Have you heard of a travelling notebook? It’s a really simple but fun idea where you send a travelling notebook out into the world and wait for it to return to you all filled in. I do like initiating more snail mail, so today I want to share with you how to start a travelling notebook and maybe one or two of you will give it a go….
Why Send a Travelling Notebook?
Travelling notebooks are both fun and educational. They can be great for learning more about your country or the world, depending on where your notebook goes. You can use themed questions so that you get back certain information or it can be totally open and each entry can be whatever the writer wishes to share. I am always an advocate of sending snail mail and this is fun to send and exciting to finally get it back.
How to Start a Travelling Notebook
Quite clearly, you’ll need a notebook to start with. Do think about the size of it as a big A4 hardbook notebook is great for allowing lots of room but the cost of posting that one might put people off joining in. I’d go for an A6 or A5 paperback and feel free to decorate the cover and label it up before sending it out.
Inside you’ll need an introduction and a few instructions so that people receiving it understand what they need to do. Let them know a little about yourself and why you’re sending out the notebook. Suggest what you’d like them to include, how many pages each and how quickly you’d want them sending it on. It’s worth adding that last one in to prompt people to send it out within a couple of weeks rather than holding onto it for months – you do want to get this back!
As to who to send it to, you can either check with someone before sending it on to them or surprise them. If it’s the latter option, you do need to be confident that it’s something they’ll enjoy doing and that they will send it on. It’s worth specifying whether you’d like your notebook to stay in the country, within a certain area, or go global.
And do remember to pop your address details on there so that it can be sent back to you and I’d suggest including your email address, too. You might want people to email you as they receive it so you can track it, so do include that in your instructions, or you might prefer to send it out into the world and get a complete surprise when it returns to you.
Theming Your Travelling Notebook
If you do decide to theme your notebook, here are a few suggestions of questions/instructions to include:
5 Fun Facts About Me
All About Your Town
Sunsets from around the country/world
Collections of stickers/washi from around the world
For the Love of Snail Mail – little profiles of why people love snail mailing and their pen pal journey
A list of ‘Tell Me About…’ prompts
Inside the notebooks could be scribbles, doodles, photos, stickers, anything goes. I’d suggest that you complete the first few pages giving people a feel of what you’re looking for and what they can include as each next recipient will read over your introduction, entry and instructions so they’ll have a good idea of what to pop in themselves.
So what do you think? Go on, rummage around in that huge notebook collection that I know you have and start a travelling notebook today!
If you’re new to Bring Back Paper, you can find out more about it all here. You can join our Facebook group here and you can sign up to join my mailing list below, for all the latest news, updates, ideas and activities.