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Sometimes it’s hard not to jump on a bandwagon. I recently purchased a Hobonichi Techo 2016 in the A6 size, English version. If you search for Hobonichi on YouTube hundreds of videos will be returned. Currently the A6 English version, with a cover, is around $400 Canadian on ebay. I have been interested in these planners for about a year now, wanting to try them because the paper is Tomoe River, the same paper as in the Seven Seas Writer. So when Wonder Pens announced on their blog that they would be carrying the Techos I signed up for the email notification without really thinking about it. It was only asking to be notified; I wasn’t committed to buying one. And when I got the email announcement I did pause at the price: $43 Canadian. I went to the Hobonichi website just to see if ordering direct would be cheaper – no. Shipping to Canada was $66! I think I must have done the Yen to Canadian dollar conversion wrong, judging on the swarms of people who are buying them States side, but even if I did get the math wrong these babies are expensive. So Wonder Pens’ price of $43 plus $8 shipping was a comparative bargain.

And it is a lovely book.

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The Japanese characters on the cover stand for te and cho, hence the name. According to the marketing materials: “A techo in Japan is used for more than scheduling an agenda. It is also used as a sketchbook, a diary and for other jottings that together tend to chronicle its owner’s daily life.” These planners are the brainchild of Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun, a very important person at Nintendo, apparently. And they have seemingly taken the planner/journalling community by storm.

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The back of the plastic package shows the day per page layout, with the time grid, the dinner icon, the quote and the mini calendar.

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The book is sewn so lays flat. The beginning of the book has these monthly pages, with four months to a spread. Good for noting down important dates that occur each year, like birthdays and anniversaries.

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Each month also has a two-page spread, and this is the reason (besides the lovely paper) for the purchase; my current Moleskine is great in the weekly spread. But it’s crap for the monthly spread because it’s too small. I need more than one page per month. I’m cramming appointments and things into tiny squares and it’s driving me batty. But I enjoy the weekly spread, which the Techo doesn’t have. Boo. But for me if I had to choose just one layout (month, week or day) it would be the month, definitely. So I will just learn to live without the weekly spread. I hope!

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The planner goes to March 2017. I like how there is no doubt as to which year this page is referring to!

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I can’t start this planner until Dec 16. There is a monthly spread for December 2015 but the daily pages don’t start until Dec 16; no idea why. And it’s not a full day until Jan 1, 2016.

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Here is the daily page layout. Sundays have red ink which is handy when you are flipping through. The grid layout is nice, for lists and things. I’m looking forward to seeing how I fare with daily pages. I haven’t used a daily page in a very long time.

There are a couple of other Hobonichi products which offer weekly spreads. The Cousin, as I understand it, offers a monthly layout, a weekly and a daily. And it’s A5 which is my preferred size. But I understand it is more expensive, not in English and frankly all three layouts in one book seems a tad much. And there is something called the Hobonichi Weeks which I think fit in Midori notebooks. Who knows what I will find myself wanting down the road but I am very happy to start with this little guy and see where I go.

There are covers that these planners fit into and Wonder Pens is currently out of stock on the blue and green one that I like. So hopefully by the time I can start using this I will have a cover as well.

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There are a few notes pages at the back of the book in red dot grid format. Such amazing paper. And at the very back of the book are metric conversions, a printed ruler, international dialing codes, etc. There is also information about Japan and how to have an amazing Japanese dining experience.

Please let me know if any of you have jumped onto this bandwagon as well. They seem to be very popular so I’m sure I will fall in love with it even more when I start using it. I can FINALLY use my fountain pens in a planner (Filofax paper and Moleskine paper and fountain pen ink do NOT get along). Maybe 2016 will be the year when I stick with one planner all year long. Wouldn’t that be crazy? 🙂