When I was hunting for planner supplies to get before my first trip to Japan, Midori came up as one of the few brands to look out for. Though I eventually settled for the Hobonichi Cousin, I decided to use Midori’s A5, grid notebook as a travel journal.
I’m not a huge artist or a sketcher, but this MIdori has served pretty well in helping me jot my travel memories. The three aspects that got my buy-in were the general feel, the grid paper, and the paper itself.
Note: My journal is a perfect-bound, A5, grid design pages, so what I like about the Midori notebooks will be based on my experience with this .
Firstly, the paper. The cream shade, smooth texture, and solid feel of each page makes writing in it a joy, regardless of the pen you’re using. Generally, Midori’s notebooks use Tomoe River paper, so it’s perfect for fountain pens and markers - quick dry, minimal seepage.
Secondly, the grid format within. If you’d prefer something more open, Midori has blank paper notebooks as well. However, I personally fell in love with grid notebooks and journals since I started proper planner maintenance because they were easy to organize and incredibly flexible for design needs. Whether or not you like boxes to keep your notes in check (I do) or just want to do everything from scratch, the grid format allows for a spectrum of uses.
Finally, the general feel of the journal. A5 and A6 are common sizes and so, easy to fit into commonly-available covers. That aside, the Midori journal is light enough to carry around, a great balance for my “cannot-really-write-on-tiny-journals” self.
That being said, I would recommend Midori’s journal or planner if you are looking for:
Apart from the MD Notebooks, Midori also produces various stationery, and is affiliated with the Traveler’s Notebook, which is a favourite of the Tiger. For more information about Midori, click here
While I’m currently having a blast with my new layout and the 2018 Cousin, I wanted to give some credit to the Hobonichi Cover makers. As pricey as the covers can be, there are some aspects which have proved to be incredibly useful for me. Take a look:
When I got my first Hobonichi Cousin cover, I was sceptical - I already had another journal cover with pockets and such, why would I need another one?
But when I got to the shelves at LoFT, it didn't take that long to convince me.
Firstly, the covers have a nice feel, fitting plastic cover, and are rather hardy against water (especially accidental water damage) and scratches.
Secondly, most Hobonichi Covers feature the following:
And last, but certainly not least - Hobonichi knows how to engage artists and craftspeople to make things pretty. You can see the other covers for yourself here.
Moving forward, I’ll be looking and reviewing other journals we use regularly in bullet journalling, organization, or just plain diary entries. Covering other planners, I’ll also be featuring other brands used by some of my friends.
So if you’re as crazy about planners as I am, stay tuned for more journals to come!
Last year was pretty fun for me, planner-wise. The Hobonichi Cousin was a great canvas to paint on, and I got to experiment with a good variety of planner pages and uses. At the same time, #hobonichi365 gave me a few insights to what I should keep, throw out, and develop.
And all of these lessons, I’ve taken with me and included them into my Hobonichi Cousin 2018:
To sum everything up, my planner pages for this year will be pretty solid, including the following features:
And that’s it, really! I’ll be covering other journals and planners that my friends and I use here and there, so stay tuned for another year of organization and amazing planners!
Coming from someone who has huge difficulty maintaining personal Social Media projects and what not, I'm glad to say that #hobonichi365 has finally come to a close. And before I head into the new year, I thought I'd share some of my favourite photos from the entire year.
As much as I was expecting a good number of these pages to appear in my #2017bestnine, I'm kinda glad they didn't so that I could share them with all of you.
Thank you for 2017, now onwards to 2018!
After four months of categorizing my to-do lists on my daily pages, I figured it was something that was getting a little too restrictive for comfort. I found myself resorting to using rough paper to sort out steps before I wrote them in my daily planner (which was pretty much not the point).
Thus, I dove into a more minimalist approach with this current layout:
And so far, this has been working out fantastically - I can list things (which is just the way I like it), and keep track of the important details easily. The Journal / Notes section works pretty well too, as a space to scribble, note things, and engage in other activities.
Like my first attempt into drawing for InkTober (Here are my 5 favourites - incidentally, also my favourite breakfasts. Hehe.):
Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Here’s to one more post before we go on to Hobonichi Cousin 2018!
I’m incredibly excited because the Hobonichi Series for 2018 will be out in less than a week! Apart from Weeks Mega (a thicker version of their Weeks series), they have a new series of covers.
(Note: I’ve been telling myself that I’ll need a plastic cover for my 2018 Hobonichi Cousin, but after finding out about this, I’m really conflicted. LOL.)
These couple of months don’t see any changes with my planner layout, but I attempted a 30-day journaling activity by Boho Berry – it was pretty fun, though I decided that I wanted a simpler layout to just get things done.
Regardless, here are some fun shots from the #BohoBerryChallenge I did in July.
As much as I like this current layout, I’ll be changing my daily layouts to something more streamlined and simple for the rest of the year. Stay tuned to have a look!
I wanted to prepare something like this for a while now, seeing how I’m hoping to organize my life a little better. This was initially supposed to be an RPG case, since I was intending to go into more RPGs, but being involved in the gaming group I’m in means the need for something just as diverse
The bag is a carrying case for A4 notebooks and stationery. I got it at LoFT in Shibuya, Tokyo. However, any case you have or are comfortable with is good enough.
I play a good amount of contained role-playing games, games which require point calculation at the end of the session, and games which require a lot of dice rolling. Taking those into consideration, I came up with a list of items to place into my mobile gaming case:
While it’s incredibly convenient to carry this case to my gaming sessions, it serves as a reminder that I’m long overdue for a gaming session.
So if you could just excuse me… I’ll see all of you around.
I'm going to quote one of the Editors I've been working with during my day job and many others, "Where did the rest of the year go?"
Here we are, standing at the final step before entering the second half of the year and I'm really glad to say that I've found a Hobonichi Daily layout which I'm happy with for my Cousin - the same layout that I had for April, mentioned in my previous Plannerd Feature post.
For the months following, I've just shortened the amount of space I needed for each section so that I'll have more space for pieces like these:
One of the greatest gifts from the Hobonichi (Or the Cousin, in my case), would be the flexibility their daily pages give you. While I would caution you against pressing your pencils and pens too forcefully on the paper (I've torn through a couple of pages), my "Notes" section has made me a very happy planner over the last couple of months.
Future posts will most likely be a look into what I've been drawing, writing, or just scribbling from my #hobonichi365 features. So stay tuned and enjoy!
March and April saw more layout changes as my life got busier.
Throughout those two months, life during and out of work and creating required more organization, especially with my three major projects so far.
So now, I’m experimenting with my latest layout all the way through May. Taking away the Must-Do Tasks of the day in place of a single Focus of the Day ‘forced’ me to concentrate on a single task. That got me to a certain realization – My excitement for all my projects have caused me to cram my days with so much, I end up crashing for a few weeks and feeling guilty after.
That being said, I'll say that this new layout helps to clear things up a little better. And I think it's quite safe to say that this shift doesn't make my to-do lists feel so overwhelming anymore.
Check out my progress from my January and February post.
118 Days down, 247 Days to go for #hobonichi365.
It has only been a couple of months and I feel like I’ve been using this planner for way longer. Thanks to sites like iheartorganizing, the Hobonichi Users Group (on Facebook), and various users on Instagram and Pinterest, my Cousin is shaping up to something I’m glad to have in my life day after day.
The yearly and monthly pages remain the same as they did when I wrote about it in my previous #Hobonichi365 post. Most of my changes, however, were made after compiling a list of post-mortem pointers after using the planner in January.
What really helped was removing financial information and moving my focus of the day to purely the upper right corner, where the To-Do squares are. Fewer things to worry about, greater focus.
Speaking in terms of a greater focus, the Tiger introduced this method to me while I was having a huge guilt trip about doing so much but still not moving. What I used to do was to assign different personal projects to different days – with the intent of focussing on just one thing as much as possible a day.
However, that induced a lot of guilt if I felt tired or sick on that day.
So having a few major points like these help with goal and process-tracking – and that, in turn, helps with personal To-Dos for each week and each day.
Bonus Pages: Collections – Projects
Another great incident which happened within these couple of months was how my good friend, Mintea, got a Hobonichi Cousin as well. Inspired by her talking about trying to fit a Collections page into her own planner, I decided to give it a try as well.
And I think I’ve found a new way to track and limit the amount of creative projects I can take in a year.
So that’s 54 days into #hobonichi365. I’m excited to see how the rest of the year will be like =)
My sanctuary of creative organisation, arts management, and planners.