Aaaaaaand, we’re back to one book.

Despite all the pretties out there, I kept going back to the Hobonichi Cousin.

Searching information about bullet journaling on a Hobonichi is hard and I just couldn’t find a hashtag to use on instagram for reference…..is it a Hobobujo? A Bujonichi?

I like the sound of Bujonichi, so I’ll stick to that while planning around.

Let’s explore this thing:


  • Hobonichi Cousin Avec. I bought it when book 2 of the Avec set went on sale by itself. It runs from July to December.
  • The Uni Jetstream included with each Hobonichi planner.

The picture below contains images that belong to Hobonichi. Click here to explore the planner in depth. Click on the image to view a larger version of it.


What has changed since I last pondered planning? I had a Hobonichi Weeks, the small, portable version of the Hobonichi (monthly and weekly layouts only).

Between a 2 year old, a nearly 2 month old and an impending move sometime around the end of the year, I’m a little overwhelmed. More than a little to be honest.
I thought I’d never need dailies, since I’m a stay-at-home mom and the fanciest things I get to do on a daily basis are laundry and cleaning.

The problem with that thought was, that when you’re home all day, everyday, the days tend to blur one into the other and before you know it, another week has gone by and you’re not entirely sure what has been accomplished – or not -.

Around that time, Hobonichi set for sale volume 2 of the Avec planners, which runs from July to December. I got the A5 version of it.

The Cousin has a Yearly index, which I’m using as a meal planner for the time being. Monthly layouts are for quick view of upcoming events and dailies are for well….daily events. Although there’s “to-do” elements to my dailies, I have more “ta-dah!” logs to see what I’ve done. Specially when it comes down to deciding what to take/leave/sell on the way to our next base (which I’m listing in the blank memo pages in the back).

What has happened to the Midori/Fauxdori notebook? I still have it and I still have plans for it, but that planning will have to wait for later.

Until then, have a great day!


2016 planner setup

Around this time last year I was awaiting the arrival of three planners. All three bought on a sleep-deprived crazy moment.

A couple of months into the new year, I’d decided that I had chosen poorly and needed to plan for planning. I found the Midori, the Bullet Journal and Hobonichi. And my goodness, are they beautiful.

Over the year, messing around with layouts and ideas, I came to realize that what I needed was a weekly task layout and a way to keep track of long-term plans and random information. I love random information.

So this here…..is my starting setup for 2016.

A Hobonichi Weeks and a wide Fauxdori/Vandori from VanHook & Co. I love the tri-color pen that comes with Hobonichi planners.

Although I loved my forays into Hobonichi-hood, as mentioned above, I need a weekly layout. The Weeks let’s me have the lovely Tomoe River Paper, and a dated planner that fits nicely in my purse.

The Vandori gives me what the Midori system is loved most for…being able to morph into pretty much  whatever you want. During 2016, I have about 2-3 main events that will take over my life, one of them being our impending move later this year; and although we still have no clue where we’re going yet, there is about a million and one things to do, including reducing the moving load.
Part of the ‘not knowing where’, includes not knowing what size of house/apartment/abode we have to prepare for and reducing what we have is a must. When we arrived in Alaska we had about three pieces of furniture and they were the kind that could be pulled apart for travel. We have acquired a few things in the last 3+ years and have to figure out how to move with them, yay! A part of me is glad my husband is close to retirement.

So my Vandori has three inserts: brain dump, planning move and long-term goals. I decided to start a “100 things in 10 years” bucket list kind of projects and it’ll travel with the Vandori for the coming years. The inserts are two May Designs notebooks and one Moleskine cahier. I wish the May Designs were cheaper and had less pink in their layouts, haha.
The triple rivet bookmark I got from Hobonichi as well.


And that’s about it for my super duper fancy planning. I still don’t do stickers, washi or fancy pens. I like to doodle from time to time, but that has to wait until I have actual time. Exciting my planning is!

We did acquire a large desk calendar and hung it from the wall, so we could ‘sync’ our appointments and plans a little more easily.

I hope your 2016 has so far been great for everyone!

Hobonichi 2016 haul. 

Disclaimer: Hobonichi is not sponsoring me. They don’t even know who I am. The views and blunders are my own. Thank you.

Good grief.

This was a tough decision.

On my last Hobonichi post, I mentioned that I was going to use September as a trial of sorts before making a final decision on which of the planners to get. Plans kind of backfired a little on me, but I’m still happy with what I got.

I can’t remember whose video I was watching on the Techo line, but I remember that they had gotten the original A6 size, because the Cousin seemed a little too much space to deal with. I pondered on that, and came to the conclusion that they had a very valid point. The Cousin might not be your standard letter size page, but sometimes it’s a little daunting to fill out a daily. At least for me. I have a considerably amount of empty space just hanging around.

So I started leaning heavily in the direction of the A6 Techo. At the same time, I had started looking up reviews and pictures on the Weeks planner.  These days, I don’t have much in the way of daily appointments, but more of a list of things I would like to accomplish by the end of the week.  So, a part of me started leaning heavily on the Weeks direction.

Split 50/50. What to do?

I went back to my initial points on planner choosing.

  • I needed a weekly to-do list.
  • I needed a monthly layout to do some forward planning.
  • I needed a daily food log.

Luckily for me, Hobonichi introduced a feature in their store, where after you hit purchase on your order, you can go back and place it on hold for up to 60 days. Gives you time to decide if you really really want the items, add things, remove things, etc.

Unfortunately for me, I’m brain dead. As soon as I realized that the Hobonichi store was open for business on launch day, I – along with a few thousand other people around the world – started hitting refresh on their page. And it took me about half a day to actually place my order: the A6 Techo with the Framboise Chocolat cover. I had planned to go back and place it on hold, but the site was so slow, that by the time I got to it, the order had been processed and I couldn’t.

As I waited for my order to ship, I spent a few days looking at other things offered in the site, and ended up ordering the Red Weeks.

So I had two orders on the way instead of waiting the whole month to ponder on what I really wanted. Ha! Mommy Brain attacks again (though let’s face it, I’d be a scatterbrain even without a kid).


Here’s the Techo and Weeks side by side for comparison. The Sharpie pen is there for size reference. I had heard that the original Techo was roughly about the size of a 4×6 postcard/photograph and I can attest to that. Both planners fit comfortably in your hand and are pretty light. The red in both covers is gorgeous.

I’ve linked their respective “Features” pages above, but I’ll share with you some things that I liked.

The inside of the Framboise Chocolat cover is a nice chocolate brown. The “Q” sticker is mine, not included with the set.

Both planners have a monthly section. The Weeks monthly squares are one grid taller, but they are narrower.

Both the Techo and the Cousin have received an update in the daily sections. Before every month begins, there’s a “Remember this” page for monthly goals. I like this a lot!

The Weeks has the whole year in a two page layout for easy viewing. As usual, Saturdays are in grey, Sundays in pink (the other pinks are Japanese holidays). The space on this layout is very small to try to write in it, but I think for someone who is tracking something specific (expenses, weight, AIC, etc), it could be very handy. I’m still planning what I’ll be tracking here.

As its name indicates, the Weeks has a weekly layout. Mon-Sun on one side, and grid on the other. The dated side has three nearly imperceptible dots along the division lines so you can section off each day into three parts if you need to. The grid page also has very slight delineations to help create sections as you see fit.

Both the Techo and the Weeks have a blank grid section at the back. On the Weeks, however, this section includes an index at the front of the section and all the blank grid pages (71 of them) are numbered.

And that’s it for my Hobonichi haul! I’m still deciding how I’m going to use both planners and I’ve found some very good ideas to proceed, but I’d like to refine them a little more before I post anything specific about it.

Do you use Hobonichi? Which one did you get for next year?

Hobonichi 2016 Lineup.

Disclaimer: Hobonichi is not sponsoring me. They don’t even know who I am. The views and blunders are my own. Thank you.


Hobonichi released the covers for their 2016 lineup as a preview. The 2016 store will go live on September 1st.

The preview is in Japanese, but per their Facebook release:

The English descriptions will be available once the English 2016 online store is all ready. For now you can poke around the photos in the Japanese site, and we’ll be introducing covers on the Facebook page as we go along. Once the 2016 English store is live, you will also be able to purchase the Weeks and avec books without having to go through the Japanese store.

Being able to order the Weeks and Avec through the English site will be a nice update for many people. It wasn’t an impossible task to accomplish through the Japanese site, but this makes it handier.

I can’t believe I’m typing this, but I’m actually wavering between the A6 and A5 planners. Functionality, price, size, portability, etc. All are factors affecting my decision. I might hold off on buying one on release day and use September as my personal “One Book” in terms of planning.

I’ve also decided to get a Hobonichi cover for my next planner. I’ve watched many video reviews and they’ve won me over. Cover-wise, the new lineup is nice, though I wish the same colors and designs were available for both sizes of planners.

I love the basic navy and red covers in the A6 size, but they are not available on the larger one.

A6 navy and red

There is a Hello Kitty cover available for both sizes and I can hear some of my friends hyperventilating and camping out at their computers until September 1st so they can be the first to get it.

A6 hello kitty

Also in the A6 size, “run run run” is pretty cute.


A6 run run run

In the A5, “MariniĂšre” is pretty and colorful. From the date on top, I asume that it will be available in November.

A5 Mariniere

Much pondering, much anticipation. If you’re a Hobonichi fan, which covers do you look forward to the most? Which size will you be buying?

Have a great day!!


One Book July 2015 finale…

…a bit late, but better late than never.

Hope everyone’s doing well. In the last couple of weeks we had visitors and EB turned 1 and  learned to pull himself onto the couches in our house. So a whole lot of childproofing has happened.

Anyway….One Book July 2015 came to an end almost two weeks ago while my brain was going wild.

What has happened to the Hobodori system?

Let’s recap how it began and how it changed midway.

The original concept was very compact: A Kokuyo cover holding an A5 Hobonichi Avec and two Moleskine (one for notes and one for a food log). The pen was the Jetstream included with the Hobonichi and I had a jarrito charm hanging on the side.

Hobodori 1.0


Midway through July, the Hobodori had split up into two books: the Avec was alone in the Kokuyo cover (with the food log Moleskine piggybacking in the outside cover). I had also acquired a Vandori cover which was sporting two Moleskine for writing. The Jetstream valiantly trudged on.

Hobodori 2.0


Where am I now?

The Hobodori 2.0 goes on with some additions. Shall I call it 2.1?

Hobodori 2.1

The Avec still rides solo in the Kokuyo cover. I removed the food log for practicality, but more on that below.

The Vandori has expanded into 4 Moleskine, which fit comfortably in the cover. Why did they multiply? I belong to a FB group for planner enthusiasts who also write. There was an ongoing discussion one day on how to keep track of more than one series or book. Some said they kept a planner for each, some used a binder or arc system and dividers. And some people said they used a Midori cover with an insert per book. The idea struck me as interesting and I decided to use the Vandori as my writing notebook. I have a Moleskine per subject: novel, short stories, brain dump and journal. I recycled the food log into the brain dump insert




I also used some washi to create tabs for each month in the Avec so I could jump easier between them.




The Avec has become part food log, part bullet journal, part etc. I filled out a mock page on a July daily I forgot to use to give you an example. The hourly breakdown column on the dailies is my food log. The 5 item to-do in the header is used for appointment/birthdas/anniversary reminders. The blank portion of the daily is my bullet journal planner and daily notations.

I got rid of the food log insert because the Avec was already open to a daily page every day and since I don’t make many appointments, I needed something to write there. While I initially thought about keeping the log separate, if I need to submit my log to the doctor, I can just transcribe everything to a template [note to self: design a template].

mock page


The Jetstream is still rocking and while I don’t plan to change it, occassionally a Sharpie pen makes its way onto the pages. My “One Book” changed a lot during the month and I’m glad I participated in the challenge. You can’t find out what will/won’t work for you unless you actually put it to the test. The Hobonichi 2016 store is set to debut on September 1st and I’m looking forward to getting next year’s planner.

I hope you had a fun OBJ 2015 and your planners went through this month with flying colors.

Have a great day!

Hobodori 2.0 and One Book July 2015 update

One Book July 2015 is halfway done. If you participated this year, what have you learned about your planning style?

My Hobodori planner has become my Hobodori System. The Hobonichi and Moleskines combo work very well, but they needed to split up. Why?

I ended up feeling the need to separate my daily planning from my journaling and writing.

So, the Hobodori 2.0 is in fact a split system that works together.
Allow me to break it down, along with my One Book July 2015 update:

1. On Day 1, I forgot to add: a pad of sticky notes. I always keep one in my purse.

2. The Hobonichi side:
Now flying solo in the Kokuyo cover. I absolutely love this notebook/planner. From the Tƍmoe River paper to the grid. I’d often heard the Tƍmoe described as “Bible paper”, and I agree. It’s very thin and smooth, and it feels wonderful to write on it.
I only write with a pen, so I can’t attest to Tƍmoe’s abilitiy to take just about every single writing/color/art media around.

Because it is so thin there is some shadow of a ghost on the backside of the page; and it doesn’t particularly bother me. When it comes to writing pressure, I’m somewhat average. You can feel it on the back of the page as well, but I like the “used” texture it creates on the pages.

Unlike the full 12 month Hobonichi Cousin, the Avec does not have a weekly layout. I did not think this was going to be an issue for me, since I don’t have many appointments, but I was surprised to find I actually miss it.
I started listing/notating holidays, events, etc on the monthly layout and journaling on the dailies.
I found I missed the weekly layout for appointments and other week to week occurrences.
I even though about getting a weekly calendar to use for the rest of the year, but I think I will make do with what I have in the setup for now. Sticky notes can help me with appointments.

I have, however, decided that I will be getting the full year Hobonichi Cousin for next year. I like the A5 size and I have plans for the layouts.

Sorry about the lack of interior pictures. I’ve been journaling personal material and you’d just end up staring at a blurred out picture if I put them online.

The Avec on its own in the Kokuyo cover fits quite nicely. I’m hoping the full Cousin will fit there, considering that the Avec and two Moleskines fit comfortably. Just in case, I’ll start saving money for an actual Hobonichi cover.

3. The Midori side:
I really, really love the concept of the Midori Travelers Notebook. I wish I’d found out about them years ago.

Why didn’t I get one now?

– Size. The regular size seemed a bit awkward. The passport seemed a bit small.

– The placement of the closing elastic on the back cover. I’ve never held a real Midori, so I don’t know this for sure, but I feel like it would bother writing on that side of the notebook. Real Midori users, please feel free to correct me. I’m curious.

– Availability of inserts. I know that there’s 1000+ tutorials on how to make your own inserts. But I have a limited amount of time in which to work. I type up posts, edit and upload pictures for this blog on my phone, between baby naps, meals and other housework. My crafty endeavours need to be very easy and very small. Measuring, cutting and binding inserts would take too long for me at this point.
I could, of course, order Midori inserts or Etsy inserts, but I’d still end up with shipping costs and wait time.

{……….I really need to open my own stationery store}

I like using Moleskine in part because I can just go to the bookstore and buy a couple of packs of three cahiers, and they work well with my A5 setup.
I’m sure that if I had found out about the Midori when we were stationed in Japan, I would’ve had the opposite situation. Moleskines would’ve required shipping and the MTN inserts would’ve been a drive away. In the end, it’s more an issue of availability over size.

So…..the Moleskine are out of the Kokuyo cover. Where have they gone, you ask?

I’ve been doing a Konmari purge/house cleaning (more on that on another post). I found a couple of things I could sell, so I went ahead and jumped into the Fauxdori wagon.

The Vandori, sold by VanHook and Co. , is made from tooled leather, has 4 elastics, spine closure and is beatiful. It popped up on Instagram as one of the more affordable leather Fauxdoris.
I ordered the A5 size and it fit the Moleskines nicely. I don’t have a lot in it right now, just two different writing notebooks. I’m trying, within the limits of my randomness, to remain with my One Book July setup.
I do plan on adding more to it after July. There are good tutorials for folders that seem quick projects.

Do I still long for an original Midori TN? Kind of. It is the doom of your hobbies. My husband has the same issue with camera equipment.

I know myself well enough that at least a passport size Midori might end up on my table someday. I’ll have to keep up with the Konmari cleaning and sell more things, haha.

What else has changed in my setup?

– A quick pen loop for my Hobonichi. Quick project by Robyn Lott.
– My food log hasn’t gone into the Vandori. I’m leaning towards keeping daily life in the Kokuyo and writing in the Dori. I have, however, left the food log in one of the cover’s outer sleeves, so I can grab it easily.

The Hobodori System 2.0 has expanded and morphed some, but I am definitely enjoying it!

I wish you all a great day!

One Book July 2015

I found out about it while watching a video by Mylifemitts

The challenge: one book, one pen, one month. There are addendums, but those are the basics. You can follow the links above for more in depth information. 

So I’ll be doing a month-long test of my Hobodori to see how it runs. 

The Book: as described in my previous post, a Hobonichi and Midori mix composed of three sections. 

The Avec for a planner, sketchbook, journal, etc. 

A Moleskine cahier as a food log. I keep it separate from my journal, because while dealing with gestational diabetes, I had to keep a very strict log of everything I ate and the log would be reviewed and photocopied every appointment. I’m trying to get my health in check, so I’m starting a log in the same fashion I used then.  

One more Moleskine cahier for writing. I need to get back into storytelling and this will be my tool for the month. In my previous post, I was using the notebook that came with my cover, and while it’s a nice notebook, I really like the Moleskines. 

The Pen: Jetstream included with the Hobonichi. It has three colors: red, blue and black. 


And that’s about it! I’ll post any progress shots on Instagram (@cafenox). 

Have a great day!

The Hobodori 1.0

Disclaimer: None of the companies mentioned in this post are sponsoring me. They don’t even know who I am. The views and blunders are my own. Thank you. 


If you’re in the planner universe, you’ll be used to all the funky names for planner combinations. The KikkiCondren, the Fauxdori, the Fauxbonichi, etc.

Meet the Hobodori. What in tarnation am I talking about?

A Hobonichi-Midori Travelers’ Notebook mashup (someone out there has a Midorichi).

My mind jumps around a lot, so bear with me.
It all started with this picture:

I’d decided not to buy materials to make a Fauxdori for the time being,  but I kept looking around at what other people where making, because I obsess about researching.

Thus, I found the Filodori (Filofax+Midori), clicked on the hashtag and my brain flipped a little. People where removing the binder rings from their Filofax covers, making holes on he cover (some adding eyelets), threading elastic string and voilĂĄ ….Midori cover.

It attracted me immediately for one very important reason: I’m very rough on the items I carry around. It just happens.
While the idea of a Fauxdori seemed interesting, I wasn’t sure how well the basic cover would hold up to me being me. But the idea of spending that much on a ring-bound planner, to then make holes in it wasn’t very exciting.

Much clicking of links took me to the Flexdori and it seemed a better solution. A basic notebook cover turned Midori cover using a plastic insert and elastic bands.
So, I looked up the Flex line at Filofax and boy is it expensive. Specially since the Flex are very limited in the U.S. store, so it would imply international shipping prices. Not to mention that their cheapest offering was in Magenta, which is happily tap dancing in my “oh, hell no” color list.

Back to the drawing board!

I started looking for other notebook covers, which could be sourced locally or nationally and in colors/designs that didn’t make me cringe.

I did think of Oberon designsI have bought two of their electronic covers in past years and not only are they gorgeous, they’ve put up with an awful lot of mistreatment from me and are still shining. I found a video where someone used an Oberon journal cover for their Hobonichi. I asked them about it and they were spot on with their answer: the cover button would get in the way. So, I moved on.
[Oberon designs does make some amazing covers in general and I heartily recommend them. I love mine. They just didn’t work for my purposes in this case. I did email them about Midori covers a while back and they seemed interested, so fingers crossed. How many times do you think I can type the word cover in a sentence?].

The search continued. And it somehow landed me on this post by Patrick Ng. The Kokuyo Systemic Refillable Notebook Cover looked like a promising idea. They have a new ‘model’ for this product, but I liked the original better.

I’ve enjoyed Kokuyo Campus products before. I own B5 and A5 binders by them and their filler paper is very good quality.

I wasn’t aware they sold a notebook cover, so I went looking for info on it, and I ordered one from JetPens. You can also purchase it through Amazon and other vendors.

The cover is offered in black/grey and red/grey in both A5 and B5. It is made of canvas, comes with one notebook (fits two Kokuyo Campus notebooks) and features two bookmarks, elastic closesure and the fabric layering on the outside creates pockets to store pens, papers, etc. on both sides.
I do have to warn you, that there is a bit of a smell to the cover and notebook when you pull them out of the wrapper. Plastic-y. I set them out on the counter overnight to air and it’s pretty much gone.

[Planner charm by LittleWitchHandmade]

The Kokuyo fits the Hobonichi like a glove. Right now I have the Avec, the included Campus notebook (for writing) and a Moleskine (food log) in it.

I tried doing a Flexdori type insert, but I think I need a sturdier material for it to be successful.  I will be trying again, once I can figure out what to use (I have a few ideas in the works). I don’t mind leaving the Moleskine loose for the time being. The notebook cover keeps everything tightly together once it’s closed. I’m not posting a picture of it, because I’m still playing with the design.

The cover does fit about four Moleskine if you’re thinking down the Midori road.

Have I considered making a Hobodori out of a Hobonichi cover? Yeeeees @_@

It will require saving many many pennies and waiting  until next year. If you try it out, do let me know how it works for you.

I haven’t worked too much with the Avec, because it isn’t July yet. I’ve entered birthdays, anniversaries, etc. So far I’m liking the paper and I think it’s going to work well for me. I have come to notice, though, just from writing things here and there, that grid paper is my friend and my next Moleskine cahier purchase will be in grids.

I tested out the multicolor pen that came with it on a sticky note. I’d forgotten how much I love Uni fine points and ink.

I also found some nice stickers at Michaels and couldn’t help myself. All planners need a sense of humor and what better way to decorate the inside cover of your planner, haha.

The Hobodori keeps on trucking and I’ll keep on working with it. Hopefully, version 1.0 will give way to a greater 2.0. I can tell you this…..planner peace is settling in.

Thanks for reading!

Hobonichi Avec – unboxing and first impressions. 

Disclaimer: this is going to be an image heavy post. Also, the companies mentioned in this post are not sponsoring me. They don’t even know who I am. The views and blunders are my own. Thank you. 

All photos are © 2015, DianaQ/www.cafenox.org. The products are Hobonichi’s.


After listening to customer feedback, the Hobonichi people released a split version of their planner for those who like the idea, but don’t want to carry a full sized planner/notebook around. It first came out for the 2015 edition.


The Avec is split in two: January-June in one volume, July-December in another. The volumes have different color covers, and are printed with the year and the month range they contain. They are meant to be sold together, but for the rest of this year, they are allowing people to buy the second volume on its own.

This single volume was released on June 1st (evening of May 31st in the U.S.), is half the price of a full Hobonichi and if you’ve been interested in the full planner, but aren’t sure yet – like me – it’s a good way of testing the waters without committing full price.

I placed my order on May 31st and it arrived on June 9th – with a weekend in the middle – in case you’re wondering about travel times.

Now, let’s get onto the fun stuff.


The Avec arrives in a sturdy box inside a mailing bag. There isn’t any padding inside the box, but everything is individually wrapped.


I ordered the Avec and the green template. The pen and tissue holder were added for free. From what I’ve seen in other reviews, these two seem to be often added to purchases. I wish I still had Japanese tissue, haha. I love their holders.

The pen is a tricolor (blue/black/red) fine point Uni and it has Hobonichi imprinted on the clip.

The template has useful checklist, numbers, arrows, etc to help plan. It also has a faint imprint of a grid that matches up with the grid paper in the book. This way, you can line everything up when using the template.

The package also contains a folded flyer with information about the Hobonichi. It’s in Japanese, so I can’t tell you what it says, but the reverse side has illustrations on a variety of daily activities to highlight the many things you can chronicle in your notebook. My son tried to help me with the flyer, hehe.

I’m a book sniffer. I couldn’t help myself. Smells good.


The full Hobonichi has monthly, weekly and daily sections. The Avec, however, doesn’t have the weekly section.

Now, let’s crack this open.

After the cover sheet, you have the current year on one page for quick reference and the previous and next year on the opposite page.

The next four pages are months at a glance. The first two have Jul-Dec 2015 and the next Jan-Jun 2016, so you can do  quick planning ahead. Saturdays are coded in grey, Sundays in red and Japanese holidays in pink. Each month has a 3 item checklist above and extra space below.

The month on two pages section follows right after. Same color coding for easy reference. Month number on the top left corner and in English just below. The layout also has a quick 5 item checklist for monthly goals on the left, plus blank space on the side and below for extra notes. Same color coding for weekends and holidays.

After the month sections, the daily pages come right up. Starting July 1st, all the way to December 31st. These are followed by blank grid pages for any subject you wish.

The following pages have specific subjects. If you live in Japan, you’ll find uses to all of the information. If you live elsewhere, they might be hit or miss.

First off, Anniversaries and Favorites.

Followed by Graph Paper and a Time Table.

Then a Gifts checklist and a Kanji writing primer.

I……don’t reay know about these. My Japanese is rusty at best.

Followed by Country codes and Conversion tables.

Followed by a breakdown on holidays and information about the notebook.

The holiday page includes a breakdown of the daily pages legend. Month/Day/moon phase. Under the moon phase is a day count for the year.

A memo page with address information for four people. Not sure about the opposite page.

Then personal information, plus the company’s information. All Hobonichi are number stamped on the inside back cover.

Let’s get a closer look at the daily page.

The daily pages are color coded by month. Everything on the daily page – grid, numbers, etc – for that month will be the same color.

Under the date, there is a column that goes from 6 am to 3 am, for you to log appointments (the English version of the Hobonichi only has noon printed along the column). Then, there’s a subtle solid line dividing the schedule from the rest of the page.

Next to the date, there’s a 5 item checklist, then all blank grid.

You can see how all the daily pages group nicely by month from the side.


I’m so used to how some popular planners are organized (monthly, weekly and daily layouts together), that it was odd to see the monthly and daily layouts grouped separately.

In many planners,keeping the layouts for each month together, results in wasted space when the last day(s) of a month fall midweek. Then you have a weekly spread that belongs to two months and usually ends up printed twice: one at the end of the previous month, then again at the beginning of the next month.

By keeping the layouts separately, space is well used, allowing the months and days to flow naturally. I haven’t seen the weekly layout, but I’m going to go out on a random limb and say that they flow as well (correct me if I’m wrong, please).

I’m not sure yet if I’ll miss the two page weekly layout, because I don’t have many appointments/meetings these days.   If you need this kind of layout to do your planning,  you’ll have to take that into consideration before purchasing. They do sell a weekly layout booklet you can carry along.

A few reviewers of the Avec combo make the point that if you put the regular Hobonichi next to the stacked Avec volumes, the split notebooks are thicker.  It’s not surprising, considering that there’s two extra cardboard covers in the middle to contend with.

I ordered the A5 Avec. If you’re unfamiliar with the A class paper sizes, an A5 is 5 3/4 in x 8 1/4 in, roughly half of a letter sized page. It is also offered in an A6 size, which is half of the A5.

I fell in love with both A5 and B5 (yet another class) paper sizes in Japan and I think this will be the perfect planner size for me. It is large enough for me to draw/plan, but not so large that it’ll be bulky in my purse.

I didn’t order a cover for the notebook because I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not and I wanted to stay within my spending limit. I do have some version of a cover coming in the mail and I’ll do a post on it when it arrives about why I chose it instead. If I do end up loving the Hobonichi, I might go for an official cover when I order the 2016 planner.

The Hobonichi is renowned for its Tomoe River paper. It can take  almost any kind of ink, plus watercolors, markers and their cousins. I’m a ballpoint pen, Sharpie pen and colored pencil user and I’ll be putting the Tomoe to the test. I can tell you, that the paper feels good and smooth. I haven’t had much of a chance to doodle on it, so I can’t tell you more than this yet. I will continue playing around with it and once the cover arrives I will make an update post with all the information.

If you’re not sure what you’d use this notebook for, the Hobonichi website can help you with some ideas. You can also search #hobonichi on Intagram.

How much is the expense?  The notebook + green template + shipping and fees came up to 3943憆. With the exchange rate for the day I placed the order, it was $31.89.


First, go to the Hobonichi store and scroll to the bottom. The Avec is currently only available in Japanese. You will see both the single volume and the double volume listed. However, the double volume is the 2015 edition and the first half would be useless to you by now. New planners get listed in September, and you’d be able to buy the 2016 volume then.

Click on the Avec of your choice A6 (1188憆) or A5 (2052憆)

hobonichi avec 01

Once inside the product page, add your planner to the cart. When I ordered mine, there was a prompt, and I simply clicked OK.


Once in your cart, you can click under English to change the language. If you’re done shopping, you can just keep going from here and finish. If you have more purchases to make (covers, accessories, etc), you can click in ‘continue shopping’.

IMG_0331 IMG_0976 

Now….I’ve had two things happen here: once it went into the English store and once it went into the Japanese store again. If the later happens, you can just change the language by clicking on the top left choice.


And now I will go play with this planner. I’ll hopefully have an update for you soon!!

An edible sideline

I WAS going to try and make a Fauxdori, take pictures and do a post on the experience.

But then I saw this post by the Hobonichi People. It’s almost as if they’d read the previous blog about me wanting to hold and test one of their books, but not wanting to pay the whole price without being sure.
So a half of a Hobonichi, for roughly half the price of a full one is on its way to me and since I limit how much I spend per pay period, the Fauxdori will have to wait until another time.

So instead, a food sideline. But it’s related, I promise. In a very odd roundabout way.

When we were stationed in Okinawa, everybody and their brother told us to taste sushi. Good grief, it got annoying.
We’re not that big on fish, and while I did enjoy the occasional vegetarian roll, the truth is, we fell in love with other aspects of Japanese cuisine (noodles and Yakiniku being our favorite). We also enjoyed the foods that came to Japan from other countries, married into the local flavors and spun their own varieties. Like Japanese curry. So see, this post is related to the planners. The Hobonichi is a Japanese planner/notebook and here I am talking about Japanese food, you see? Right? right? No?….

Anyway. Food! Okinawa is considered the Hawaii of Japan, so not only do they get a lot of tourists from the main island, but also from other Asian countries. Add to that the thousands of American military, missionaries and other people who call Okinawa their home. We were actually introduced to Indian curry by a Hindu-owned curry restaurant on island. It’s no surprise, that so many food combinations have originated on that small piece of land floating in the sea.

Legend has it (a.k.a Wikipedia), that a chef at a local eatery wanted to add dishes to attract the Americans at nearby Camp Hansen in the 50s. So he played with the types of food they ate and came up with his own take on a Tex-Mex favorite. It has since been embraced by the entire island, the main island of Japan, the locals, military, and many more worldwide. It is present in Japanese school lunches, festivals, and homes. I still make it often. Ask any American military who has been there about it and we’ll get a happy little smile.

I’m talking about Taco Rice. It is extremely simple, extremely easy and extremely enjoyable.

What did the chef do? He took the Tex-Mex crunchy taco, took the crunchy tortilla out and substituted it with rice. Really. That’s it at its most basic form. And, while I cannot stand the crunchy taco, taco rice gets high marks in my book.

So, how do you make this Okinawan favorite?


  • Cooked rice.
  • 1-2 lbs. ground beef.
  • Shredded lettuce.
  • Diced tomato.
  • Chopped onions.
  • Shredded cheese (I like crumbled Queso Fresco).
  • Salsa (optional).
  • Sour Cream (optional).
  • Avocado (optional).
  • Your favorite seasonings (see Notes).


  1. Brown beef in skillet. Drain the fat and add your seasonings. Set aside.
  2. On a plate, spread about 1/2 to 1 cup of rice. Top with seasoned beef.
  3. Add your  favorite taco toppings.
  4. Enjoy!… you thought it was going to be harder than this? Sorry to disappoint you ~_^


  • I grew up in Mexico. I never heard about a “taco seasoning” until I came to the US. If you want to use a package of it, go right ahead. I usually go with salt and pepper, plus whatever strikes my fancy at the moment (though I admit to having used the red package from time to time when I’m short on time, always low sodium varieties and then add some extra spice).
  • Fish or chicken can be used instead of beef.
  • It is traditionally eaten with a spoon. I like to layer it out on a big ramen bowl, mix it up and dig in.
  • In some Japanese varieties, you can add a fried egg on top.