Everyone in the pen and planner community have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the NockCo Seed cases. Between the production delays and hurricanes, we had to wait as patiently as 8-year-olds going to Disney, which is to say not very patiently. But finally the A6 cases are here just in time for the arrival of the 2018 Hobonichi Techos.
NockCo made the A6 Seed case ($60) slim and low profile and available in two colors: steel with silver dust lining and iris (purple) with electric blue lining. The cases have sturdy zippers with two zips so they can be opened from either the top or the bottom. There is a slit pocket on the front to slide small ephemera.
Inside the front cover, there are two pen pockets as well as a secretary pocket to hold the cover of your Hobonichi Techo or other A6- sized notebook.
In the back, is the corresponding secretary pocket for the back cover of your Hobonichi Techo or notebook as well as a pocket for your business cards or a small stash of DotDash Petite Notecards.
What I discovered while test driving the Seed cases is that they work best in a minimal set-up with slim pens. I could use a Taroko writing board ($5.50) as it had no tab but not the stock Hobonichi Tools & Toys board ($4.50) as the tab caught on the zipper.
I thought I’d include some photos of the Seed cases with some other Hobonichi cases each with an A6 book in it, to show the size differences.
From top to bottom:
- Standard Hobonichi fabric cover with a Hobonich Avec (half year) book
- NockCo Seed Case (iris) with a Hobonichi Avec and a Hobonichi Weekly Calendar
- Hobonichi Mermaid (green) with Enigma A6 notebook
- NockCo Seed Case (steel) with Hobonichi Techo 2018
From the various views top, bottom and side, the Seed cases are considerably slimmer and lower profile than the Hobonichi covers. Compared with the traditional Hobonichi fabric cover, the Seed case does provide a zip closure, keeping everything contained. A lot of folks don’t like the pen loop closure on the standard cloth Hobonichi covers and NockCo definitely solves for that keeping your pens inside the case however, because the case is so slim, your pens need to be slim too. You will not be able to fit a 5-color gel pen into a Seed case and close it comfortably. I did get my 3-color Zebra Sharbo-X LT3 into the case with no problem. The Mermaid cover from Hobonichi also has a zip but not a two-way zip.
The Seed Case does not have a ribbon bookmark in the case as the Hobonichi covers do so you’ll have to solve for marking where you are in your notebook or Hobonichi on your own.
If you like to fill the inside pockets of your Hobonichi cover with stickers, washi tape and other bits of ephemera, than the NockCo Seed case is not going to be for you. The Seed Case is minimal and there’s not a lot of space to cram it full of extra paper, stickers and miscellany.
I found the Seed Case worked best with the Hobonichi Avec and the Weekly Calendar. It seemed the most spacious, especially after I’d used several pages and the spine had loosened up. I also quite liked the case with the ever-so-slightly smaller Enigma A6 Notebook. While the physical depth of the book was the same as a Hobonichi, the height was about 2mm shorter and gave a bit more wiggle room.
I was told that as the cases are used, the fabric will loosen up but the Seed cases are still much smaller overall than the “pockets galore” Hobonichi stock covers. If you’re looking for a cover that is more durable, utilitarian, washable (I have personal experience washing other NockCo cases and can attest to the washability) and low profile than the Hobonichi covers currently available, the Seed cover is a great option. Just know that if you stuff your Hobonichi so full that you can’t close the cover, the Seed might not be the right case for you.