Non-fashion blog post ahead. This one is for the planner heads and stationary girls. Hello, fellow nerds.
Have you heard of the internationally-beloved Japanese planner brand Hobonichi? I got into bullet journaling three years ago and quickly realized there were two main types of planner devotees: bullet journal users and Hobonichi users. I began like many as a bullet journal user, but over the years I grew frustrated with the the amount of time I was spending designing my bullet journal spreads by hand, and I started to look into the Hobonichi cousin. Hobonichi is a carefully designed functional planning system and offers a few different kinds of planners. I recommend Mindful Productivity’s ultimate guide to finding your best Hobonichi planner, but today I am just going to talk about the Hoboinchi Techo Cousin Avec, because that is what I’m using!
Quick note: The Hobonichi Techo Cousin and Hobonichi Techo Cousin Avec only differ in that the Cousin Avec is split into two planners, so you have the first half of your year in one planner and the second half in the other planner. It makes it easier to carry around and flip through.
I pre-ordered by Hobonichi Cousin Avec back in November, and when it got here, I have to admit I was a little intimidated by it. It’s a lot of planner!
Heres how it breaks down: you get a yearly spread, a monthly planning spread, a weekly planning spread, and a full page of diary for every day of the year. It’s a lot of space to plan in. At first I thought, how am I going to use all of this space? But now, over a month into using this planner, I am grateful for the space and for the daily pages that make this planner so unique.
I already had my Hobonichi planner by December, and I was getting really excited about using it but not sure how to make the most of my planning system. I was Christmas shopping one day when I found the Best Self Journal, a 13-week goal attainment system by Best Self Company. I thought it looked pretty cool so I bought it for my little sister as a Christmas gift, and I picked up a Best Self Journal for myself too. Best Self Journal is a psychology-driven and research-backed goal setting system. The theory is that you’re more likely to achieve your goals when they’re always in sight, and 13 weeks is just long enough that you’re focused on the finish line. The Best Self Journal has it’s own planning and accountability system, and I really liked it and wanted to try their goal-planning system. But I already had my Hobonichi planner! What was I to do? I decided to integrate the Best Self planning system into my Hobonichi.
The Best Self Journal has it’s own weekly review and daily planning sections. I recommend watching Matt Ragland’s in-depth Best Self Journal review if you want a thorough tour of this journal. I use the Best Self daily planning format as a guide for my Hobonichi Daily pages, see below for an example.
Best Self has a weekly planning and weekly review section, and I do this in a separate notebook every week (I use a Midori A5 grid notebook, it’s my favorite for note keeping and idea development). It helps clarify my goals before I lay them out in my Hobinichi weekly spreads.
It might seem little extra to buy one planner just to copy it’s system into another planner, but I’m honestly really glad I did it, and I will probably use the Best Self Planner at a later date by itself just to see how I like it. At first, I thought the daily the pages of the Hobonichi Cousin would just be too much space for me to plan in, but now that I am using the Best Self planning system to give it structure, I find it really reinforces my focus on my goals each day, and it feels really gratifying to be able to write down my wins when I complete those goals. What I love most about the Hobonichi is that the weekly and daily pages allow you to sort your tasks into the hours of the day. When I was using a bullet journal, I would just have this big clump of tasks everyday and I was always improvising on where they fit into my schedule, which ultimately lead to less follow-through. The only thing I haven’t figured out in my Hobonichi is a habit tracker, but I’m not sure that’s terribly important to me right now.
If you want to see how other people use their Hobonichi planners, I really enjoy Sterling Ink’s Youtube channel and Yukiko Sakamura’s Youtube channel. They were the two people who sold me on a Hobonichi in the first place!
I’m still trying to find my perfect pen for my Hobonichi. So far I most like the Pilot G-2 gel pens. I also use Jellyroll Moonlight.06 colored gel pens. I do like to use a little bit of washi tape and stickers in my Hobonichi, and I get those from Mochi Things.
Where to buy a Hobonichi? The 2021 January-start Hobonichi planners are sold out on JetPens.com but you can order them from 1001.com, for about $54 USD if I remember correctly. I ordered one for my mom on there, and it arrived in about a week, so don’t worry about a long shipping time. You can also order some really cool covers for your Hobonichi planner from 1001, or you can do what I did and order a clear A5 notebook cover and insert your own painted cover.
I hope this was a solid introduction to the Hobonichi Techo Cousin for you! I am really enjoying mine so far, and so glad I made the change. What’s your planner situation for 2021?
Wow, this system looks fantastic. I wonder if they make the Avec as spiral bound. I am on job sites weekly and it’s so much easier to write when standing in something that folds over on itself… How heavy is the half year out of curiosity?
Ooh sorry one more question. Does the Avec lay completely flat when open? Thx!
Lauren Fritsch says
Love this post!! I’m always trying new ways to plan my work/work my plan.
Thanks for the level of detail
Martina Heigel says
I want it too!
Martina from https://www.acad-profy.com/post/themenfindung
I like this planner!
lee lee says
Really cool, thanks for this post! I just browsed the Sarah Steckler post you linked to. I could see using the Hobonichi 5 year for garden planning.
I just got my Cousin Avec set from JetPens (plus many other things I didn’t need) and am seriously inspired by how you made this system work for you! I could never get a habit tracker to work for me but now I do have some health-related habits I want to track now…curious if you’ll be able to work one in later on, when needed.
Working on my own cover this weekend will be my own brand of self-care.
i love this sharing!
This is perfect! I recently started planning out my weeks and it has helped a lot! I love the way you do it!
this is so interesting! thank you for sharing!
You put me onto journals. I have found them very useful, so thank you. I’m currently drawing up my own using up old exercise books, which is a bit boring to do so this does look good. I’m a long time admirer of your content, I hope you are well. x
This is so interesting. Thank you! Have you tried the “Le Pen”s? They have a nice color variety and fine tips.
Thank you for this post! I bought a Hibonichi Cousin for 2023 and am a bit puzzled by how to best use it after using the Savor Planner for years. Love the prompts from the Best Planner and will use them too. Thanks for sharing! How did you like the Hibonichi? I like having a full year in one book.