That Time Again

Ah, fall, when I place my annual order for a planner. It took me a while to come up with a system which worked reasonably well for me, and even longer to find a planner which would accommodate my system. Time to change!

I normally use a Moleskine planner which has one page for each day of the week. I like the blank page, and I like the small monthly calendars for a longer-term outlook I can see at a glance. However, sometimes the print color and style of font causes my eye to skim over things which shouldn’t be skimmed over.

I’ve been eyeing the Hobonichi Techo for a couple years now, wondering if it would work for me. This year, I decided to give it a try.

Here it is, in all its glory. I decided not to get one of the Hobonichi covers for a couple reasons (1) I didn’t want to spend the money if I wasn’t going to buy the planner every year, and (2) I don’t love things dangling around from my books, even if they’re very useful things, and I don’t really like my books to look so poofy. The covers look a bit poofy to me? I don’t know. Instead, I got this $4 Midori cover which juuuuust fits, and which I hope will protect the book from the worst of my carelessness. I’ve already gotten marshmallow Fluff on it, and can report it worked as intended.

This is the size A6, English version. At 4.1″ x 5.9″ (10.5 cm x 15 cm), it’s smaller than my Moleskine (5″ x 8.25″, 13 cm x 21 cm), more compact, which I prefer. It has a soft, paper cover as opposed to the hard cover of the Moleskine. If you are anything like me, protecting the cover in some way is a necessity.

Two years of monthly calendars, in a font I can read easily.

I like these pages with a line for each day of the year. This is where I’ll write when my bills are due, so I can see that information easily, at a glance. I have trouble if it’s not very quick and easy for me to find that information.

These monthly calendars will be for appointments and social events, if we get to do anything social this year. Sigh. Interestingly, even though the Techo is smaller, the individual day blocks of the Techo are larger (approx 1″ x 1″, 2.4 cm x 2.4 cm) than those of the Moleskine (approx. 3/4″ x 1″, 1.8 cm x 2.4 cm), because each month is laid out over two pages, rather than one as in the Moleskine.

At the beginning of each month, there is a blank page for notes relevant to the month, then the page-per-day section of the book begins.

Here is the size comparison between the Hobonichi Techo and the Moleskine.

A comparison of thickness, which is not very fair. Since I’ve been using the Moleskine all year, it’s bound to be more puffy. It is approximately 1/2″ (1.3 cm) thicker. It’s important to note these books use very different types of paper. The Moleskine paper is thicker, but not thick by any means. I wouldn’t use a fountain pen on it, for instance, and I was always careful about what sort of highlighters I used. The Hobonichi Techo uses a specific paper which some people seem to be pretty into. It’s called Tomoe River paper, it’s very thin, but supposedly ink doesn’t bleed through as easily as you’d imagine. I’ve never tried it, so I’m curious whether I’ll like it or not.

By way of comparison, here is what the Moleskine’s two-year monthly calender layout looks like.

These are the monthly block calendars in the Moleskine planner.

Here is what Moleskine’s daily pages look like.

These are the pens I’ve started to use instead of highlighters. I color-code everything, and as life got busier, the page began to look messy and chaotic when I color-coded with regular highlighters, even though I used pastel ones. I found the thin line of these marker pens was enough to catch my eye and tell me what I needed to know. They’re Marvy Le Pens, the very same ones that I’d go all goggle-eyed for as a child. I love that there are lots of colors, and they’re easy to find. I get mine from Jet Pens because it’s convenient with Covid going on, but I’ve seen them for sale in stores locally, as well.

I write whatever information I need in my book with a regular pen, then draw a line under it or a box around it. It’s just enough color to stand out without being confusing. You can see the quiet shades of the ink, below:

So! Ready for 2021.