Last year, I enthusiastically jumped on the Jibun Techo planner bandwagon and purchased the 2018 planner with all intents and purposes of making it my sole planner for 2018. The unusual, slim size of the B6 Slim size seemed portable and the 24-hour calendar seemed like it might help track not only my work schedule but my my complex blogging, and non-jobby-job stuff as well. I purchased the more techno-looking model, with color-coded days but a more “professional” model is also available with a simpler type treatment and color scheme.
In the front of both books are places for project tracking and monthly planning. Sundays are more clearly visible in the professional calendar while the personal calendar make Saturday and Sunday colored fields.
The month-on-two-pages is in the front of both books for long-term planning but both planners include two ribbon bookmarks. I was inclined to put one on the current week and one on the current month for ease of use.
Both models feature the thin. Tomoe-esque paper. I can’t say for sure it’s Tomoe or, if it is, what weight it is, but it is pretty darn similar. The week-on-two-pages layout offer full 24-hour daily accounting options as well as a side margin for to-do lists. There are weather symbols at the top of each day and a space to note other info for the day (a birthday, a national holiday or event, etc) and at the bottom of each day is a place to note breakfast, lunch and dinner. The grid is 3mm throughout.
The thin paper allows for a bit of show through so I’m glad I used the Kokuyo matching pencil board.
As for the usefulness of the Kokuyo Jibun Techo Planners, I had a hard time keeping up the use of this planner. The 24-hour time system was alien to my American, non-military brain. I kept having to count what 19 or 21 was. If I had to count on my fingers when to slot my 3pm meeting, things got messy. Make of fun me if you must but I’m a designer by trade and I can be mathy in a pinch but I have to switch over to that brain and it takes me out of the crazy headspace that makes cool designs, doodles, lettering and other things.
I did finally figure out a use for the “Promise List” in the Jibun Techo. I am often promising to do things for people throughout the year, bring an ink to a show, a pen to pen club etc. and the idea of keeping track of these things in a list seems like a solid idea. Though actually accounting for them on the specific week is probably just as useful. I just need to remember to keep my planner out and handy at all times.
To repurpose a quote, the best planner is the one you have with you.
I am going to seek out a planner with more free space and less mathy space. Also, the planner had really small squares, even for someone like me with tiny handwriting. That said, my meetings often take place in a specific space that needs to be noted along with the place so I require more space for one or two meetings per day with locations and descriptions written in requires-more-space English.
Some things included in planners that need to go the way of the dinosaur:
- Address/contact pages especially with a fax number area (when was the last time you wrote someone’s contact info down?)
- Password pages (its time to use a digital password manager like 1Password, LastPass or Dashlane)
- Time Zone and Subway Maps (while charming, in the age of GPS mapping and cellphones are they necessary anymore)
- To-read/to-watch lists (isn’t that what GoodReads/Amazon and Netflix queues are for?)
While I appreciate analog as much as anyone, I like to reflect on what I read, watch and listen to rather than keep a concise list in my planner. I am more likely to jot a movie recommendation or two on a daily page and then migrate it quickly to a shopping list or online queue. Then turn it into a longer written entry in my journal when I’ve read or watched it.
Stay tuned, there is an even bigger planner post coming later this week with more Japanese planners. Maybe there will be a gem in there?
A big shout-out to reader Elise who shared her Jibun Techo with us in order to do this post.