Hobonichi- To be or not to be? | Blog Post by Connie


September-October is an exciting time of the year in the stationery world - lots of stationery conferences and expos are on around the world and most importantly it is the season of the 2020 planner release! Major planner companies like Hobonichi, Traveler’s factory, Moleskein, Kokuyo and Mossery have been ramping up their releases since early August. Like many of you, I have been examining my options under a magnifying glass, pulling apart all aspects of a ‘perfect planner’ and weighting all the pros and cons of each of them, it was a never ending mission….. I am sure some of you can hear me and understand my pain! Throughout this year, I went through a few different journal set-ups, trying out different ways of planning my life. It was fun experimenting with different planning systems but it was a disaster at the same time. I don’t feel any of them really worked for me in terms of fulfilling both my planning needs and my creative needs. After a few months of struggle, I decided that perhaps I need to re-examine what I will use my planner for in 2020 and what I want in a planner to help me when making my final decision. So, here is my list:

Planner priority list:

  • Planning for my shop i.e. Shop update, work flow, to do list
  • Materials and stock tracking
  • Planning for social media and collaborations
  • Personal planning
  • Personal dairy and daily journal with watercolours
  • Record keeping
  • Keep everything in one book
  • Nice paper that can take stamps and fountain pens
  • Good quality covers to choose from,
  • Dated pages

This list really helped me to narrow down my options. I realised that to fulfil all my needs in the new year, the planner needs to include yearly, weekly and daily planning sections. It needs to be at least an A5 size to have the space for everything I am planning to use it for. This aspect has ruled TN completely off my list. As much as I love journaling in it, it is simply too limiting in terms of its size. For me, the TN works better as a travel journal and book/specific topic journal, but not planning. This year, I also spent an extensive amount of time setting up a bujo that suit my needs, it was wonderful, however it was clearly not sustainable for a time-poor person like me. So, a ‘dated’ planner is a must for me. This list has pointed me in one specific direction, one that I swore not to look at again earlier this year- the Hobonichi!

I have been using Hobonichi for the last two years, but earlier this year, my venture off to playing with the TN and bujo have left the Hobonichi Techo sitting cold on my desk for a good 4 months! I am a little sceptical at first about going back to it, however I decided to measure it up against my priority list just to make sure. (Plus, I was really impressed by their new covers!!!) I started with planning for the shop update in the yearly and monthly sections. And I began journaling daily again using watercolours following the #hobonichichallenge (Mits is one of the organisers for this challenge!).

I also tested out a few different potential layouts on my current Hobonichi Cousin to try out some planning ideas for next year.  After a week and a half of experimenting and using it every day, I know I’ve found my happy place! I am once again falling in love with my Hobonichi! I actually cannot believe that I neglected it for the past 4 months. However, perhaps this 4 months break from the Hobo is what makes me appreciate it more than ever.

After that week, I ordered two A5 Hobonichi Cousins (one Avec for shop/person and a standard for school) for the new year, along with a few covers I loved from the new release including the Wood bird, Path and Memoria designed by Mina Perhonen. It was an easy decision to make! I will use them with the Tsubame Note A5 grid notebook in the August box as supplement. Now, I am set for 2020 and cannot wait to start! What about you?

Want to continue the planner conversation? Share and show us you 2020 planner setup by #thestationeryselection on Instagram or other social media platform

Disclaimer: This blogpost is not sponsored or affiliated with Honbonichi. This is my personal review and commentary on the planner as a member of The Stationery Selection Design Team.

Connie @pepperconarts


1 comment


  • jamie

    I too am back in love with my Hobo!!! Maybe it was the infamous 7-year itch but I went through a couple months last year of buying/trying other planners and I found I got reallllllly tired of having to “set-up” my pages in one, no grid in another and the small boxed sections in the last one I tried…LoL…so I came “home” to my Hobo, and so much more appreciative of all it offers…so I am right with you Connie!


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