Monday, February 17, 2014

Hobonichi A5 Cousin: Monthly, Weekly AND Daily planner!!!!

For years and years readers have been asking me if I know of a planner that has months, weeks AND day per page planners in one book. I didn't, until now! Behold, the Hobonichi Techo Cousin!

The Cousin is the A5 version of the Hobonichi A6 size planner I reviewed last week, but it has something the A6 version doesn't have: week pages! More on that in a mo. First some general info.

First let me thank Hobonichi for sending me this planner as a sample to review. The Cousin has a stiff card cover, and you can buy a variety of covers for it. Because it is a true A5 size, any cover that fits an A5 day per page diary will fit this book too.

Size comparison: below you can see the Hobonichi (middle) next to a large Moleskine (green) and an A5 diary (red). I inadvertently made an Italian flag here! A5 measures about 8 1/4 inches tall and almost 6 inches wide.

Below you can see the size comparison between the A5 Cousin and the A6 Hobonichi planner I reviewed before.

They also kindly included this very pretty blue cover! There are two pen loops, designed for you to slide your pen through both loops to hold the book shut.

Inside the cover is an excellent pocket configuration, plus two placemarkers.

The back cover has a full length slot pocket.

Here is the inside front cover with several card pockets and a full-length pocket behind:

Inside the back cover is another pocket:

So let me take you for a walk through the book.  The Cousin is mostly in Japanese, but that doesn't diminish the functionality of this planner for non-Japanese speakers.

First are reference calendars:

Next are months-as-columns planning pages. The months are numeric so you don't need to read Japanese to use these pages.

Next are month on two pages calendars, again numeric with days of the week in English.
There is space at the left of the month for lists and notes, and space below the month which is a great place to write recurring events.

Next are weekly pages! The days are vertical columns, timed 6 am to midnight!
At the left there is a column for lists and a month calendar with the current week circled.
There is also space at the tops of the daily columns with checkboxes for reminders, and space below the daily columns for more lists or notes.

Next comes the day per page section. Every day, including Saturday and Sunday, has its own full page!
The daily pages have a timed schedule at the left (6 am to 3 am), five checkboxes at the top of the page for reminders, and a 4 mm grid for maximum writing on the page. The days and months are numeric, and the days of the week are in Japanese. So you could either learn the Japanese for the days of the week, which is fun, or just write the days.
There are quotes in Japanese at the bottom of the pages, and the current month calendar with the days in view circled.

At the edge of the daily pages are month indicators so you can easily find the month you are looking for. Also each month has a different background color.

After the daily pages there are 3 grid pages for notes.

Next are pages for anniversaries, and international dialing codes:

Graph paper and time table pages:

Pages to record your Favorites:

These pages are in Japanese but the left page looks like conversions and the right maybe Japanese postal rates?

I don't know what these pages say, but I like the pictures!

Next are pages for Gifts and Addresses:

The last page is Personal Notes:

The back page has the Hobonichi websites:

Despite having all these pages, the Cousin is no thicker than a usual A5 day per page diary because the Tomoe River paper is so thin:

Along with the Cousin came an informational paper that I can't read but you can see here:

The book lays open completely flat, the paper is smooth and strong. This planner is an excellent option for someone who wants monthly, weekly and daily pages in one portable book!

The Hobonichi Cousin ordering page is in Japanese, but it's completely easy to order. Click here for the simple instructional page. All you have to do is click to add the products to your cart, then you can select English for the rest of the ordering process.

This is the January-December version of the Cousin, which is still available while supplies last. Right now the Spring version of the Cousin is available, which starts in April. Be sure to check out their selection of covers to fit this planner too! If there is a price listed under the cover, it is still available. Covers without a price under are already sold out.

Many thanks again to Hobinichi for this excellent planner and cover! I'm very happy to review it and I can highly recommend it.


  1. Very tempting! Not sure if I like the layout of the times on the day view, though. How do you like the paper?

    I'm assuming the Cousin would fit in a Filofax Flex cover - it looks about the same thickness as the fat notebook FF offers.

    I just looked and there are two etsy sellers doing custom covers for the regular A6 version, including a UK seller doing custom Harris Tweeds.

    1. The paper is fantastic. Very thin, so there is showthrough, but strong an smooth. The thinness of the paper allows the book to be relatively lightweight despite having so many pages.

      Sorry I don't have a Flex cover to experiment for you. And yes there are loads of custom covers for the A6 version, and any cover for an A6 daily book would fit.

  2. Hi! I'm also fan of Hobonichi in Hong Kong. The "Tomoe River" paper is excellent for fountain pen. I discover another diary book also using this paper sell in Japan at a lower price. May share the experience with you later. Thanks!

  3. Apparently in Japan people have appointments after 6pm or before 8am. So refreshing to see planner pages which accommodate realistic scheduling! Three cheers for Hobonichi!

  4. Hello!

    Thank you for the very informative reviews, especially on the A6 Hobonichi. I just want to know how long it took for you to receive your Techo, from ordering until receipt. Thank you so much!


    1. Hi Melissa, it took 10 days for me to receive my A6 Hobonichi planner, I live in Scotland. I've heard of people receiving their orders in as little as 4 days, and I've heard of it taking significantly longer for some people in the UK whose planner was in storage while their import fees and taxes processed.

  5. I've been a silent reader for a long time and this is my first time commenting.
    Love your blog and all the reviews you do on different planners! None of my friends understand my planner obsession and just smile and nod while I rant/rave about different layouts and brands...

    I wish there were inserts for ring-bound planners with thess layouts for the monthly and daily pages...

  6. Hi Laurie, thanks for posting this review. I've been using my Hobonichi Cousin for about a month now and LOVE IT! I discovered it a little too late for a January start (it was my 4th planner this year) so I use the leftover daily pages for notes, sketches, etc. I've even used watercolors on the paper with no show through. It took me exactly one week to receive it on the east coast of the United States. I keep a small Field Notes notebook in the back cover for lists and could even carry a thin A5 journal if I wanted. The cover has plenty of space. I'm hoping they'll make an English version soon but I'll still use it even if they don't.

  7. I discovered your review through a bullet planner page on FB. This planner is marvelous and since I love all things Japanese, I would be thrilled to use it. :) This is going to the top of my list. Thanks for the great review!

  8. Thanks for the review. I ordered one of these for 2016, and your review helped me understand what is up with the times on the full pages - now I get what's going on with the 24-hour calendar. Love it that the Japanese must stay up all night like I do! I've always had a problem planning after midnight events - do I put them on the same day or do I put them on "tomorrow"? They've fixed that for me! BTW, the 2016 edition has the weekdays (SAT, SUN, etc.) in English under the Japanese. I used the Techo in 2015, but the paper is so awesome, I wanted more space! Love it!