An Overview of Hobonichi Planners

The Hobonichi planners have arrived and in one big maelstrom they are swooping out the door. It’s wild. A lot of covers and accessories sold out quite quickly, and we know some of you have missed out. We are expecting our second order to arrive early October, and we are planning carefully to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to get what they want. For some of the items, this was the first year Hobonichi released them to retailers, so we are still adjusting accordingly. I strongly advise you sign up for the email in-stock notification for any specific items you’d like, which is underneath the add to cart and add to wish list buttons.

I thought in this lull, catching up from the first shipment, and before the second shipment comes in, it might be a good time to give an overview of everything for those of you new to the brand, so that everyone can be prepared for the second shipment to arrive, especially now that all of the items are up on the website for you to browse. We are expecting to restock as well as new items in October. No timeline yet on when we will know and be able to put up photos of the new items.

What makes Hobonichi planners so special? It’s the paper! It’s Tomoe River paper that’s thin, but extremely fountain pen friendly. A bit crinkly.

There is also the attention to detail in the the subtlety of the rulings, the additional pages and quotes on the bottom of each page is something that is in many ways specific to Japanese stationery. Over time, as Hobonichi has developed a cult following, they’ve created additional accessories and features, collaborated with so many different artists and brands to create new covers. There is something for everyone.

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There are three main types of planner, from left to right:

The Techo (A6)
The Cousin (A5)
The Weeks (B6 slim-ish)

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The Techo: the Classic

The Techo is the classic and the original, with a huge variety of covers. It was the first one released to international retailers, and I remember the days when the only thing we got were enormous boxes filled with these little black notebooks all neatly packed up. A delicious weight in the hand, with its thin paper, and so many pages. It’s a page-a-day format, with pages at the beginning and end with monthly views, information, and empty pages for notes.

There is a beige cover “Original” which is all in Japanese, and the black cover Techo has some Japanese but also English, and the one produced for international users.

The yellow cover in the corner is two notebooks, the Avec, which divides the year into two halves, so you don’t have to carry around as much, which makes it great for sliding into a pocket. There is also the Day-Free in the A6 size, which is new to us: it has fewer pages, but is undated.

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The Cousin

The Cousin Planner is the big brother, with the same page-a-day format, but in an A5 size. This is roomy with lots to write. There is also the A5 Cousin Avec (two half-year planners), and the A5 Day-Free (fewer pages, undated).

Lots and lots of fun covers for the Cousin, and with its size, it’s terrific for being a workhorse for work, homeschooling, studying, personal journaling, with extra room to keep papers or cash or things you need on the go.

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The Weeks

The Weeks is a week along one side and a blank, gridded page on the facing side. Good for planning and organizing scheduling, work, appointments.

The Mega Weeks is very popular, as it has a good chunk of additional blank pages at the back. It is noticeably thicker.

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The 5-Year Journal

The glorious five-year journals! Available in an A6 and an A5 size.

This 2021 I will be starting one, as I’m just finishing up my Midori 3-year, which I treasure. I did enjoy this one, and like that it is a hardcover, but I’m excited to try something new as well.

I absolutely cannot recommend this practice more highly. I rave about it all the time, everyone rolling their eyes at me. I love looking back at what crazy things the kids were saying in previous years, what new brands we launched, what surprising things happened, what small moments were worth jotting down. I totally get that for a lot of people, daily journaling, planning, organizing is something that is not really for them in a rigid format, but this is something that’s doable, and so worthwhile. When I miss days, I fill it in with books I’m reading, a photo, a quote from a kid from a different day (it doesn’t really matter to me if Caleb said something funny on July 3rd versus July 5th). Some people use these to track gardening, personal milestones like health and fitness, reading journals, memories with their kids.

It will be new for me to consider how I’m going to fill in the facing blank pages. Stay tuned!

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A Few Other Things

Inside the Day-Free (Available in A6 or A5).
This year they’ve released some bonus accessories. The orange covers are blank notebooks, and the two on the top right are notepads (you can tear off sheets from the side).
More accessories! Stencils, pencil boards, stickers and tabs. The large item on the far left is the A5 plastic folder, which you could keep inside a cover with papers or photos or ephemera.
Rubber stamps. I love how the planner ones are perfect for putting something inside, date, numbers, a tiny drawing.

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On a side note, it’s been lovely and overwhelming to receive all of your orders. The shipping team is working incredibly hard to get things out, as well as respond to the normal sets of things that occur in the day (in store open hours, cleaning, responding to customer emails, manning the Live Chat), and we’ve so appreciate of your patience and flexibility with this release. We’ve not be able to finagle orders like we sometimes are able to, holding or combining multiple orders placed on different days, adding to, deleting or changing items off orders that then changes our stock levels that are moving and changing very quickly as is. We completely understand the rush to get all of the items that you’d like, especially as things are selling out quickly, and we’re trying our best to make sure you’re all set up for 2021. As we launch these first planners out into the world, we’re so grateful for your understanding and support.

8 Comments

    • wonderpens

      Hello! Yes, we do expect to get more 5-year journals in both A6 and A5 in October. Your best bet is to sign up for an email in stock notification on the product page!

  1. ES

    Im looking forward to my weeks book arriving but 2021 is a ways off so take your time! It’s nice to think of the future and new things right now. Take care!!

    • wonderpens

      Yes, still a good chunk of the year to go—-and time certainly goes fast enough without me rushing it, even if I am looking forward to 2021 and a fresh start! Haha. 🙂

  2. Christine M.

    I’m so eager to jump into the Hobonichi world! Yet it’s a bit overwhelming! I think I need to see everything in person before I can decide which one jives with me the most. But I don’t live in the city and I guess I would be taking my chances coming in and hoping the new shipment is still in stock when I get there. It all looks beautiful though.

    • wonderpens

      You would definitely be taking your chances, haha! It is always nice to see things in person. I do think this second shipment will be larger and should last a bit longer than the first, and you would definitely be able to at least take a good look at the different planners and sizes (Avec vs. Cousin vs. Day-Free, etc.).

  3. Alex

    I hope I can grab a Shaun Tan Arrivals weeks and some Earthbound/Mother stuff. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all the books and accessories. It’s been 14 years since a Japanese release and 26 years since an English! One of my favourite series of all time.

    • wonderpens

      I love all the Shaun Tan items! I used to use one of his books in my classroom for teaching. So much thought, so many layers. What a terrific collaboration!

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