Creative Journaling: Hobonichi Cousin

Happy New Year! Hopefully, 2022 will be less tumultuous than the last! If you haven’t heard about Bullet Journaling, planners, art journals, and all the ways you can get yourself organized, don’t worry it’s not too late to jump on the bandwagon. In the planner world, notebooks and journals can come pre-printed with year-at-a-glance, yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily pages. You can also get a blank notebook, lined, grid, or dotted journal to create yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily page layouts. I have spent many years using dotted journals to do my Bullet Journaling. I had the creative leeway to make and change my yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily spreads. Using pre-printed notebooks, not so much. It’s hard to imagine that I would want to switch formats. I’ve contemplated switching but always went with a blank dotted A5 journal. There are many manufactures who make customizable planners such as Traveler’s Notebook, Erin Condren, Leuchtturm 1917, it’s overwhelming. This year I chose the Hobonichi Cousin 2022 to be my planner.

The Hobonichi Cousin is an A5 notebook. A5 means the size of the paper, which is 8.3in x 5.9in. or 21cm x 15cm. This notebook is laid out by year-at-a-glance, yearly layout, monthly layout, and daily layout. When I first took a look at this notebook, my first impression was, “Wow, this planner holds a lot of information!” By the way, the Hobonichi Cousin is in Japanese. Don’t worry, they use roman numerals and have months and days in English too.

Hobonichi Cousin Monthly Page

To be honest I was a little intimidated by the Hobonichi Cousin. I thought that the Hobonichi Cousin was too complex of a planner for me. I also thought that this planner was very rigid and not easily customizable because all of the pages are preprinted. Boy was I wrong. After doing a lot of research and looking at different Hobonichi Cousin examples, I found that they are very customizable and very fluid. I was blown away by how many ways it can be set up to your specific needs. In the weekly layouts, there’s so much space you can organize using time, you can block off sections to write different tasks, the sky is the limit when it comes to planning your week.

Hobonichi Cousin Weekly Page

I’ve been using the bullet journal method for a while now and I have used different layouts within the bullet journal to make up my schedules. That being said I wasn’t sure if the bullet journal layouts would translate to the Hobonichi cousin. But I found that they do translate very well and you can have extra space to do other things and explore different ways of keeping yourself organized making schedules, keeping appointments, migrating tasks, events, it’s fabulous. I don’t know why I waited so long to invest in one of these journals. (I remember, they can be a little pricy.) However, now that I’ve actually have worked in it for the last couple of weeks it’s well worth the investment, it really is.

The great thing about the Hobonichi Cousin is that you can decorate this journal much like the bullet journals you see on Instagram and Pinterest. Don’t be intimidated by the Hobonichi’s very thin paper. Washi tape, stickers, markers, highlighters, pens, and fountain pen ink can be used on these pages, and it does not bleed through and there is no ghosting. It’s fabulous! I am impressed with this planner. I am confident that I can change the set-up whenever I need to, to meet my needs both functionally and creatively.

If you are thinking about the Hobonichi Cousin, go for it. It will be quite an experience. For those of you who have used the Hobonichi, let me know if you have any tips or tricks. As always, if you have any questions, or comments feel free to drop me a line. Thanks so much for liking and subscribing.

Artfully yours,


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