I gave a little tease last week in my Planning for 2016 – Part 1 blog post about having some planners in transit. A few days after the post went up, they arrived! Read on for the unboxing!
Top (L-R): 2016 (Dated) Week At A Glance Vertical Layout B6 size; 2016 (Dated) Week At A Glance Cross Layout B6 size; Undated Daily (Day Per Page) Fauxbonichi (100gsm) B6 size
Bottom (L-R): Fabric cover A6 size; Undated Daily (Day Per Page) Fauxbonichi A6 size
Now obviously some of these are copies of the original Hobonichi, only much cheaper. If you are uncomfortable about knock-offs or fakes, or feel that it’s wrong for companies to do things like that, then please do click away from this post, I completely understand. It is just another option for people like me who are on a tighter budget, but would still like to do their planning and journals in something nice.
If you don’t want to read so much text, you can skip right to the end of this post. I filmed a short little video of my unboxing, it’s terribly rough and unprofessional, and there’s no voiceover, because my Olympus EP-3 performs TOO well at picking sound, so my fan and all the lens-focusing sounds get picked up REALLY clearly.
I came across this brand Chuyu Culture 珠友文化 some years during one of my Taiwan trips. In fact I got to know about hobonichi-style (fauxbonichi) daily page planner/journals and their colourful covers from this company FIRST. It was only sometime in 2014 or this year that I really got into watching youtube videos about these things, and got to know about the original Hobonichi brand.
I already have one of these undated day-per-page planners (A6 size) at home, which I bought some years back when I spotted them in a shop in Taiwan. I’m thinking of using this as a daily journal (instead of the Moleskine Daily,which I love, but is too big an area for a day’s journaling). Now each of these only has 270 days, which is definitely not enough for a year, if I plan to stick to my plan of a page a day, which is why I picked another one up here.
The pages are undated, with a box showing 月 日 (Month, Day in Chinese) so you can fill it in yourself. Beisde that is a small little space with the words 天氣 (Weather in Chinese), and beside that, three boxes with some space for a short to-do list.
There are hours along the side of each daily page, running from 6.00am to midnight in 2-hourly slots. Somewhere near the middle of each page, a slightly darker line divides the page so that you can use one side for scheduling and the other for journaling, or you simply ignore it.
The B6-size one has the exact same layout, with the exception of some open space at the bottom of each page.
The A6-size orange fabric cover (favourite colour!) with cats (love!) is really pretty. There are slots in the front and back for the book covers to slip in. It has a pocket in the front (about name-card-sized), another pocket just inside the front cover and two yellow pen loops. There’s also a blue ribbon bookmark attached to the cover with a little metal charm with the company name on it.
I picked up the cover with the green leaves design because it was so pretty I couldn’t resist it. The cotton feels a bit rough though, It has a slot to slip the front book cover in and a pocket on the inside of the front cover. The back is more unqiue, The flap of material is loose, and you fold that over the back cover of the book. and slip it into the band to secure it. This is made to accommodate books of varying thickness.
Talking about covers, I bought this fabric cover from the same company, but from their brick-and-mortar store when I was in Taiwan in July. It’s so pretty I just want to show it off. It’s a bright blue cover, with bright yellow insdes and pen loops. I bought it together with another undated B6-size fauxbonichi thinking I might want to try it out for the second half of 2015, but that plan kind of fell through, so it’s still sitting on my table waiting for me to make plans.
The next two are the ones I am really interested in. They are bound planners with layouts that are not so commonly found in Western planners and journals. Instead these ‘special’ layouts are quite easily found in Taiwan or Japan or Korea.
The first one is slightly more common. It is a week-at-a-glance (or week on a spread) layout, where each day is lad out vertically, starting with Monday. Before that, just below the month, is a vertical open space with very light dots which can be used for to-do lists or reminders. Between each day, the hours are laid out from 7.00am to midnight. The squares for Saturday and Sunday are lightly coloured in pink and dark pink. The day for public holidays is in red (but obviously only Taiwanese holidays are marked).
I have not decided what to use this for, but I think it’s good for recording either to-dos or expenses on-the-go. Although I am trying to cut down on spending, I do run into days when I buy many items, and a long day layout like this would be really useful.
This next one is something I am seeing for the first time. Again it’s a week-at-a-glance layout. But the days are laid out in two rows, Monday to Wednesday on top, Thursday to Sunday on the bottom. You get a wider but shorter space for each day, and the hours run from 8.00am to midnight in 2-hourly slots. Saturdays and Sundays are marked in pink and dark pink. for public holidays, only the number (not the text) is marked in pink.
I might use this for my work scheduler, as I sorely need one to keep track of deadlines.
For both of these, there is a monthly calendar before the start of each month. But it’s the layout which I dislike, so I doubt if I will use those pages at all. I will need to think of some way to hack them into more useful pages.
The rest of the journals are filled with some pages I probably won’t use. Similarly with the Hobonichi, there are some free note pages, a page for favourites, a page for to-dos, a page for presents and subway maps (but for Taipei and Kaohsiung).
As promised, here’s the short unboxing clip of this haul!
If you’re interested in trying out any of these planners but can’t read Chinese for the main Chuyu online store, they have an Ebay store..It does not have every single item listed, but I’m sure you can drop them an email and they would be able to help.