Best Laid Plans Planners

BLP Ep #7: Reviews! Live Rich Planner & Jibun Techo Biz B6

September 7, 2020

Hi! I forgot that it’s actually a Monday so . . . BLP released today even though it’s technically a holiday (though I am also on call).

Welcome to the very first official review episode! I don’t think I could have chosen 2 different products to review if I tried, though I guess they do have in common both weekly and monthly layouts!

I’m a bit late on this post, so apologies if you listened and were disappointed not to find the show notes right away! Next time I will try to be more punctual. ENJOY and let me know if you will be considering either of these unique options!

Live Rich Planner

Here’s the LRP, “small” size (7.6 x 9.5” , 2 lb, $44). Nope, it’s not that small. I honestly would not want to tote this around (and I am someone who doesn’t mind toting the Hobonichi Cousin!). But it would be just fine to live on a desk or countertop!

The LRP is designed and developed by The Budget Mom, aka Kumiko Love. She’s got a ton of great ideas and a lot of passion. Her focus is budgeting and she has a lot of analog budgeting offerings. The LRP is a planner with some budgeting/financial elements built into the design.

It’s hard to see in the above pic, but what I was trying to illustrate was that the rings are quite large – 4cm in diameter. This is because a) the planner holds a lot of great content and b) the paper isn’t thin. If it’s going to live on a desk, it may not be an issue, but I wanted to highlight this as it may be a turn off for some. I have seem some people “Frankenplan” the LRP into other kinds of rings/discs/etc – could totally see that working well!

Lovely monthly spread – I like all of the ‘goals’ areas.

As noted, we are diehard YNAB users and also use an old fashioned (somewhat!) excel sheet to track our investments/savings accounts. So, I really didn’t have much use for the financial content here. Of note, I highly doubt our monthly expenses would fit on that chart! BUT this would have been fantastic for me during my residency or med school days when things were simpler.

Okay I LOVE this weekly meal planning page! I just wish there was some way to tear off the shopping list (I KNOW – I’m asking a lot here!). I also like the tasks spread on the right, but would prefer it NOT to be labelled housework!

Weekly spread! I love the spacious vertical layout. I also love that cute little “workouts” chart! This is a very functional layout.

Tabs – you put the stickers on, so you get to decide the starting month! As a reminder, this is an undated system. Below is the back pocket (pockets on both sides) with the included stickers.

There you have it! The Live Rich Planner, available here for $44.

Oh! A note on the paper – I liked it! It’s described as 70# and is bright white. It’s fairly smooth but not TOO smooth – a Pilot G2 fine point gel pen worked beautiful on its pages and with no smudging issues.

Kukuyo Jibun Techo Biz (B6)

And now we switch gears . . . entirely! The Jibun Techo Biz B6 is about 1/3 the size and less than 1/4 the weight (7 oz) of the LRP above. It is made by Japanese brand Kukuyo, and the paper is a thin paper known as MIO. It comes in 2 sizes and a number of styles, but the “Biz” line is definitely my pick, with a more neutral color palate. For a full description of the various Jibun Techo offerings, check out this helpful guide from Jetpens.

The grid layouts are tiny, so really only fine point pens work on this paper. Again, I found the G-2 to work well, as did the Hi-Tec C. Not shown but also a good match were the Uni Pin (01) or Sakura Pigma Micron (01). Highlighter colors appear a bit muted, similar to Hobonichi paper.

I will say that I find MIO paper less smudgy/pooly (is that a word?) that Hobonichi paper. I actually kind of prefer it, but I don’t think it’s quite as thin.

Gantt Charts! I love these for habit tracking.

Monthly layout! You can’t tell from the pic but this is pretty small. I don’t think a super-detailed monthly layout would be feasible unless you write microscopically. Great for big picture planning, though.

WEEKLY! I love this weekly. It’s similar to a Hobonichi Cousin layout but smaller. There is some space on the left for weekly tasks. I like drawing colored blocks for my ‘hard scheduled’ time (meetings, patients, etc) to help me plan out the rest of my work for the week.

Book list and some other assorted lists pages at the front – you have to write small, but they are pretty functional!

There you have it! I don’t have an exact price for this planner yet. It was ~$40 on Amazon (yes, similar in price to LRP for a much tinier product!). If I were going to use a daily planner in 2021 but wanted a weekly system to keep as a time management system, I would probably buy this one. I could see it pairing very nicely with a Hobonichi A6 (for daily layouts) or a Simplified daily planner.

Mentioned in the Q&A Section: YNAB, the budgeting app I have used for years and highly recommend!


  • Reply Jing September 7, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for these reviews, Sarah! I am using the Hobonichi Cousin after discovering it from your blog, and I like all the sections in it. They make covers in the A6 size that I want, and one of the reasons why it would be difficult for me to switch is because the A6 size doesn’t have the weekly pages. I tried to find a weekly pages sub-bullet from the Hobonichi Accessories section but they don’t seem to make it (only in A6 size, with a squashed timeline), so I was feeling stuck in the choices. The Jibun Techo Biz seems like what I was looking for! All my issues would be solved if the Hobonichi covers came in both sizes.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 7, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Yes! I actually thought about doing that myself this year (A6 hobonichi plus jibun) but i decided I wanted the page size of the cousin 😊

  • Reply Lori C September 7, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Wow, you weren’t kidding the review was coming soon! LOL!

    I have a Hobonich Cousin (A5) but was considering moving to the Original for 2021 because I tend not to use all the space in the Cousin. I am primarily a weekly spread user and my days are mostly sparse. Thankfully, when I went to order, I noticed weekly pages was NOT an included feature on the Original… so, back to the old standard.

    Fast forward, like, 5 days, and now I am watching Jibun B6 slim/ “mini” flip through videos on You Tube and thinking this may just be the perfect fit for me! My hesitation is the size of the grids. Sarah, I know you write smaller than I do, so I am just wondering if this will really cramp my style (and hand). Is there a way to post a pic of hobonichi and jibun techo next to each other so we can better see how much smaller the grids are? I was about *this* close to pre-ordering the 2021 Jibun Techo Mini on Etsy last night but talked myself out of buying another $80 planner (for at least a month or so….) I really like the 3 in 1 kit, which includes two other booklets (life and notes maybe?) The life book contains spots for movie lists, book lists, even 100 dreams! Seems nearly identical to the cousin + accessory notebook set up, except the lists are all labeled and ready to go. I will likely bite the bullet and pre-order one. 🙂 This helped thank you!!!

    • Reply Lori C September 8, 2020 at 1:10 pm

      Just listened to the episode and LOVE it. My favorite podcast format so far. You covered some of the stuff I mention above and I think you’ve convinced me to buy a 2021 Jibun Techo Biz Mini!!

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 8, 2020 at 1:25 pm

        🙂 Yay!!! I honestly would get one for next year if I weren’t going to go back to Cousin!

  • Reply Sarah K September 8, 2020 at 7:13 am

    I loved this episode! Great details on both of these very different planners.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns September 8, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Oof, the size of the first one would be a turnoff for me, but I like to put mine in my purse. That said, I did use the Erin Condren planners for years and those were also big/heavy/bulky. I found that I did not care for the ring binding as it was just too heavy for me.

    I am a small writer, so the Jibun one could work for me potentially. Maybe I will splurge on planners again down the road when I actually do more planning. I like that it’s small/light weight. That’s a must for me, even while WFH as I like to take my planner with me to doctor appointments, etc. So I need something that easily fits in my purse.

  • Reply CBS September 8, 2020 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for these reviews. My handwriting can be seen from outerspace so I definitely need a larger page size. I’m currently using a Muji monthly and a 6 month Zelo daily as I’m WFH full time and I don’t have to carry it anywhere.

  • Reply gwinne September 10, 2020 at 8:50 am

    Sarah, I love all the pen recs from you and in the comments. Do you (or anyone here?) know if there is “pen sampler” of sorts available through any online retailers? I’d love to try out a few different things without spending a ton of money…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 10, 2020 at 8:51 am

      Jetpens has MANY samplers!

      • Reply gwinne September 10, 2020 at 9:07 am

        OOOH! thanks!

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