Haul: Macata Traveler’s Notebooks from CN Papercrafts

If you follow me on Instagram, you might already have seen these. A few weeks ago I took up an offer for a swap from one of the owners of CN Papercrafts. She wanted a set of pens and calligraphy supplies in return for a couple of their traveler’s notebooks, which they call Macata. The swap extended into more pens for even more Macata TNs, and now here we are! Meet my four new Macata traveler’s notebooks.

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I got four TN covers in total: a Tan and a Bone in regular size, a Navy Blue in personal size, and a Navy Blue in passport size.

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Read on for more photos of my TN haul!

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DIY Traveler’s Notebook Personal Setup

I have mostly been satisfied with my setup of Midori Passport as my wallet+portable notebook and Midori Blue as my planner and journal. My only wish was to be able to bring along the Blue everywhere so I can access my planner if necessary. Unfortunately it’s rather on the big (and heavy!) side, and so it cannot fit in my everyday purse. I am unwilling to switch to a bigger purse, as that will just breed extra things to bring and my back cannot tolerate anything heavier than what I currently have!

TN people online have recently been talking about a new size called Personal, and is meant to reflect the personal size in the ringed planner systems. Compared to the Midori regular’s 210x110mm (insert size), the personal was only at 171x95mm which was significantly smaller. I thought it was something that would fit my need. Unfortunately I currently do not have the funds to purchase from the more popular brands that carry personal (Chicsparrow, Foxyfix), but I thought I can try making my own. Meet my White traveler’s notebook.

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I made it out of a glossy cardboard folder I had lying around. To make it sturdier, I decided to double it up, so this is actually two layers of cardboard stuck together. I installed the eyelets by hand (I have no eyelet setter), and made it so it will have two elastics on the inside. I decided to use black elastic because I thought it went quite well with the stark plain white of the cardboard. I am actually quite happy how it turned out!

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Of course the whole point of this process is to be able to plan with it. I used Wendaful‘s free printables for both the monthly and weekly layouts, and I’m hoping that they will work for me. I’ve moved my whole planning process over to White to see if the personal size is the one I’m looking for.

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Here are the other things I have inside White. The original folder I used had built in pockets, and I kept those on both sides of the notebook. I keep a few sheets of planner stickers in the front pocket.

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The first notebook (red cover) is my commonplace notebook. I put in here lists of things I want to remember, and generally a place to write things in on the go. In front of this notebook is the front part of a passport holder I found that could fit in White, and holds a couple of journaling cards for decoration.

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The middle notebook (cream cover) is my planner. I’ve already shown you the layouts I have inside, but inside the front cover I put all my sticky notes.

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The third notebook (brown cover) is currently blank and purposeless. Around this third notebook I have my DIY clear pocket, and this side here holds yet more sheets of planner stickers.

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I actually have a fourth notebook in here! It’s a tiny notebook (fits in my Passport) that I use to track my weight and my purchases, and this notebook is actually slotted in the back built-in pocket. The clear pockets you see above it is the second half of the passport case, and I use it to hold some loose notepaper and my passport-size pencil board.

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In total I currently have four notebooks, two DIY clear pockets, and two built-in pockets. All of that folds in to this thickness, which is not really that thick. Again, I’m so far quite pleased with the setup, the weight, and the size of my White, but I’ll give it maybe a few more weeks before I decide if I’ll actually be buying an artisan-made traveler’s notebook in personal size.

Would you like a demonstration on how I made this notebook?

 

 

DIY Accessories For Your Traveler’s Notebook

When I got my Blue, I only got a blank notebook insert with the kit, and I neglected to order the usual accessories that one might like with one’s traveler’s notebook. I had been previously successful ordering accessories for my Midori Passport from pencils.jp, but this time I thought I would try making my own accessories first. If it failed, then maybe I’ll go place an order.

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The first thing that usually comes to mind when accessorizing a traveler’s notebook is the zip pocket to hold various items such as stickers, sticky notes, and even pens. I went to my trusty local bookstore (National Bookstore) and found a few items that might be good candidates for such a project.

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This is a clear zip pocket from Lihit Labs Aquadrops line, and it measures about 11.2x21cm (4.3×8.25″) which is rather perfect for the Midori regular size. The material seems to be sturdy and the zip mechanism is good. It comes in a variety of colors, and costs Php95. I bought a couple of these, in pink and blue.

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I attached the pink one to a relatively small pencil case I found in the same bookstore. I just basically used some clear tape to connect the two cases, but giving ample room in between (about 1.8 cm or 0.75″) as I was planning this to be the outermost in my Blue. Here they are in action.

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The pink Aquadrops zip pocket holds Post Its, a few sheets of stickers, and some other ephemera. This is the first one you will see when you open up the Blue. The partner pencil case is located all the way at the very back of the TN. This one holds the random pen that I sometimes slot in, some page flags and a few loose stickers, and some extra elastic bands.

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I also wanted a few extra pockets in my traveler’s notebooks, the type that can be considered dashboards if I wanted it, or just plain pockets if I need extra flat things to bring along. I found these clear card cases of various sizes, also at National Bookstore. They come in the standard paper sizes (A5, A6, etc, B5, B6, etc) and the measurements are clearly stated in the cards that are inserted. These are not really very expensive; the A5 is Php13.75, the B6 is Php11.75, and the B8 is Php5.50. In this particular example, I used a pair of the B6 clear card cases to make a dashboard insert.

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This is the finished dashboard insert. Again I attached the two sides with strong clear tape, but this time the separation is just 1 cm or 0.5″, as I was only intending this to go around a single notebook insert. The B6 size is quite wide, so I trimmed the outer edges, cutting out around 25mm worth of plastic. Here it is in action.

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As I mentioned it goes around only one notebook insert, in this case the journal insert. As you can see the bottom photo shows the pencil case side of the first DIY zip pocket insert I made.

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The third accessory I wanted to make is just a plain sort of sleeve that I can slide a card or something similarly sized in. I used the B8 clear card case, and basically just used a glue runner around the edges and attached it on the cover of an insert.

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As you can see, here it holds one of my cute paperclips (this one was a freebie from @dolcesonline IG). It can also hold an ID card or any B8-sized item that I wanted to slot in. I haven’t tried it yet, but I suspect this can be removed and reglued into another location since I just used a clear adhesive.

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Lastly, I wanted the option to replace the elastic closure of the traveler’s notebook. I found a couple of these colored elastics (still at National Bookstore, in their sewing materials section), which I unfortunately have forgotten how much they each cost. They should not have been more than Php50 each, I am sure. There’s a good amount of elastic in each pack, more than enough to make a few replacement elastic closures for your traveler’s notebook. What I did is to just measure the same amount of elastic as the one that originally came with my TN, which I took out and measured. I then made a simple knot, and threaded it the same manner into the back of the TN, and now I get a new elastic closure!

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These elastics are not as good quality as the original one, but since I have a lot of leftover elastic it should be no effort at all to make new ones once the old ones wear out. I’m on the hunt for new colors now!

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I keep my extra elastics in the pencil case insert. Just as a reference, here are the two adhesives that I used for this DIY post. A strong clear tape with a width of 1.8cm (0.75″) and my favorite brand of glue runner.

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If you have any questions about any of these DIY accessories, just leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer them as best I can!

Midori Passport as Wallet

When I got the Blue, I immediately moved in to it from my previous setup in the Passport. That left me with the Passport not really doing anything, so I decided to see if I can turn it into a wallet. I’ve seen many others in the internet do something similar, and I was tickled with the idea that my notebook is actually my wallet. Here’s how it is currently set up as of July 2015.

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One of the easiest components was the money-holder part. I knew that my Midori Refill 004 (zip pocket + card holder) would become the heart of the wallet: the zip pocket will hold the cash, and the card holder will hold, well, the cards. The challenge is determining what else I wanted in this wallet.

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I ended up with basically two parts. The top (left) part is the wallet component and the bottom (right) part is the notebook component.

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The wallet component is basically just two inserts. The inner one is the aforementioned Midori Refill 004, which holds my cash in the zip pocket and a couple of cards and some loose paper and a travel magnifying glass in the card holder.

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The outer insert that is wrapped around the Midori Refill 004 is a felt 4-pocket card holder that I got with my Alunsina traveler’s notebook. It is actually a field notes sized TN, so this felt card holder is slightly too tall for the Passport, but I thought it’s not such a big deal. I wanted additional space for extra cards, so this went into the setup. It holds my driver’s license, my health card, and most-used merchant rewards cards.

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The notebook component of the wallet is again composed of two inserts. The outer one is a yellow kraft folder that I got from a Planners and Journals kit, and it contains my medicine prescriptions (left pocket) and a set of neon page flags and some random loose paper (right pocket).

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The inner insert is a Midori Refill 006, a monthly diary layout for the passport size TN. Here is where I use those neon page flags for events that are not yet 100% scheduled. I make sure to keep this updated from the larger monthly diary I have in the Blue, since this is the one that I carry everywhere. I also put a larger page flag on the side to denote the current month.

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And that’s basically it! I am at present quite happy with the setup, and all in all these make for a TN wallet that is a smidge less than 1 inch thick. I also make sure I carry a small pen which is usually just slotted into the elastic band by its clip. I’m enjoying the fact that it does not look like a wallet from the outside, and yet it carries everything I need inside it in a very compact package.

I’d love to see your TN wallet setup as well! Drop your links to your photos or blog posts in the comments below!

Midori Blue Edition Initial Setup

It’s pretty clear at this point: I’m addicted to Midori! About a few weeks ago I got myself the regular sized Midori, the limited release Blue Edition. Here she is.

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My first impression is immediate surprise at just how much larger it is compared to the passport sized one. I’ve been used to the passport size for so long that the much bigger regular sized one seemed gigantic. Here’s how it compares to the passport one.

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It took me quite a while to determine what I wanted to use the Blue for, since I thought I already had everything I needed in the passport one. For the initial setup and basically taking it out for a spin, I decided on two inserts and I’ll show them to you. The first one is a daily planner. Since I got all the extra space, I decided to see if I can work better with a daily layout instead of a weekly one. There are a lot of available free printables for Midori inserts, but I picked out this one from Wendaful.com.

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I specifically chose this because of the little boxes for different things, most especially the dedicated box for journaling, and also for the nice brush calligraphy font that she used. To make this insert, I basically just downloaded the file, printed it out on regular letter sized paper, and trimmed it to the proper size. I actually didn’t even bind this insert, I just left it as is and trust that the elastic will keep the pages together. My main issue with this layout is that it’s actually a day-on-two-pages (DO2P) layout, which means this whole thing is just for one single day. Which means, there are around 30 pages in total for a whole month’s worth of planning.

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The whole June planner insert is this thick. I don’t really mind it but I would like a thinner insert so I would have the option of adding more books in the Blue if I wanted to. As it is, with two inserts (plus a few extras), the Blue is pretty much packed.

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My second insert is the included blank notebook when I got the Blue. I decided it will be a journal, with the caveat that I will not be so hung up about the neatness or contents. If I wanted to put stickers in it, or maybe use it for brush calligraphy practice, or attach things in it ala scrapbook, anything goes! The only decoration I’ve done to the cover so far is to stick my name in the corner. Just a quick note, that’s another one of my DIY clear card case inserts (this time I made it for the regular sized Midori) and it’s holding a bookmark from a Korean stationery brand called Choo Choo Cats (Jetoy). I really love the art style and I have a whole set of these bookmarks and also stickers.

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And look, I put another one of these bookmarks at the back because why not. The calendar is a free printable from Ray Blake, and the back of it is another one of his printables called a writing guide. I laminated it myself, and it’s pretty much in use every time I write in my journal.

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Here’s a sample page from my journal that I just wrote today in fact. As I said I like putting random quotes in brush calligraphy in there, and journal around it. I love the bigger area in which I can write in, and I can attach all sorts of things in here (like movie tickets, etc) without worrying about them jutting out.

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Aside from these two inserts, I also put in a zip pocket insert that I DIY’d. The front is a pink Lihit Lab plastic zip case that is the exact size of a regular Midori. I put mood stickers, post it sticky notes, and some cash in this pocket.

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The back is a pink pencil case that I found at National Bookstore. It’s slightly smaller than the Lihit Lab zip case. This one has an actual zipper, and has some mesh partitions inside. I have a set of page flags, a sticker, refills for my Muji multipen, and some random paper in there. I also put in the Muji multipen in there near the zipper. One of these days I’ll take the time to write a tutorial on how to assemble this insert and the clear card case insert.

At the moment I’m content with this setup, since it’s working. I’m not entirely happy about the thickness of the planner insert, so I have plans to either find a similar layout but a day-on-one-page (DO1P) instead or design my own layout. If you know of a nice DO1P printable (doesn’t need to be free), please leave me a link in the comments below, I appreciate your help!

Planner Tour: Midori in May

Let me bring you on a tour around my Midori passport setup this May.

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Let’s start with the cover. This right here is a planner bag that I ordered from Pink Paper Box, and it’s customized to my specifications. I asked for a bag for a passport-sized planner with a 1-inch thickness, and I got to choose the fabric. I’m very happy with this planner bag in general as it’s very sturdily built and holds my very-full Midori very well. My silver charms that are actually on the elastic that normally goes around the Midori are peaking out at the bottom.

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As you can see, it doesn’t lay flat anymore when opened up. It only has three notebooks in it! I have a Muji multipen in those pen loops that I sewed myself, as the planner bag didn’t come with any. The second loop is loose enough for a fountain pen.

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At the very front of the Midori is an A7 clear card file that I made into an insert (I’ll show you what’s on the other side of it in a bit). Inside this card file is a cute anime bookmark that I got from Landmark. I have a bunch of different designs so I can swap it out anytime, but I especially like this one because she reminds me so much of myself and how I used to dress a few years ago.

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Right behind my mascot is the first book, which is a Planners and Journals insert from the May Planner Kit. This notebook serves as my brain dump and catch all.

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Behind my brain dump notebook is a Midori Refill 004, which is a zip pocket on one side and a card holder on the other. This is the zip pocket side and it holds an ID card and some money, which is basically an attempt of incorporating my wallet into my Midori. I’m not quite sure yet if I’ll continue with this idea. You can see the yellow file folder insert, again from the Planners and Journals May Planner Kit, behind this zip pocket. The front is undecorated as of this writing, as I’m not yet sure what I want to put on it.

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The front part of the yellow file folder holds some medical papers that I need with me all of the time. The other side is the front of the second book, which is a Midori Refill 003 (unlined) and serves as my week-on-two-pages planner. The front cover holds some sticky notes.

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I just wanted to show you quickly what’s inside the inside of the front cover. It’s Pichu! I “commissioned” this from my daughter. I basically cut out a small piece of paper that I know will fit the cover, and asked her to draw me a Pichu.

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Here we have the back cover of the planner book, and the back pocket of the yellow file folder, both of which hold even more stick notes. Inside the actual pocket is my portable ruler with translucent sticky flags (bought from Daiso).

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Finally here we have the other side of the Midori Refill 004 which is the card holder. It holds my health card and a spare sim card sealed in with washi tape. There are some miscellaneous paper in the pocket behind the card holders. The opposite page is the front of yet another clear card case insert that I made. This is B7 sized, but I had to trim a bit on the top and side so it would fit so instead of a side-opening slip it now is some sort of secretarial pocket. I have in here a Midori passport pencil board.

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We have now arrived at the third and final book in my Midori, which is the second insert from the Planners and Journals May Planner Kit. This is my #listersgottalist book, which I’m pretty sure will be enough for both May and June challenges.

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At the back of the third book is the included bookmark/charm of the planner bag itself. I chose this teacup design, which I thought is apt for a coffeeholic like me. The opposite side is the other half of the B7 card case, which holds my May goals list.

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Behind that is my period tracker, and the other half of the A7 card case (which held the anime bookmark). Inside this A7 card case is a couple of cute cardstock that I cut down to the correct size, and in between that is a couple of band aids (because I always seem to have issues with my cuticles recently).

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In the inside of the back cover of the planner bag is a pack of Muji multipen refills, because I’m almost out of one of them and I want to make sure I have extras with me. There is also a brief glimpse of the Midori bookmark, which is that thin piece of cord. And there we have it! The very very full setup of my Midori this May.

Unboxing the Midori Traveler’s Notebook Passport Size

If it’s not that clear yet, I’m pretty much a paper addict. I love all things paper, and I have an unhealthy stash of unused notebooks. Not content with two iterations of planner, I found myself suddenly handing over money for a Midori Traveler’s Notebook over at Scribe Glorietta 5. I had already been considering getting one, even if I already had the Alunsina traveler’s notebook (TN), just so I can make a comparison with the one that started it all. Now the Midori TN happened to be on a considerable sale at Scribe, so I did not hesitate and got the passport sized one.

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The package came in this nondescript looking kraft box, wrapped in plastic. The dot over in the corner indicates that I chose the brown leather (the other option is black).

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Upon unboxing, we see the contents of the package. There’s a diary guide and a sheet of stickers on the left, a list of contents and a paper filled with Japanese writing along the top, a red sheet of paper on the right showing that I have the monthly spread refill, a pack of replacement elastics on the lower right, and the actual TN wrapped in a canvas bag in the middle.

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The TN itself is this very nice brown leather with elastics threaded through it to hold the refills, much like the Alunsina system (or rather, the Alunsina system follows Midori’s). The actual color of the TN isn’t this light; it’s closer to a dark brown than the camel color that somehow this picture shows. For now, I am keeping to the matching brown elastic that keeps the TN closed.

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The included refill is the month-on-two-pages view. To be honest I’m not quite sure yet if I’m going to be using this at all. In point of fact, I’m not quite sure yet what I’m doing with the Midori TN itself, since I’m quite happy with my current planner setup in the Alunsina TN. I didn’t purchase any other refills because there weren’t any at the store.

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Don’t be fooled! The TN passport size is quite small, as you can see in the photo above. It’s practically only as big as my palm! And this is a good thing, as it is really quite portable in this size, as long as I don’t stuff it with too many refills.

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In comparison with the Alunsina TN, the Midori TN is quite a bit shorter. The refill size of the Midori TN passport size is at 3.5″x5″ while that of the Alunsina is 3.5″x5.5″. I will make a full comparison post once I get a good setup going with the Midori.

Now… if only I can silence that voice saying I need the regular size Midori as well..

My Current Alunsina Kislap Traveler’s Notebook Setup

It has not even been two months since I posted about my Moleskine planner setup, and now I’m writing about another planner setup. This time I finally got myself an Alunsina Kislap traveler’s notebook! It took a bit of time to ease into my current setup, as I tried out some combinations of books before I settled into this one. Here’s my Kislap:

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I got the distressed brown leather cover and I had my name stamped in the lower right as well as the letter P in the middle center. I thought it was the most neutral of the available colors, and I am intending to bring this one everywhere, including into meetings so it needs to look business-like (note: the other two available colors at the time I ordered it are pink and sea green). I also chose the tree charm to go with the traveler’s notebook because it looked the most elegant of the four available charms. Do not be fooled by the photo above! This is actually quite small, about the size of the Moleskine pocket planner. Check out the size compared to my grip.

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Warning: This is going to be pretty image-intensive as I go into a detailed tour of my current setup!

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