New Planner Love

By JT Ellison

We’re eight weeks into the new year, and I have a confession. I ditched a planner that wasn’t working for me, and went in a totally new direction. Now, I feel it incumbent upon myself to turn you all on to this.


I am completely in love. I feel like I’ve FINALLY found the right planner.

I’d started the year in a Quo Vadis Journal 21 with a day to a page. It was huge. Thick. Heavy. So big, I couldn’t comfortably carry it with me. Not that I really do carry it, but it just felt so bulky. I figured it was the day to a page—I’ve always done weekly, until I started keeping a “log book” in October of last year and realized I liked having a day to a page. So maybe it was the paper? I use fountain pens—a Lamy Safari, in this instance—but I wasn’t enjoying writing in it. I bought a bunch of new inks, loaded them up, and while I liked them better for the Safari, the planner was still making me go meh.

Photo courtesy of the Hobonichi website

Photo courtesy of the Hobonichi website

Enter a midnight, full moon, couldn’t sleep read of Tools and Toys, and a review of the Hobonichi Techo. I keep seeing people rave about this unique planner. How it has a cult following, it’s filled with Tomoe River Paper, which is brilliant it was for fountain pens, how thin the paper is. I had one big issue holding me back. The Techo is A6 size. (Japanese A6 though, which is bigger that our A6) I’m an A5 girl all the way. Or so I thought.

It was late. It wasn’t too expensive. I decided to check it out. What the heck, right?

Today's agenda: planing. Like a boss.

From the moment it arrived, in its Japanese overnight air pouch, holding a green box, I was in capital L love. The size was perfect. Not too small as I’d feared. The paper inside was incredibly thin. So thin, I was certain there’d be huge bleed through. Nope. I used my new fountain pen, a Pilot Knight, and the nib slid along the page in a way I’ve never seen before. I’ve always been partial to Clairfontaine paper—no more. Tomoe River is where it’s at for me. The gorgeous Clairfontaine feels almost too slick, too smooth in comparison. And it’s grid, which I also have always steered away from. Guess what? Grid + fountain pen = perfection.

The paper sold me, but the planner has more little secrets. Quarterly planning, monthly planning, spots for monthly goal setting, in addition to the day to a page—all in half the thickness of my Journal 21. Sold.

Knowing I will be making a permanent change to the Techo planners from here on out, I finished out my new little lover with a splurge—a handmade leather case from One Star Leather. Keegan customized the cover to my exact specs, and it is stunning.

One Star Leather

Three weeks later, I can’t wait to pick up the planner and write in it every day. I carry it around the house. I put it in my purses—it fits in them all. I grabbed a Pilot Metropolitan on sale at the Pen Chalet for good measure, since my Pilot Knight internal plastic broke the first time I changed the cartridge. (It’s off being repaired.) I was surprised at how awesome the Metropolitan is to write with. Exactly the right weight, posted and un, and it has the finger rest the Knight is missing. Who knew? Combined with the new Techo, I am now an unstoppable planning machine.

Since my early work days, twenty years ago, with my Coach planner (they stopped making the insertswaaah), I haven’t had anything I’ve loved so much. Man, it is the little things, isn’t it?

I can’t recommend the Hobonichi Techo planner enough. And get Keegan to hook you up, he’s an incredible leather artist.

Via: JT Ellison


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