Kokuyo Jibun Techo 2018 Planner: In retrospect

2018 Jibun Techo planners

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.

2018 Jibun Techo planners

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.

2018 Jibun Techo planners

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.

2018 Jibun Techo planners

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.

2018 Jibun Techo planners

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.

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4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I feel you. I’ve been using a Hobo for 3ish? 4ish? years and I am only just figuring out 24 hour time.

    Bonus tho: My alarm clock is set to 24 hour time because I don’t understand it, and therefore don’t get freaked out if I’m still awake at 23 or 22. Also, I’m always sure I set my alarm for am, not pm.

  2. I agree with you, that “the best planner is the one you have with you.” I love – or used to love – paper-based planners; I was a Day-Timer kinda guy, with the two page per day, notes and engagements, the little tear-off corner for the date, individual monthly inserts that you’d keep in the plastic file box year after year… But man, always having to have that thing with me. I switched to electronic when it became practical, and pretty much all my calendar events are now in my iCloud calendar, available on my Mac or my iPhone, and I don’t have to carry anything but the thing I’m always gonna carry anyway.

    So, those of you who still use a paper planner: how do you do it? Don’t you find yourselves without it when you need it? Or do you always go out with it, weekends, night time, etc? Maybe if you’re always carrying a bag it’s something that lives in there, but if you’re not, it doesn’t. I still sometimes thing about going back to it, but I can’t see how I would do that at the moment. What’s your experience?

  3. I still like the Clairfontaine TriNote. I made the mistake of jumping on the LifeNoted planner, which just does not work for me. I also like the Passion Planner, but it’s going to one size, so I don’t know if I will try it. Maybe I will just use my Hobo Cousin (I used last year’s Hobo Cousin as an Art Journal, but I have hardly touched it.) Hobo Weeks doesn’t work for me, either. I have not yet found my planner heaven.

  4. Hi Ana! The Jibun Techo has Tomoe River paper, while the Techo Biz has Kokuyo MIO, also used in Kokuyo High Grade Campus notebooks. Hope this helps! Love your review of the Techo. I was considering buying one but I ended up making my own Faux…bun Techo? instead. I really like the format of the Jibun Techo!

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