Best tool for functional planning system: Hobonichi Techo Cousin

Hobonichi Techo Cousin is an a5 Japanese planner. The planners are made of special stitch light Tomoe River Paper resistant to bleed-through and feathering to most pens especially fountain pen.

This techo planner is only available in Japanese. In addition to monthly calendar pages, there are also weekly spreads and daily pages which are all in the graph paper design. All materials used in making these planners come from Japan, including the paper which is sourced from sustainable forests.

I have been using the Hobonichi Techo Cousin planner diligently in 2021 and I was able to create my own functional planning system with this planner. Usually, I have the tendency to change my planner but this time around, I didn’t change as I really love the way the Hobonichi Cousin was able to fit into my functional planning system perfectly.

What I Like about Hobonichi Techo Cousin

In my opinion, the Hobonichi Cousin is a very well thought planner that is great for functional planning as it consists of Calendar, Vertical Hour Layout and Daily pages. This is the reason why I’m able to use the Hobonichi planner as my single planner that I use for everything (work and personal).

Yearly Calendar

It has the yearly calendar which helps me to give an overview look of school holidays, salary day, public holidays and any other event that I would like to observe in one glance and in one page.

Hobonichi Cousin monthly calendar

Monthly Calendar

The monthly calendar is a traditional Japenese lunisolar calendar that helps me to track my appointments, due dates, monthly tasks, reminders (e.g. car maintenance, quarterly report) and so on. The Monday start calendar is perfect since I am using the Hobonichi Cousin as my work planner.

When I was doing my yearly appraisal for work, the monthly calendars has helped me to see the number of meetings, tasks and projects that I have completed. As I only used the Friction pens to fill out my the monthly calendars, erasing is a breeze if there are changes to be made.

Planner flipthrough - Hobonichi Cousin personal and work planner

Weekly Planner

The popular Weekly pages which shows the hours of the day is great to do my weekly planning and helps me to provide focus in utilising my time efficiently. I would say that this Monday-start week page is one of my schedule-tracking tools as I also use digital calendar in my phone (to provide reminders when I’m about to start my next task). In general, the weekly pages helps me to track my time usage as well as keeping me accountable on what needs to be done for the week.

Best way to use daily page in hobonichi cousin

Daily Pages

The daily pages in the a5 Cousin enables me to separate my work and personal to do list in one page and provides me clarity in my focus for the day. Due to the fact that I have a lot of tasks at work, this daily page helps me to breakdown each task so that it’s easier for me to focus on one thing at a time. This also helps me to save time as well as track my progress.

The handy time schedule at the left side of the daily pages is awesome because it helps me to see how my day look like without even the need for me to flip the pages to the monthly calendars (save a few seconds and keep me focused on only that day).

What I don’t like about Hobonichi Cousin?

The yearly index page because I don’t seem to find any idea on how to utilise this page. I tried using to track my habit but it is not working for me.

There are only few blank pages provided at the end of the Hobonichi Cousin. I wish they provided additional number of extra pages by replacing the address book, common snacks or even the age table info that to me at least is not very useful. My solution to this, I created my own custom graph size page and stuck it onto these info pages.

The daily quotes in the daily pages are in Japanese unlike the Hobonichi in a6 sizes. So I tend to hide these quotes with washi tapes.

Japanese planners can get fat as you use it. Since the Hobonichi Techo Cousin is a full year planner, it can get pretty bulky towards the end of the year, if you fill up every page. To avoid this, you can opt for the Cousin Avec as it is only a 6 month planner. Personally, I dislike this idea because I prefer to look up everything in one planner.

Next is the price because the planner itself could be expensive for some and throwing in the case for the planner into the purchase will increase the price. To me, the planner is worth every penny as compared to other planners that are available in the market.

Other tools that I use in the Hobonichi Cousin

I use washi tapes, ticket stubs, stickers and even craft supplies to give motivate me to use my planner regularly. Colourful sticky notes are also helpful to track additional information or reminders in my planner.


Honestly, it’s very well-made planner and fits my planning needs perfectly which is why I’m able to use just one planner for both work and personal life. It has all the layouts I need for planning so there’s no reason to change planners or anything of sort. In short, it is the best tool to complete my functional planning system.

I definitely recommend this Japanese planner if you’re someone who plans ahead on everything in your life. The hourly spreads are perfect for recording down time sensitive activities while the daily page is perfect once you want something bigger than a wallet sized planner but not too big like A4 size planners like Workflow.

I would recommend Hobonichi Techo Cousin to those who are looking for a planner that can fit into your workflow and also provide you with a way to track your tasks and projects.

If you are interested to purchase this planner, you can get it from Amazon here. It comes with a hobonichi techo usage ideas that will give you more ideas on how you can use the planner.

One more thing, if you love bullet journal style planner, then consider purchasing the day a5 size cousin but the number of pages in this planner is not much, though. So, it is great for someone who just love simplicity and minimal.

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