Review: Michael’s Recollections Notebook Cover

Over the week I’ve seen so many photos of this new line from Michael’s – featuring none other than a $15 version of a traveler’s notebook cover.  The one biggest barrier to committing to a “TN” system is the cost of a quality cover, so I ventured out to see if this is the beginner cover for you.

Here is the replay of my Periscope broadcast where you can see the comments streaming in from viewers, or the YouTube version where I’ve clipped chat side-comments out.

No time to watch the video? Here are the highlights of my review.

An overview of my experience with the Recollections version of a Traveler's Notebook //
An overview of my experience with the Recollections version of a Traveler’s Notebook //


  1. The basics. This cover is super soft, about as thick as a leather cover but much more flexible.  The outside is kind of like a fake leather jacket – soft and smooth but definitely not leather.  It measures 8.5 inches x 5.5 inches and was the only size available at the store, in 8 colors. The notebook is closed by wrapping and tucking a leather cord and cute charm.
  2. The inside is a velveteen texture – with a sheen and fuzzy feeling to it. Again, SUPER pliable.
  3. Inside are 2 inserts, about 8 inches high by 4.5 inches wide.  They give you a white and a kraft paper one inside, and they are blank.  These inserts are 28 pages (so 14, front and back).  You can buy set of 3 for $4.99 a pack (I have a feeling you’d need them, as you’d blow through them pretty quickly!)
  4. They provide an extra loose elastic to allow you to add another notebook inside.
  5. There is one elastic that goes almost the full height, and a shorter one next to it.  I have been informed you can indeed stretch the short one to accommodate a taller insert if you wanted.


See how the Michael's "Recollections" Traveler's Notebook compares to other supplies you may have //
See how the Michael’s “Recollections” Traveler’s Notebook compares to other supplies you may have //

On the left is the Recollections notebook on top of my Foxy Fix Wide cover – you can see that it’s just a touch narrower than the Foxy. You can’t quite see that it is shorter.

I typically use a “Cahier” sized insert which is usually deemed A5 or large (8 inches by 5 inches).  Two of these fit comfortably inside with minimal overhang.

Lastly you can see how my A5 Rhodia notebook definitely doesn’t fit inside!

I put 2 of my new May Designs notebooks inside and it felt pretty “full” – here’s a side view:

How 2 inserts may fit inside the Michael's "Recollections" Travelers Notebook covers //
An overview of my experience with the Recollections version of a Traveler’s Notebook //

These inserts are 80 pages each, and you can see it kisses the edge of the cover.  This is a great size to stay slim.


  • This is a SUPER affordable starter notebook cover – for $15 full price without even using a trusty 40% off coupon, it’s a great way to see if you want to use the system.
  • Great for kids who want to plan with you, or if you want to be minimal on your travel logs, or even if you want to just have a side “Ideas” notebook.
  • Optimal if you only want to use 2 notebooks, or don’t mind overhang
  • I was a little frustrated at needing to wind the leather cord around to close the notebook – I’m spoiled by the elastic on my Foxy covers.  I wonder if you could use an Elastic Re-String Kit from Foxy Fix and make it an elastic enclosure?!
  • It seems like it would be easily dinged and nicked, though pretty water resistant
  • If I were to use this system, I would get completely different inserts – 28 pages is not enough for my typical uses.  If you were using it as a casual thing, a dedicated gratitude log, or something smaller, then they may work if you like Blank paper. If not, I’d go elsewhere (Foxy Fix, YellowPaperHouse and AOR Journals on Etsy, MayDesigns)

What did you think? Are you going to test one out?


There is one affiliate link in this post, meaning if you happen to buy something, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you – all to support my endeavors on this blog. Thank you for your support!

15 thoughts on “Review: Michael’s Recollections Notebook Cover

  1. I love the look of the Foxy Fix (the colors are amazing) but I haven’t pulled the trigger because I use a hardcover Moleskine size A5 and don’t feel it’s necessary to use a cover. But thanks for the review so if I ever switched to softcover, I’ll know what my options are. The wrapping of the cord would annoy me very quickly.


    1. yes, the cord was kind of annoying to keep wrapping around, because I’m totally the type of person that will close the journal and remember something and have to open it back up. I DO think you could re-string the cord to get an elastic closure though


  2. Thanks for the review! I’ve been thinking about picking one up ever since I saw it mentioned on facebook. Where in the store was it located? Was it with the scrapbook supplies?


  3. I picked up 2 (light grey and fuchsia) because I couldn’t decide on a color. I restrung the elastic on the outside. It looks great! They are 40% off on sale plus I had a 20% off total coupon. $7.20 each before sales tax.


      1. I had another traveler’s notebook that I wasn’t using, so I took the elastic from that one and put it on the new one. You can buy the elastic at Michael’s and then just cut it down to a length you need and tie a knot to the ends. The original non-elastic closure is just strung through a hole in the side of the journal. Then you can just thread the elastic loop through the hole from the inside so that the knot is inside.


      1. Definitely loving it! 🙂 I’ve had some of the more expensive leather ones, but I didn’t want to really USE them because I didn’t want to mess up the pretty leather.


  4. I was really excited to be able to try out the TN system for bullet journalling without needing to commit to a more expensive cover. The instant gratification factor was pretty rad too. I ended up absolutely loving the TN system so I then was able to order a permanent cover. I am going to give my Michael’s cover to my 6 year old daughter to play in with the inserts that I bought from Michaels (since I can’t stand the paper).


  5. I was able to get one for $5.99+tax – what a great price!
    I completely ignored the inserts provided and immediately jumped to putting my May Designs notebook in. I cannot wait to officially use this TN system once I’m through with my tleuchtturm1917 notebook!

    The cord on the outside wasn’t a huge problem for me – I just kept the strands together and wrapped it around the front and tucked the charm in. I’ve seen people wrap the cord in a complicated way too which keeps the contents more secure.

    Thanks for putting this review up. A great way for a brand new TN enthusiast to gain more insight!


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