Reflecting on a year of planning with Hobonichi Techo

I’m always looking for ways to make my life more organized, and one of the tools I want to share with you today is the planner that I use.  This is the second year I’ve used the English version of the Hobonichi Techo.  It’s a planner system that works perfectly for me for a few reasons.  One of main reasons is I really like the format.  The entire journal has a faint grid pattern, which can help you keep your lists nice and neat. There is a section of monthly pages:


Hobonichi Techo (English version) monthly overview Original image source from:

There is one full page for every day~ which is enough space for me to write down both work and personal events.


Hobonichi Techo (English version) daily page Original image source from:

The other favorite feature are the quotes found at the bottom of each page. For me, it’s like getting a present everyday.  Some of the quotes are silly, some of them can be quite insightful.


Hobonichi Techo (English version) daily quotes Original image source from:

Some of my favorite quotes from this year were:

“The concept of the Paralympics is “don’t count the things you’ve lost–make the best of what you’ve still got.” I first met sit-skier Takeshi Suzuki when he was still in high school, and I’ll never forget what he told me: “My disability- not having legs- is my weapon.” Former NHK_ Pro No. 1

“Don’t judge people by what they’ve said; judge them by what they’ve done.” Shigesato Itoi

“It’s important that you not fear failure; every single moment of every single day.  You’ve got to get along with failure because it’s bound to happen to you.  But if you learn to get along with failure, you’ll never be tyrannized by it.” David Leveaux

“When you’re starting something new, you’ve got to move the rocks out of your way before achieving a breakthrough.  Once the actual cultivation begins things get a lot easier.” Shigesato Itoi

“When I write, I feel like a sprinter. So I can’t write too much at one time.  If I do, I’m too wiped out to write the next day. ”  Nisioisin

This is my Hobonichi from this year.  As you can see, this was a busy year, literally bursting with activities.  By November or so, I realized that it was getting difficult to keep the Hobnonichi closed with the two pen loops.


Now, I’ll give you a quick look through some of the pages~ I wish I could say there was some method to my madness.  Some people are methodical about using specific pen colors for specific activities, but I’m not.

The best highlighter I found to use on the pages are by Zebra mid-liner, which doesn’t bleed through to the following pages.  At one point during the year, I decided to divide the pages up into 4 quadrants, with each quadrant devoted as follows: 1) work 2) personal 3) social and 4) notes.  After a few weeks of this, I stopped because I got tired of drawing in the lines, and also, I found out that it was easier to just have one list, detailing all the events for  the day.


One of the advantages of having a full page for every day, is that there is always a bit of room leftover to attach some memorabilia. For instance, I attach ticket stubs from special trips, or favorite movies.  I also decorate my pages with stickers and washi tape, if I have time.  Based on my personal experience, I find it better to decorate the pages after the day is over.  That way you can make sure you have enough room to write down all the things that you need to!

In addition to the Techo, I used the Weeks as a daily journal this year.  The Week’s format is ideal for this purpose, there is also a monthly overview, which I use to track important personal goals (i.e. going to the gym… which meant the monthly pages remained blank 😉 )


Hobonichi Weeks monthly overview Original image source from:

For every day, there is just enough space to write  3-4 lines; and there is one whole page on the right side if you feel like writing more.


Hobonichi Weeks weekly overview page Original image source from:

As you can see, my Weeks this year has also grown quite chubby by the end of the year.  Recently, I found this genius machine, called the Fotonata, which lets you print out photos from Instagram.  The photo quality is quite nice, and they fit nicely into the  pages of the Weeks.


This is a page documenting my trip to Korea last summer.  I included the subway map I used, and the logo from my luggage tag, and some receipts from favorite purchases, and the bus directions to the hotel (I really enjoyed my stay there, and I would totally stay there again)



I thought the Hobonichi system worked relatively well for my purposes, so  I decided to order from them again for 2017.


For 2017,  Hobonichi box’s color is a beautiful blush pink.


This year, I ordered both the Techo and Weeks again, and also a little plastic insert.


Both the Weeks and Techo came with a free  light blue Mitsubishi tri-color ballpoint pen.  This is one of my favorite pens, ever.


In addition, this year, the Techo also came with this cute little plate in shape of a piece of toast.  It’s perfect for corralling those stray paperclips you may have floating around on your desk.


This time around, I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired by any of the covers available, so I decided to reuse the one from 2015 for my Techo.

Last year, I didn’t bother to buy a separate plastic cover for my Weeks, but I totally should have, because it got a bit smudgey from being shoved around on my desk.  Again, I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired by any of the plastic covers on sale this season.   As luck would have it,  I stumbled upon a lovely cover at my favorite stationery shop, Plain.  This design is from a few years back, and I absolutely love it.


So, there you have it! 2016 was a year filled with changes for me.  It was reassuring to be able to write things down and get through them one at a time.  I’m glad that a new year will be here soon, and I can start fresh with a new planner, and hopefully a new outlook on life.

What’s your planner set up for 2017?


Some of you may remember that I used the Traveler’s Journal from Midori a few years back.  I still have it and love it, but the spaces are a bit too small for my current more overwhelming schedule, so I’ve repurposed that journal for mainly travel planning and notes.  

Information:  You can order your very own Hobonichi here!    There is an English version of their website, and  shipping is available worldwide.

Please note that this was not a sponsored post. I paid for all items with my own money, and all viewpoints, experiences and opinions expressed are my own. 


  1. I’ve been using TN for the past two years for all sorts of planning or journaling and i’m very excited to say that i decide to jump into the hobo bandwagon this year and see how one page a day will take me!

  2. Pingback: Looking forward to 2018 with the Hobonichi Techo Planner  « Ciao desserts! 「 焦點心 」

  3. Pingback: Monthly Roundup for August, 2019 « Ciao desserts! 「 焦點心 」

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