The Planning of a New Planner

Recently, I’ve been feeling the itch of wanting to try a new planner type.

I’ve been in a ring bound for the past two years with preprinted inserts on Tomoe River paper. But I’m started to get tired of how annoying it is trying to write over the rings, and it’s inconvenient how heavy it is to carry around. I mean, I’ve never strove for “planner peace,” and I definitely never found it. But considering how I like smaller purses, it’s been on my mind more than a few times that I’ve wished for something more portable.

So, after a lot of research, I’ve settled onto the standard size of the Traveler’s Company Travelers Notebook (formerly Midori Travelers Notebook). The biggest factors for me were writing space and physical size. I really like the fact that the Travelers Notebooks are a planner system composed of thin booklets that you can swap out when full, and you can insert as many or as little booklets as you’d like. And, since the Travelers Notebook series is fairly popular, there are lots of companies that make inserts in various paper quality allowing you to really pick and customize what you’d like. That last bit was particularly important for me because I enjoy using fountain pens, and I want writing in my planner to be a pleasant experience not a torturous one.

But then, I got stuck on whether I wanted to spend money for the traditional Travelers Notebook cover or splurge a little and get something nicer like a Gillio.

From my research I was able to discover that the standard Travelers Company cover is made in Thailand using a thick single layer cut of leather. Based on what other people have stated, it’s fairly soft and scratches very easily. It’s a leather cover that will slow all the marks of time and tell its journey honestly. The Gillio cover on the other hand, is definitely more high end. It is a luxury planner cover made with fine Italian calf leather treated using traditional methods. The Gillios are known for their leather quality, and many people talk of it’s soft, floppy structure and heavy leather scent.

The Travelers Company covers are available in 4 standard colors: black, camel, blue, and brown. There are several limited edition designs and colors also available at a slightly higher costs available for purchase through resellers. Some of the covers are softer than others, showing marks even more easily than they already do. The Gillios on the other hand are available in a wide array of colors, if and when they’re restocked. And, it goes without saying that they can go anywhere between a week to over 2 years between restocks.

Since this would be my first planner related purchase in over two years, I’ve really been trying to decide whether I should try go cheap or treat myself. If I like the system, I would definitely stick to it. And, I don’t see the point in spending $50-60 dollars for a Travelers Company cover that I would upgrade and replace in less than a year. On the other hand, if I don’t like the system, I would be investing so much more money ($200) just to start. The only benefit would be that Gillio has great resale value but reselling also takes time and effort.

But the biggest thing is that I’ve never owned a Travelers Notebook, and I don’t know anyone that owns one. I do on the other hand own a Gillio leather planner, and I personally know the quality of their planners.

And after lots and lots of deliberation, I’ve been flip flopping back and forth between either a Travelers Company cover in camel or a Gillio Giramondo in epoca rust.

Admittedly I think my greatest mistake was initially looking into the Travelers Notebook system for Joonho. It first started that I wanted to surprise him with a nice one as a gift because I wanted to get him into something I enjoyed, but also because I felt that he would benefit from being more organized about his day to day appointments. But as I was looking at Giramondos for him, it really just fanned the flame for me wanting one for myself as well.

So here I am now, buying all these inserts, stickers and charms for a planner I don’t have yet because I can’t decide on what I want to do.

Planning for a new planner is such an experience, because you have all these ideas of how you plan to use it. But at the same time, you also know it will never go the way you plan for it to. Yet you’re excited all the same because it’s something new.

If you guys have any thoughts or suggestions, please share them with me because I’m losing my mind over something that should be making me happy.


Originally a hobbyist, Theresa is now deeply entrenched in the world of fine writing goods. Her curiosity was initially sparked through the fountainpens subreddit and has now grown beyond just fountain pens, to include planners, premium paper, and fountain pen inks. Her misadventures can be tracked through her instagram.

Leave a Reply