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There is no better way to remember your trip than through your photos and travel notes.  Although we cover the benefits of taking travel notes elsewhere, we take this opportunity to examine the use of notebooks and PDAs as methods of keeping your travel notes.

 

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Travel Tips - Taking travel notes: journals or electronic notes?

We have written on the value of keeping a travel journal (see our article titled “Take travel notes”) but have left open the topic of media. Many travelers prefer to use a journal style notebook, writing their thoughts in pen and ink. Others prefer to keep their notes using a laptop.  In the article that follows, we provide an analysis of each method.

Written travel journals.

Many people find that they can best express themselves using the written word. There is something creative and focusing about using a pen to commit your thoughts to paper. Preparing to write notes takes little effort. Just open the book, click your pen, and start writing. You do not have to warm anything up, learn a special way of scribbling, or focus on anything other than finding the words to create your description of the day’s event. The very simplicity of pen and paper make it the most common method used for taking travel notes.

Keep your notes either in a notebook or a journal specially prepared for travel. Many of the  travel journal products feature breakouts to list restaurants, hotels, spas etc. 

  • We recommend a  hard cover book filled with blank pages and sized somewhere around 5" x 7". 
    • We have a series of these books that chronicle our travels over the years and they have a position of importance in our library.

Many people we know find it difficult to keep up with the demands of a written journal. Usually the journal entry is delayed until late evening and the pen soon stops moving, as the writer to-be falls into a sound sleep. There is no way around the fact that writing demands discipline.

 

Electronic travel journals

In the past, we kept our notes on Pocket PCs and PDA, but now keep then on either an iPad or laptop that we use during travel.  We merge our note, pictures, video into a trip narrative that really helps us keep our facts straight and creates a great history of our travels.

One of important advantages of having your travel notes in a digital file is that you can edit them later to clarify the points you have made. Sometimes the notes that we take while traveling don’t make a lot of sense; of course, we blame it on jet lag.

There are a host of advantages to using a computerized approach to note taking.

  • After you have uploaded the travel note files to your computer, you can import them into a word processing program for further formatting.
  • We especially enjoy the search capability to find names and locations embedded in our travel notes in an instant.
  •  Our travel notes have come into demand with our family, and we email them a copy of our notes for their reading pleasure.
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