Hobonichi unboxing day: the 2018 planner haul post!

September 19, 2017

I thought long and (too) hard about which planner to use for next year.  I’ve been using a Hobonichi Cousin planner for 4 years now (started in March 2014, then switched to January editions for 2015, 2016, and 2017) and was starting to have some wanderlust.

I considered:

Day Designer

Golden Coil (brand new customizable option – and I do have one on order, but I think I’ll use it as a fancy notebook instead!)

Erin Condren (what I used before discovering Hobonichi)

Inkwell Press – love the graphics

Going full-on Bullet Journal (probably in a Nuuna notebook)


But the truth is, the Hobonichi has everything I want.  And more!  And the aesthetics of the pages please me so, so much – more than some of the more froufrou options above, even if they are pretty.  I love the covers, love their online shop, love the toys and accessories, and just generally love the layout and contents of their planners.

I feel like the Hobonichi takes all of the flexibility of a Bullet Journal but doesn’t leave me having to spend hours draw a bunch of straight lines.

So I ordered 🙂


I did make one change: after years of using the much bigger Cousin, I downsized to a Techo, and even went with the Avec (2 volumes, one Jan-Jun and the other Jul-Dec)!  My reasoning:

1) I really almost never fill the pages of the Cousin.  My current layout has nutrition tracking on the bottom left which I am rather tired of doing.  The bottom right often is empty or just feels like filler.  I don’t really have anything else I need/want to track!  I’d rather have full pages; it’s just more satisfying!

2) I want more portability

3) The Techo Avec can be used with a Weekly Insert which covers the entire year, eliminating the annoying problem of having to plan August events in June and having nowhere to do so

4) Less planner = more opportunity for auxiliary notebooks (i.e. for work notes, podcast planning, etc).



that enticing yellow box!

Contents, top row then bottom, left to right:
1) Weekly Insert (weekly calendar for entire year on the famous Tomoe River paper; this fits right into the planner cover)
2) Notebooks, grid-lined.  These also fit in easily.  (My current system, which is very David Allen (Getting Things Done)-inspired, involves keeping lists in one of these, which is tucked into the back of the cover for easy access.)
3) The Techo Avec planner books themselves.  So compact!
4) 2 gorgeous washi tapes that I couldn’t resist (and that I have to hide from A or they will be gone in 5 minutes)
5) Memo roll – roll of neon yellow paper with a post-it-type backing.  It’s wide enough to write quite a bit on.  Love this and hadn’t bought it before!
6) Gorgeous and soft Imagine cover.  It is not necessary to buy a new cover every year (they hold up well!) but . . . so far I always have, plus this year I actually did need to due to switching to the smaller size.  I love this one for both how it looks and how it feels!
7) Pen (always free with purchase) – a uniball Jetstream 3 that does work perfectly with the planner paper.  This is the pen I use each year, usually requiring about 1 black refill halfway through.  I almost never use the red or blue anymore – I prefer how it looks when the writing is all black + use other pens (mostly mildliner highlighters) for accent.
8) Dot stickers – these are translucent circles and nice for a little emphasis on dates when desired
9) Pencil board – I use this mostly as a ruler to draw lines for my layout each day as well as a bookmark
So there you have it!  I hope I am not tooooo overwhelmed with baby #3 to give you some glimpses on how I will use this little delight come January.  (I suspect I may be incorporating some baby sleep tracking + pumping logs).
ALSO if you are going to comment that you have no idea how someone can use a paper planner in this day and age, well . . . you do you.  This works (quite well, if I do say so myself . . . ) for me.  #paperforever 


  • Reply OrganisingQueen March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I’m thrilled with your haul – I’m a paper planner myself – and more importantly, I’m about to set out to go scope out the diaries at my local bookshop.

    My favourite is the Legami weekly diary format 🙂

  • Reply Helen March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Do you order from that site? I found it very confusing. Just information and then prices in Japanese. Was trying to see what they cost…

  • Reply Lily March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    YES!!! Exactly what Sarah said – I really wanted to downsize (the cousin is awesome but too heavy) but I HAVE to have a weekly planner (I need to see those 168 hours!) and it has to have a column layout, starting on Monday. I’d checked out the ‘weeks’ option but it wasn’t what I needed – but this is PERFECT! Thank you! I’ve had a really crappy day and now I’m all excited 🙂 Yay!

  • Reply Sara March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    #paperforever LOVE IT (and believe it wholeheartedly)!

  • Reply Zenmoo March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Count me as another who picked up on Hobonichi from your blog a couple of years ago. I’ve used the Cousin but found it too big. This year I’ve used a Weeks as my personal planner and an Avec as a family memory journal. I was thinking I’d do the same next year, but I really like the look of the Inkwell quarterly goals planners… I think they are A5 & I like that size as I find the Weeks a little cramped .. Decisions, decisions!

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    I use a hybrid system with digital calendars and paper for planning. I really like what I have this year, its called the "minimalist" and its absolutely perfect for my needs. I used the "unplanner" last year but it had way too many boxes that I had no idea what to do with!
    I also have a separate notebook for bullet journal. I only use my planner for work, actually. so I like having a calendar on my phon3 I can look at and add things to wherever/whenever, plus the notifications about upcoming events are helpful, especially in the morning!

  • Reply March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I like the reviewed products. I’d probably order some of these items too.

  • Reply March 10, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    I like this post. Thanks

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