My First Work Week with the Hobonichi Techo Cousin

I thought that December was going to be an easy month, but I forgot how busy things can get when you’re trying to work full time with the holidays bearing down on you. Thank goodness I had my sparkling new Hobonichi Techo Cousin to help me keep track of everything at the office. Here’s a peek at how my first week with the Hobonichi went.


The 2015 Hobonichi Cousin gives you a “quick start” by giving you the month of December 2014 with two days per page. This abbreviated Hobonichi layout is nice, but with the limited space and some major events coming down the pike I filled the pages up pretty quickly. On Dec. 1 I executed the last session of my weekly speaker series called Must See Mondays (you’ll see it as MSM in the photos) and I was in the throes of final preparations for our our Convocation Ceremony (aka graduation) on Dec. 15. Since graduation is one of my major events for the year and it involves a lot of moving pieces, this wasn’t too surprising. I was also trying to get as much forward planning done as I could for our lineup of spring 2015 events, so I definitely had lots going on that was keeping me very busy at the office.


In spite of all the work I needed to get done, I tried a lot of things with the Hobonichi this week. I tracked my productivity by dividing how many items I completed on my to do list vs. how many items I actually completed. I gave myself a percentage score for each day and was fairly productive both days you see here. I got this idea from the Google+ Bullet Journal community some time ago.

I’m thinking about using the years in columns to track my productivity over the year using this method. I think it will end up being some kind of bar chart similar to what you see here.


As you can see by Wednesday, I’d forgotten to track my work hours since the week was getting quite busy. These spreads are a bit of a mess because I had so much going on and was still also trying to track my schedule using the same spreads. There are tasks at the top of the page, then I get to the schedule, then I get back to tasks. It was messy and I actually ran out of space to write on Thursday, which was a bit stressful. I jumped some items to a sticky note to capture everything that day, but overall the planner worked.


Here you can see the end of my week. Friday was a little bit calmer, but still part of a pretty busy week.

I used the Saturday section as a collection page for my Convocation script and program. We have several awards we grant to graduating seniors and I had to collect information from all of them to make sure they’re properly credited in the program and script. This collection allowed me to see who still needed to send me the various pieces of information I needed.

Using the Saturday section for a collection worked really well. I think any weekend pages where I’m not in the office are definitely going to be used  as collection space in the future. I have already filled several of the December weekend pages with meeting notes and other collections.

I used a little flag at the top to identify the project the collection belonged to and then at the bottom of the Saturday page, I totaled my productivity for the week. When I first wrote it down I felt bad about that 75%, but considering how busy and hectic that week was, I actually feel really good about it. I think creating that yearly tracking chart will really help me put things into perspective.


Here you can see my post-it note with a little daily schedule I came up with for myself. I’ve developed the bad habbit of working through my lunch break, especially when I’m pulling long days, and this is my attempt to try and break that. I’ve only been semi successful at sticking to this so far. But sometimes, it’s been the best way to get myself through a hectic day.

My list for the next week was already started on the Monday section.


One thing I’ve experienced with the Hobonichi Techo is ink smearing. Here’s a closeup of what my 0.4mm Coletos look like when they smear on the Tomoe River Paper. the smearing isn’t terrible, at least on this page, but it’s obviously not ideal either.

After some experimenting, I’m convinced this smearing is caused my the oils on my hands and not by the way the ink is interracting with the paper. Since I live in the dessert, my hands are usually super dry and chapped so I’m always putting on lotion and coconut oil to try to combat the dryness. My hands also tend to get sweaty, especially when I get stressed and I noticed smearing on some particularly stressful days.

In the case of the worst smearing I saw (which I forgot to photograph), I took a break to clorox wipe my desk and discovered that the clorox residue caused horrible smearing.


For those of you who rely on bullet journaling, I wanted to give you a closeup of what one of my bullet journal-style lists looks like in the Hobonichi. Again, since this was a busy week, pretty much everything is task oriented here, but I really am loving the bullet journal in the Hobonichi. The size of the grid helps keep my notes compact and even more organized than any other notebook I’ve used before. I’ve always had small handwriting, and the Hobonichi Techo grid is just perfect for my style.

In all, the “quick start” pages have been a great way for me to test out the Hobonichi Techo. Since I was a bit busy and the spreads were smaller than standard, I did feel confined for space on several occasions during the quick start phase. I think when I get to the normal daily layouts that problem should go away. I think the full day spreads will really make an impact. The paper is absolutely a joy to write on and I am just salivating over the idea of having record of an entire work year in one book.

Have you started using your 2015 Hobonichi Techo? How has the experience been for you so far? Share your thoughts or questions in the comments!



  1. Sophie Gist · December 27, 2014

    Great post Megan, can’t wait to start using my Techo properly!

    • Megan C · December 27, 2014

      I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you. I love looking at others’ spreads. It gives me so much inspiration!

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