My new hobonichi 2018 is here!

I placed my order for my new hibonichi 2018 on the day of the release: August 31st, 10 pm EST time. And it’s here!

I’ll do an unboxing of my goodies and show individually the pictures. For now just let me tell you that I love everything about my order. Especially because this year is the first time that I will be using an A6 techo original in japanese — I have only had it in English for the past three years. The covers are amazing, especially the canary cover with the Tokyo cover on cover. More to come but for now I wanted to share my excitement with the thousans of people who endured and survived the web issues on release night/day.

Yay! What did you order?




2017 Hobonichi standing strong

In a few weeks, Hobonichi will release their 2018 lineup, from A6 to the weeks.

Here’s my current Hobonichi cousin, or at least one of them. I’m waiting impatiently to see the new books, and accessories that are being launch for next year!

Here’s to another year with my Hobonichi techo.

Journaling as a habit

As the end of the summer approaches in New England, I’m realizing that journaling has become a big part of my habits. Writing, helps me reflect on life, internal conflicts and challenges. It’s a good way to deal with difficulties but also to process pleasant experiences. Journaling enhances reflection but also gratitude.

Happy end of the summer!

When in doubt, be a unicorn – Happy Monday!

Stationery Mondays

The other day I went to Black Ink, which is a store that sells Japanese goods, including stationery. They have a great variety of all-paper things, and I could easily spend HOURS there! I have written about this store before and you can read about it here

The shop has a great variety of erasers. I was looking into the bowl full of cute erasers and i found this one. I love it and for some reason, this little guy makes me smile so he lives on my desk. I hope it’ll make you smile too! Have a great Monday and a great week. Leave me your comments below and let me know if you like cute erasers.

Thanks for reading this short post,

Em J


Four differences, one hobonichi

If you are new to hobonichi and want to get a book for 2017 but you are not sure which size is the best for you to buy, keep on reading. Here, you will find a brief explanation of the three different hobonichi sizes and their main differences. Hopefully, this post will be useful to you!

Hobonichi techo is a Japanese book that translated means “life book”. It is made in Japan and one of its main characteristics is that tomoe river paper. This paper is special because it is very thin, yet resistant and strong in a way that can even be used with fountain pens and water colors. When wet, it will wrinkle but there won’t be transfer to the other side of the page. It is a fantastic paper, and if you are a stationery enthusiast like I am, you will love this paper because it is smooth, yet thin and mighty.

The hobonichi techo comes in three different sizes and four kinds of books

  • A6 (4.1”x 5.8”x 0.6”) known as Hobonichi Techo original; Weight: 210g this book comes in Japanese and English
  • A5, also known as Hobonichi cousin only comes in Japanese (148 × 210 mm)
  • A weeks hobonichi book, Wallet-Size (3.75”x 7.4”x 0.4”); Weight: 135g
  • Hobonichi cousin avec, equivalent to A5 (148 × 210 mm), these are two books each one carrying six months which means it is a lighter version than the cousin

All of them have the same following characteristics:

  • Tomoe river paper
  • all of them lay flat, except the weeks book which needs a little bit of training
  • All of them lay flat, 180 degrees binding
  • Quotes on each page
  • January start or April
  • Tons of covers to choose from, and all of them can have a cover on cover

The main differences between the four books are:

  • Hobonichi techo A6
    – Has monthly, yearly and daily, and a few blank pages to plan, but this book
    doesn’t have a weekly       overview
  • A5 cousin 
    – Has yearly, monthly, weekly and daily pages in addition to blank pages for notes in
    the back
  • Weeks hobonichi
    – It only has monthly and a week on one-page overview, the beauty of this book is that it has over 30 blank pages to take notes on and it is narrow and taller than all the other books. It fits a traveler’s notebook cover.
  • Avec cousin hobonichi
    This book only comes in A5 size like the cousin, the different is that it comes in a pair and each book has only six months each, one from January to June, the other from July to December. It has a yearly, monthly and weekly view of the days.

Personally, I love all of the books and each can be destined for different uses depending on your planning system and lifestyle, it also depends on whether you want to carry the planner with you every day or if it will stay at your workplace or at home. All of them except the cousin are very easy to carry. The cousin can be a bit heavy because of its size, none the less, I still plan to take it with me sometimes.

Here you go, I hope this has been helpful and please don’t forget to check out the hobonichi site for more info on sizes and differences if you’re still undecided.

Happy plans!

Em Jorden

Make your own Traveler’s Notebooks, three ideas

I am not exactly the most crafty person, I do make some inserts myself and I try to come up with ideas but I am not very handy or crafty when it comes to  making big projects. I admire people who do and I so wished I was the creative kind. This is also why sometimes I also force myself to make things because I believe that it will stimulate my creativity, the one that once upon a time was very active.

This said before I bought the traveler’s notebook that I have right now by Webster’s Pages I thought of making my own cover. I gave up! I still watched many videos about how to make my own and about how to make a cover without all the craftiness. While searching I actually found a few ideas that I am sure will help you create your own fauxdori if you are interested. Even if you don’t want to spend money on a cover – which I understand – I encourage you to watch these videos and try to make your own. These ideas go from very simple, for example, I love the idea by Journalingmylife in Youtube where she made a fauxdori out of a Filofax flex! Her set up is brilliant and I enjoy her videos a lot. Also, she is based in India and I just think it is great to have a fellow stationery lover from across the oceans! Check out her videos and enjoy them, she has some amazing ideas for different set ups!  You will fine her under her handle journalingmylife  and her video is here .

Last year, I remember what came super popular was buying a passport cover by Kate spade and turning it into a fauxdori which I thought was brilliant too. Ms. Wendaful has a great video where she shows her “Katedori” and I find it so fun to watch. You will find the video here  and of course, don’t forget to check out her blog where you will find some beautiful inserts and more ideas.

Last, we have the highest level of being crafty which to me is this video made by  Craft Made Simple where she teaches us how to make a fauxdori cover with fabric which I love love love. You will find the video here . This fauxdori cover that she shows is so pretty and I love it! If you have the tools and the energy to create one fauxdori from scratch, check out her video! It’s so neat!

And these are all the ideas I have for a traveler’s notebook without being super crafty – like myself – so check them out and let me know what you think!

I am really loving this traveler’s notebook fever and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I am!

Thank you for reading! Happy end of the week.

Em J


Ogami: The notebook made from stone

Yesterday, after much resistance from my part to visit the local stationary store in Harvard square, which sells one of the best stationery supplies in the state, I decided to go to buy “just a notebook” (ahem, ahem, which obviously didn’t happen as planned) I discovered these notebooks from an Italian brand called Ogami. I remember seeing them maybe somewhere on Instagram and became very curious because the description read “the first notebook made from stone”. What stationery addict enthusiast would not be curious about this? I initially wanted to buy a larger size, probably an A5 size but because

I already had with me a few things, I decided just to try it out – because I could not resist – and buy a smaller size, like a field notes size for my midori traveler’s notebook. I am sure I will find a purpose for it.

The description of these notebooks says:

” Notebook with uncoated 300 gr. paper cover , internal REPAP® paper 120 micron, handmade Point Singer binding, inside pocket and a leaflet explaining OGAMI® and REPAP® paper characteristics.”   – extracted from the ogami website. 

What made me most curious about these was not how delicious and “creamy” the paper felt but the fact that the paper is made from stone. The label on the notebook says “Ogami paper is made up of 80% calcium carbonate and 20% non-toxic resins- The calcium comes from limestone recovered from quarries and from building industry waster. Mixed up with resins it makes repap, a resistance, durable, waterproof paper as well as soft, smoothe and recyclable”. To the touch, the paper feels smooth, resistant and “creamy” – if such an adjective applies to paper. This paper is sustainable because it doesn’t come from trees and it is produced with a process that produces less CO2 which is causing a lot of environmental problems.
Aside the fact that this paper to me seems to be a great option, to reduce the destruction of our forests, it takes any pen so well. It is smooth, thick and the notebooks come in different sizes for different uses.For now I will use this as an insert for my midori traveler’s notebook, and I can’t wait to use it.

The mighty Filofax year at a glance insert

So, we made it, it’s 2016 already and most of us, planner people, are still working on setting up our planner(s). In my case i use at least three planner for different reasons but I focus the bulk of my life in two of them: My work planner which is  Hobonichi this year and my Franklin Covey flourish planner, which I use for all things home, family
appointments and to track different projects and other deadlines or time sensitive issues.
In the vastness of the planning tools universe, last year I decided to buy an insert by filofax, it was the year at a glance insert. Since then it became a very useful tool for me, new working mom and self appointed family manager.
This year at a glance insert is a one page insert, folded in many parts that comes in A5 and personal size filofax. It includes each month and each day of he calendar arranged vertically and horizontally.

The reasons why I find this insert so useful is because this particular view at a glance allows you to both track and forward plan any time sensitive items on a daily basis. With this i usually track doctor appointments for my child for example, I track birthdays sometimes and also past events that occur on a monthly basis or that i need to keep an eye on, like bills or deadlines. I am thinking that this insert would be useful for students particularly or someone who needs to keep an eye on multiple items that can’t be missed.
I bought this insert last year for the first time and I looked for it frantically this year as soon as I saw that my local stationary store was selling 2016 inserts already. If you don’t want to spend money on it, I know that there are plenty of sites, including Philofaxy where you you can download the file and print it for free. This is a very simple insert but a great tool that will help you be better organized and keep track of your life’s events, deadlines or highlights that you need to remember.
This is my take on this insert but let me know how you have used it and how it helped you keep a better organizing system. I’d love to hear your comments!

Hobonichi Techo as a planner? THAT is the question

I had been dying to buy a Hobonichi Techo planner for the longest time and finally, around October or November I started to look at the Hobonichi shop looking at the planners, covers and accessories trying to decide which one I would buy. I didn’t know if I wanted an A5 size or the A6. I watched a million videos on YouTube trying to get a sense of the differences between the two. I can’t remember now whose video it was that I watched where she was showing the Hobonichis, compared to a filofax or a Moleskine notebook and so forth. THAT was the day when I decided that since I wanted the planner to be my work planner and also, I wanted to start little by little before investing in something larger, I would go for the A6 size. Which is almost the size of a personal size Filofax – maybe a tad smaller.

Around December I got VERY excited because I decided on the day when I was going to order my planner. I picked everything, a cover, a planner and a few accessories. The shipping from Japan is a little expensive so I thought that if I was going to spend money ordering it all the way from Japan, I should at least get a few more things to make the shipping cost worth it.

I ordered the planner around the first week of December because I wanted to be ready for the new year and set my planner as quick as possible, the planner came very quick. I think it took in total about a week and a half before it was shipped to me to Massachusetts – in the United States.

But before I go on blabing even more, IF you are new to the whole Hobonichi lingo here are a few things to know which characterize a Hobonichi planner:

  • Hobonichi is the name of the planner style. There are two kinds of planners, Hobonich Techo (A6) and Hobonichi Cousin (A5 size). Techo means (notebook in Japanese)
  • In the Hobonichi Cousin there is still another kind called Havec. This is a Hobonichi planner in A5 divided in two parts, one book goes from January to June, and the other one from July to December.
  • If you buy your planner a little later in the year, do worry not! They make a version that starts in April as well.
  • You will find one version in Japanese and one in English. I believe the one in Japanese is called Hobonichi original and usually comes in an A6 size – I actually do not know if it also comes in A5 but I would think so since this is sold in Japan for Japanese customers.
  • Hobonichi planners are characterized by being made with Tomoe River paper. This paper is magical! – to say the least – it is very thin, almost like parchment paper but the magic of it is that NOTHING bleeds through (or almost nothing). You can use fountain pens, sharpies and Paper Mate flairs without having any bleed through. You do get a little bit of shadowing on the other side of the paper but if you can live with it, then you will be fine.
  • All the books open completely flat on your table and this is something that, for people like me who are obsessed with writing properly, it is a very important quality.

One of the main reasons why I didn’t know if I wanted an A5 or an A6 size is because these two books are ALMOST the same, except for the fact that the A5 size – the cousin – has a monthly tracker, a monthly calendar on two pages, a weekly calendar on two pages and your daily pages, plus some extra blank pages for notes. The A6, however, has everything except for the weekly view on two pages, which is not very convenient if you want to use this planner as a work planner like I did.

Because I wanted the small size, and I really wanted it to be my work planner, I then decided to buy an extra notebook called “weekly”. This is a notebook made of Tomoe river paper that has a week on two pages and a yearly calendar. These two books together were still a little cheaper than buying a cousin, and I wasn’t sure I would use the cousin as a planner if I didn’t like the small one so there I went, I ordered everything.

There are a million uses for this particular planner and if you have even thought about getting one, regardless of whether it is to be used as a journal or planner, I’d encourage you to get one. The quality of the book is amazing and in general, all the accessories are beautiful. I am working on developing my creative/artistic skills that existed at some point in my early childhood but I wasn’t ready to use a Hobonichi as an art journal. I wanted mine to be used as a planner to plan my daily life at work.

I have been using the Hobonichi Techo for a month and two weeks and I am still in love as much as the first day i got it, BUT I am not entirely sure it is working for me as a planer for work. This is why I love this planner used as a work planner:

  • No bulk! The tomoe river paper is so exquisite that you can write as much as you want on each page and the planner won’t be as bulky as with other planners.
  • One day per page: I wanted to be able to have a whole page for each day without having too much space left, as it would happen with the A5 size. I write a lot of things for work but not THAT many. Mostly because I also use a medium size moleskine notebook for taking notes.
  • The monthly, yearly, and daily view, together with my weekly notebook.
  • The covers are beautiful!
  • Each page has grid paper
  • Each page has an entire page for you to play with a structure that works for you. You can add a timeline, you can add squares for notes, lists, and so forth.
  • You can use the hobonichi however your heart tells you, there are no rules and there are no perfect ways!

Even though there are so many things I love about this planner…. a month later I am struggling a little to make it work for me as a planner! – sob, sob – and here’s why:

  1. The planner doesn’t have a weekly view in it so I need to be carrying around my weekly notebook.
  2. There is no structure on the pages and for someone like me who needs a few things on each page, I get lost in the vastness of blank spaces, which makes me feel lost at times when I am trying to find a particular task or event I need to consult.
  3. If you don’t develop your own system you could end up using this planner just as a tool to make lists of tasks.
  4. I have ended up using this planner as a list making tool!
  5. My work is very fast paced and things go too crazy sometimes that not having a defined structure on each page, is time consuming.
  6. My tasks get lost

I don’t want to give up just yet on this planner so here are my thoughts. The other day I was reading an interview that a blogger did to the creator of the Hobonichi planner and he was talking about how, when he created the planner, he wanted a planner that would not tell you what to do and how to do it. He said “The Hobonichi planner is not about the planner, it is about you and the mind that is using the planner”. I translated this as: Your Hobonichi will become whatever your mind wants it to become.

A very philosophical approach but I actually believe this is true! For the longest time I had been using a Franklin Covey binder with the Franklin Covey inserts. A very western way to plan your days and hours, so no wonder why now with the hobonichi my mind is resenting the lack of pre-set structure. Because I really want this to work, what I will do is to combine the use of my Hobonich with some kind of key – just like a bullet journal system – and plan my days that way. These days, I highlight any tasks that have been done, just to see the ones that are yet to be done. And yesterday I thought of organizing my tasks, events and reminders from top to bottom in priority order using my bullet journal key as well.

February has started and this only means that I will have another month to try to find my own structure in the vastness of the pages of my Hobonichi Techo. This story will be continued and I will keep posted on any improvements and progress. I forgot to mention that because usually my weekends are planned with the family planner, these pages are blank and I use them as memory keeping. Also, I don’t decorate this planner, at least not that much – maybe using a bit of washi tape here and there – and overall this is a great planner, you just need to find your own system!

Also, the Hobonich Techo came with a card in Japanese that says “Hobonichi Techo – Life book” and now, a month later, I understand why! Because your mind will be the one defining what your Hobonichi will become and how your life will actually transform it to either a very useful tool or simply a planner to let your thoughts run wild.

Have you used a Hobonichi planner AS A PLANNER? If so, did it work for you? Let me know and also, do share your pictures with me! I promise to post more on this planner as I find my way through it, including pictures.



{Journaling} and why it is good for you, I am serious

Often on my blog I have talked about how I started getting more into stationery, planners and all things paper as a way to have an outlet that will help you cope with the daily challenges of life. This year, 2016 has inspired me to take on journaling. I have tons of notebooks placed around my desk area and I started using a journal as a gratitude journal last year but I rarely would write in it. I bought this notebook at my local store, I decorated it and made it my own, I did write a few things but stopped doing it on a regular basis when I got a new job.

This year, I have realized that writing is one of the activities that help me reflect and think on my own outlook on life. So I decided that this year I will write much more.

For this post, I actually did a little bit of superficial research and quickly googled about the benefits of journaling. It turns out, the benefits of journaling on a daily basis are endless! What did you know?! There are so many benefits to why it is a good idea to write or incorporate writing to your daily routine and I will name a few:

1. It helps you get to know yourself better

2. It helps you clarify your thoughts and feelings

3. Reduces stress levels

4. It helps you solve problems more effectively

5. It helps you resolve problems with others much better

I found this list here in case you are interested in reading more about this topic.

And this is not in the list that I found but I will also add that it helps you reflect on the current, past and future state of things, and it could even help you find direction when you are trying to take decisions.

I would say that 2016 is the year to re-focus and give direction to your life. Let’s journal!

By TrulyEm