Soooooooo… What exactly is a Hobonichi anyway?
Glad you asked that question! The Hobonichi Techno is a planner made in Japan which contains the whole year in one book. It comes in several different styles:
- The Hobonichi Techo Original, the original Hobonichi Techo written in Japanese and is A6 sized.
- The Hobonichi Techo Planner, the English version of the Original Techo, in A6 size.
- The Hobonichi Techo Cousin, the A5 sized version of the Hobonichi Original, written in Japanese.
- The Hobonichi Techo Cousin Avec, the Hobonichi Cousin broken into 2 separate books spanning six months each.
- The Hobonichi Techo Weeks, the smallest Techo – wallet sized, broken down into the 52 weeks of the year.
There is a Techo version available for everyone!
Today, I will go over the features of the Hobonichi Techo Cousin. This is my Techo of choice because it has all I would ever need in one book:
- Yearly Overview
- Yearly Index
- Month on Two Pages
- Week on Two Pages
- Daily Pages
This book can be used as a planner, a journal, an art journal, or all of the above. I choose “all of the above” for my Hobonichi. Why have more than one journal/planner? Why, for that matter, have a journal and a planner when you can have both in the same book? It all goes back to the “everything in one book” push. The idea of a minimalistic and organized life style. There’s nothing minimal about writing in two books each year to record your life…
But in a Hobonichi you can move toward a more minimalistic life. The Hobonichi Cousin gives you month, week, and day layouts in the same book without cramming them all on the same page/two page spread. There is copious amounts of room for planning along with the various sections to help you plan better. You get a whole blank page per day in addition to the “planner sections” to use as you see fit. Journal on them; doodle on them; plan on them — it doesn’t matter. They are at your disposal to use as you see fit.
That isn’t all though! There are blank pages for notes in the back of the Cousin. There is also a blank page at the start of each month in the daily section. And then there are bonus pages which contain useful information, that is if you can read Japanese… But those pages don’t deter me. I look at them as pages for art journaling — the background has already been started for me!
Whether you are a strictly planning person, a documented life-type planner, a bullet journalist, an art journalist with little to no need or desire for planning, or anything in between the Hobonichi Techo Cousin can fit the bill for you.
Tomoe River Paper
I am not a paper snob by any means. And I just recently fell in love with using fountain pens and dip pens. But Tomoe River Paper — affectionately referred to as TRP — is the gold standard for fountain pen users! On this paper, fountain pen ink does not feather. They do not bleed through to the other side, rendering that page useless. And the shadowing is minimal, leaving the back of the page easily useable. Fountain pens glide across the page. Even the finest tip glides! The “scratchiness” that is inherent in writing with a fountain pen just isn’t as scratchy when writing on TRP. And the paper really shows off the color and sheen of fountain pen ink.
The paper is super thin, but also super sturdy. It holds up to watercolor and other wet mediums very well — without bleed through. It really takes a lot of wetness to cause bleed through with this paper. The paper does crinkle from the wetness, but not so badly as to render the page useless. Even with writing only the paper crinkles, but the crinkly pages cause the most awesome sound when flipping through the book. And the gridlines are super faint so they can be ignored, yet hardy enough that they can be seen and used without difficulty. The book boasts a sleek 0.7 inch thickness with more than 400 pages to its page count…
The binding of all the Techos allows them their famous 180-degree lay flat capability. This means you will always be able to write on a flat surface and not fight with fully opening the book for writing. Although I used to squawk about it, with Monday only start your weekend days remain together for easier visual planning of your weekends.
I could go on and on about the Techo in general, and the Cousin specifically. But why re-write what the Hobonichi website has verbalized so well already? And there are loads of other bloggers and YouTubers who will tell you the same. All I can say is I cannot wait for January 1, 2017 so that I can start using my Hobonichi Techo Cousin!