. **