Paris: What I’m Taking To Document


We may have a little time still before our romantical 30th anniversary trip to Paris, but preparations have begun–the researching, the booking, the plotting of days… All that fun stuff you get to do before a trip, right?

You all know I love to travel. I love taking photos and experiencing new places. And I’ve created many-a travel journals for these journeys. Most often, I take small handful of supplies to document while I’m there. 

But truth be told, I never get much past the first couple days. I will type up my thoughts of the day, but getting them ‘journaled’ with a little bit of flair? Hardly ever gets done.

And last year, when we went to Hawaii, I took my laptop, my little Fuji Instax printer and even my Canon Selphy, along with some other scrapbooking supplies, like ink, a few stamp sheets, some washi…and my trusty travel journal, of course.

How much did I get documented?

One day.

I’m sure there’s many of you in the same boat with me on this folks. You’re having so much fun relaxing and enjoying where you are that you don’t want to take the time to document it right then. That, and/or you’re just too tuckered out each night.

I always have the best intentions.

But last year, when I was severely anemic on the trip, all that weight…well…it weighed me down. And for what? I didn’t even really use it.

Afterwards, I had to ask myself: why do I haul it all? 

So with this trip to Paris, I’m going electronic. I mean, most of the time I type my journal while we’re on a trip because I can get it done quickly. But this time I want to kind of document on the fly. And by that, I mean, to use an app so that when I take pictures on my phone, it’ll store the location, the time, and depending on your app, maybe even the weather, so that you can pull the photo(s) into the journal app and have half the work done for you. Because we all know that it’s about remembering location, location, location.

Another thing I frequently do is take pictures of signs or menus, not to post it on Instagram or even print it for documenting, but rather, I do it for my memory. Because in this digital age, why not?

So I’ve found two apps that I’m looking at using, Day One and Bon Journal.

Ultimately, I want to be able to pull in a photo–with automatic location and time–and then write about it. And because your phone stores this data, there’s nothing you have to really do at the time. You can type up your thoughts, with the photos, later when you get to your hotel. Or, if you have certain thoughts, type them up right then–or write it in your Notepad.

I may take my iPad for entertainment purposes on the flight and because it’ll be easier to type on. But it only weighs one pound as compared to my four-pound laptop. Then again I may not because it’s one more ‘enticing’ thing for someone to steal…not that I’ve ever had anything stolen in all my years of domestic and international travel (knock on wood).

The photo above is a little look at what I’m taking. My Midori TN that has inside: a notebook only for any note taking, not journaling and the plastic holder and folder to go in the TN to keep receipts, tickets, small papers, postcards, and whatever else might come our way. Also, there will be a pen and pencil–because you never know which you really want, as well as a highlighter, in case we want to highlight areas on a map. 

Compact. Takes up hardly any room in my bag. Sounds dreamy.

I’m actually really excited about this change of documenting. I’m hoping that it will be so easy and then I can pull it all together at home in a flash.

If any of you have used Day One or Bon Journal (or something else), I’d love to hear your thoughts or tips+tricks! And as I learn more about the one I choose, I’ll be sure to share my thoughts here as well. I don’t need anything fancy-schmancy. Just recording place and time via the photo data that’ll come up when I pull in the photo, and then I can write my journaling.


(iPhone screen saver photo credit: @parisinfourmonths. This year’s Paris snow and this pic was just so magical, I took a screen shot of it to borrow (something I never do) until I can take my own Parisian pictures. It’s just too danged exciting. :) )

2018-02-16T05:28:32+00:00February 16th, 2018|travel, travelers notebook|5 Comments


  1. Teresa Keppler February 16, 2018 at 7:28 am

    For years I’ve hauled a travel journal on trips. Up until last year I only put words in it. Last summer I brought a TN with me, my instax and HP sprocket and LIMITED supplies – date stamp, washi x 3, marker and tape runner. I journaled every night and LOVED the results. I’ve finished two trip TN that way. That said I have been very happy with the app: Collect Check that out.

    • Kerri Bradford February 16, 2018 at 8:41 am

      That’s wonderful!
      And I will check out that other app too. Thanks!

  2. Kelly February 16, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    I have used the Day One app for over 5 years now and I LOVE it. I tried using the Collect app a few years back but just didn’t like it as much as Day One. Last summer my husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with a 3 week trip to Iceland and I documented the entire thing with the Day One app. I highly recommend it! One of my favorite features is “On this day….” It tells me what my entries have been on this day for multiple years. So it allows me to text my adult children and tell them little snippets, like “two years ago today you got the call from Apple that you were hired!” or “four years ago today you got your acceptance letter to medical school!” They love that kind of detail because they don’t tend to record those things on the specific dates. I hope you go for it! It’s a great app.

    • Kerri Bradford February 19, 2018 at 6:38 am

      That’s so awesome! So do you use the free version or do you use the subscription so you can get more features, like syncing, multiple photos in one entry, and extra journals? So far, I’m really liking this app! :)

  3. wongwjennifer March 6, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    I use Evernote to document everything, including trips. It’s worked pretty well for me on the go (I use it on my phone and my laptop at where we stay) and when I come home, I’m ready to document the trip! I used the Day One app years ago for a while, but I didn’t like that I couldn’t add more than one photo to an entry (maybe this is changed now?).

    Have a wonderful time in Paris! It’s a beautiful city. We will probably be there again this summer too. :)

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