"planner peace?" - part 2 of my journey with a Hobonichi planner

StickersSwissMade - blogpost - planner peace part 2 - Hobonichi Cousin and William Hannah discound notebook-1

Well, when you read "planner peace - part 2" you might think, oh, wait, what was part 1 and how come that she needs to write about planner peace again? Did she not find planner peace in the end?

In part 1 I was writing about finding planner peace with my Hobonichi Techo in size A6. And while I absolutely love these Hobonichi planners because of their lovely paper I have found out that the setup with the A6 size is not really working out for me.

Here is a short recap of my A6 set up:

  • my A6 Hobo with monthly and daily pages, the monthly for my appointments, the dailies for my private to-dos and journaling

  • the weeklies, a separate small book with weekly overviews, for my to-dos for my shops

  • three small A6 notebooks for my trackers

  • all together in a zipper bound cover

StickersSwissMade - blogpost - planner peace part 2 - Hobonichi Cousin and William Hannah discound notebook-2

StickersSwissMade - blogpost - planner peace part 2 - Hobonichi Cousin and William Hannah discound notebook-3

In addition to my A6 planner I had a separate notebook in A5 for any scribbling during the day, to jot down ideas and some information.

While this sounded fine in the beginning and worked for a few weeks I soon found myself not doing my tasks and I was wondering why....

I was looking at my Hobo and suddenly realized that I can only see one page of my planner because, no wonder, you open it up and see only one page (or one double page with two days)! But I only saw either my private tasks or my shop tasks and I was constantly flipping back and forth. Or I did not open up my weeklies at all, so I did not see my shop task list. Or both were open but buried beneath each other because the space on my desk is limited and the A5 notebook was there as well, and again, I did not see both of my task lists at the same time.

This needed to stop because I need to see all my tasks on one page so that I do not forget about them!

I was sitting there and was trying to find a solution and thought: you need to have everything in one book and everything on one page! And one book means as well a place to write down any notes!

....... well, how do you do that with an A6 sized bound book? The answer is: you can`t!!

As I wanted to stay with Hobonichi planners I ordered the Hobonichi Cousin planner in A5 as I realized that the A6 planner is just to small to fit everything on one page. But I definitely wanted to stay with Hobonichi because of the paper and the layout. The A5 arrived and I finally had all in one book.

The monthly overviews for appointments, the daily pages for my tasks and daily journaling. On top of each daily page I wrote down my private and shop tasks and on the lower half my daily journaling. I do not use the weekly overviews right now, but who knows, maybe I have have an idea for their usage later on.

At around the same time that I have ordered my A5 Hobonichi planner I found out about the discbound notebooks of William Hannah in UK. Leatherbound with stainless steel discs, in very nice colors and customizable, in A5 size. It did not take long and my new WH in black and crimson with dividers and paper arrived and I used it for my daily note taking.

So now I had two A5 notebooks on my desk and you can imagine, one A6 and one A5 already took up enough space, but two A5? So, brain storming again...

And my thoughts went in circles: A5, good size, discbound, you can arrange the pages as you like, but paper, which one, calender, which one, stay with Hobo because of paper, but Hobo is a bound book.....ah, how to combine these two worlds??

And then: you have to take apart your Hobonichi! This sounded like the only solution....and I thought, you are crazy.....!!

How can you take apart this perfect bound planner without destroying the pages? And do I really want to do that? There is no going back once you have started....

For about a week I was debating with myself, thinking how it would look like, what you would use, how much would fit into the WH, I slept over it again, thought about it the next day again. I took a closer look at the Hobo planner and saw that the pages are bound together with a thin thread and glued to the spine, so taking apart should somehow work out.

I had another Hobonichi planner, the A6 Avec, lying around, the first part of the year unused and decided to make a test run with that one. If it was not working out nothing was lost because I would not need a planner for JAN17 to JUN17 anymore. If it really worked out then I would do it with my A5 as well.

It took some moments of reflections and deep breathing before I made this first cut to the thread. But then I was very brave and tough and went through with it. It was surprisingly easy to take it apart, you have to be careful to not rip the paper but it was working very well. I cut the pages with a roll-cutting machine to even out the edges, punched the pages and voila, I had an A6 Hobo planner ready to be used in a discbound notebook!

And then nothing stopped me from trying that as well with my A5 Cousin planner.

With all the brain storming in the beginning I knew that I would only need the monthly overviews and the dailies. I hoped to fit the following into my WH:

  • monthly overviews of one year

  • daily pages of three months

  • blank pages for my notes

  • blank pages for my trackers and shop notes

  • dividers

And what can I say? It worked out perfectly well!!

StickersSwissMade - blogpost - planner peace part 2 - Hobonichi Cousin and William Hannah discound notebook-4

StickersSwissMade - blogpost - planner peace part 2 - Hobonichi Cousin and William Hannah discound notebook-5

Now I have one A5 book on my desk, my one place to go to for everything, no hassle anymore with flipping the pages in this book and in that book and going from weeklies to dailies back and forth.

I shortly check the monthly pages in the morning and evenings for any appointments for the next days but then I do not need to go to these pages anymore.

Everything else is on the page of the day:

  • my private tasks

  • my shop tasks

  • my water tracker

  • my weather tracker

  • my daily journaling

StickersSwissMade - blogpost - planner peace part 2 - Hobonichi Cousin and William Hannah discound notebook-6

StickersSwissMade - blogpost - planner peace part 2 - Hobonichi Cousin and William Hannah discound notebook-7

I can leave it open on my desk to see at a glance what needs to be done and it is really working! I do not forget any tasks anymore just because I did not see them, all is on one page and visible to me!

I can write down my thoughts during the day on the same page, still without flipping to some other page and then maybe forgetting to go back to my task list.

And if new tasks are coming up I can add them to the relevant daily page. This kind of future log in a preprinted calender is working out much better for me than the bullet journaling future log. I always had problems to see my upcoming tasks in a running list in my bujo so I`m quite happy to have a calendar with daily pages in front of me. And three months of daily pages are enough for me as well. If really a task comes up for any future date I just put it onto the pages which I have not taken out of the Cousin planner yet and add these pages later to my WH planner. At the beginning of the next month I take out and archive the previous month and add the newest month to my planner so that I always have three months worth of daily pages in my planner.

All these calender pages are the first part in my WH notebook.

Behind these calender pages I have put some blank pages. As I now was a profi in taking apart any notebooks I also took apart the A5 notebooks from Hobonichi because I wanted to stay with this beautiful paper. And you can put a lot of pages into the WH because the paper is so thin. These blank pages I use for my daily notes and scribbling.

After that in another section I have blank pages for any shop notes and then a section with monthly and yearly trackers (sleep trackers, step tracker, books to read, which ink is in which pen and so on), all trackers and lists which can last a year or longer and which I do not have to rewrite when any bound notebook is full.

For the trackers I use the paper from William Hannah. These pages are staying in my planner for a whole year, therefore I wanted to use thicker pages which withstand the turning on the discs much better. William Hannah offers very nice and smooth paper which works very well together with fountain pens. The dot grid pages which I use, are made out of 115gsm paper, in comparison the Hobonichi planners are made out of 52gsm paper. The Hobonichi paper is surprisingly very sturdy and works very well with the discs but I thought that I would like to keep and archive my trackers and have therefore decided to use the thicker paper.

And if I need any more pages, I just add them! That`s the beauty of a discbound planner!

StickersSwissMade - blogpost - planner peace part 2 - Hobonichi Cousin and William Hannah discound notebook-8

StickersSwissMade - blogpost - planner peace part 2 - Hobonichi Cousin and William Hannah discound notebook-9

At the end of the year I will go through all my daily scribbling notes, maybe I find some notes which are important to keep. I will add these to pages which I have marked with the alphabet and when I have some important websites for example I will transfer them to my W-page (for websites). This way I have information which I want to keep organized an A-Z pages and I can take out the scribble notes of 2017 to start fresh for 2018. I do not have to keep these scribble notes in my planner which gives me more room again, at least until it fills up again with notes of 2018!

So, is this now "planner peace"?

Maybe "planner peace" is a much overrated term because I have found out that something which is working out fine at the beginning might not work the same after a few months time.

But, the most important thing: any kind of planner system is a tool which needs to help you in your daily planning! Sometimes it is important to sit down, think about what you need and what would help you most and then take a look at the system you are using right now. If it is working, then keep it! And if it is not working then change it!

But be honest about it, give each system at least some months and then look again and clearly find out why it is maybe not working.

And don`t get distracted by all these nice planner systems which are out there! I know this is hard because new ones are popping up everywhere and I`m always tempted to get new planners. But I`m now asking myself: Do you really need a new planner? How about the system you have right now? What are your important points why you use it right now? Why does it work? Or why does it not work?

And if you keep the answers to these questions in your mind maybe you will find out that a new system is not needed at all! Maybe some tweaking and then just some perseverance in the daily usage helps the most to bring out the best in any planner system!

I hope my thoughts about my journey to find my perfect planner system helps you in finding yours!

Are you still searching for your perfect set up? Have you tried various planners as well? Let us know about your system and help others find theirs!!

Take care and (planner) peace to everybody!


P.S. and as always: I`m not getting paid by the companies mentioned in my post, I bought all the planners myself and I`m stating my own opinion about these planners.

And here are the remains of my Hobonichi Cousin planner :-)

StickersSwissMade - blogpost - planner peace part 2 - Hobonichi Cousin and William Hannah discound notebook-10