Preview: 2019 Midori Planners

We have a plethora of Midori planners to share with you this week. Thanks to Vanness Pen Shop for sending these along to us to share with you. This is a combination preview and giveaway so read through for details about each planner. At the end will be information about how to enter to win one of these giveaway packages.

Giveaway #1: The 2019 Midori Pocket Cat Planner

Midori 2019 Cat Pocket Planner

This is a diminutive Midori Cat pocket planner ($9) includes the month-on-two-pages  and starts with October 2018. It’s a mere 3.25″x5″ (12.2×8.3cm) and includes tabs for each month (in Japanese but most people can probably suss out the first tab is January, the second is February, etc). The paper is bright white and the illustrations throughout are sweet, little cat sketches. There is a protetctive plastic cover over the cardstock paper cover to keep the booklet from getting damaged and provides a little pocket in the front and back cover for notes and ephemera. If you need something to stick in your pocket, purse or glovebox to keep track of  upcoming days, birthdays or just check on things, this would make a great little calendar. It would probably be a bit too small for everyday planning, however.

Midori 2019 Cat Pocket Planner

Giveaway #2: The 2019 Midori B6 Slim Seasons Planner

Midori 2019 Flower Planner

The Midori Slim Seasons Planner for 2019 ($11) is a larger than the pocket planner but is not as large as a standard  Traveler’s Notebook. The Seasons Planner measures 7″x3.75″ (17×9.5cm) providing a bit more space for the month-on-two-pages calendars. The paper is ivory and the illustrations are flowers, birds, leaves and kokeshi dolls. The Seasons planner has the same protective plastic cover over the flexible, cardstock cover. This is another good pocketable calendar. I don’t know that it is a full-blown planner but would make a nice addition to a larger hobonichi if you needed a monthly calendar to refer to occasionally for scheduling, family calendar planning or quick appointment noting (i.e. 3pm dentist appointment 6 months out that you can later transfer to a desk planner or a drinks date with a friend next Tuesday that you can make a digital reminder later, rather than fumble around trying to figure out how to set the reminder right then).

Midori 2019 Flower Planner

Giveaway #3: The 2019 Midori Ojisan B6 Datebook & Stickers

Midori Planner Stickers

Midori makes some of the most ridiculously fun planner stickers ($3 per pack) so it made sense to pair the stickers with their silly 2019 B6 Ojisan Datebook ($22).

I conferred with a friend at work who is from Japan for more information about “ojisan”. Ojisan is the Japanese term for “middle aged man” or “uncle”. In the case of Midori’s planners, I think they are using it in the “middle aged man” sense in the way that we might make “dad joke” references, kind of weird things middle aged guys do sometimes. In the process of telling me the story, my friend also said there is a term for middle aged lady in Japan too. It’s obasan and she said the last time she was in Japan, a bunch of kids were yelling that at her. She said it took a minute for her to realize they were talking to her. “Wait… you’re calling me ‘old lady’? Hmpf?!” I found a web site that goes into a bit of the minutiae of when and how ojisan and obasan is used in Japan, if you’re curious.

Midori 2019 Ojisan Planner

Now, about the planner itself. The B6 size is approximately 7″x4.75″ (17.5x12cm) and features bright white paper (despite my rainy day photos suggesting otherwise!).  The months are indicated by die cut tabs and feature both month-on-two-page calendar pages and week-on-one-page plus notes for each week.

The month-on-two-pages start with October 2018 but the weekly pages don’t start until January 2019. There are a few notes pages in the back plus maps and address pages as well.

Midori 2019 Ojisan Planner

Midori 2019 Ojisan Planner

The tabs are laminated for durability and feature ojisan making the numbers of each month with his body.

Midori 2019 Ojisan Planner

This is a close-up of one of the illustrations of ojisan on the notes pages.

The B6 Ojisan Datebook includes a decorative protective plastic cover, a thin ribbon bookmark similar to the ones found in other Midori notebooks. The actual notebook is slid into the green vinyl, plastic cover. Without serious disassembly, I am going to assume the cover of the planner is blank or has minimal decoration, like other Midori notebooks.

Giveaway #4: The 2019 Midori Professional Planner A5 Slim

Midori 2019 Professional Planner

I would think the creators of the ubiquitous Traveler’s Notebook would have made the  2019 Midori A5 Slim Professional ($20) the same size as the Traveler’s Notebook A5 Slim… but no. It’s about 0.5″ (1.5cm) too wide to fit into a Traveler’s notebook cover. Not that everyone would want to put this into a leather cover but it sure would be nice. It’s essentially the same size as a Traveler’s Notebook cover so if you have a custom cover designed to be “wide” or “oversized”, this might fit inside it. That said, on its own, the polyvinyl cover over the cardstock is probably plenty durable, it’s just not as posh as I would associate with “professional”.

Midori 2019 Professional Planner

The Midori Professional goes back to the ivory paper. The monthly calendar is two-months-on-two-pages which does not offer a ton of space but is probably fine for marking vacations, holidays and project tracking. The whole planner actually starts the last week of November 2018. Along the margin is the week numbers.

Midori 2019 Professional Planner

The week-on-two-pages provides equal space for each day plus a space for notes. More than half of each block is tiny 2.5mm grid.

There are a good number of lined note pages, password keeper pages, to do sheets, project sheets, time zone maps, etc. in the back.

In Conclusion

So, while this is not all the Midori planners available for 2019 nor all the planners that Vanness is selling for 2019, this is a fairly wide selection showing the range of options available for pocketable to silly to appropriate for the most business-y of settings. I’m sure there will be one that meets your needs.

(As for pen tests, I found a video on YouTube done for some 2018 Midori planners. The video is over 45 minutes long but at the 23-minute mark she shows her pen tests for one of the planners proving the paper is relatively fountain pen-friendly.)

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below and tell us which Midori Planner you most desire by Giveaway Number. No number in your entry and your entry will be disqualified, okay? One entry per person. We will pick a winner for each Giveaway lot.

If you have never entered a giveaway or commented on the site before, your comment must be manually approved by our highly-trained staff of monkeys before it will appear on the site. Our monkeys are underpaid and under-caffeinated so don’t stress if your comment does not appear right away. Give the moneys time.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, Oct. 13, 2018. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Saturday. Winners will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your actual email address in the comment form (where it say “email address”) so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 7 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class only. US and APO/AFO only, sorry.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by Vanness Pen Shop for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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  1. I really like the Professional Planner. The color and layout are perfect for a business setting and for outside of work as well. Great overviews!

  2. great contest. thank you for the opportunity.
    the giveaway #3 would be my choice. that “uncle” makes me laugh~

  3. Giveaway #3. I usually buy an Ojisan calendar every year because I love his silly antics. Thanks for these great giveaways and planner reviews.

  4. I love Planner #2. The pocket planner would be perfect for me and the drawings are so wonderful.

  5. I like Giveaway #2! I have plats and watering schedules, and that would be so nice to organize outside of my main one (or my memory).

    Thank you!

  6. Oh, I’d love the Midori Professional! I’ve been thinking I need a work planner, of some ilk, and this would fit perfectly! As always, thanks for the chance!

  7. I really like №1, the mini cat planner. I use that size planner to keep track of my team’s time off and I love cats so it would be purrfect for me. Thanks for the chance to win one.

  8. They all look nice and any would be useful. That said, I’d love to win Giveaway #1: The 2019 Midori Pocket Cat Planner.

  9. Giveaway #1! I love cats and this is the perfect size to fit in my shirt pocket.

  10. Wow! Love all of these but #3 would be for me! Thanks for your fantastic planner reviews and the giveaway!

  11. Oh my! So hard to choose from all the Midori coolness. I think #4 would be great!

  12. Planners have recently become a great part of life and these, although small are cute and equally useful for easy and portable access. My favorite one and the Giveaway #2: The 2019 Midori B6 Slim Seasons Planner. Thanks for your wonderful preview.

  13. These designs! #3 is my top pick. Oji-san cracks me up, and reminds me of watching goofy Japanese variety tv shows when I lived in Japan.

  14. I would love to win giveaway #3! I love the birds in number 2, but 3 would cover all my needs

  15. If my wife and youngest daughter ever found out that I knew this planner existed, and didn’t buy them one each, I would find myself homeless.

  16. Great calendars, but if I have to choose, I would choose #1 – pocket cat, because pocket cat!

  17. Giveaway #4 is probably the one I’d use the most out of all of these. Thank you for mentioning the odd TN-ish size too!

  18. Apparently I am an obasan, which must be why I like “Giveaway #3: The 2019 Midori Ojisan B6 Datebook & Stickers” the most!

  19. Giveaway #2 is my choice. The birds and flowers look so pretty. I count birds for Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch.

    What a great way to track counting months and days!

    Thank you for the giveaways you periodically provide. Much appreciated.

  20. I think I’d have to go with Giveaway #1, so I could gift it to my wife. She loves all things cats and hasn’t gotten a 2019 planner yet.

  21. Giveaway #1, no contest (no pun intended!)! I love the size for use in a purse, and I absolutely love cats (I have one in my lap right this minute).

  22. Giveaway #3: The 2019 Midori Ojisan B6 Datebook & Stickers #3!! those stickers are LOL adorable and would love to plan in a B6. thanks for doing the giveaway ✌

  23. #4! I’m locked into a Hobonichi for 2019, but my wife is still on the search for a good planner and that looks right up her alley.

  24. Giveaway #3 please! The size and layout seem quite useful to me but it is those fun illustrations and stickers that really get me. Thanks for the great reviews and giveaways.

  25. I’ll be honest, I’d like them all, but if I had to pick just one it would be #3.

  26. Giveaway #3 is amazing! It’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen recently. No chance to buy it in Ukraine thought. But happy to win 🙂

  27. I love the #2 Slim Seasons Planner, it’s the flowers! The #3 giveaway is also nice with the cute number illustrations.

  28. Great giveaway! They’re all great looking planners. I’d love to win either #3 or #4. Thanks!

  29. As a middle aged man, #3 is for me. I enjoy dad jokes, even if my kids don’t.

    It is an interesting mix of planners. I have used other planners (Techo) and have found great paper, but I haven’t found the perfect layout. This one is something different and is certainly worth checking out.

  30. Definitely #1, I’m not good at using paper planners, but I’m always on board with cats! 😀

  31. #3 for sure, it is completely charming!

    (Hoping this doesn’t post twice as I am on hotel wifi which dropped as I was posting and gave me a not connected message on your site)

  32. I would love the professional planner (Giveaway #4). While I love the adorable Ojisan one, it doesn’t fit my planning needs.

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