Travel Stationary Geek

Details 23/6/2009 Categories Design & Art Direction. Stationary. Travel.
I've always had a thing about quality stationary brands, ever since the ubiquitous Filofax organisers from the 80's. I still retain a personal and an A5 sized Filofax, filling them with personal papers and using them to keep together important cards and documents. Afterall, their customisable inserts make them practical for any physical essentials in the face of our growing reliance on digital.

Stationary 1

Practically all my work is digital, but having trained mostly with crafting by hand, I still cling to any vestiges of analogue I can fit in my life.

More Journals

Since arriving in East Asia, I've had more of a reason to do so. My Filofaxes are now joined by a couple of Moleskines (one being the red Helvetica special edition which I may never use) and the two different sized Travelers Notebooks that are available from the Japanese company Midori.

Stationary 2

These new "devices" fill my requirements for different types of travel journaling and portability. I've also supplemented them with items from the purveyors of fine, handmade felt and leather cases, Hardgraft, and a leather Moleskine cover from Gfeller.

All photos Linh and I are taking on our travels are digital and I'm maintaining our experiences on the blog, so strictly speaking, analogue isn't essential.

Analogue Ephemera

But as a designer, I'm constantly picking up bits of ephemera that now find their homes in my full-size Traveler's Notebook. Analogue in this sense is just essential for collating all those things that traveling unearths, that can't just simply be put online.

New East Asian Stationary Brands

Our shopping experiences have so far revealed new East Asian stationary brands whose aesthetics are demanding more creative time in my travel journals. Some brands I would have heard of before whilst in London, such as the Travelers Notebooks and Craft, Design, Technology, but others, such as the patterned MT Masking Tapes are opening up new ways of spending!

All these together with a new found obsession with stamps (ink and pad type) are bordering on some kind of stationary porn consumption.

Hong Kong's City Super

The stationary range at Hong Kong's City Super stores are definitely one of the culprits for turning me into a stationary geek. Senior buyer Patrick Ng runs a blog at which is a thinly-veiled attempt to get creative types to spend all their cash at City Super!

I'm not complaining however, since I'll finish my travels with lots of analogue documentation. Besides, this month, I attended one of City Super's free Travel Photo Cafe sessions that Patrick organised, which provided plenty of travel writing inspiration.

So here's to the Stationary Geek movement! You can join by checking out my lovingly put together photoset of my stuff:

Stationary : Travelers Notebooks, Filofax and Moleskines

Also, thanks to James @ Hard Graft for posting my photo on their blog.

Stationary 3



Hi Mark

Thanks for the interesting introduction to your Notebooks. I use also the legendary Midori in both sizes. For what purpose do you use the passport size and the large Traveler's notebook?
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) in Switzerland on 04/10/09 at 12:56 PM

Hi Yvette,

The passport one is definitely the portable notebook that goes everywhere with me for notes on the go. The large one is kept at home where I tend to stick in all the ephemera I collect on my travels.

I've described a bit more about the process in this post:

Thanks for reading!
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/10/09 at 10:09 AM

hi mark.

you've got a great site. love the detailed information you provide. meticulous.

i have a questions for you. i purchased my midori notebooks back home and am searching for a place in london to get some more as their co, only ships within japan. do you know of a shop in london who carries their product?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) in london on 01/04/10 at 01:48 PM

Hi Sachi,

I'm afraid I don't know of any shops in London, but I'd be surprised if there were since it seemed quite difficult to get them outside.

Recently, it seems that you can get them shipped from a few sites. Here are some links that I've seen from Patrick Ng's stationary blog (in the comments)

These guys do international shipping:

Although this site seems to have more accessories:
Hope that helps!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04/10 at 07:09 AM

I live in Japan and this is the only Notebook that I have ever used for any period more then 2 weeks. It’s just awesome!

I made a video on it plus my Life Management System here:
Feel free to look only at the first part of the video to see the notebook from various angles.
Posted by Erik in Japan on 04/09/10 at 02:22 AM

Hi Mark, where did you get / buy the "you lose what you dont hold" elastic / pen holder? Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/11/10 at 09:57 PM

I used to have a beautifuly fabric filo which i used a lot... but now i need me diary to be accesible to colleagues so its replaced with outlook calendars these days. Practical but nowhere near as beautifull! Posted by Jenny on 05/12/10 at 06:33 PM

Hi Brooklyn Lou - sorry for the late answer! The pen holder was from, though at this time, it seems they've stopped making it.. Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/12/10 at 02:44 AM


I came across your website after fishing for some travel accessories. You have a great website....very inspirational stuff.

Posted by Lisa Pierson in Metro Washington, DC on 17/02/12 at 08:46 PM

Hi Lisa, thanks a lot! Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 21/02/12 at 11:12 AM

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