The Crazy Suburban Mom: As big as a party bus stuffed with bridesmaids...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

As big as a party bus stuffed with bridesmaids...

I considered getting a Hobonichi Techo planner for the last two years and recently  had the opportunity to buy one from a fellow planner person.  Rebecca purchased the Cousin  (A5 size) and it wasn't working for her.   This was excellent timing because the Cousin runs April to April and it was the beginning of April.


I've been using it exclusively since April 5th  and want to share some thoughts on the Hobonichi Cousin.  Because planner use is as individual as snowflakes something that is a negative for me might be better then a deep-fried Twinkie  for you.   Also since everyone has different organizing needs I can only speak to my uses.  (For example: I know a lot of people use a Hobonichi as a personal journal/diary.  I think it would be bangin' for that but since I've never tried it, that won't be something I give a thumbs up/down on)

1.  First, the main site that sells Hobonichi planner is in Japanese and  you can buy a Hobonichi through that site using Google translate BUT it is much easier to use the English (here) Version.

2.  I thought I could use the planner without a cover, and perhaps if I used it exclusively on a desk that would work, but I don't and I couldn't.   It will save you aggravation and a second shipping charge if you buy a cover with the planner.   Covers change from year to year and if you see one you love, buy it.  Covers sell out and are not replaced with other designs until the following year.   There are both leather and non-leather plus a vinyl cover for the cover.   I got one and am very glad I did but please note: These can not be used on any leather, and some non-leather covers. It's not  easy to find the information.  There is a small blue 'important information link (see below) on the page...

cover cover

Takes you to this:

The Cover on Cover has been specially measured for use on the Colors and Faux Fabric lines of thin covers. Other covers may not fit properly into the Cover on Cover. The PVC vinyl of the Cover on Cover contains plasticizer additives which may cause a reaction in the leather dye and affect the color and quality of the leather cover. Please see a list of compatible covers below: -Colors -Faux Fabric -World Folk Patterns (Pueblo) -Ryoji Arai I'll listen to you anytime, says the donkey. -Disney (Where’s Minnie?)

There are other options for  A5 sized covers besides buying from the site.  I looked at locally available refillable journals and they fit nicely but lacked the pockets and slots.  Plus buying one  cost as much as some of the non-leather Hobonichi covers and  weren't nearly as well made.   Covers are available on etsy though and probably other places.

3.  The Hobonichi Techo is very well made, as is the cover.  There is so much attention to detail it makes my head hurt thinking about it.  The spine  allows the book to open (and stay flat) and is constructed to stay intact through out the entire year.    The stitching on the covers are perfect, the fabric smooth, and the pockets/slots are well thought out and useful. If you slide a pen through both pen loops at once, it 'locks' the planner closed.  If you use them individually you can fit at least four pens in the two loops.

4.  This is essentially a bound planner.  The sections are similar to what I was used to but I kept my weekly pages around my daily pages, with the month on two pages around the whole shebang.  In the Hobo it is separate, months together followed by weekly pages, followed by daily pages.  This isn't perfect for me and I find I use the daily pages almost exclusively for planning.

5.  There is an English version BUT it is in A6 only.  The A5 cousin planner is only available in Japanese.  There is supposed to be a six month version coming out in 2015 which will be a good thing.  The Hobo gets thicker and thicker through out the year.   Last I read there will not be a six month English version.

6.  The paper is Tomoe River and it has many pluses and a few minuses.  Drying time is longer then I'm used to, and much longer on some gel pens.  You are less likely to get bleed through on this paper in all cases but because it's thin you may get ghosting.   I have a lot of dog eared corners and some creasing/crinkling due to the thinness.  It isn't something that bothers me but I could see it being a problem for some.   It is better with pen then pencil and 'marker' type pens seem best for artwork.

7.  The pages are all grid which I love.  But the grid is small on the Japanese version (about 3mm), I think the English version has larger squares but I don't have one.  I would be happier with a larger square and usually skip a line when writing.

8.  Because it is a bound planner it self-archives which I love.   But because it is a bound planner adding a lot of extra pages is isn't practical... Which I don't love.   That was key to my Filofax being useful for me.

9.  There seems to be a different style to  Hobonicihi planning and if you search #Hobonichi on Instagram or Pinterest you can find AMAZINGLY creative planners.  That said, it works as a simple planner  and many days, I just write and don't draw.   I'm trying to find a balance because many of the very, very creative Hobonichi planners seem more a record of someone's day, images of what they did, saw, ate...etc.  Rather then a means to get things done; more reflection, less forward planning.

10.  There isn't a great way to mark your current page without a cover which has the attached ribbon type markers.  I don't like them, never have.  I've tried a lot of things from stick on tabs to binder clips and I don't like any of it as much as I like the Filofax ruler.   Everything works just okay for me.  Binder clips are a little fussy since the paper is attached, it takes a lot of trying to use a binder clip and have everything lay flat without bunching pages and tabs slide around.

11.  After almost three months using it I was starting to look longingly at my Malden.  I didn't want to stop using the Hobo but needed what rings provide in storage ability.  So yesterday I took the Hobo out of it's cover and slid it in the front slip pocket of my Malden.


Now I have an entire year's worth of pages in my Filofax, something I've never been able to do, as well as the sections I was missing (contacts, cash envelopes, scrap paper, extra pages, several years worth of Filofax Year on a Page Inserts, and all the printed pages I kept for reference).

And yes, it is big as a party bus stuffed with bridesmaids going to a wedding but I need everything in one place.   And if that means I need a bus, not a Mini Cooper, so be it.  


Deborah- Jane 6/24/14, 4:38 PM  

I have often wondered when Filofax is a paper based product.. why it does Filofax with I-pad cases. Yet doesn't do a bound book and rings scenario.. seriously thinking of doing something like this with my work a5.. a5 diary to plan and record and the rings to keep waiting for info and other notes on clients... this is such a good idea...

Tracy Reinhardt 6/25/14, 7:06 AM  

Deborah-Jane I think a company did do this but I can't remember who or when... but while I was doing it I kept thinking I'd seen this style available as a planner. Someone who made both spiral and ring systems. I just can't remember who and I'm thinking it might have been in the 80s

Anita Lim 7/4/14, 10:25 AM  

Oh, I love how you phrase things! And I'm glad to hear that combining the two has helped you. My A5 Ascot stays at home & is getting heavier & fuller each day, which I love :)

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