How to use Hobonichi Cousin a5: January Flipthrough with video

My main planner for this year is the Hobonichi Techo Cousin. It’s an a5 size Japanese brand planner with the Tomoe River paper. I love the Hobonichi planners because they have the best paper to write on.

It has been 2 months already and I would like to explain on how the Hobonichi Techo Cousin has helped me to be organized and productive. At the end of this article, you can watch the January flipthrough video to see how I have been using the Hobonichi Cousin a5 size as my work and personal planner. Prior to this, I have kept a separate planner for each category but this is the first time that I have combined my personal an work tasks in a planner because the a5 size does give me a lot of space to slot in my daily tasks.

Monthly Calendar

January 2021 : How to use Hobonichi Techo Cousin as Work and Personal Planner

The monthly calendar is mainly for my appointments, due dates for my projects, events, salary day and anything that is time specific. This section is useful because I just need to glance over the calendar to see the important dates and prioritise my tasks. As I mentioned earlier, I do combine both my personal and work related items in this section.

At least this way, I will not try to plan any work related items over my personal related items

Vertical Weekly Calendar in Hobonichi Cousin a5 Size Planner

Planner flipthrough - Hobonichi Cousin personal and work planner
a5 size Hobonichi Techo Cousin – Vertical Weekly Calendar great to preplan your day

I was using the Google Calendar to block my calendar before but I realised that I just snooze or delete every time it notifies about tasks. I don’t like to be rigid (who does, right). So, I started using the Vertical Weekly Calendar section in the Hobonichi Cousin to plan my day.

This section is just for me to plan the ideal day that I’m looking at. I have been planning my day diligently because I realise that it helps me to give a sense of direction on times which I feel blocked. All I need to do is to look at the planned items, and get on straight to work without putting much thought to it.

Daily Page in Hobonichi Cousin Planner

Plan daily: How to use Hobonichi Techo Cousin to optimize your productivity
Separate your personal and work items

I write down my todos, priorities for both my work and personal tasks. I compartmentalize the categories because I don’t want both to be mixed and create distraction when I’m trying to concentrate on work or personal tasks.
Another idea, to differentiate between the personal and work stuff is by using different pen colour. But, I tend to forget to change the pen colour sometimes and realised that I am better off using the same colour pen and separate the area for each category.

How to Keep Motiviation to Planning

I don’t like plain planners. Thus, I do a minimal decoration on my Hobonichi Techo Cousin. It lifts my mood to plan more regularly. Every time, I flip through the daily pages, I do feel a sense of complete and efficient.

My motivation to keep planning is looking through my achievements in the planner. You need to figure out what brings you happiness. If you feel that having lots of inspiration quotes, decoration motivates you to plan, then by all means, do that.

To be honest, I think the only thing that will keep you to continue planning is when you know that your system is working, you accomplish more and it gives you great sense of satisfaction. If you haven’t found that, then find your planning system. It may take a while before you discover one, but if you are interested to learn how my system is, then please subscribe to my newsletter.