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  1. The Paper Plane – Endless Explorer – Refillable Leather Journal I’ve been enjoying this little corner of the web for some time now, mainly focusing on inks and pens. But these are more or less useless without the humble paper or notebook that will let you capture your thoughts. So here comes the “Paper Plane”, where I review some of the paper and notebooks that I’ve enjoyed using over the years. Today’s guest is the Endless Explorer, a refillable leather journal in the style of the well-known Traveler’s Journal. This journal is produced by Endless Stationery, a company that clearly states its focus on simplicity, aesthetics and service. With this Refillable Leather Journal they really succeed on all fronts, as will become clear during this review. The camel-brown Leather Journal comes packaged in a nice sturdy box. Within the box is a “thank you” leaflet, the leather cover itself and one Storyboard notebook refill. With the cover you also receive an attractive and very functional pen-loop. Nice packaging and aesthetically pleasing. I also appreciate the Explorer’s dimensions – at 5.1” x 7.5” it is almost A5-sized, and a much more practical size than the more rectangular Traveler’s Journal. The Leather Cover is almost brand-free – the back shows a small embossed “Endless” logo, and that’s it. The Explorer can comfortably hold from 1 to 3 Storyboard notebooks. For the first notebook, you use an elastic band that also serves to close the cover. An additional two elastic bands (orange and red) wrap around the leather cover, each capable of holding an extra Storyboard refill. I personally prefer to use the Explorer with 3 notebook inserts: one is used as a bullet journal, one for meeting notes, and one for mindmapping. This setup serves me well. The leather cover is designed to age quickly and gracefully – gathering patina and scratches. My notebook cover is brand-new and has already collected some scratches. This will give it a worn and well-used look, which is totally intentional, and fits the travel-journal style. For refills, the Explorer uses large Storyboard notebooks – which are either lined or dot-grid. The dimensions are close to an A5 size, and these notebooks fit perfectly within the leather cover. I got me dot-grid versions of these refills – the grid is fairly light and unobtrusive. The best part of the Storyboard notebooks is undoubtedly their paper. Just as with the Endless Recorder notebooks, the Storyboard refills use 68 gsm Tomoe River paper, which is extremely fountain-pen friendly. For a work-journal I much prefer this heavier paper over the more flimsy 52 gsm version. This 68 gsm Tomoe River paper is fountain pen heaven! Some show-through is present, but never disturbing. And to get any bleed-through, you have to try very hard, almost pouring ink on the page. I got some bleed-trough with Noodler’s ink wetly applied with a glass dip pen. When writing with normal fountain pens in any nib sizes, it’s perfectly ok to use both sides of the page. This paper can handle basically anything you throw at it. Superb ! Conclusion If you like minimalist notebooks, the Endless Explorer Refillable Leather Journal is definitely worth looking at. The concept is similar to the well-known Traveler’s Journal, but with a more sensible 5.1” x 7.5” width-height ratio, that is close to A5. And the paper used by the Storyboard refills is simply sublime! The price is also very reasonable: 49 EUR for the Refillable Leather Cover, and 8.50 EUR for the 64-page Storyboard refills (taxes included). I love my Endless Recorder notebooks, but they have now met their replacement. This Explorer will from now on serve as my daily capture tool.
  2. I am a former Filofax user and learned about the Midori / traveler's journals recently. I wanted to find a way to make use of my Filofax so I transformed my personal size filofax into a traveler's journal by removing the rings / metal spine with a hacksaw. For illustration purposes, I found the green binder picture online, (it's not mine) and I bent the metal spine up like the picture shows, but not quite as far. I bent it up just enough to get a hacksaw blade between the leather and the rivets and I literally sawed through the rivets on the inside of the book. After removing the rings and metal spine, I used a leather hole punch to make 3 holes to each the top and bottom of the leather spine, giving me 4 elastic strands inside. It holds inserts I modified from May Designs and these inserts measure 7.25 x 5 inches. I used a rotary cutter to trim from the bottom and top of the notebooks, then reinforced the stitching of the books so they wouldn't come unsewn. I angled the corners of the notebooks to fit inside the curved corners of the Filofax. I am really happy with it and am loving that I can still use the Filofax to satisfy my TJ obsession! Thanks for looking!

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