Custom Traveler’s Notebook Review and Setup! Unboxing from Handmade Shop, LeCow

Hi! It’s Lauren, and today I’m going to
open and review my first custom traveler’s notebook cover. I’ve been kind
of eyeing covers like this for a while now. I knew when I got into traveler’s
notebooks that you end up wanting to get more and more of them and as soon as I
kind of started putting that vibe out into the universe and actually looking
at and researching custom traveler’s notebook covers, out of nowhere, I got a
message from somebody who makes them. So an Etsy shop called Le Cow out in
Taiwan handmakes these beautiful leather travelers notebook covers and asked me
to design my own custom one. So I received this in exchange for a review
video. Their Etsy shop is set up in a really interesting way where they have
all kinds of customizations that you can make and add-ons and things like that, so
depending on what kinds of pockets and add-ons you need for your traveler’s
notebook, they can make one that fits you exactly. I love supporting other Etsy
shops, as an Etsy seller myself I know how much work goes into it, so I’m really
excited to see what they made for me, I have not opened this yet. I’ve really
wanted to but I waited because I wanted to get my reaction on camera. So just in
case you are also considering having a custom travelers notebook cover made, I
hope that this process is interesting to you and maybe might be a little bit
helpful. Alright, so let’s see how this turned out. It’s wrapped up really
securely and nicely, there’s bubble wrap on the outside. This is what their
packaging looks like, the whole notebook cover is wrapped up in this brown paper
and it’s tied up with some twine and they’ve tied on a leather tag in the
shape of Taiwan, which is a really nice touch and one of their business cards as
well. So moment of truth, I’m gonna open it up. I’m so excited! Wow! Oh my gosh. Look at this! This is so
nice. My initial impressions are that my color choices were awesome [laughs]. I’m really
glad I decided to add some interesting colors, one really cool thing about this
particular Etsy shop is that they have a lot of different colors for not only the
elastic, but also the stitching that goes around the notebook. I chose just kind of
a classic brown for the notebook itself but then I saw that they had an option
for me to add a reinforced spine and that you can choose a different leather
for that, so I chose this dark blue leather. I believe the color was called
sapphire so between the dark blue spine and the light blue stitching and elastic,
I feel like this is something that I couldn’t actually find in a store just
the way it is. The fact that I was able to custom order this makes it so that I
can have something that’s really special and unique. They did warn me when I chose
the “camel” leather specifically that it’s a little bit stiffer than their other
leather choices. I ended up sticking with it anyway, I honestly don’t have that
much experience with leather notebooks. My other travelers notebook this size is
a faux leather so I didn’t really have anything to compare it to. My hope was
that over time, as I use this and travel with it and it gets a little bit beat up
and worn, that it will soften up a little bit. But for now it feels nice and tough
and durable and I like that about it. The extra reinforced spine might also be
contributing to that. All right, so now I’m gonna open it up and see what the
inside looks like. Oh, look at that! [something falls out]. Oh, they included a note in the pocket!
“hi Lauren thanks for your generosity and kindness, hope you’ll enjoy and love
LeCow’s products.” I just noticed that the back of the note has some care
instructions for the notebook cover, which is very helpful. They did include a
blank notebook in here, I’m gonna take that out just so we can see the notebook
a little bit better. So the first thing that caught my eye is that I added this
large wing pocket to the front inside cover and there are lots of little
places where I could stick things. If you hear any yelling downstairs, it’s because
my kid is having a blast with his dad while I’m filming this. Most of the
options that they have for you to choose from in the realm of pockets are these
flip out wing pockets, which I had never seen before and the more I thought about
it, the more I felt like it was kind of perfect because you can actually swing
it out this way and when you have your notebook open and you’re
writing in it, you have better access to all the things that are going in these
pockets. On my other travelers notebook which is a Webster’s pages notebook, all
of the pockets are on the inside cover, so in order to access them, I have to
flip the notebook back and find my page again later. So I’m definitely interested
to see how this particular setup improves my journaling workflow. I asked them
to add four elastics on the binding which is what I’m used to with the
Webster’s pages notebook and it’s kind of the happy medium that I’ve found, but
you can always add more elastics by using extra elastics which they actually
included! That’s a really nice little extra that they included that I wasn’t
expecting. On the back cover of the notebook, I asked them to add a pen loop
which is something that I find to be really helpful. Let me test to see if my
pen fits. I use a uniball signo gel pen for most
of my journaling and it fits in there just fine. There’s actually a little bit
of extra space in there, so if you have a slightly thicker pen that you tend to
use for journaling, it’s very likely that that will fit in there. So one of the big
questions that I had when I was looking through their Etsy shop and trying to
decide which notebook customizations to order is that they offer these in a lot
of different sizes and I wasn’t 100% sure which size to order. I ended up
choosing the Midori wide size over the narrow, even though the narrow is more of
an exact fit for the travelers company traveler’s notebook inserts, which were
the ones that I typically use and I wanted to see if ordering the wide would
give me a little extra space in there. So now I’m going to test out how my
existing travelers notebook inserts fit in this new notebook just so you can see
if getting the wide will give you the amount of extra space that you want. This
is my current daily journaling insert, it’s a traveler’s company blank refill.
I’m gonna put that on the first elastic and even just looking at this, I feel
like the little bit of extra space probably was a good decision. I’m putting
this zipper pouch with a bunch of pockets that I keep a lot of different
stickers in on the second elastic and then on the third elastic, I’m putting my
travel journal and then I usually leave the fourth elastic open for whatever
else I want to put in when I’m going on a trip. So this actually turned out to be
the perfect size for what I need! I’m really glad that I got this one. There’s
room for more, but they’re not swimming in there and I think it’s just kind of
the perfect amount of extra space. The reinforced spine is also kind of the
perfect width for the amount of things that I’ve put in there. I also
just keep looking at this light blue stitching and I really love what it adds
to that just plain Brown of the cover. Probably my one complaint is that the
pen loop has a little bit of extra space before it starts, it kind of hangs out on
this tab. Which, if I tuck the pen into the elastic it’s kind of fine, but I do
worry that when I throw this in my bag and I’m traveling that it might fall out
like this and it does hold the pen pretty securely, but it’s gonna move
around a whole lot so I don’t know how much I like that. but the rest of it is
just really well made, you really can’t beat like a beautiful handmade leather
journal. This is something really special that someone took the time to make for
me all the way across the world and I just appreciate it so much. So if you’re
interested in having a custom leather travelers notebook made exactly to your
specifications, I’m gonna put information in the video description below so you
can find them and see all of the different options and see if this is something
that you want to order for yourself. I’d like to thank LeCow for sending me
this notebook, it’s absolutely beautiful. I’m so excited to go journal with this!
This is so nice. Alright so that’s that! If there are any
other travelers notebooks or similar journaling items that you would like for
me to do a dedicated review video on, let me know in the comments below. Thanks so
much for watching and I’ll see you soon!

13 thoughts on “Custom Traveler’s Notebook Review and Setup! Unboxing from Handmade Shop, LeCow

  1. Just a heads up! After I recorded this video, LeCow moved from Etsy (where I originally saw their shop) to a Shopify store! I didn't want there to be any confusion. There's more info on where you can find them in the video description. What would you like to see me review next (if that's your thing)?

  2. Mmmmmmmmm I want to like it so much. But eacg time I go on etsy to find a personalized fauxdori i keep looking at my beat up and stained real midori and I still find it more… I dunno, worthed in a way, more elegant and unique. This one is nice, but it almost feels more generic than my plain camel midori because of the stitching around 🙁

  3. Could you please say what leathers for the cover and spines were used? Also, what thread was used? Thanks! Great video!

  4. This is beautiful. Your color choices compliment each other so well!

    I think the thing I'm most impressed with is the pricing though. I expected something custom, leather and handmade to be a bit more expensive than what LeCow charges, especially considering how nice the finished product looks.

  5. Your hair is sooo cute here! It's always cute, of course, but really cute here. I haven't used this sort of thing at all myself, but the wing pocket seems smart. And with your concern about the pen loop, it seemed really genuine and a good review.

  6. You inspired me to finally get a traveller's notebook! My favourite stationary shop was having a first birthday sale so it was perfect timing. I went with a Midori one and I'm in loooooove

  7. Hello I just stumbled upon you tonight…question do you like this better than Webster’s tn, also have you used Prima tn with zipper?

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