In 2014, I decided to take the plunge with Hobonichi Techo. I had heard of the Techo before and its fountain pen defying Tomoe River paper was the main reason I knew about it. I had resisted buying the year before only because the checkout system was not in English and I was not sure I understood the guide I was trying to follow. 2014 changed all that because now the order process was all in English. This is my third Techo and I feel fully vested in the format. While I have decided to separate my personal and work planners, the Techo has remained. Now that Jetpens carries the Techo also, the entry barrier has come down quite a bit, although the price might scare some away.
Here we are a few days into the new year and maybe you have not decided what planner format works for you. The Hobonichi is an all or nothing proposition. You either like it or you don’t. The size is roughly 4 inch by almost 6 inches with one page per day. If you have not tried a planner this size, I would suggest looking at DIY Planner for a template that is the A6 size and maybe testing the waters. You could also look at the Dollar Tree for 4×6 index cards and maybe seeing if you could live on 1 index card per day for planning purposes. I Bullet journal in mine and find the size is big enough for my needs. With the absence of work-related items in my planner, space needed has been much reduced.
The cover is very sturdy faux leather-look binding that seems more like polypropylene when you examine it closer. The first year I had mine, I used it without a cover and it was okay but did show more wear. The second year I used my polyester cover which I then upgraded to a leather cover I found on a forum, second-hand.
The book itself is broken down into several different sections:
- 1 year on 1 page
- 2 days on 1 page for December of the current year to get you going for the new year.
- Month on 2 pages into the next year.
- Monthly Summary page before each month (1 page).
- Daily pages one page per day.
- Blank Dot-grid pages for notes.
- International size chart.
- Conversion tables.
- Tips for Japanese dining.
- International dialing codes.
- National holidays for several countries.
- Personal information page.
The daily page has grid lines and a margin area on the left that suggests you can use it to divide the page into hours since it has a 12 at about the middle of the page and a knife/fork icon to what I would consider the end of the day. I use the area for my bullet check box system instead and just list out appointments with a time next to them. The top of the page has the current date, moon phase, day of the week, and a numerical value for the day that corresponds to xxx/365 days. I find that handy as I need to keep track of future dates in regular intervals. The bottom of the page has a quote, 1 quote every 2 days and a monthly calendar with an indicator of which 2 days of the month you are looking at.
Sundays are printed in red ink throughout the planner with the rest in black. The outside edge is marked with the number of the month which makes flipping through the planner a little bit easier if you don’t have a cover. The cover adds 2 bookmarks and I use mine to mark the current day and the current month.
Overall, this planner has met my needs for a full 2 years. I have added accessories to my Techo, like the cover, pencil board, and plastic templates. Some may find the 4×6 pages restrictive, especially if you have larger writing. The paper is what I think keeps me coming back. It may be a bit pricey at $31 from Jetpens but that is a discount for me since I do not have to pay shipping from Japan for next year.
Thank you for reading.
Inktronicsblog.com – where the pen is mightier than the sword, but a lightsaber?