As I mentioned, I have yet again changed systems for my bullet journal. This time around definitely feels like the biggest switch- I’ve put my bullet journal in a Hobonichi! I’m not sure if I can still call it bullet journaling in a structured planner, as it loses some of the elements of the original bullet journal system because of this, but I am using a lot of bullet journal components within the Hobonichi Weeks, and I’m liking the blending of the two planner worlds!
What is a Hobonichi?
I only recently discovered Hobonichi’s so for those of you who are like me a mere couple months ago, the Hobonichi is a Japanese planner. It is only available to order from Japan or trying your luck with Amazon, eBay and the like. It is available in 3 different sizes, has amazing paper, and offers layouts from monthly, weekly to daily, sometimes all within the same planner (i.e. the Hobonichi Cousin). They have January starts as well as April starts (the academic year in Japan goes from April-March). People use these notebooks in an extremely wide variety of ways, from planners to journals to art journals to trackers- you name it! It’s really great to see the many ways these little books are used and that’s they way the company intended it (Hobonichi Techo means “everyday life book”). I’ve also written about my acquisition of my Hobonichis in a previous post, because they’re just that wonderful!
The Hobonichi Weeks notebook is set up quite differently from the A5 sized Cousin or the original A6 size. Most notably, it’s a very different size, doesn’t have daily pages, and the weekly layout is horizontal, not vertical like you’d find in the Cousin. One of the best features of the Hobonichi Weeks is it includes 75 pages of grid note pages in the back of the planner that are all numbered. An entire year plus 75 pages for notes and it’s still so thin. For those bullet journal familiar with bullet journaling, you can probably start to envision how I came to the decision to try out bullet journaling in this particular notebook. If you’re new or unfamiliar with bullet journaling, having numbered pages you can add to an index for easy reference is a key component of the bullet journal system. It’s absolutely not a mandatory component (I don’t actually refer to my page numbers often) but it’s a helpful addition to keeping everything organized.
Bullet Journal Components
There are a wide variety of things you can do with a bullet journal, which is likely why it has gained so much popularity over the past year. It is what you want it to be and make it. If you’re new to bullet journaling, definitely check out Ryder Carrol’s original video explaining it, and other bullet journal icons like Boho Berry, PrettyPrintsandPaper, and TinyRayofSunshine for how to get started.
For me, some of the biggest take aways from bullet journaling was the additional aspects that people within the community were adding to it. Things like “Brain Dumps” which is essentially just getting whatever is in your brain out on paper, or habit trackers, financial trackers, travel planning… the list goes on and on! Aside from having a key and a daily layout, what I really liked about the bullet journal system was the increased accountability I was giving myself. By writing things down I could easily see when the last time I did something was, how much I was really spending, what that one thing I was thinking of last week that was a good idea was, and so on. It kept me organized and gave me the ability to keep track of things I previously left to memory, and we all know how reliable that can be.
So, I wanted to carry over systems from my previous bullet journal that worked and marry it with a structured and laid out planner system that I felt was I needing and wanting to reincorporate.
My “Hobo BuJo”
Another big takeaway from using bullet journals was finding ways to make my planning space work best for me. By being creative with my layouts in the past, I learned what things I wanted to track or were useful to have, and how to make those things fit onto a page or spread in a way that was useful. With a structured planner this is of course more limited, but I’ve still found ways to utilize the space to best meet my needs. I’ve used the various layouts in the Hobonichi Weeks to include the following systems I’d had in my bullet journal:
- Food tracking
- Outfit tracking
- Weekly to do list
- Habit tracking
- Mood/health tracking
If you’re interested in seeing more of how I’m doing this, check out my YouTube video where I show a flip through of my setup and show you how I’m utilizing the space I have and making it into the space I need.
So far, I am really enjoying the set up. I am really happy to have a system that I can better future plan, which is something I struggled with a lot in the bullet journal and I think part of why I moved back to a structured planner. It comes with limitations though- I do miss some of the flexibility and creativity I had with my previous bullet journals. But I’m hoping to stick with this system until the end of the year. Especially with all the changes coming my way in this next month, it’d be nice to have my everyday planner/bullet journal not be one of them!
Have you applied the bullet journal to a structured planner? I’d love to hear about how you’re doing it! Please let me know in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by! Get home safe 😉