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Celebrate Life Butterfly Travelers Notebook Setup

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Create the perfect travelers notebook setup that has both purpose or meaning. The best place to start is by choosing a theme. Need some inspiration? Get the details of this Celebrate Life Butterfly Travelers Notebook Setup that is packed with beautiful elements and butterflies abound!

In February 2017 I entered a contest and won my very first travelers notebook. It was a standard size Webster’s Page travelers notebook in the color natural. Let me just say now that winning that contest sent me down a creative rabbit hole in the world of travelers notebooks!

The options for travelers notebooks is mind-boggling but it’s another great way to plan and journal. A travelers notebook is basically a leather, faux leather or fabric cover that holds anywhere from 4-8 or more individual journal books (also called inserts).

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With all these options how do you decide which travelers notebook is right for you? Well, I can’t answer that for you, but in this post I’ll be going over the details of what went into this travelers notebook setup.

This Celebrate Life Butterfly Travelers Notebook Setup actually started to come together back in April. The month of April happens to be National Donate Life Awareness Month; where local, regional and even national activities are held to promote organ, eye and tissue donation. It’s also a time when those who were organ donors are celebrated for the lives they’ve saved through the gift of their donation.


  • Foxy Fix Sugar Sour Apple Travelers Notebook Cover, personal size
  • Personal size travelers notebook journal inserts (I recommend Designs by Planner Perfect)
  • Pengems Crystal Pens -‘Alaska’ pen with silver metal
  • Flora Joy Designs Journal Kit (Etsy)

Celebrate Life Butterfly Travelers Notebook Details

Raising awareness for this cause holds a special place in my heart because I lost my older brother to cystic fibrosis before he was able to make it to his double lung transplant. So, raising awareness of organ donation and transplantation became a part of who I am today.

For this travelers notebook setup I wanted to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation, transplantation and cystic fibrosis through the use of their respective awareness cause colors. So let’s dive into the details of this setup.


Travelers Notebook Cover

For my setup I chose a Foxy Fix* Sugar Sour Apple No. 4 (personal size) travelers notebook cover. It is the perfect shade of green to represent and raise awareness of organ donation and transplantation.


Incorporating the color blue was easy because it also happens to be my brothers’ favorite color. I translated this color into the use of both blue elastics on the travelers notebook and the sparkling blue crystal pen (more on that below).


For this setup I wanted to give it a more personalized feel so I chose to have a custom quote on the cover. Since this travelers notebook setup was all about raising awareness and celebrating my brothers’ life I added my own meaningful quote to the cover that reads, “Celebrate Life”; and to the spine I added an embossed butterfly.

Even if I didn’t have this customized travelers notebook cover, I could’ve still added similar elements as dashboards within the setup.

*At the time this post originally went up you could order customized travelers notebook covers from Foxy Fix (an online shop). Sadly, this company closed its’ doors and is no longer in business.


Travelers Notebook Accessories

Other ways you can add meaning to your travelers notebook setup is through the use of accessories. This might include dashboards, scrapbook paper or decorative cardstock, paperclips, pens, stickers, die cuts and more.

Stationery Journal Kit

Call it kismet because I happened to discovered Flora Joy Designs’ beautiful July kit featuring green, blue and purple butterflies. All these colors have significance to me along with the butterfly. The journal kit came with dashboards, a month card, journaling cards, butterfly die cuts, paper doilies, decorative paperclips and more.

Awareness Color Meanings

  • Organ Donation & Transplantation (blue & green)
  • Cystic Fibrosis (purple)

It truly felt like this stationery journal kit was made just for me and it was the perfect addition to my travelers notebook setup. I especially loved the quote on one of the journaling cards; it read, “My soul is in the sky”.

Of course what travelers notebook setup is complete without a pretty pen!

Planner Pens

To add in some more blue awareness color I chose one of my favorite pens from Pengems. I just love her pens! No lie, my current collection consists of over 40 of their beautiful crystal pens.

Using Pengems in Foxy Fix, especially personal sized travelers notebook covers, works perfectly because the pen is not too long or too short. It’s really the perfect size!

Journal Inserts

This travelers notebook is a 4-string but I could easily expand it to 6 journal inserts, if needed. The inserts I used for this journal setup are from The 1407 Planners*.

*The 1407 Planners is no longer in business. I would highly recommend Designs by Planner Perfect for your travelers notebooks journal inserts. She has beautiful artwork and the paper quality is amazing.


Meaning of the Butterfly

Anyone who has been touched by organ donation and transplantation, especially lung transplant, knows that the butterfly is a symbol of lung transplant. Using a special quote or meaning in your travelers notebook setup can really give it a personal touch.

Meanings and quotes can easily be added as journal cards, dashboards or die cuts in your travelers notebook setup.

It is said when lungs are newly transplanted and take their first breath, it looks like a butterfly opening its’ wings for flight

Behind the Designs


My Dragonfly Story

It has also been said by some that butterflies are a reminder that your loved one is still with you and watching over you. Which is why I love incorporating butterflies into my travelers notebook setups.

While I do believe this about butterflies, I suspect my brother is more of a dragonfly than a delicate butterfly. One day, out of the blue, I happened to notice this dragonfly (who was quite large) and it kept flying around me. I thought to myself that it seemed it was flying pretty close to me which seemed unusual. Then in a moment of clarity, like a lightbulb when off, I realized it’s a sign.

Ever since that day, I’ve noticed a dragonfly around me all the time -every year (in warmer weather, of course). Everywhere I go, I seem to see a dragonfly and it seems to fly near me in a way as if to say, “Hey, I’m here!” My daughter asked me why I get so excited about a dragonfly and so I told her my story. Now, every time she sees one, she says, “There’s your dragonfly Mom.”

Just this month, I hosted a going away party for my niece and while prepping the pool for the kids, I noticed a dragonfly in the water…and it wasn’t moving. You’d think my child was drowning….I immediately thought ‘Oh No!’ and I frantically swished the water towards me to try and get it. When that didn’t work, I grabbed the pool skimmer and scooped it up.

I stared at it for what seemed like forever and was beginning to think it was gone, then…it moved slightly. I was overjoyed (and wouldn’t admit at the time, but I think…I almost wanted to cry happy tears!). For the next 20 minutes or so, I let the dragonfly rest on the edge of the skimmer. Every now and then it would flit its’ wings to get the water off and clean its’ head.

I involved my niece in helping with the dragonfly and as it sat drying its’ wings, I told her about my dragonfly story. You see, my brother was her godfather. So, that day…my heart was full. It was as if the stars aligned perfectly and I think it made her feel really good that her uncle and godfather was there, that day, for her, even if just in spirit.

Then it must have felt better because it then flew off. I was a little sad to see it go. But, while it was resting, the dragonfly had no problem at all with me getting super close (all up in ‘his’ space, so to speak!) to get pictures of it. Not once did the dragonfly flinch. Later on, as I went back to getting the pool ready, I looked up and saw the dragonfly fly right past me –almost as if to say, ‘thank you’.

Sometimes, creativity comes to us in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times; and sometimes, it just aligns perfectly. For this travelers notebook setup that’s exactly how I felt. Every element that I chose and added seemed to align perfectly.

Travelers Notebook Setup Tips

  • Decide on the purpose: What do you want to have in your travelers notebook setup. Most travelers notebooks can hold anywhere from 1-8 journal inserts. You could have dedicated journal inserts for daily planning, project planning, journaling, trackers, memory keeping, a commonplace book and more.
  • Find something meaningful: Find the travelers notebook cover and/or elements that work for you. The key is to find something that speaks to your heart.
  • Personalize it: Find some way to personalize your travelers notebook setup. Consider adding your name or favorite quote to the first dashboard or journal page in your setup. This will be the first thing you see when you open your travelers notebook. This can be accomplished through the use of hand lettering, custom vinyl or stickers.
  • Choose a theme: The quickest way to decorate a travelers notebook is through a journal kit subscription. If you didn’t want to go that route, any local craft store or online store offers charms, stickers, washi, die cuts and so much more. If you’re crafty you can even make some or all of your own decorations.
  • Add beautiful elements: Don’t forget about a pretty pen! It could be your favorite pen, a fountain pen, or a truly customized work of art bead pen. When choosing your pen take into consideration the size of the travelers notebook you will be using.
  • Have fun! Don’t forget a travelers notebook setup should be fun and enjoyable. If this is missing for you consider taking a step back and starting back up a day or two later.

Now, every day I carry this travelers notebook journal and planner it’ll feel like I have my brother close to me and I will be raising awareness for an important cause. Join me on my creative planning journey, as I accessorize and decorate this planner.

Did you create a similar Celebrate Life Travelers Notebook?

Mention us @behindthedesigns or tag us using #btdinspired so we can see your creations! You can also leave a comment below!

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