Tag Archives: agenda

Jibun Techo Planner

The Hobonichi Techo has become a cult favorite over the last few years, but it’s not the only Japanese planner system out there. I noticed the Jibun Techo at the Baum-kuchen website:

“JIBUN TECHO will be a good fit for you if you:

–manage your agenda with monthly/weekly but does not need a predated daily page.
–enjoy creating a weekly spread as your life log.
–are in search of a light weight planner to bring with you everywhere.
–LOVE Tomoe-river paper. “

The layouts look elaborate but fun, with a bit more color and more icons than the Hobonichi, which may please people who like a really dense page design. The planner shown above is meant to be used as part of a system, with additional notebooks for “life” and “ideas” that can be tucked in a binder with it.

There isn’t that much information about the system in English, but I found a couple of blog posts with detailed reviews:

Belle Cooper blog

40 and Above

See more at: Baum-kuchen – JIBUN TECHO 2018 [PRE-ORDER]

Notebook Addict of the Week: Queen Katz

This week’s addict is another YouTuber called Queen Katz, this time with an all-Filofax collection: 18 of them!

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Watch the full thing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oi8ewIG8mWo


Vintage Notebooks from My Collection

Most of my notebooks are ones that I’ve bought new and filled with my own notes and sketches. But I also occasionally succumb to my weakness for collecting other people’s used notebooks when I see them at flea markets or on eBay. Here’s a few that I’ve picked up along the way.

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This Rice-Stix notebook is quite interesting, and if I had a time machine, I’d like to go back and walk through that warehouse to look at the huge variety of things they sold. The floor-by-floor index in the notebook would be quite handy.
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This is technically not a notebook– it’s a bank book. I had a bank book for my own little savings account when I was a kid, but by the time I was in high school, the local bank had been bought out by a big conglomerate and switched to all electronic record-keeping.
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This is just a little jotter with barely any pages left. It looks like it was meant to be refillable, as the pad clips into the cover.
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Below are the interiors of the Carson Pirie Scott notebook seen in the group photo above. Again, an index by floor so you could organize your shopping list. Why don’t supermarkets and department stores today give away notebooks like this?
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The Westinghouse diary is similar in format to many others I’ve seen, and I have similar ones in my collection from General Electric, Harvard Coop, and the Sandoz Corporation. This format seems to have been popular for decades, at least from the ’40s through the ’70s. Maps and population charts were pretty standard, as well as other handy reference tables such as area codes, time zones, and information customized to the company’s employees, in this case relating to engineering.
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These are not all the vintage notebooks I own, just a few relatively recent purchases that were at the top of the pile! Here are some others from my collection that I’ve featured in their own posts:
U. S. Government Printing Office Memorandum Notebook
Western Suede-covered Diary from 1949
eBay Gem: A Decorator’s Pocket Looseleaf Notebook


Notebook Addict of the Week: Caylee

This week’s addict is a Moleskine fan, with quite a shelf-full of various sizes and shapes of Moleskines, with many decorated covers:

Caylee says:

“My love for Moleskine knows no limit. I love them purely for how simple, classic, and consistent they are. And the paper, oh my, the paper. It fits the way I write and draw perfectly. So smooth, and just the perfect shade of off-white. While unpacking and repacking, and purging, and trying to get settled, I had a good look at my little Moleskine collection. I love every single notebook. I have many unfinished ones because I just couldn’t start a new project in a Moleskine meant for another purpose…”

Read more at  Moleskine | My Collection – Caylee Grey

Giveaway: Five 2015 Leuchtturm Planners!

Our friends at LoveNotebooks have an exciting giveaway offer for you: 2015 Leuchtturm Planners! At the LoveNotebooks blog, you can read their Top 10 Reasons to use a Leuchtturm Planner in 2015, the first 3 of which are below:


1. Quality. Their motto says it all, “details make all the difference”. Leuchtturm has designed their notebooks with careful consideration, from the strong cover that is easily cleaned, the thread bound binding to all of the little extras (think, a rainbow of colors, styles and stickers…yes, stickers).
2. Selection. Planners come in both daily and weekly formats and in 4 different layouts;

  • horizontal – week over two pages Monday – Wednesday on the left page, and Thursday – Sunday on the right page
  • vertical – week over two pages one vertical column for each weekday and one column for the weekend
  • verso – 7 days on the left page, full page for notes on the right page
  • daily – an entire page for each working day

2015 Leuchtturm planners, available in daily & weekly and 4 layouts; horizontal, verso, vertical and daily


3. Sizes. Leuchtturm offers three sizes (master, large and pocket) in both daily and weekly formats and all 4 of the layouts.

Read the other 7 reasons at the LoveNotebooks blog and in their online store. They had to unwrap a bunch of planners to take all those photos, and now they’re giving them away! The planners are unused and in like-new condition except that they don’t have the shrinkwrap.

More photos:

LT29705 LT29712 LT30114 LT30350 LT31401

LoveNotebooks will give away the planners to 5 randomly selected winners who enter in the following ways:

On Twitter, tweet something containing “Leuchtturm 2015 planner @lovenotebooks @NotebookStories”, and follow @NotebookStories and @lovenotebooks.

On Facebook, “like” the Notebook Stories page and the LoveNotebooks page and post something containing the words “Leuchtturm 2015 planner” on the Notebook Stories page or the LoveNotebooks page.

Leave a comment on this LoveNotebooks blog post: Top 10 Reasons to use a Leuchtturm Planner in 2015.  [UPDATE 8/27, 6:30pm: the commenting seems to be broken on the LoveNotebooks blog right now, so please check back later and use the other entry methods in the meantime!]

The deadline for entry is Friday September 5, 2014 at 11:59PM, EST. Good luck everyone!
And please remember to check my posts on Facebook and Twitter for an announcement of the winner. Please allow a couple of weeks for me to check all the entries and determine the winners.

Lapin 2014 Planner from Miquelrius

I’ve admired Lapin’s notebook art for quite a while so I was happy to see he’s got a line of notebooks and planners with Miquelrius, including this one:

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See more at Agenda PASSPORT 2CV MR ART BY LAPIN | , | Agendas, libretas, cuadernos, carpetas, mochilas, estuches, bolsas, libreta, cuaderno, material escolar, mochila | Miquelrius-Papelería y complementos para profesionales y escolares.

Review: Hobonichi Techo Planner 2014

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


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.



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.


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.


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!

Sloane Crosley’s Yearly Date With the Planner

A fun New York Times article by Sloane Crosley. She’s been using the same Louis Vuitton planner and inserts for 22 12 years and counting:

At the end of each year, I sit on the floor and go page by page through the old calendar, inking annual events into the new one, all the while watching my year in “dinner withs” skate by. When I’m done, I save the old calendar in the box of the new one and put it with the others on a shelf. It should be simple. But this way of life comes at a price.

As a genuinely absurd indulgence, I buy only the Louis Vuitton refills. The agenda itself is the one item I own from the brand, and my commitment to the gold-trimmed paper transcends reason. The price has increased to $50 from $20. To put it in perspective: In 2001, $20 seemed like an outrageous sum for a pile of hole-punched paper. I remember the first time I approached the stationery counter at the Louis Vuitton flagship on Fifth Avenue. I was awash in a kind of Swiss cheese outrage: There are holes in it! It’s not even all of the paper! Years later, in 2013? Filofax sells a refill with the same measurements … for $7.

Read more at A Yearly Date With the Planner – NYTimes.com.

Review: 2012 Typotheque Pocket Calendar

Quite a while back, I posted a link to a snazzy looking diary by Typotheque. Little did I know that almost two years later, I’d be sent a sample to review!  Seeing this year’s version in person did not disappoint. Here it is:


I love the nice clean design, with all its sharp lines and angles. The cover is very cool– it’s sort of a two-layer design with the blue outer cover and flaps folding around a red inner cover.



Inside, you see that it’s technically called a calendar “plus sketchbook.” Lots of diaries have extra notes space, but I’ve never seen one that had such a high ratio of drawing pages. But before you get there, it’s pretty standard diary stuff: an international holiday list, which also includes major design industry events, a 2-year calendar, then weekly spreads which start with Monday. There are 4 days to each page, leaving room for a notes space at the end of the week. Holidays are in orange, and moon phases are noted in grey.


After the calendar pages, you get the blue sketchbook pages with various patterns in fine white lines– dots, grid, overlapping circles and triangles, etc. Very cool for drawing and doodling.
There’s also a red ribbon marker.


The whole thing measures 4 x 6″, and about 1/2 inch think. It’s nicely flexible and opens flat. The pages are lighter weight and a bit thin, so I’d expect some show-through with some pens.
You can purchase one at the Typotheque online store. It’s not super cheap at 15 Euros/$19.80 USD (plus shipping, which is 7.70 Euros to the US for 6-9 day international priority mail). But it’s a beautiful and unique way to keep track of your year and inspire your creativity!

15 euro/ 19.80 USD