Whenever September rolls around I scramble on the first day of the month to be one of the first people to order my Hobonichi Techo for the following year. Now if you don’t know what a Hobonichi Techo is then I wouldn’t be surprised. A Hobonichi Techo is really just a Japanese planner or diary, but at the same time it’s a book that prides itself on being a vessel for your thoughts, your life, and anything you want to use it for. If you look at the usage examples on their website you’ll find a million and one ways that people around the world have customized to fit their lifestyles. For a quick refresher you can also read my initial impressions and see what I thought of it when I first started using it back in 2015.
This year I actually tried using multiple planners including the Jibun Techo, EDiT Techo, two Midori Traveler’s Notebook diaries and my trusty old Hobonichi Techo. Heck, I even went so far as to buy a Japanese magazine that specializes in how to use planners in Japan!
All in all I barely touched most of them and decided that at most I’d go with two planners for 2017: one to use as a writing journal, which is how I’ve been using my Hobonichi Techo; and another to use as a general planner and a way to track the lessons I teach.
So when the new Hobonichi planners and covers were released on September 1 I hopped on over to their site and tried to order my two planners. After 3 hours of constantly refreshing pages and trying to check out I managed to eventually get everything ordered that I was hoping to buy. Their site is always dead slow on the first day of sales simply because all of Japan and a lot of other people around the world simultaneously try to buy as much as possible from their online store.
For 2017 I’ve opted for the following two covers for my planners:
Memories (Mother 2)
Itoi Shigesato is the man behind the company that designs and produces the Hobonichi Techi, but before that he was famous in Japan as a copywriter. Most people outside of Japan though will know him as the person behind the Mother series of games for Nintendo which have achieved somewhat of a cult status amongst gamers. The last few years have seen him design covers based on the Mother games and each year I’ve picked one up to use as my daily writing journal. This year I opted for the Memories cover simply because I wanted something a bit more lighthearted in feeling rather than a standard color or design, and the Memories cover manages to hit that perfectly with its blend of bright colors and scenes from the Mother 2 game.
Caribbean Blue (Colors)
The Colors series of covers are usually the cheapest on offer and stick to a series of unique color combinations that are targeted towards men or woman and in some cases are appealing to both sexes. Rather that opting for a second A6 size Hobonichi I decided to go for the larger A5 size Hobonichi Cousin to fit in plenty of notes on my lessons as well as general schedule things and any studies I may take up in the next year or so. The Caribbean Blue cover was by far the most cool of the Colors series with the unique and retro styling of the dark blue exterior and the dark brown interior.
Royal Stewart (Lochcarron)
The Royal Stewart cover is one that I’d actually bought as a present for my mother earlier in the year and when I saw it I knew that if I had the chance I’d want one for myself as well. So just before they rolled the site over to the 2017 cover designs I ordered one for myself to use as a travel cover for my A6 size Hobonichi in tandem with the Memories cover. The Royal Stewart cover is one of the Zippers covers that Hobonichi offers and is made by Lochcarron, who provide the Queen of England with tartan shawls and clothes for the Royal Guard. Pretty awesome if you ask me!
Dress Gordon (Lochcarron)
The Dress Gordon cover is backed by a lot of the same history and design as the Royal Stewart cover above but is sized for the A5 Hobonichi Cousin size planner. Again, this is a cover that I’ll alternate with the Caribbean Blue cover for my Cousin planner.
Of course there’s also a couple of other goodies I’ve got on order to go along with my planners, such as the official guide-book that has interviews with users and tips on ways to use the planner. I’ve got some clear folders to use for my receipts and memos for class as well as a variety of other stationery goodies.
This year I’ve also managed to get my wife to join me in using a Hobonichi and it’s been great fun to shop together with her for the perfect cover and planner for her needs. With my wife a Hobonichi convert I’ve now actually managed to get all my immediate family to use Hobonichi planners in their daily lives. Not too bad I think!
Even if you’re not a person who keeps a journal or you have no interest in logging the minutiae of your life, I can still recommend a Hobonichi planner. It’s a book and system that work with you in whatever way complements your life best. So head on over to their site and have a browse through what they have to offer. They even offer worldwide shipping and they have a site that is fully English!