My new diary – hint: it’s a Hobonichi Techo 7

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

© Rama CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr

© Rama CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr

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.).

© Oldmobil, CC-BY-SA-3.0

© Oldmobil, CC-BY-SA-3.0

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

Size comparison old and new diary

Size comparison old and new 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 [1]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 … Continue reading.

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.

First observations


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 Techo isn't as thin as I expected - The diary on the right has twice as many pages

The Techo isn’t as thin as expected – The diary on the right has twice as many pages

Pencil leads

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.

Graphite is easy to read, coloured leads are not

Graphite is easy to read, coloured 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 eraser [2]The Faber-Castell dust-free. 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 shield [3]Made in Taiwan, Shangching helped me get it, together with the Orenz I use in the Hobonichi. 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.


Hobonichi Techo avec Jul-Dec

Now housed in my Galen Leather cover


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

I have already linked to the Hobonichi Planner review at The Pen Addict. If you want to read more I suggest reading Shangching’s and Sola’s reviews.

Maximising pen storage while staying jeans pocket friendly

Maximising pen storage while staying jeans pocket friendly


1I 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.
2The Faber-Castell dust-free.
3Made in Taiwan, Shangching helped me get it, together with the Orenz I use in the Hobonichi.

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7 thoughts on “My new diary – hint: it’s a Hobonichi Techo

  • Sola

    I’ve always been tempted by the two-volume “avec”, but never could come up with an excuse to buy one. I envy you! And I’m surprised you find erasing easy, because if there is one inconvenient aspect to Tomoe River paper it’s the paper being too thin to withstand rough erasing well. I’ve experienced wrinkles and small rips (esp. near the stitching). Maybe I should start using eraser guards too.

  • Matthias

    Thank you for your comment.
    I think I would prefer the year long version, the only reason I bought the avec is the summer start 8^/
    The fact that erasing is working so well might be down to the dust free eraser I am using (at the moment it’s the Faber-Castell 18 71 70) – I haven’t tried a rough eraser yet..

  • Sola

    No, I also use the Dust-Free and other, gentler erasers, but the problem persists. Maybe it’s just me 😉

  • Gunther

    The Avec looks really great! The Hobonichi Techo is amazing, be it the year-long version or the Avec – it’s the best calender/notebook/diary I ever had. – By the way, I use the Honodewashi Matomaru-kun eraser, and it works perfectly with the Tomow River paper, provided the paper is held in place properly (I use the Pilot Neox Graphite 2B leads only).

    Somewhat related: When I look at the zillion photos of Techos and their use I feel like an outsider. Compared to the colourful and playful pages my Techo looks pretty boring …

  • Matthias

    Thank you for your comment.
    I remember seeing the Honodewashi Matomaru-kun eraser in the past – hehe, I cheated and copied and pasted he name ;^)
    Is it dust free?
    I agree, they Techo photos look great, but not really useful. Many of the things I see are things you could have put in a Moleskine or any other kind of notebook.
    My pages get pretty full now, I use them for appointments (work), but also record private things I did – e.g. booked something, etc.
    Thinking that some versions only have a 12 printed on the left, not all times, makes me think that it is odd that what is basically just a pages with squares seems better as a diary than many alternatives.
    PS: There are also Fauxbonichis 8^) – Hobonichi Techo copies from Taiwan, but printed on normal paper – and very cheap.

  • Gunther

    Yes, the Hinodewashi Matomaru-kun is dust free (by the way, I spelled the name incorrectly in my first comment).
    You’re right – the things you can see in these photos are not Techo-specific.
    I too record private things, i. e. use the Techo as some kind of diary. I think it’s the paper which makes it usable as a diary – it allows one page per day without resulting in a weighty book. Of course I stick in things too (mainly photos) and since these things are often below the notes the techo is bulkier in the lower half.
    I haven’t heard of Fauxbonichis 😉 before!

  • Matthias

    I think we use the Techo in a similar way – I just haven’t arrived at the ‘put photos in’ stage yet.
    I like the paper, but like normal paper, too. Strangely enough my Techo only seems about half as thick as my traditional diary with twice as many pages that is using normal paper. I expected the Techo to be thinner.
    I wouldn’t mind trying the Fauxbonichi, but don’t have a use for two diaries.
    Here’s some info about the Fauxbonichi: