In this blog post I’m coming with something new and exciting! I’ve recently purchased a Hobonichi Weeks planner and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you. Before I start, I’d like to mention that I’m not planning to stop my bullet journaling. However, I’ve been looking for a while now to add another planner in my everyday planning and organisation routine, and the Hobonichi Weeks ticked all the boxes. ☺️ I truly believe that you should be able to use more than one planning system, if that suits your needs and it will make you plan your days more efficiently.
So, I’m introducing you my new planner. It’s a Hobonichi Techo Weeks 2019. I’ve chosen the colour Strawberry Latte which is this lovely shade of pink. I’ve also went for the Spring version, which means that the planner starts from April. More specifically, it has a yearly index from April 2019 - March 2020 (2 pages), a monthly calendar from March 2019 - April 2020 (28 pages) and a weekly calendar from February 25th, 2019 - April 5th, 2020 (116 pages). I’ve ordered it from the original Hobonichi Website and it took a bit more than a week to arrive!
It has 240 pages and it’s incredibly compact and lightweight. It’s 9 mm thick and weighs under 140 gr.
The cover is made out of fabric which has a really nice finish. It is a hardcover planner, however the cover is not too hard and it has some give to it so it still bends. On the front you can see the 2019 printed in a strawberry red colour, which is very complementary to the light pink. The 2019 is also embossed on the spine of the planner, and there is also the Hobonichi logo embossed on the back cover.
When you open the planner you can see the endpaper, which has a design with the letters from the Hobonichi’s logo — shortened to HOBO.
A convenient double-page spread shows the Yearly Calendars for 2018, 2019 and 2020 at a glance for a useful reference when planning ahead. I personally like to plan my vacation on a yearly calendar, as well as any holidays, bank holidays and the days that the kids are off school.
On the next page there is the Yearly Index. It is full-page spread of the entire year (2019) and it is designed for long-term planning and tracking. On the top of each monthly column, there are seven blank lines where you can add more notes for each month. Maybe some goals, things you want to track etc. I’m planning to use this page as a tracker for my workouts and things like that.
Then comes the Monthly Calendar for each one of the months. They are grouped all together in this section, instead of having the monthly calendar at the beginning of each month, followed by the weekly spreads. So, this is a bit different for me. The header on the top left includes the year, the numerical month, the traditional Japanese name of the month, and the English name of the month. Each box is lightly printed with a graph design to make it easy to fill in a full day’s worth of plans. At the beginning of each week it shows the number of that week. You can also see that it includes the moon phases, the Rokuyo (traditional Japanese calendar) as well as the Japanese national holidays. At the bottom of each monthly calendar, there is some free space for notes etc. as well as 4 checkboxes for listing goals and tasks for the month ahead.
Then come the Weekly Pages. The weekly spread contains the weekly calendar on the left page and the blank graph paper on the right page. The daily pages include the number of the week, as you can see on the top right corner of the left page. There are some clever things on this page, that can help you to create sections and arrange your week as you want. There are two subtle dots on the weekly calendar, that you can use it to split each day into morning, afternoon, and evening. Or you can separate tasks for different categories. Of course you can also disregarding the dots altogether, if you don’t want to create any sections. The space on the right page of each weekly spread can be used in many different ways. The graph paper is very useful in making lines and creating sections. You can also draw lines across the page to correspond with each of the 7 days on the left to give yourself more writing room. There’s also a “Secret Line”. This is a vertical line on the memo page that allows such things as topics on the left and details on the right, or drawing out visual timetables and plans. The line is printed lightly enough that you can ignore it when using the page as a whole.
At the beginning of the notebook pages is a list of abbreviations often used for shorthand note-taking. Also, there is an index for your Notebook Pages.
Then there are 73 memo pages. They have a 3.55 millimeter graph paper and they also have the subtle vertical line that I mentioned before, which makes it easier to create sections.
Page numbers are listed on the corner of each page, which makes it very easy to index your pages. I plan to use these pages as my bullet journal and have both my planning systems in one notebook. ☺️
After that, there’s loads of Informational Pages in Japanese, which unfortunately I can’t use… 😕
The paper of the Hobonichi Weeks is really thin and light, and it has a nice cream colour. It’s called Tomoe River paper, and it’s supposed to be strong and resistant to bleeding. I have to say that I was really sceptical at first, because this is a very very thin paper. So, of course I had to create a pen test page at the back of the memo pages.
As you can see I decided to use the pens that I use the most, as well as my two fountain pens, and the markers that I like to highlight and draw with.
And to my surprise there is no bleeding!!!! 😳 Yes, there is ghosting, which I was expecting with a paper so thin, but no bleeding!!! I’ve also heard that you can even use watercolours on this paper and there won’t be any bleeding even then!
Things to take into consideration before buying:
At 3.55 mm, the graph paper’s grid is slightly smaller than that of the daily planners. So, if your handwriting is quite big, that might make it a bit difficult for you.
The Japanese writing, which is all over this notebook.
The thinness of the paper. Yes, there is no bleeding, but there is ghosting that might bother some people.
The size. It’s a smaller notebook, and if you’ve been using an A5 bullet journal up until now, the size might bother you at first.
When you order the Hobonichi Techo Weeks, you will also receive a clear, adhesive corner pocket and a mini-size fold-out Hobonichi Japan Railway Map 2019.
I also bought a clear cover, that is sold separately, to protect the planner.
There are more pockets at the back and a very handy pen holder.
I’m really pleased with my Hobonichi Techo Weeks and I can’t wait to start planning in it!!! Have you used a Hobonichi before? What are your thoughts about it?