How I use my Hobonichi Techo

There's no more gorgeous paper for writing with fountain pens than Tomoe River Paper. This is the year and a bit's worth of paper that you get with a Hobonichu Techo. Super thin, super ink resistant and super smooth. It not only is able to handle fountain pen ink, it brings out the best in it, showing off sheen like no other paper.

The page per day is minimalist in design, inviting creativity. As a bonus, it was picked up this year by JetPens in the States and WonderPens in Canada. Previously, they could only be ordered directly from Japan.

This is the larger A5 size that I used for 2015.

Last year, I had a Hobonichi Cousin, but I found the pages far too large. I don't use it like an art journal as some brilliant people do on Instagram. It didn't make sense for my needs and I rarely used it. 

This year, I got the smaller A6 size that fits well in hand. I am housing it in this lovely Harris Tweed A6 size cover from Esplanade London.

I've committed myself to use it as my daily journal. Lots of people use it to plan as well; I've seen some awesome bullet journal setups in the Hobonichi. 

On December 16, the Hobonichi started with 2 days a day. 

I really liked having small drawings to add a pop of colour contrasting with the black text. Putting the drawings and text in before I journal is really helpful in getting over blank page syndrome. I don't find myself stare at the page, afraid to ruin the pristine blank space, overwhelmed by expectations for what could be written. 

I've actually been a bit boring lately with my pen and ink choice. My constant everyday carry has been my matte black Pilot Vanishing Point with J. Herbin Perle Noire. All of the text in my Hobonichi is usually written in print, and in black. There's nothing wrong with either of them, but there's a distinct lack of lack of adventure in a black pen and black in. However, they are a nice and reliable pair I can always count on.

I have been inspired to do something different occassionally. I did this spread using my contrast colour to journal and black to write my quote. The ink is Iroshizuku Yu-Yake which is a deliciously bright orange colour with some amazing shading. I've had the ink sample for forever, but I've never had a use for orange ink. 

Inking the orange up has shown me that I might discover some things I love if I step outside my colour comfort zone. I have always avoided orange inks because it, like yellow and pink, always seemed too bright to be legible. This is a very strong orange that's, well, like a punch in the face. It's a beautiful contrast with the gross winter weather in Ottawa. It's -15 degrees celsius without wind chill today!

I've been using the Hobonichi to house my lettering challenges which is a bit easier than coming up with a fresh saying everyday. I'm currently doing the #letteritjanuary challenge. Occasionally, I do have a quote that I really want to have in my book.

This "Be Brave" one below is an example. 

I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed by the semester coming up as I'm starting my 4th year classes at university. I will have to repeat this mantra through the next 4 months. I'm simultaneously excited and terrified because of high expectations and unfamiliar types of assessments. 

One example is a case competition: we'll have 2 hours to prepare a response to a hypothetical emergency, after which time we're suppose to give  briefing with policy recommendations to a panel. It's more common in business schools than public administration schools, but they've really been pushing practical experience the last few years. 

I really love things that show signs that you've used it. The thinness of the paper in the Hobonichi techo means that even adding washi tape starts bulking up the pages. Seeing images of the hobonichi that have grown into the size of the brick inspired me to take a "before" and "after" shot as a mark of the memories stored inside after 365 + 15 days. Watch for the after in January of next year!

Thanks for reading! Let me know: what are you using to journal this year?