Another Year, Another Hobonichi

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. Continue reading Another Year, Another Hobonichi

A Look at the Hobonichi Techo

This year I’ve started looking at journaling on a daily basis. The first two years I lived in Japan I actually used a hardcover Moleskine pocket notebook that I would write in on a weekly basis. It worked well but keeping a journal in something as small as a pocket notebook is frustrating for anything more substantial.

This led to me picking up a basic lined cahier style notebook from Typo which had recently opened up several stores in South Africa. Arriving back home in Japan, I was disappointed to find that the paper quality was pretty terrible and using a fountain pen with it led to plenty of bleedthrough and feathering. Pretty terrible for any sort of writing! Continue reading A Look at the Hobonichi Techo

Going Analog

In a previous post I talked about how I’d discovered the world of Japanese stationery. This time I want to talk about how that new found interest of mine has started filteing into my daily routine.

Most of my writing, lists and general note taking has been done with the help of many, many useful apps on my iPhone, iPad or Macbook. This year though I’ve slowly moved to an analog system of writing everything down by hand. In fact, this very post was written with a Lamy Safari fountain pen on a Maruman Mnemosyne N188 pad. Continue reading Going Analog

The Roads to Sata

One thing I always get asked is why I chose to come to Japan and my usual answer is that I came here because I wanted to try my hand at teaching and because I have an appreciation of Japanese history and culture. The truth is that is only part of the why I really ended up living here.

What I want to write about today is a book that really ignited my fascination and love for Japan and helped me finally make the decision to apply for the JET programme and leave my family and friends behind as I hopped on a plane bound for Tokyo nearly three years ago. Continue reading The Roads to Sata

Publish by Day One

Before starting up this blog I’d had a break of about 3 years where I did no writing on the web. My previous blogs all went the way of the dodo and due to my move to Japan I had to stop writing for the various sites and publications I was working for back in South Africa.

Even though I wasn’t writing anything online I kept a pen and paper journal on a regular basis and tried to make the time to jot down my thoughts and ideas, my feelings and anything important that had happened to me. Continue reading Publish by Day One

My Writing Workflow

One of the things I do most frequently on my laptop is to type out notes and documents. Whether it’s a draft blog post or a few paragraphs of fiction, I’ve ended up using a combination of Ulysses III, Byword and Marked for nearly all my documents.

Choosing a text editor or writing software on a Mac can be a daunting task. After all, there are a raft of wonderfully crafted editors each trying to make a name for themselves by addressing a specific need or niche. Scrivener focuses on being a ‘toolshed’ for writers looking to gather all their research and materials together and typing out a fully formed book. On the opposite end of the spectrum is something like Byword that gives you a single window with nothing else and let’s you type out whatever you want using the Markdown syntax. Continue reading My Writing Workflow