Jibun Techo

2018 Planner Review.


At the end of each year I like to reflect on the planners I have used and how I have been using them. I share the planners I have set-up for the coming year but I think it’s important to also review the past year and what has worked well. In today’s post I will run through all the planners (yes plural) that I had planned to use this year and run through what worked and what didn’t. If you’re interested in reading the 2018 Planner Plans post you can find that here.


Jibun Techo

The Jibun Techo was new to me for 2018. I had never used it before and I was so eager to get my hands on this planner I had to buy from the US and important it, taking the hit on customs. It was a worthwhile decision because it’s been my most used planner in 2018. I wrote a full review of this planner and created a video walk through which you can see here.

But to touch on some of the highlights of this planner the paper quality is excellent. It has a version of tomoe river paper which means the pages are super thin and handle fountain pen and inks really well. I recorded a small clip of the sound the almost full planner makes, a stationery nerds dream.

The weekly layouts are brilliant and hold a huge amount of information. It’s actually very impressive that they’re able to craft that much space out of the page. Over the course of the year I made small adjustments with how I used these pages, but mostly I’ve stuck to my original review.


And then what really makes the Jibun Techo that little bit extra special is the extras. The pages at the front of the planner that let you record the books you’ve read, the movies watched and a few extras I didn’t use are all really useful.


With one of the monthly overview pages I used it as my Habit Tracker. Having all of this stuff in one planner was not something I’d been able to do before, so the Jibun Techo was unique in that way.


There is a lot to like about this planner and for list makers and memory keepers it’s excellent.

Hobonochi Techo Cousin Avec

I have been a Hobonichi user for a few years. The first year I used a Hobonichi Techo is was the English A6 size and it was a sort of journal. But I found that it overlapped a lot with how I used my Travelers Company refill so with my next Techo I switched it up, and then I guess lost my way with it.


This year I bought a Hobonichi Techo Cousin but I couldn’t find a way to use it. I tried several different set-ups including a bullet journal, a health tracker and a goal planner but nothing stuck. Unfortunately for most of the year the Cousin went unused.


Hobonichi Weeks

This was my first Hobonichi Weeks and I bought it as I was already ordering from Hobonichi and the design was so damn cool. I was attracted to the slim size and thought I would use it as a functional diary which is how I started out, but this didn’t last very long and I just forgot about it.


Pre-empting my 2019 plans I wanted to give the Hobonichi Weeks another run. In October I started using this to track my ailments (I seem to have a lot these days). Headaches and their severity, eczema outbreaks, physio progression and so on. I wanted to know what I felt and when over a period of time so I could link this back to the environment, place or circumstances that may have been aggravating these things. This did work out quite well but did mean I wasn't using it consistently each day. I wasn’t sure this was the best way to use one sole planner so I went again.


In the past couple of weeks I have started using this as a diary again. Working out my week in the day sections, figuring out where everyone in the family is and what’s going on. On the right hand page I’ve been noting down the big things I need to get done that week. In the run up to Christmas this has been really helpful.


Travelers Company Weekly + Memo Refill

This has been a constant notebook I have used for years now and I love this refill. My use over this time hasn’t changed either. I record small snippets of my day and decorate the pages. Nothing practical, no times, purely things that I experienced on that day.

Overall thoughts.

I went into this year with too much. I always do this, but this year it wasn't manageable and as a result I didn't use some of these planners. I hate being wasteful like this, but it has influenced my decisions about 2019.

The Jibun Techo has been a great planner for 2018 and it’s almost become a form of analogue time tracker. It’s enabled me to see how I spend my personal time and the things I achieve each week.

Next week I will be sharing my 2019 planner plans. I have most of the items already and I will share with you what they are and what attracted me to these planners. 2018 has been a year of personal change and as a result what I need from my planners has changed too.

Baum-Kuchen shared an excellent post on choosing your planner and the evolution of their planners. If you didn’t see this check it out here, it really got me thinking about what and how I use my planners.

Compartmentalising with Notebooks


I have always been someone who has a lot of notebooks on the go at once, boarding on the ridiculous, but somehow it works for me. I find that using multiple notebooks helps me to compartmentalise my thoughts and tasks, keep track of my ideas and link themes together.

I have tried to use one notebook for everything but I found it very muddled, hard to locate notes and felt I moved through a notebook too quickly and therefore lost all the information I needed. So I’ve come to settle on my way of working with lots of different notebooks.

Below is the list of notebooks I use the majority of the time.


This started off as a morning pages journal and I do still write most mornings, but I felt like this restricted my use of this journal. I really like emptying my head in the evening and getting everything out on the page. I definitely think this helps me unwind and ultimately sleep better. This journal has evolved over time and I tend to write whenever I need to.


I like to write using one of my fountain pens therefore paper quality is important. At the moment I am using the Nomad Notebooks Travelers Notebook, with the ruled refill acting as my journal, but other notebooks I’ve used are Baron Fig Confidants and Leuchtturm1917 notebooks.

Jibun Techo.

The Jibun Techo is my functional notebook/planner. I keep track of how I spend my days, planning out my month and keeping track of my habits. I really like this notebook and the functional role it plays in my life. I wrote a full blown review on this planner recently which you can find here.

Blog bullet journal.

Having my ideas in a bullet journal just for my blog is one of the best ways I have found to use the bullet journal system. This is a side project, it takes time, organisation and planning to get these posts online.


My bullet journal is very simplistic. I use a Baron Fig Train of Thought notebook and plan by month creating a calendar to show how much time I am spending on the blog and when I plan on getting posts live.


I have ideas sections, sample lists and future plans all thrown into the blog bullet journal.

I also brain dump any post ideas. I don’t always work like this but sometimes spending the time to jot down notes on a post really helps.


Work bullet journal.

This is a very stripped down version of a bullet journal and really is a notebook of daily to do lists, future planning and weekly tasks all captured in one notebook. I don’t take notes related to my work in this notebook, it only houses my tasks. Having these things in separate notebooks really helps. General notes are thrown in a Field Notes notebook.


Field Notes - to do list.

I have been using my Field Notes Resolution edition as a daily task list. One day per page with everything thrown in. It works really well and keeps me organised with anything and everything that I need to do.


Field Notes note book.

I have another Field Notes on the go which I throw my random notes in. At the moment this is the crazy beautiful Coastal edition. I don’t burn through these very quickly anymore but I have to have one with me, without it I would be lost.


Travelers Notebook.

My Travelers Notebook acts as my memory keeping space. I use my weekly + memo refill to note down interesting things from my day, decorate and play around with. I love these refills and really can’t see anything replacing it.


I also have a mishmash Travelers Notebook size ruled refill in my TN which I use more creatively and throw in pages when I am feeling crafty.



The latest notebook that I use is a sketchbook. My previous post showed my first completed sketchbook but I am now using the Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook. I really love the size of the Moleskine sketchbooks and the hard back covers give it some strength.


Overall thoughts.

I have learnt over time that I use my notebooks to compartmentalise my life. Each notebook has a purpose and a reason for being used. I couldn’t strip this back and reduce down the number of notebooks I use without sacrificing something. I don’t use each notebook everyday but they all hold a purpose and perform an important task for me.


2018 Jibun Techo Review


The Jibun Techo was a planner that I discovered towards the end of last year. I was drawn to the design and the format seemed to offer more than you could get with the Hobonichi Techo.

I have been using the Jibun Techo since November and wanted to share my thoughts on the planner and overall system.

Planner format and how I’ve been using it.

The Jibun Techo has its own format like many other planners but there are some layouts that really set this planner apart from other options available.


Interesting Layouts.

The Jibun Techo is chock full of ways to record stuff. At the front of the planner are numerous double page spreads but the ones I use are the Book and Movie List. There is space to note down the book/film, the date and your thoughts on the book/film.

There are three faces - happy, indifferent and sad - which appear throughout the planner for a very basic record of your views.


I also like that there is a blank spread for you to create your own list. I have used this to record the TV programmes I am watching.


Monthly Spreads.

There are also a series of monthly calendars which two months per spread. I have been using this as a habit tracker. I write out the habits I am trying to improve on and record if I have achieved them. Having this sort of layout built into a planner is really helpful and makes the Jibun Techo a viable bullet journal planner.


Monthly Calendar.

The Jibun Techo includes monthly calendars as you would expect. This starts from November 2017 and runs through to March 2019 giving you some decent coverage. Each month has a colour which corresponds throughout the planner linking your weekly pages, the monthly spreads etc.


I have been using the monthly calendar to track my appointments, but there are some interesting small extras that make these spreads really nice. The bold type and the colour schemes I really enjoy. It’s nice to see some character in planners rather than a dull monochrome colour scheme.


I really like the space to the left of the calendar for your tasks. I have found this really helpful to make notes of big events, appointments or tasks I need to take of during that month but that don’t have a specific date. This running to do list helps me plan my month but also gets tranferred over into my weekly pages.

There is a also a tiny three month calendar at the bottom of each page which shows you the previous, current and next month. It’s little useful touches such as this that make this planner a real resource.


Weekly Pages.

The weekly pages are where everything really happens and where you spend most of your time. Here you can track the weather for each day with the very simple and easy symbols right underneath each date.


There is a full 24 hour calendar which means you can track everything. For me it means I can get a good idea of how many hours sleep I am getting, but it also means if you work unsociable hours these spreads are still useful, although the space is a bit more limited.

I use the 24 hour section retrospectively. This isn’t pre-filled in with my tasks for the day or meetings that I am due to have. I fill this in during or at the end of the day to record what I did and where my time was spent.

There is the same tasks list section on the left hand side of the spread. I use this to write out my weeks tasks, referencing back to my monthly calendar to transfer big items across.

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At the bottom of the page there is a section to record your mood for the day, write a brief commentary and track your food. Surprisingly I have filled this section in most days and again its quite interesting to review over time and see if there are any patterns forming.

The blank space at the bottom of the page I have been using this to record my sons illnesses or days when he is not at nursery. This simple section has been really helpful in seeing information over a period of weeks and the best format I have found so far.

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2018 Reflective Pages.

There is a double page spread at the back of the planner which gives you a small amount of space to summarise your month. These are referred to as the reflective pages. It’s always good to look back on a period of time, whether its personally, for work or from a development point of view but finding something that defined your month is a nice idea. Honestly its a page I have deliberated over and found hard to fill in but I think the intention behind this page is really good.


Planner design.

The above gives you an overview of the pages and how I have been using them but there are some other specific bits of information that are worth sharing.

The paper in this planner is tomoe river paper meaning its brilliant for your fountain pens and ink. I have used nothing but fountain pens in this planner and its really nice to have this high quality paper. It also means its nice and slim because the paper is lightweight.

I like the colourful nature of the Jibun Techo. You can get a business version of the planner which basically means its monochrome, but for me the colour in the planner is a feature and makes it more fun. The colour coding throughout means you can link up your pages easily and find information. It is an added element that removes unnecessary thought and makes the planner visual.

The Jibun Techo ships with a plastic cover which has a tonne of different pockets throughout. The cover keeps the planner clean but also minimal and slim. The pockets are really handy too. You can decorate this adding in photos or bits of ephemera or simply use it for bits of paper you may need.


There are two bookmarks in the Jibun. I use one for referencing my monthly calendar and the other for the current week as these are my most used pages. I have a couple of small sticky bookmarks for my book list and movie list. The habit tracker pages are easy enough to find due to the side colour coding.

I also really appreciate the size of this planner. I have the slim A5 as I wanted the additional room, but you can get a slim A6. I was apprehensive about the slim width of the planner before buying but really its not an issue.

Overall thoughts.

As planners go I have tried a lot and used them in various formats. I used the Hobonichi Techo Cousin as a bullet journal, the A6 version as a way to record personal thoughts of my day. I have used the Travelers Company vertical weekly refill to track how I spend my time and the Jibun Techo shares a similar set-up and format to this.

I have also used my own DIY bullet journal in the Leuchtturm1917 to track and plan my time. So I am susceptible to change and when planners are involved there is always the lure of something better and something new…but I really do like the Jibun Techo. It’s a great size, the design is nice but the inclusion of the additional, different pages is really nice. I use much more of this planner than I have done on any other before.

There are some things that would really strengthen this planner for me. A few more English translations would be very helpful. It hasn’t stopped me using this planner and figuring most things out but I think the final few pages could be used if I knew what they were for.

Also a few extra blank pages would really be helpful. There are just 2 at the end of the weekly spreads and honestly I am not sure what you’re supposed to do with just 2 pages. I know the Jibun Techo can be used in conjunction with their larger system which incorporates a blank notebook and a longer term life notebook but for people just using the planner a few extra pages here would really be helpful.

Otherwise I really like the Jibun Techo. It’s colourful, slim, practical and has great paper.

If you have the time I also rambled on about I use the Jibun Techo in the video below, so please take a look.

2018 Planner Plans

The start of a new year always means a change over of planners. It’s a time to refresh and create new habits, a chance to review the way you have been working and planning over the past 12 months and refine.

I haven’t been too good at the refining part, but I have reviewed. Here is what I plan on using during 2018.

My beloved black Travelers Notebook

My beloved black Travelers Notebook

Travelers Company weekly refill - the memories planner.

I have written about these notebooks in a previous post comparing the horizontal and vertical formats. This year I bought the pre-dated version and will be continuing to use this as a form of capturing small fleeting snippets of my day.


I really enjoy looking back through these notebooks, I include ephemera, quotes from books I may be reading and decorate the pages most weeks. This is a staple notebook that I can’t ever see changing for me.


Jibun Techo - the time tracker.

This was an eleventh hour addition to my 2018 plans. I only found out about this planner in November and immediately ordered one (I have no will power). There is a lot to like about this planner system and a lot of content in a small concise notebook. Its thin, light to carry around and has the wonderful tomoe river paper making it fountain pen friendly.

I am using this as instructed by the notebook, tracking and planning out my day, including the weather, my food. It almost becomes a time tracker of sorts showing me where my time is spent and the things I accomplish, people I see and tasks I have achieved.

A sample of my week in the Jibun Techo

A sample of my week in the Jibun Techo

I track my month using the monthly pages in this planner. I always like to see a full picture of my month on one spread. I like that this planner includes colour and bold type which is very different to some alternative planners on the market.


I think as I use this more and more I will mould this into the type of planner I want it to be. Once I feel I have found a way that works for me I will of course post a full review of the planner here on the blog.

Field Notes Resolution Edition - the daily to-do list.

This is my to do list on the move. I have a day per page and just throw in everything I need to do that day. There are other to do lists, such as my master house to do list which is really handy to reference when I am on the move.


I like the bullet point format of this notebook and this is the first Field Notes release I have liked in some time. They’re practical notebooks that I have a defined and specific use for. I can see this edition becoming popular and perhaps a staple product for Field Notes in the future.

Simple to-do lists

Simple to-do lists

Hobonichi Weeks - the planner.

This is my traditional in-my-handbag diary. I was tempted into this purely by the cute hedgehog cover and because I was already ordering the Cousin so why not throw it in my cart.


Based on my week shown in the photo I am not confident that I will use this planner for the full year, I haven’t been great so far at keeping up so the odds don’t really look great.


Hobonichi Techo Cousin Avec - the health tracker?

I have used a Hobonichi for a few years trying out my first Cousin last year. I chopped and changed its use and thought I had a firm role for it this year…but things change.


I thought about making this a journal where I experiment, draw, journal and this may still be its use. But somewhere out of the blue on 1st Jan I started writing down practical personal information. I’m not sure I can really call this a health journal but its something along those lines.


2018 is going to be the year of Me. That may sound a little selfish but I seem to have lost myself somewhere over the past 2 years being pregnant, a new mum, a wife…all the things lot of people contend with, but I haven’t taken care of myself in the way I should. So maybe this years Hobonichi Techo is about tracking everything to do with me. My ailments, mood, weight etc. It’s a planner I’ll figure out as I use it and find the best way to do things.

The Bullet Journal - the missing planner.

I haven’t properly bullet journaled for some time now because I got lost with the system. I have a work bullet journal that helps me to remember things and stay organised. Since implementing this at work, I’ve become better at my job.

But personally I stopped bullet journaling because the spreads felt like work, and the habit trackers felt annoying. I think I need to revise this and find new ways to bullet journal using a format and a system that works for me. This starts with finding the perfect notebook and I think for me this would be a Baron Fig Confidant, it’ll need some researching on spreads that are useful and generally borrowing (stealing) ideas from other people.

Too much?

Probably. I feel a little exhausted after reading through this post, so you dear reader have probably not even made it this far. It seems like a lot of words and thoughts on planners. I shouldn’t have bought some of these planners, but because I did there is a pressure there to now use them. I need to refine my planner routine and lifestyle. I would love to use 1 or 2 properly but I don’t actually think thats achievable for me. I quite like my little pile of planners.

I will review these planners at different points through the year and let you know how I am getting on.