A5 2″ 8-elastic Snickerdoodles traveler’s notebook from SpeckledFawns


Well, this big fat 2″ 8-elastic Snickerdoodles from SpeckledFawns is now holding all the records and important correspondence for longterm clients. It is big and heavy with all the books in, but oh so nice to have them all together and sorted. I use Tomoe River paper for long-term clients because these have more pages (they last longer), and are light.

I tend to find clients pop up over and over again through the years. Students change jobs, decide to re-activate their English, recommend me to others, have a sudden urgent need of English. Within the political arena, the same people pop up regularly in different places.

I have two (sometimes three) employers, about 60 current clients, and about 60 more non-regular clients that recur regularly, as well as almost 500 clients that I have had since I have been in Sweden.

At the same time as I teach and mentor, I also work on about  three big translation projects at a time, so I need to keep detailed separate notes as I try to juggle all of them.

Some students I have been teaching on and off since 1999. Tomorrow I am starting to mentor someone I last had as a client in 2005. I have read his notes and am all caught up!


This way I can quickly find their history with me and carry on where we left off. I have a very good memory for personal details, but I often cannot remember which exercises we have already done and what they need to work on. I tend to impress them by ‘remembering’ exactly what we have already done, but my memory for this kind of thing is very bad. It is just thanks to my detailed records that I look professional.

I used to do this in a Filofax, but found that the records were really hard to archive. I then moved into a thick bound notebook but then I was carrying out things each day that I didn’t need, and half empty books were filling up my shelf. Then I switched over to electronic record keeping for a year but I just don’t work that well at all. I found it hard to keep everything in order, I don’t always have a computer with me, or access to an internet connection. I prefer paper. Using a cover with elastics I can just use what I need, swap them in and out all the time, and they are easy to archive.

Sometimes I give my students the books at their last lesson if they ask me (you would be surprised how many people love notes), other times I hand them over to other teachers that may be taking over the client. I always keep important notes about that client written down for myself though. But as long as someone has the book, things tend to go seamlessly. A couple of people lose them but it happens surprisingly seldom.

This thick pebbly cover is holding

  • 12 Jumbo Tomoe River notebooks (128 pages each – 1536 pages in total)  from Curnow Bookbinders
  • 6 brown A5 folders from Monique Vanmeulebrouk

I love Tomoe River paper, but I find it hard to use on the run because it bends and tears so easily. I do like the way it crinkles though (love that feeling and sound!), and it is great for travel notebooks because it is light and you have lots of pages.









Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

2 thoughts

  1. Great blog Janet!
    Very detailed usage explanations causing me to rethink how I use my A5″s. I also love Tomoe River paper for the same reasons. Sometimes I just handle the paper and turn the pages just to hear that TR sound. As always stunning photos. We actually use themy as training ere at the studio.

Leave a Reply