Today is the first day in my new diary.
For many years I’ve been using the diaries that my employer has provided. I have shown them previously in this blog post where I put a NFC tag (from a price tag) in my diary, so that my phone goes quiet when I put it on top of the diary (e.g. in meetings).
From digital to analogue, Apple Newton -> Nokia Communicator -> Filofax
Well, here’s a short version of my diary experience. In the 1990s I used to use the Apple Newton’s calendar (there was a point when the old model was sold very cheap in 1994 or 1995, so I couldn’t resist and bought one. Later there was a point when Apple offered you the later model for a very small fee if you returned your old Newton, I did that, too.).
Well, after Apple decided to drop the Newton I bought a used Nokia Communicator and used it as my diary.
Later, in 2001, when I moved to England, I bought a Filofax. My Communicator was pretty slow by then, maybe because all the memory was used up. In the 1990s Filofax wasn’t very well known in Germany. I think I only knew about it because of the 1990 movie Taking care of business – the German title of the movie translates as “Filofax – I am you and you are nothing”.
My old and new paper diary
Well, let’s fast forward fifteen years. I used to like the Lyreco diaries my employer provided, but this time they ordered a slightly different one and it seems so much worse, so I decided to buy my own diary. I didn’t really consider a Filofax because I remember that I found flipping pages in the ring bound Filofax annoying …so I thought I try a Hobonichi Techo. Lexikaliker, as usual one of the early adopters of new trends, has mentioned the Hobonichi Techo in 2013 ((I wonder how many items would me much less known in the stationery fandom if it wasn’t for him. The Swiss Wood pencil, the Pollux, the Janus, the Greande, … this will be a very long list.)).
The kind of work I do means that I need a diary from summer to summer, rather than January to December, so I bought the Hobinchi Techo avec, July – December in A6, just to try out whether this is for me. My previous diary used to be A5 and Susan M. Pigott’s excellent review at The Pen Addict indicates that A6 might be a bit small, but I thought I try ‘portable’ for now, I can then still switch to A5 in January if this one turns out to be too small.
My first observations: the diary is not as thin as I thought it would be. According to Nanami Tomoe River paper has nearly half the thickness of copy paper, but this six months diary seems about half as thick as my twelve months diary (if you deduct the thick lids), even though my old diary has lots of extra pages before and after the ‘page a day’ section.
The Orenz is a great pencil for this diary, the 0.2mm lead helps to write small so that you can get more on a page. I did also try to use my Color Eno leads, but these coloured leads don’t like to ‘stick’ to the paper and the colours are very difficult to read. Have a look at the image below. W15 and W14 (in graphite) are easy to read, but the word in orange (Assessment) and the squiggly line in green (both Color Eno leads) are not.
Erasing on this paper is great. The ink on some printed documents can rub off if you use an eraser, but when I use an eraser1 on the Hobonichi Techo the graphite gets removed but the print on the pages stays, just as it should.
I have recently started using an eraser shield, in this case Staedtler’s eraser shield2 and it is a great addition to the Hobonichi (you can see it on the left in the image below), especially if you use very fine leads and write small.
As usual, please open images in a new tab to see the high res version – this doesn’t work for the 2012 and the Creative Commons images.
I have bought the Hobonichi Techo avec from the official store for ¥1188 (~$11.60; £8.70; €10.40) plus postage.
Price: June 2016
Exchange rates: July 2016