We hope the year has been treating you well. This past fall we were so happy to begin carrying Hobonichi Techo! We're one of the few retailers on the West Coast and the only shop in Los Angeles to carry these lovely planners! If you're new to Hobonichi-- worry not, I am here to help! I have made a guide to Hobonichi Techo, explaining the types of planners, tools, notebooks, etc. that Hobonichi creates. But if you're also a regular user of Hobonichi, I hope you find some fun information as well!
Hobonichi, shortened from the full name of the website Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun, created a techo (Japanese word for a planner notebook) in 2002 by members who wanted to create the type of planner they would use themselves.
The Hobonichi Techo is seen as a Life Book; it's a versatile planner that suits the user's lifestyle and personality. It is made to accompany you on your life journey whether you use your techo for work, school, recording hobbies, keeping track of schedules, or journaling!
Many ask What makes the Hobonichi Techo different from other planners? There are a few features that make the techo unique!
- One Page Per Day Layout
- Graph Paper Design
- Original Daily Quotes
- Mini Calendar Overview
Hobonichi Techos have a special stich-binding that allows them to lay completey flat to ease everyday writing. Additionally, Hobonichi uses Tomoe River Paper. TRP is a favorite among the stationery community for it's light weight, yet durable paper that is truly a favorite to use. It is what allows the techos to remain so compact!
There are lots of different styles of the Hobonichi Techo to suit you best, from the standard Original A6 size, the Cousin A5 size that has plenty of space to write to the portable, wallet-sized Weeks. You can choose a techo book that’s easy for you to use depending on your lifestyle. Let's get into the different types of planners!
The Original Book
The basic use of the Hobonichi Techo is by pairing a techo book with a cover, such as this one! You can choose your own book and cover combination depending on your lifestyle and what you want to write in it. The Original is an A6 size, and it is a perfect portable size.
The Original Book is available in Japanese language but you can find the Planner version of the techo, which is fully in English (left side). If you find yourself wanting a version that splits the year into two books, there is also the Avec version (right side).
The Cousin Book
If you're a writer, scrapbook-er, enjoy plenty of space on a page, the A5 size Cousin might suit you! (View the size comparison on the left image) The Cousin book is also a daily page style planner like the Original, but there is also a week's schedule on a two-page spread that is unique to the Cousin (right side). You can find the Cousin in Japanese and English as well.
And just like the Original, the Cousin is also available in Avec style with the year split in two.
The Weeks Book
Different from the Original and the Cousin, the Weeks is a slim techo with weekly pages rather than daily. You can write down your weekly plans on the left, and memos or thoughts on the right side grid paper (examples below). Rather than a separate combination of a techo + cover, the Weeks is a book style techo and you can pick out a favorite cover from various designs. The Weeks are available in Japanese and English as well.
If you find yourself needing some extra space to write, there is a Weeks Mega edition that has nearly three times the amount of memo pages.
Weeks Mega (left) vs. Weeks (right)
The Day-Free Book
The Day-Free is an undated monthly notebook techo, with monthly calendars and graph-paper pages (see images below). It's available in two familiar sizes: the A6 Original and A5 Cousin. Additionally, the weight of the techo is cut in half compared to their counterparts. While there are covers made specially for the Day-Free, you can use the same covers as the other techos.
The Hobonichi 5-Year Techo
Record five years worth of "todays" all within one book! The layout is familiar to the other techos, and you can write extra memos on the right side of the page. You can find the 5-Year techo in A5 and A6 paper sizes, with cover specifically made for them (the Original or Cousin covers will not fit the 5-Year).
The Hobonichi Techo HON
The newest addition to the Hobonichi Techo family is the HON!
"Hon" in Japanese means book, making this a hardcover book style A6 techo with the same contents as the Original. It's reminiscent of a book that you can carry with you every day. You'll also find that the HON includes two bookmarks, beige and navy, and opens flat 180 degrees.
Hobonichi Techo Tools
Hobonichi has original stationery available on their site, and retailers such as us carry a select variety of them. We currently carry tools such as the stencils and index stickers, and hopefully in the future we will carry much more! View Hobonichi's tools and more on their site here.
Your Hobonichi Techo is for you to use however you like, and there's a variety of ways to use your techo! If you feel like you seek inspiration as to how you would like to use your planner, my go-to is always looking on Instagram but Hobonichi created a portion of their site dedicated to showing examples to inspire you!
I hope you've enjoyed reading about Hobonichi and all the techos available! Spring 2023 techos go live February 1st, but you can begin pre-ordering January 30th at 9am! Check out our current stock here.
Claire from Paper Plant Co.