I learned of Hobonichi Techo last year and was compelled to get it for the fabulous Tomoe River paper. Hobonichi Techo has a great fan and user base. I love seeing the creativity that some people put into their Hobo’s. Sadly, I am not one of them. While there’s a lot I love about the Hobo apart from the paper (small form factor, dotted grid lines, quirky quotes and at least one recipe), I found the dated planner a challenge to use consistently.
I initially used it to document highlights of my day. This was easy enough while I was vacationing on a Caribbean Island but my day-to-day life is often not so exciting. Plus, what I was writing in the Hobo was basically a shorter form of what I was writing in my Traveler’s Notebook in my daily summaries. Very quickly I changed course and started using the Hobonichi as a gratitude journal. At some point I started writing a motivational quote on each page interspersed with a few things I was grateful for each day. I found this combination easiest for me to maintain. Some days I just wrote the quotes, some days just the gratitudes and yet others, I did both. Still, there were some days when I was not able to do anything and the outdated empty pages mocked me. I used them afterwards to write quotes but it always felt like cheating. Ironically, there were other days when I wanted to write more but I was still limited to one page. I’ve come to conclude that I’m not a page-a-day person.
So, when August came around this year, I started to give some thought to my analogue systems for 2017 especially since Hobonichi 2017 were soon to be released. I was thinking whether there was place in my life for Hobonichi. Around this time Wonder Pens started carrying Stalogy 365. I’ve come across these planners in passing before but I never looked into them much since I was already on the Hobo and Travellers Notebooks bandwagons.
I was intrigued by the idea of a flexible date-free notebook that could be used as a day planner, journal or sketchbook. Quite of few bloggers (such as here and here) praised the paper as being fountain pen friendly and similar to Tomoe River. As well, I want to lighten my daily carry load. So, I decided to take the plunge and ordered an A6 planner.
Since I had cracked open the Stalogy 365 for a peek, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at both planners side-by-side.
|# of Sheets||225||147|
Black softcover cardboard.
The card stock on the Hobo is more textured than on the Stalogy.
Centred on top half of front cover of the Hobo is the word 手帳 (Techo meaning planner) in gold print and a 3 key symbol underneath. Stalogy takes a somewhat more subtle approach by placing a few phrases plus it’s logo along the spine in small gold lettering.
Back covers on both notebooks are unadorned.
The spine of the Hobo has “Hobo” along the top and the year “2016” along the bottom. The spine of the Stalogy is unadorned.
Front and back inside covers in both planners feature grey paper. It is a bit heavier in the Hobo.
Planner - Hobonichi
The Hobo is a more “complete” system in that there are yearly calendar pages, yearly index pages and monthly calendar pages.
The yearly calendar pages is a double-page spread with 1 year per page. To be honest, I never looked at these 2 pages.
The next 8 pages following the yearly calendars are the yearly index pages. There are 2 months per pages starting from December to March. It’s intended to be a used as a contents summary or to list key dates. I also used these to track my running mileage for a while but then I got lazy and fell back to just using my running app.
The next section features double-page spreads of monthly calendars from December to March. I used them to mark vacations and holidays but it felt repetitive with the yearly index or the “Coming Up” pages.
Hobonichi can be used from mid-December as it starts from December 16 with bi-daily pages.
At the start of each month is a “Coming Up” page with 6 mm dashed line ruling to plan the upcoming month.
Finally, we get to the heart of the Hobonichi Techo which is the daily pages.
At the top is the date, day of week, month, along with moon phase.
The middle is fairly open ended featuring 5 mm dashed grid. Along the left of each page is a flexible timeline with noon hour printed. Near the bottom of the timeline is a knife & fork symbol. This section could be used to track meals or meal plans.
At the bottom is a daily quote (I found at least 1 recipe!) on the left hand page and a monthly mini calendar on the right hand page.
Past the daily pages are some blank dot grid pages. I used some for doodling and lettering.
Last few pages are reference pages such as conversion tables, map of Japan, how to enjoy Japanese dining, international dialling codes, national holidays around the world.
There very last page is for personal information. The inside of the back cover has the custom serial number for one's particular Hobo.
Planner - Stalogy 365
This planner is very simple. There are 365 daily pages. At the top of each page, in tiny grey print is a line with all the months printed. The next line is the days of the week. The third line are the numbers 1 through 31. The idea is that you could mark, circle or highlight the relevant date information for that page. Along the left margin are hour numbers from 8 to 21 which could be used as a hourly schedule.
The page is otherwise just a faint grey graph.
Hobo Techo contains the renowned Tomoe River paper. It is rice-paper thin but super smooth and fountain pen friendly. I’ve found TR paper to be generally resistant to feathering, bleeding. Due to the thinness of the paper, it does have ghosting but I find it tolerable and definitely doesn’t preclude me from using it.
Stalogy 365 also contains fountain pen friendly paper. It is also ultra-thin but a touch heavier than TR paper. As result, there is less ghosting. I also find that the paper in the Stalogy 365 is not as slick as TR paper. There is a little paper feedback but it’s very subtle. I think with the slicker TR paper, inks with sheen show just a bit more sheen.
I've enjoyed the Hobonichi Techo mainly because of the Tomoe River paper. While I enjoyed the quirkiness of the Hobo with it’s quotes and reference tables, I found that there was a lot of fluff for my purposes. As well, I’ve realized that I don’t respond well to rigidity of the dated pages.
The Stalogy 365 is lighter, slimmer and smaller. They are both A6 notebooks so the size difference in terms of width and length are very subtle. The Stalogy 365 is definitely slimmer from a depth perspective without all the fluff pages. I appreciate that the daily pages are left for maximum flexibility and writing room.
I’ll definitely miss the TR paper used in the Hobo but the paper in the Stalogy is very similar. I might lose a little sheen from certain inks but it would be nicer and neater with less ghosting.
It seems that Hobonichi 2017 are still available so you should act quickly if you are interested as they always sell out. Since Stalogy 365 is undated, there is less urgency in this regard.
Stalogy 365 is also available at Wonder Pens.
Note: I have included links above for reference purpose only. None of these are affiliate links and I am not compensated in any way for providing links.