Comparing Popular Journal and Notebook Refill Sizes

Helpful + Technical / Friday, April 5th, 2019

If you are trying to decide which travel notebook or journal size is right for you, this is your article! We’re going to take a look at all the super popular journal refill sizes (not to be confused with the cover sizes; which are always, at least, slightly larger than the refills!).

I’m including the brand-official sizes rounded to the nearest inch, as well as the “Americanized” sizes, which you’ll often find on Etsy, or Amazon. The reason these Americanized sizes pop up is because Americans are allergic to the mm scale (go ahead, fact check me).

…Also, since we use a completely different standard paper size than the A4 that the rest of the world uses. When we fold our 8.5×11″ standard paper in half we get 5.5×8.5″, and not the 5.8×8.3″ that you get when you fold an 8.3×11.7″ A4 in half, which neatly yields an A5 sized sheet.

Darn you metric system!

If I lost you, has a beautiful and succinct explanation of paper sizes.

Quick Reference Table

Brand Names & Common NamesOfficial Size     Americanized
Midori Passport3.5×4.8″3.5×5″
Field Notes, Moleskine Cahier Pocket, Filofax Pocket     3.5×5.5″Same
Habonichi Weeks 3.7×7.4″3.75×7.5″
A6, Habonichi Techo, Gillio4.1×5.8″4×5.75″
Midori B6 Slim 4.1×6.9″4×7″
Midori Traveler’s Notebook Regular4.33×8.25″4.25×8.25″
Moleskin Cahier Large5×8.25″Same
A5, Midori A5 Extra Wide, Filofax A5, kikki.K Large5.8×8.3″5.5×8.5″

Midori Passport Refill

The Midori Passport is the smallest common journal system, coming in at 3.5×4.8″

The Americanized-size on this one, that you’ll often see on Etsy, off-brand, or custom versions is 3.5×4.75″, or sometimes even 3.5×4.5″, and both fit just fine in the official covers.

Even though this is the size of a passport cover, it will not fit inside of one. You can easily elastic them together, though! Also, I have seen smaller notebooks, sometimes called wallet, or micro, but they seem pretty niche at the moment, so I won’t cover them here.

Field Notes Refill

Field Notes, Filofax Pocket, as well as the Moleskine Cahier Pocket are all 3.5 x 5.5″

These guys do not typically fit in the official Midori Passport covers. Make sure you don’t mix those two different sizes up when choosing a cover.

Filofax in particular is made for a ring binder, so your Filofax cover can generally be modded to take Moleskine and Field Notes refills, but not vice versa.

If you just want a note book to stick in your pocket, the Field Notes and Moleskine Cahier Pocket are both great.

Habonichi Weeks Refill

Habonichi Weeks comes in 3.7×7.4″ but is occasionally Americanized at 3.75×7.5″

As far as I have seen, they are the only big brand to use this format, but I really do like it. It is easy to mod the official covers to take custom refills. The brand refills are all planners, so you’ll rely on third-party stationary a lot with this one.

While less common, I love this size because it is slim enough to still fit into your back pocket, while giving you a lot more page space to write on. It’s a great intermediate between the two popular Midori Traveler’s sizes. I hope it gains more popularity in the future!

Habonichi Techo Refill

The Habonichi Techo is a standard A6 sized planner at 4.1×5.8″, Gillio also services A6 with ring binder systems.

A6 is occasionally Americanized to 4×5.75″ or 4×6″

As with the Habonichi Weeks, the Habonichi Techo brand refills are mostly planners, so you rely on other sources for complimentary stationary.

Midori B6 Slim Refill

The Midori B6 Slim is not a true B6 sized paper at 4.1×6.9″ Americanized to 4×7″

You might have guessed it’s skinnier than a true B6, by over a half inch! A true B6 is 4.9×6.9″ These refills will fit a standard B6 cover, but true B6 refills won’t fit a B6 Slim cover.

This is a great size, but arguably not as popular as the other Midori notebook sizes, and harder to find extra stationary for. Like the Techo, I’d only choose this one if the size is absolutely ideal for your intended uses.

Midori Traveler's Notebook Refill

Midori Traveler’s Notebook refills are officially sized at 4.33×8.25″ and often Americanized to 4.25×8.25″

The traveler’s notebook stands alone in this size category, but it has a huge following and a ton of official and unofficial products to style your journal. Finding additional stationary won’t be a problem.

It is not as easy to fit in your back pocket as the Habonichi Weeks, but that is only a draw back if you want something pocket-able… and have smallish type pockets. Overall, this is a universally loved, “larger” sized journal system and you can’t go wrong with it.

Moleskine Cahier Large Refill

The Moleskine Cahier refills come in at 5×8.25″

This is a well known brand with a lot of official and unofficial products to fill your journals.

Moleskine has both stapled spine notebooks, and hardcover, glued spine notebooks, offering a lot of versatility in the same size category. The hardcover Moleskines are a little pricy, which is where I ding them. But if you go to a brand like Minimalism Art you’ll save more than 50% for comparable quality. At 5″ wide, this is not going to fit in any but the mightiest back pockets.

Midori A5 Extra Wide Refill

A5 is a common size at 5.8×8.3″, Americanized to 5.5×8.25″

There is the Midori A5 (Midori Extra Wide) as well as the Filofax A5, and kikki.K Large, amongst others.

A5 binders will also take Moleskin Cahier “Large” refills. Since the Filofax is made for a ring binder, a Filofax (or kikki.K, which is a hybrid ring system) binder can be modded to take other A5 refills, but typically not vice versa.

Where page size matters, this is a great choice.

I hope some of that was helpful in deciding which journal or notebook size to choose. If I am missing your favorite journal brand or size above, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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