A Beginner Guide to Hobonichi Techo 📕

A Beginner Guide to Hobonichi Techo 📕

Hello, stationery friends!

I hope the year has been treating you well. Personally, this year has gone by very quickly! Planner season is upon us once again as we approach Fall. 🍁

Last year we were so happy to begin carrying the Hobonichi Techo! We're one of the few retailers on the West Coast, and here at Paper Plant Co we are thrilled to offer these special planners for the Los Angeles community.

If you're new to Hobonichi-- worry not, I am here to help! I have made a simple guide to Hobonichi Techo, explaining the types of planners, tools, etc. that Hobonichi creates. And if you're 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 2001 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! The Hobonichi Techo is a techo you can use freely to match your lifestyle.

Many ask What makes the Hobonichi Techo different from other planners? There are a few features that make the techo unique!

  1. One Page Per Day Layout
  2. Graph Paper Design
  3. Original Daily Quotes 
  4. Mini Calendar Overview 

One of the characteristics of this techo is the freedom it provides. As well as writing in your daily schedules, you can write or draw events that happened that day, sketch, paint, write how you felt, paste in tickets and stickers. The possibilities are endless!

This mighty planner is also carefully constructed. 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!

Each new spread features entertaining or insightful quotes specially selected from the techo’s parent site, Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun.

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 these!

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, a pencil board, and opens flat 180 degrees. 


Hobonichi Techo Tools & Toys

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, index stickers, stamps, and pencil boards. Find them 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've also provided examples of how we use the Hobonichi Techo:

I hope you've enjoyed reading about Hobonichi and all the techos available! 2024 techos go live August 31st at 7PM PST, and will be available to see in store in the Fall! English Planners will be arriving late Fall. Check out our current stock here

Happy writing and planner season. :)


Claire from Paper Plant Co.

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