It’s been more than half a year since I bought my first Hobonichi planner, so I thought it’d be better late than never to go over some of the accessories I purchased with it. A lightning round of reviews, if you will. Judging by the wide variety of Hobonichi covers that are offered, and how some of them quickly sell out, it’s probably safe to say Hobonichi owes some of its popularity to its accessories. I was lured by them too, and now I’d like to gather my thoughts on them.
This is the most basic, economical cover among the Hobonichi covers, and that is why I chose it. I wanted some protection for the planner and wanted to try one of the decorative Cover on Covers, which meant that I needed a very basic, solid cover. Knowing that it was of polyester material, I didn’t expect to fall in love with it, and I was right. While it’s well-constructed and provides good protection, I don’t particularly enjoy how it feels and looks. But that was okay because most of it got covered by the decorative Cover on Cover (see next section). I wish this cover wasn’t year-specific; there’s a small “2015” tag on one of the interior pockets. I wouldn’t archive my 2015 planner with the cover on but maybe some people do? The double loops on the side are a cute idea as a closure, and it’s one of the details that attracted me to the Hobonichi package. You slide a writing utensil through both loops to secure the planner closed. But in practice, I found it cumbersome, and I carry my pens separately anyway. If I were to shop for another cover and knowing what I know now, I would invest more money and buy one that covers the planner on all sides with an easier closure, like a button or a zipper. This cover has lots of pockets though. And two different bookmarks! They’re the other details that attracted me to Hobonichi.
The cover also came with a clear Cover on Cover but I never used it, other than to test it.
Decorative Cover on Cover
As I mentioned, part of the reason I bought the basic cover was so I could try this decorative Cover on Cover. It was the most economical way for me to “spiff up” my planner. It’s a bit rubbery in feel but I’m happy with it, as the pattern contrasts nicely with the black cover, and is appropriate for all year round. You do lose access to the exterior pocket on the polyester cover with this Cover on Cover, but there are enough interior pockets that I don’t mind the loss.
I see that the next year’s decorative Cover on Covers are different from last year’s, and the design for the original-size planner is different from the one for the Cousin planner. I wish they would have both designs available for each size, as I like the Cousin’s design better.
This pencil board, or shitajiki in Japanese, is the kind of stuff I grew up with! You slide it underneath the page you are writing on, and you get a smoother, harder writing surface. It also protects the pages underneath. I knew the paper in Hobonichi, the Tomoe River paper, was very thin, so getting this board was a no brainer for me. This board is actually not as stiff and thick as the ones I’m used to, but because the pages are so thin, I wish it was even more pliable, so I don’t stress each page so much at the binding. I’m still glad I got it, though. I could’ve reused my old (bigger) boards but this is perfectly sized for Hobonichi, and I can always leave it in the planner with its “Today” tab as a bookmark. It’s even ruled with graph grid (5 mm). I see that the 2016 version is a different color (Bordeaux wine red), instead of navy. While I like that color, too, I’m glad there’s no “2015” marked on the one I have.
Mini-Scissors: Pocket Secretary
This pair of Mini Scissors was an impulse buy. I planned to use a lot of decorative washi tapes with my Hobonichi, so I thought a small pair to carry with the planner would be a great idea. And it is, except these scissors are so thin that they are uncomfortable to hold. They get the basic job done but they are definitely not designed to do any intricate cutting or long-term use. And I learned that if I’m doing anything crafty with Hobonichi, I’m usually not without a separate case full of pens and craft supplies, including one of my many mini scissors. Oops. This pair fits nicely into one of the interior pockets though. Good to have just in case but not necessary. :)
Another item I bought out of curiosity: Sticker Saver. It’s a set of 3 clear, adhesive sheets that you use to save stickers or labels. I use them to save parts of washi tapes that don’t get used up sequentially. It’s useful but I didn’t like that they left residue on the Hobonichi. They are now attached to a separate notebook, and I do use them here and there. But the colors on the tabs are already wearing off. Good concept but I don’t think I would buy more.
Hobonichi Memo Pad Set
The last set of accessories I bought are these Hobonichi-original Memo Pads. They’re more like notebooks, bound by thread, with perforated Tomoe River pages. They are slightly narrower than Field Notes and are designed to fit Hobonichi cover’s pockets. They look nice, and I love all the colors but I just haven’t found any use for them yet. I thought maybe I could tear off a page and attach it to a page in Hobonichi where I need more space. But the memo pad grid size (3.7 mm) is different from the English planner’s grid size (4 mm). Maybe that doesn’t matter. (Interestingly, the Japanese planner's grid size is 3.7 mm.)
It looks like I made some unnecessary purchases, but I guess it was an itch I had to scratch. What can I say, it was a fun shopping experience. ;) Will you be getting Hobonichi for 2016? If so, are you getting any accessories for it?