In early December I received a message from Lindsay, who worked with the online media magazine for the past year year to translate their flagship product, the Hobonichi Planner. Be sure to visit her site for the Unofficial Hobonichi Planner Guide.
So I checked out the website. Now, I don't normally have a lot of enthusiasm for paper planners, but when I saw that this one was filled with Tomoe River paper I knew that I had to try it.
The planner arrived very quickly and I was immediately impressed. The size is perfect for carrying in my handbag.
At the back of the planner is a nice section for notes and informational pages which include International Size Charts, International Country/Dialing Codes and National Holidays. This is followed by my favorite sections: A Guide to Sushi and A Guide to Sake.
My planner arrived coverless so I headed over to Hobonichi's website to find a appropriate cover. The prices for the covers range from 1,500 yen to 31,500 yen ($14USD to $300USD). I found the site easy to navigate and easy to place an order, my only complaint was that most of the covers were sold out.
The pen loops which effectively "lock" the cover when a pen is in place, are very large and even accommodates my largest Danitrio pens.
If you are familiar with Tomoe River paper, you are aware that there is neither feathering or bleedthrough with the use of fountain pens. However, there are two issues that you will need to learn to live with.
The first is that the ink does not dry very quickly, this paper is not very absorbent and so the ink tends to sit on top for a while. My solution was to cut some copier paper to the size of the planner and insert it between the pages after writing to absorb the extra ink and prevent smearing.
The second issue is that because this paper is so thin there is a significant amount of show through. As you can see in the above photos you can easily see the writing through this paper.
Personally, these two issues are not a problem for me, but they could be for others.
Lastly I really love all the stuff the users in this video put into their planners.
You can see other reviews of the Hobonichi Techo at these blogs:
The Well-Appointed Desk