Having read a great post from Rhiannon Floyd on her purchase of a new moleskine, it got me thinking about how much I used a note book recently, although there are many digital alternatives for what I used mine for I found the easiest way by far was the good old fashioned pen and paper.


Setting a budget was always necessary due to the amount of time we were away and the fact that we wanted to keep things to a budget.  I had thought  about using an application on the iPhone, which as mentioned in an earlier post was an awesome all round digital companion.

However I really wanted something that either of us could edit at a moments notice and something that does not hold the constraints that software sometimes does.  In comes the Notebook.  I took away a very small book keeping notebook, this unfortunately didn’t survive very long, pages were starting to fall out and there was also not much room on it for everything I wanted to record.

Whilst in Nepal I bought a local handmade notebook, it was very cheap around a$2 but also very sturdy and somewhat traditional which seemed to fit in nicely with were we had planned to travel.  I transfered the previous books details to the new one and set about organising it for my needs.   Each page representing 2 days of budget, keeping track of everything from room cost to price of bus/train trips etc.

There was also a page for ATM withdrawals, matched with currency exchange rates for the days I withdrew.  As time went on I really enjoyed keeping track of everything, I used to look forward to filling in my book over lunch or dinner, “keeping the spending on track” was my catch phrase I was loving it.

The back of the notebook also got used with silly things to help me remember my trip, such as books that I have read, plus keeping all the business cards from places I had stayed.

Although this was not a journal as such, or a diary for me to remember my trip the book has served as a real resource since coming home and discussing my trip with friends and family that have also travelled India and Nepal extensively, I can tell you where and how much it cost me to stay in every place I visited along with contact details.  I can tell you how long and how much it cost for a train from Mumbai to Goa, something that without the book would be pure guess work.

Since coming home I have started to use a notebook to keep track of many things in my life, spending, hours worked etc. Something easy to fill in before bed each evening and as well as enjoying doing it, its become real handy for keeping my spending on track.