I love Japanese planners. My favourite is the Hobonichi Techo Cousin because of the tomoe river paper (fountain pens friendly) and offers plenty of space to plan.
This A5 size planner can be intimidating to some users because they may find it challenging to fill in the massive blank pages. Looking at the space, they feel that they are not utilising the section very well.
I love the Hobonichi Cousin because it is the only planner which has, yearly calendar, monthly pages, weekly by hour calendar, and dedicate one whole page for day planning. It is also the perfect size to incorporate both my work and personal tasks in the planner.
My favourite page is the daily spread because I can fill in these pages with my to do lists and activities. So let me share with you, how exactly I use the daily pages in detail.
How to use Daily Page in Hobonichi Cousin Planner
I divide the page into sections as it is essential to direct focus to the categories that is provided for each areas in the page. I have 4 areas in my daily page which is:
Located at the planner’s left-hand side, I write down my planned schedule for the day. It is best to write your schedule here for easy reference instead of flipping back and forth to view your appointments on the monthly calendar pages.
Additionally, it can also be a mini journal by jotting down what was done on that day. It can be useful to reminiscence your day.
At the top of the page, there are five boxes which I write down my priorities for the day. I prioritize a maximum of 3 tasks in a day and it depends on how my schedule looks like. Priorities should be set during deep work hours as you need concentration to complete it.
Non-priority work related tasks goes in here. What I meant by non-priority is that I don’t have to complete them all. I can focus on them after or while I am working on my priorities. If I am unable to do them, I can always move it to the next day. This will reduce pressure in trying to complete everything in a day (which happen to most of us).
My personal related tasks such as errands, grocery list, families will be listed in here. I will take a look at this area before I leave office because I may have some list of errands (e.g grocery shopping or bank in cheque) that I need to complete on my way home.
I jot down important things such as meeting minutes (if minutes is too long, I write in separate notebook) or decisions that has taken place on that day. It could also be important detailed information, such as signing the Sales and Purchase agreement, going for house hunting, and jotting down my thoughts about it.
Sometimes, I add my health status as well. For example, if I have headache, I will write down what sort of pain, how it started, what could trigger it and so on. You can always use a separate planner such as the Hobonichi Techo Weeks but I prefer to use my Hobo Cousin as I don’t like the idea of having too many planners. I don’t really have any restriction for my notes section.
Accessories that can be used in the daily page planner to increase efficiency
If I run out of space in my daily pages, I have sticky notes readily to add other important information. I can also jot down some quick reminder on the sticky notes and remove them later from my planner.
I have a separate notebook in my planner to jot down discussion with my boss and also to take down meeting minutes. I mark the page numbers for the meeting minutes in the notes section in my planner for easy reference
Decorate your Hobonichi page
A little decoration on your hobo cousin pages will create some excitement in you to do daily planning. I add some stickers to separate the four areas mentioned above. It is functional and looks pretty as well. I also stick washi tapes to cover up the daily quotes at the bottom of the page because it is written in Japanese. I wish they have English version to understand the quotes.
The original size is the Hobonichi Cousin and the half year size is the Hobonichi Cousin Avec. I prefer the original size as I can refer my whole year in one book.
Choose the planner that you are most comfortable because at the end of the day you are going to use it for your own productivity.
For better understanding, I have also explained in detail on how I use the daily page in the Hobonichi Techo Cousin in managing my tasks.