My Diary For 2023

Every year I write a blog post about which diary system or set up I am going to use for the following twelve months. In recent years, I have moved away from a Filofax (I trialled something earlier this year - more of that in a minute) and fallen in love with the Hobonichi printed diaries.

For the last two years I have used a Hobonichi Weeks as my personal planner and I won't be deviating from that this year. I have tried a Hobonichi Techo A6 a couple of times but have never managed to feel comfortable with it size-wise.  I have always lusted after the Hobonichi Cousin A5 as a main work planner so, this year, I have bitten the bullet at launch time and invested in my very first one.

Hobonichi Weeks and Cousin with Muji pens

Hobonichi Weeks

The Hobonichi Weeks is a slim diary with a yearly, monthly and weekly layout. The main section is a "week to view with notes" and there are an additional 70 note pages at the back. This year (2022) I used the "Mega" version which comes with almost three times as many note pages and has meant that I haven't had to carry a separate notebook but I feel that section went underused so I have reverted back to the original style this year.

Every year there are new cover design launches which means that certain styles are sold out very quickly. This year, I have managed to purchase a Liberty cover design which is slightly textured so may protect this with a clear cover that I already own.

Apart from my Filofax, this diary is the most practical for my needs, hence it being the third year in succession that I will be using it. I have been down many a rabbit hole on YouTube and Instagram looking at decorations and page divider options but I just need somewhere to jot down reminders and appointments so will very probably only use a simple sectioning layout that I find useful. 

Hobonichi Weeks and Cousin layout comparison - monthly pages    Hobonichi Weeks and Cousin weekly and daily pages comparison

Hobonichi Cousin

I have invested in the Cousin to use as my work planner as it houses a yearly, monthly and weekly planning section alongside a day-on-one-page diary which means that I can plan my day plus take meeting notes where required.  I can also use the Saturday and Sunday pages as spill-over. 

The cover of the Cousin is plain card so I have purchased a cover from Etsy to make it a little bit more sturdy.  There are pockets on the inside of the cover and two page markers which will all come in useful.  The cover is suede, which isn't really practical and should be protected with a plastic 'cover on cover' but I feel this will bulk it out too much.  

The Pens And Pencils

I like a chunky pen and write with my Monteverde Prima every single day and I always have my real ink J Herbin rollerball to hand. As a result, my handwriting is quite big which doesn't suit the small spaces of the Hobonichi so I have treated myself to a couple of new writing implements just for use in these diaries and Muji was my first port of call.

Firstly I have a Muji 2-colour ballpoint pen (red and black ink) with mechanical pencil.  The nib on the pens is 0.7mm which is the finest I have written with in recent times.  A recommendation for the Hobonichi planners is to have a 0.5mm nib so I bought a box of 10 gel ink ballpoint pens - also from Muji - which have a retractable tip. 

I always like to use a pencil when forward planning (hence the inclusion of the mechanical pencil in the multi-pen) and was sent a pack of pencils to try out from *Sprout.  Mine were from the 'Mindful Thoughts' range and are personalised with an inspirational quote. As pencils go, they look and feel like a regular, practical pencil but the one reason I'm happy to give them a mention is that when you have finished with the pencil, you can plant the stub and it will grow into herbs, flowers, vegetables or even spruce trees. I'm all for supporting fantastic sustainable products like this! 

Sprout Pencil review

Tried and Tested

Earlier this year, I thought about stripping down a Hobonichi Weeks and housing the pages in my personal Filofax so I bought an out-of-date diary to test this.  Aesthetically, it looked good but the paper (tomoe river) is a little too delicate for movement on the rings and reinforcement stickers would be needed.  Six on each page for around 150 pages was more dedication that I was prepared to give.  Plus, even though I gently cut the cotton binding, the pages were still a little rough on the inner edges and would possibly need guillotining.  Way too much time and effort BUT if Hobonichi were to offer inserts for a Filofax then I'd be first in the queue. 

Hobonich Cousin and Weeks plus Muji pens flatlay

*This product was sent to me earlier this year as a review product. For more information about this, and other brand relationships, please view my disclosure policy.