How I Use My Hobonichi Techo Notebook: Part 1 – Monthly Layout

Hey, friends! I am so excited today to be sharing with you that I’ll be starting a new series on the blog all about how I use my Hobonichi Techo Cousin (A5) Planner. A few weeks ago I asked my peeps on Instagram if they wanted to know more about how I use it and I got an overwhelming response that YES, you guys want to see more of the insides! To be honest, I have hesitated sharing this because I firmly believe in finding a planner and doing what works best for YOU and you alone within it. I’ve tried to copy other peoples planning styles or the way they decorated, and it never worked out. The style I have now is completely hodged podged from various techniques and trial and error over the years. But I realized initially, that those people SHARED their planner layout with me too, so why not share mine with you?

Back to the Hobonichi. I get questions about it A LOT and I love that it’s sort of an obscure planner. This is partially because it’s not American made, but it’s from Japan! The Hobonichi is the most popular planner in Japan, hands down. Some of its notable features are that it’s paper bound, but many folks keep it protected in stylish covers. I did a review of it a few months back and decided that it was too much and my husband used it instead. I switched to an Erin Condren planner for a little while, but suddenly found myself wanting to track more health habits and not finding a lot of that functionality within the Erin Condren planner. So alas, I am back in a Hobonichi! As you can see, it’s totally fine to jump from one planner to another every once in a while, as my seasons of life have changed with my planners in the past and still do. The key is to stick to some consistency and make it a daily habit, regardless of what planner you use.

You can find a lot of Hobonichi covers on EtsyAmazoneBay, or my personal favorite, AliExpress! AliExpress is where I bought my infamous pink unicorn cover. I absolutely LOVE being able to customize the outside look of my Hobonichi. It helps it feel more like “my planner” and I can change the cover with the seasons or my mood. (Like scoring a super cute mustard yellow fabric color for the fall!)

There are 3 main parts to the Hobonichi Cousin size. The monthly layout, weekly layout AND a daily page for every day of the year. Considerably, this can be overwhelming to some. But it is rare to find a planner with all 3 types of layouts. Most only have 2 out of the 3. The Hobonichi A6 only contains a monthly layout and weekly layout. A GREAT option if you’re not a fan of how big the A5 is, but still want a quality, customizable planner!

The monthly layout I use for 2 things: my bill tracker and daily gratitude log.

Yes, I do indeed collect cute Pokemon cards for my desk.

Yes, I do indeed collect cute Pokemon cards for my desk.

If you want to hear more details about how I use my planner for our budget, definitely check out this guest post I did on the lovely Lydia Lois’ blog on the subject! Her blog is all about helping millennial’s save money and use it wisely, among many other awesome, helpful topics! As you can see, on the left hand side, I write down all our recurring bills for the month and any random bills that may occur during that month as well. I then write their due date in the calendar section. I scratch them out as we go and as they get paid.

The monthly section is something that I look at every day in the morning as a part of my morning routine (more on the morning routine coming soon!)

Every morning, at the end of my morning routine, I write down something good that happened the day before or something that I was super grateful for. I usually add a KeenaPrints sticker or a Sweet Kawaii Design sticker to brighten it up even more. (BTW, you can use code LORNA15 for 15% off on all orders over $10 on!)

Sometimes I will write down really big events that are happening that month if I want to refer to them, other than that – I usually just plop them in my daily layout and look ahead to see what’s coming up next!

I hope this helps. If you can’t tell, I love, love, love my Hobonichi and can’t wait to share with you next week all about how I use the weekly layout. It’s certainly not what most people use it for, but it has helped me tremendously with my habits! I keep things simple, I keep them fun and that’s how I get things done.