Category Archives: Hobonichi

Notebook Addict of the Week: Matt Hutcheson from Wanderings Notebook

People who start companies to make notebooks are usually notebook addicts– here’s a case in point. The Wanderings Notebook is a refillable leather notebook similar to the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. But on the company’s blog, Matt Hutcheson offers an agnostic appreciation of notebooks in general, with this shot of the his collection, plus some thoughts on how to select the type of notebook that will work best for you. Or rather, the different factors that you might consider in buying ALL the notebooks that work best for you!

“Here at Wanderings we make The Wanderings Notebook and are super proud of it, but that doesn’t mean weren’t not, ahem, slightly addicted to every kind of notebook and journal in existence.”

 

Read more at: Finding the Best Notebook For Writing, Sketching, Lists, and Life – Wanderings – Journals, Notebooks, Journeys

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Notebook Addict of the Week: Joshua

This week’s addict is Joshua Blevins Peck, a librarian, writer, musician and photographer who has amassed quite a collection of notebooks all devoted to one topic– recording all the movies he watches, over 4000 of them so far! I’d say he’s a movie addict as well as a notebook addict.
Here’s what Joshua has to say about the source of his notebook addiction:
“I watch a lot of movies and in 1998 decided to keep track of every movie I watched that year, while writing short reviews, tracking what city I saw it in, who I saw it with and numerous other stats I enter into its pages. I called the project Kinetoscope as a nod to early film history. 18 years later and I’m still doing it! I’ve logged over 4,000 films seen in 59 cities, in 10 countries and with 129 different people. My notebook of choice has been quite varied over the years, but in 2016 I discovered the Hobonichi Techo and with its amazing Tomoe River paper perfectly blending with my fountain pens–it will be my notebook of choice as I continue onward with my addiction.”
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You can see more of  Joshua’s creative work at  joshuablevinspeck.com

Thanks for sharing your addiction, Joshua!

Almost a Year of the Hobonichi Techo

From The Finer Point, beautiful photos of a Hobonichi Techo planner, after 10 months of daily use:

“The Hobonichi Techo has been the one stationery constant in my life this year. I use it every day to record things that have happened, places I have visited and big occasions that I want to remember. I am now 10 months in and I have only missed a handful of days. This post is a round-up of the good and the bad of the Techo and my plans for next year….

…as you use the planner over the course of the year the ink changes the make up of the tomoe river paper. You get this gorgeous rippling effect on the paper and the planner expands just slightly accommodating the ink on the page. I have noticed now writing in October, 10 months in, the planner has expanded over the course of the year to the point that maximising the space on the left page is becoming a bit of a challenge.”

Seeing that broken in, bulked-up planner makes me want to give my Hobonichi a try! I’ve had it stashed away (and it’s not for the current year) but maybe it’s time to break it out…

Source: 10 months in with the Hobonichi Techo – final thoughts — The Finer Point

Found via The Cramped

Stolen in Seattle: A Hobonichi Techo

I feel this person’s pain, and hope someone is able to help! From a local Seattle blog:

“After a car break-in over the weekend, Aidan is just hoping to get one thing back:

Saturday night (last night) our mini cooper was broken into in the Skylark Cafe/Bar parking lot. … They took my messenger bag and my coat… [The bag had] a black journal/sketchbook in the bag that is incredibly important to me. It’s a yearly book and I’ve had one per year since I was sixteen (aka over ten years). I will pay to have it returned. The inside of the book has my name and contact number/email all over it….

We followed up with Aidan to ask for any further descriptive information:

My sketchbook is a Hobonichi Techo yearly planner sketchbook. It’s 4×6″ and it’s very fat. The journal itself is thin but mine is overstuffed with pasted movie tickets, receipts, photos, etc, so it barely closes. It’s black and has a big hero six sticker on the front, as well as a Ninja Turtle Michelangelo popsicle pin (though that might have fallen off). …

The journal resembles these photos: This and this. If you have any information, besides contacting police, you can reach Aidan at: lostsketchbookseattle@gmail.com”

Read the full report at West Seattle Crime Watch: Have you seen Aidan’s sketchbook?. See my Hobonichi Techo review here.

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Review: Hobonichi Techo Planner 2014

Here’s an exciting item to be my first review of 2014:

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I’d heard about the Hobonichi Planner on a few other notebook sites, so I was very happy when their US marketing person contacted me to offer a sample for review. 2014 is the first year they’ve done an English-translated version of this planner, which has been popular in Japan for years. From their press release, here’s a bit of background:

In the West, Shigesato Itoi is best known as the writer behind EarthBound, a famous—and famously weird—videogame. In Japan, the copywriter is better known for his online magazine, Hobonichi, and a line of Hobonichi products as charming and unique as the game series itself. Amid each new collection of designer belly-warmers and +LOVE t-shirts and art books is their flagship product, a 400-page daily planner with quotes from Itoi’s long-running column (as well as Hobonichi’s most fascinating interviews) on each page, a precise, grid-based design, and carefully chosen materials.

During the year, the Hobonichi Planner is a repository for to-do lists, stray ideas, ticket stubs, and photos. But just as much work goes into making sure the planner outlasts its final page—the slogan, “Uncover Your Story,” is based on Shigesato Itoi’s hope that each planner will help tell you the story of your year well after you’ve lived it.

More than 10 editions later, each planner launch is an event in Japan, where Hobonichi Planner lovers line up outside stationary stores to buy the latest edition and browse the new designer covers. After a pilot launch in 2013, the 2014 planner is Hobonichi’s first worldwide release. It’s not just a productivity aid—it’s a companion.

First impressions: what an elegant package. It’s about 4 1/4 x 6″ (shown below next to a pocket Piccadilly notebook for comparison), with precise edges and tightly rounded corners. I’ve never seen such a small rounding diameter on a notebook corner before, and I really like it! The cover is a bit stiffer than that of a softcover Moleskine, and has the Japanese characters for techo and a nice little three-key logo. The spine says Hobo and the year.

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Inside, you get grey endpapers, and then the beginning of the book lays out a year-to-a-page calendars for 2014 adn 2015, then a 2-months-per-page view, then a month-on-2-pages view for a handy look at the year ahead, plus a couple of months into 2015 for advance planning. Then you have the main section, with a day-per-page layout for the whole year. A “techo” is a Japanese planner that is meant to be used as a sort of combination diary/sketchbook/scrapbook, not just a calendar, so the page layout is not constrained with a strict schedule– you get a nice squared area, with the date and moon phase and holiday indicators at the top, a quote and small monthly calendar on the bottom, and a line at the left edge with a 12 in the middle, I guess in case you do want to divide the page into hours. The outer page edge has the months numbered almost like a thumb index to help you find your place faster. In the back, you get some free-form dot-grid pages, and helpful info such as the typical clothing size conversions, dialing codes and international holidays, plus the fun bonus of illustrated pages about Japanese Sake, sushi, and drinking tea around the world. At the very end, the last page gives you space to write your name and contact details.

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I love the design and how much care has gone into it. All the little details make it special– I almost hesitate to describe them all here, because it was such a pleasure to discover them as I paged through the planner. The red ink used on Sundays was a particularly fun surprise. The quotes are from the Hobonichi online magazine, so many of them are from Japanese sources that most of us in the US won’t be familiar with. I was glad they weren’t from all the usual suspects on the usual topics– here, there are insights on design and style, and random funny stories. You can never be quite sure what will be next.

Writing in the techo is a rather luscious experience–  the book opens nice and flat, and the paper is smooth and fine.  My favorite fine point gel ink and fountain pens went on smoothly and flawlessly. But the downside of the fine paper is its thinness. Showthrough is more than average, and wetter pens can bleed through.

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For some reason, I imagine the show-through bothering me less than in might in other notebooks– the whole concept of filling the pages with jottings and sketches and having the two sides blend into each other a bit is rather appealing. Check out the Hobonichi Love Tumblr site to see some of the ways people fill and decorate their planners, inside and out.

Speaking of outside decorations, that seems to be a major sideline for these planners. As is, it’s merely an insert for many users, and the online store offers a plethora of covers, which in many cases add the elastic closures, pockets and ribbon markers than the basic planner itself lacks. Numerous as their options were, I didn’t see any I liked better than this 3rd party offering (available here):

The price of the Hobonichi Planner is 2500 yen, which comes to just under $24.00 at current exchange rates. A Moleskine page-per-day diary is about $22.00, so when you consider the higher quality and fun features of the Hobonichi, I think it’s a great value. If there was any downside to this planner for me, it would be that it’s not my favorite dimensions– I love the 3.5 x 5.5″ size for my notebooks, so this is a bit larger than ideal, though I admit the extra page space is nice. But other than that, I really love this planner. Now I have to decide how to work it into my daily notebook routine, and fill it in a way that does it justice!