Tag: hobonichi

A6 Hobonichi Techo Part 2

Hobonichi Serial Number

Following up on last week’s post, here’s a quick look at the Hobonichi’s interiors and why I like it so much….and a few of the reasons that I don’t. If you’re on the fence about getting one, maybe this glimpse into the Hobo’s papery guts will help you decide one way or the other.

So past the cover, you get a two-page calendar spread. Handy if you want to check up on dates/days quickly.

Hobonichi interior

Interior initial year calendar of the Hobonichi.

This next bit is one of my favorites: a vertical chart of all the days in the year. I think you’re supposed to mark off special days , but I chose to use this page as a mood plotter. I struggle with some mood issues, and I figured that plotting my moods on this page, on a scale of one to ten, will allow me to see how my mood fluctuates over time.

Hobonichi day marker- which I use as a mood plotter.

Hobonichi day marker- which I use as a mood plotter.

Then we get to the two-page monthly spreads. As a visual person, I really prefer having my days laid out like this, so I can see how each day relates to a day in the week.

Hobonichi Month Calendar

The month on a two-page spread.

This is followed by a couple of weeks’ (from Dec 16, 2015 to   Dec. 31, 2015) worth of two-days-per page. I use these pages to note details and events of the day that may have affected my mood, including hours of sleep and possible triggers.

Hobonichi Two days a page layout- the closing days of 2015.

Hobonichi Two days a page layout- the closing days of 2015.

When January 1 hits, you finally get the one page per day layout. Many people use this section to journal or doodle or as a scrap-book. I haven’t quite decided, but I’ll probably continue listing the events and triggers of the day. And don’t forget the notes page that comes before every month. You can list monthly goals or events here.

Hobonichi daily layout

Hobonichi daily layout

There are a few details that make this layout really nice for me. One are the monthly calendars on every bottom corner. And on the header, you’ll find the phases of the moon (handy for astrologer or stargazer types!). Oh, and also notice the tabs on the left which indicate the number of the month, so you can flip to any month quickly. It’s these little details that make me absolutely love this planner.

Header of the daily layout pages in the Hobonichi.

Header of the daily layout pages.

Each daily page contains a quote from a Japanese celebrity or artist. This is one of the things I don’t like about the planner- I would have prepared a blank space for more notes/ reminders/ doodles. But I guess the quotes could become conversation starters.

Quote at the bottom of the daily pages.

Quote at the bottom of the daily pages.

Finally, you get a few pages in dot grid for notes. Great area to write those so-hard-to-remember passwords (but use code!).

Hobonichi notes pages.

Notes pages. Cute peach dot grid!

Finally there’s a small section for important info such as international sizes, measurement conversions, telephone dialing codes, even national holidays around the world. There are a couple of pages including Japanese dining tips and major islands, although I don’t really care for those last two.

Hobonichi Conversion table.

Conversion table.

Holidays around the world.

Holidays around the world.

Hobonichi Japanese dining tips

How to eat Japanese food?

Finally, on the last page is a form for personal and contact information (in case you lose your precious Hobo). And check out that serial number. Can you believe each Hobo is numbered individually? That’s pretty cool.

Hobonichi final page.

Hobonichi final page.

There’s just one thing I have to say before I finish: the Hobo’s paper is super thin ( it’s Tomoe River). at 50gsm, it’s about as thick as regular onions-kin. Now, many people say that Tomoe River doesn’t bleed on a lot of pens, including fountain pens, but I’ve found that certain inks do tend to bleed through or have extreme show-through, making the opposite sides almost unusable. If you like to use alcohol markers, Sharpies, or very thick wet pens, don’t use a Hobo! Otherwise, the paper is strong (for its weight, anyway) and can hold light washes, brush pens, and most fountain pens.

Hobonichi's Tomoe River paper with showthrough and some bleedthrough using medium to broad fountain pens.

Hobonichi’s Tomoe River paper with showthrough and some bleedthrough using medium to broad fountain pens.

It’s also probably better to use small handwriting. I think the grids are 4mm. They’re printed in very light gray, however, so they shouldn’t interfere if you want to write beyond the lines.

There you have it! I’ll revisit my Hobonichi throughout the year to update you guys on how the pages are coming along. Thanks for stopping by!

A6 Hobonichi Techo Part 1


I first heard about the Hobonichi Techo planner (I’ll call it the Hobo) from one of my former editors, who’d mentioned that she had purchased one to art journal. As a fountain pen enthusiast, I’d heard the word Hobonichi floating around on the internet. It had a reputation as the perfect planner for fountain pens because it used Tomoe River paper, a thin but extremely resilient type of paper from Japan.

I looked it up online and realized the Hobo had a cult following. People were using it to doodle, journal, decorate, and sometimes even plan! I mentioned it to my sister Bea in passing, something like “Oh, have you heard of the Hobo?” She got this scary glazed look in her eyes and started squealing.  Next thing I knew, we’d started counting down the days until we could order the 2016 edition (the Hobo is available for sale on September 1 every year).

For a long time, unless you lived in Japan you could only order the Hobo online from http://www.1101.com/, the official site for all iterations of the planner (there are five, which I’ll mention briefly). However, recently they’ve been popping up in stores around the world, including Scribe Writing Essentials in the Philippines and various local small online retailers/ importers.

Hobonichi planners comparison

The Hobonichi Techo A6 and the Cousin A5

Initially I only ordered the Hobonichi Cousin, the A5-sized version that only comes in Japanese. However, Liz was able to obtain  the A6-sized Hobo English edition for me I passed on the Hobo Weeks, which is a vertically-oriented planner that well, tracks your weeks, as well as the A6 Hobo Techo in Japanese and the A5 Cousin Avec, which divides the A5 Cousin into two slimmer volumes.

The Hobonichi Techo English with Midori A6 clear cover.

The Hobonichi Techo English with Midori A6 clear cover.

The English Hobo comes in this gorgeous black cover stamped, in gold foil, the Kanji characters for ‘diary’ and ‘hand.’  I find it very elegant. Hobo_logoThe book cover itself is semigloss cardstock embossed to resemble leather. You can read here for more info on the history and nature of the planner.  I do wish the cardstock was a little firmer. It’s designed to be covered by a secondary cover, so I think the thinness is deliberate.

For many people, one of the most crucial aspects of the Hobo is its secondary cover- various designs, in textile, leather, or silicone, that can be bought alongside the planner and are designed to protect and enhance the books.

They aren’t cheap –unlike me. I am VERY cheap. Therefore no fancy expensive covers for me. Instead I’m using a fake leather cover from local company Authors Avenue, which serendipitously fits (barely) over the Hobo.

Hobonichi cover

A6 Notebook cover from Authors Avenue fits- mostly.

I DID purchase a Midori A6 clear cover to keep my Hobo clean.

One more note
about the Hobo- its binding is a testament to Japanese craftsmanship. You can fold this thing almost 360 degrees without breaking the spine, and it lays perfectly flat on a table.

Visit Part 2 to see how I’ve decided to use this versatile planner.Hobonichi binding.






My 2016 Diaries: Hobonichi and Traveler’s Notebook

Hello all! I’m Tintin’s sister Bea. She’s generously allowed me to post on her blog because I, too, am caught in the grips of an uncontrollable stationery obsession. In fact, Tintin first got me into stationery when we were young, though I didn’t learn to fully appreciate it until much later. About a year and a half ago, she introduced me to fountain pens and I introduced her to the Midori Traveler’s Notebook and we’ve been enabling each other ever since!

It’s funny because for all the shared interests we have, our tastes actually differ a lot. For example, she’s more adventurous and knowledgeable about fountain pens, whereas I’m happy with my set of durable, inexpensive Lamys. On the other hand, I’m more of a Traveler’s Notebook “purist”–it’s not that I don’t like fauxdori, but I love the Traveler’s Factory brand so much that it would take something really special to lure me away. However, I’m happy that there’s a growing community of TN/fauxdori users in the Philippines, because it means getting supplies for planners and journals has become much easier and more affordable. Also, it’s bringing attention to local talent who seem to really know their leather.

For this post, I thought I’d share the new additions to my 2016 planning/journaling setup. These are items that I’ve been waiting for months to use–they are also items I’ve never used before. Due to my excitement, I may have acquired more diaries than I need, and am now faced with the dilemma of how to actually use each one. Anyone else have this problem? Every time I think I’ve got each diary finalized, I second-guess myself! But 2016 is almost upon us, so I’d better make up my mind soon.

So those new items are: the Traveler’s Notebook 2016 Diary (Weekly + Memo), the Hobonichi Planner, and the Hobonichi Techo Cousin Avec.

Traveler’s Notebook 2016 Diary (Weekly + Memo)

This is a limited edition diary that is released towards the latter half of the year. There are other versions, like the monthly and weekly diaries, but this is the one that Eunice from @thedailyroe uses to make her beautiful layouts. So of course, being a total lemming, I wanted it too. These are very similar to the weekly + memo free diaries that are sold year-round, but are pre-dated and have a few additions like a fancy cover, stickers, and calendar bits that I’m ignoring to be honest. You also get 2 inserts for the year: Jan-Jun, Jul-Dec. The Jul-Dec diary has a navy blue cover.

What I’ll Use it For: I plan to use this as a jumbled combination of weekly highlights, random notes of interest, and a commonplace book for facts, quotes, and found things. I’m changing the way I keep an art journal, so instead of one huge art journal, I’ll have smaller but more varied types of journals.

Hobonichi Planner

This is the first year I’ll be using the Hobonichi and I’m so, so excited. I bought the English version. In fact, this was supposed to be my everyday art journal/notes until the TN Weekly + Memo Diary came along. It’s probably for the better–I’ve seen how thick the Hobonichi Techo can get when you pump it up with stickers and washi tape. Forget about pasting in journal cards or glossy photos! I definitely do not want to be struggling to write in the pages by the end of the year, so I will try to keep the embellishments simple: washi tape and the occasional sticker. Today is the first entry, and I wasted no time in cracking it open. The sooner I can get it away from its pristine condition, the sooner I can stop treating it like a delicate princess and more like the durable “life-book” it’s supposed to be!

What I’ll Use It For: As you might be able to tell from the image, I’m struggling with this. I like how the Hobonichi looks with single entries decorated simply but beautifully (like this) but the collage of notes and illustrations also looks very nice (like so). More importantly, I have to distinguish it from both the previous diary and my written diary (yeah, I have a lot of diaries). I am leaning towards using it for more reflection-based journaling: noting the day’s accomplishments and reflecting on what’s to come. I use my written diary to whine a lot, sometimes at the expense of meaningful reflection.

Then again, this is my first year using it so I’m not going to be too prescriptive about it. I’ll start off by going with what feels comfortable!

Hobonichi Cousin Avec (A5)

The Hobonichi Cousin is of course the larger version of the Hobonichi Techo, and the Avec is the Cousin split into two volumes. Comparisons between the Cousin and A6 Techo have been elaborated in detail elsewhere, so I’ll just jump right into why I bought it. I decided that for 2016 I needed to track my writing tasks more diligently, since 2015 was proving to be very disappointing in that regard. The Traveler’s Notebook insert I was using for writing-related notes wasn’t cutting it and I was writing things on scraps that I’d later mistakenly throw away. But since I didn’t want to carry a full Cousin in addition to a Techo & my MTN, the Avec seemed like the perfect solution.

How I’ll Use It: As a writing tracker to track my current projects, tasks, progress, and deadlines. Also books I want to read or have read. I’ve added some slim washi tape to January 1 as a proposed layout: on the top I’ll put any deadlines for the day, the left will be for tasks for each project, and the right column will be for relevant notes or things to research.

There’s still much I have to do before 2016 rolls around: namely, to get my resolutions/goals (writing & otherwise) in order, and to figure out how all of this fits with my current Traveler’s Notebook setup. I’m hoping they all play nicely together.

Thanks for reading! I don’t know how often I will post, but for more regular updates, such as my art journal pages, washi tape collection, or sticker/stamp hauls, I have a dedicated Instagram for stationery called @tdpjournals. Come by and say hello 🙂