A New Planner

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A new planner is exciting for so many reasons. A whole year, as yet unsullied, no mistakes, regrets or embarrassments – at least not yet. Who knows what the future will bring? We are up for a transfer next year, but we do not yet know where we will be going next. Holland was a strong candidate until recently, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we are back to square one. I wonder just where I’ll be writing in this journal next, if not from a canalside café ;)

I did end up getting a leather cover for my Hobonichi, one of the simplest I could find. It’s from Midori and designed to fit their own slightly slimmer MD notebooks, so the fit is a bit tight. I had to press it down with a big book for a couple of weeks (my son’s French dictionary helped). Midori says you have to tan it in sunlight for 2-3 weeks before using it in order to let the leather develop a sort of patina that will protect it against water and dirt (the leather is sold completely untreated “so that the user can enjoy the mellowing of the leather himself/herself to the utmost”), so I was doing that with precious little to show for it, but then I learned that the tanning was a much, much longer, gradual process, so I’m just using it as is. The leather is a warm peachy beige and wonderfully soft to the touch. I wish it could stay like this forever!

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15 thoughts on “A New Planner

  1. That looks really nice, Sola – I’ve seen that sort of leather used for “faux-dori”, but not as a commercially available cover before. It should acquire what the Rivendell bike company call “Beausage” (beauty through usage) – I hope you’ll update every once in a while with the way it looks :)

    I think I’ll be going with Leuchtuurm again for my daily planner (effectively a journal, but I need the dated pages to guilt me into writing every day :) ).

    For actual planning, I really liked the Time Management layout here (http://www.mylifeallinoneplace.com/p/free-diary-pages.html) so I’ll spend some part of January printing those and cutting to size :)

    To round it all out, I have a Marks A5 Agenda (which I admit to buying mostly to reuse the cover for my sketchbooks) but that I’ve been using to plan and record the study I’ve been doing lately. (http://www.marks-japan.eu/en/collections/bdd/collection/206/produit/1178/ref/16DRI-HV04-BL/couleur/128/visuel/1)

    Sorry to hear about your move to the Netherlands falling through – hope something as good, if not better, comes along!

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    1. Wow, thank you for the links, I didn’t know about Marks before. I have always been in awe of people who print out their own agendas and schedulers! The weekly format I prefer is pretty basic and is available from many brands, including Moleskine (which I used for a few years before the paper quality deteriorated), so I guess I’m fortunate there.

      Re the cover: yes, I will post pics of the leather from time to time, if anyone’s interested! This cover has been available for a long time, and I remember how shocked I was by its price tag when I first saw it in Korea. But it now looks downright cheap alongside the Hobonichi leather covers ;)

      And thank you for your kind words; we’ll see what else turns up! Life is an adventure, only it’s a bit too unpredictable for my taste sometimes…

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      1. Oh, nice! I guess these pocket-notebook covers are easier to make since they don’t require any stitching. I’ll probably refer back to these pages as the leather darkens. Thank you for the link :)

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  2. It looks beautiful.
    Is this the same one that Lexikaliker has?

    I guess how they tan changes how the leather darkens. My Sonnenleder pencil case got very dark over time. My leather briefcase on the other hand got darker, but not so much.

    Do you know how to get little marks and scuffs out of the leather?

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    1. I don’t know much about leather so I can’t even guess how this would tan compared to other leathers, but in the pictures I saw, the covers didn’t seem to have darkened much. They looked rather pale, still, with only the color tone changed from peach to a yellowish beige. But we’ll see what happens! I hope it doesn’t get too shiny. As for the scuff marks, sometimes a little rubbing helps, but I was told to… well, just accept them ;) That said, there are certain types of leather that scratch and scuff less, I think.

      I’m not 100% sure but I believe what Gunther has is one of the official Hobonichi leather covers. I have the impression that many Hobonichi-branded covers share the basic construction and they tend to be pretty sturdy, even a bit stiff, although I don’t know if this is true of leather covers too… I got the Midori because it seemed to be thinner and softer. And it was cheaper :)

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      1. This is a beautiful cover, Sola! I hope you will enjoy using it.

        Yes, I have one of the 2014 Hobonichi leather covers, and it got considerably darker. Now and then I treat it with beeswax which makes the leather a little softer and heals one or the other scuff mark. – I have thought about using my Techo without it because the cover is quite bulky but I like it too much :-)

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      2. Wow, so it’s darker than in the photo now. Thank you for telling me about the beeswax method – I will try it if it becomes necessary, although I hope I don’t have to ;)

        What I don’t like about the basic Hobonichi cover structure is that, apart from it being bulky, the layers in the insides of the flap make for some unevenness when writing in the book itself. The problem is especially acute as we approach the end of the year and few pages are left to cushion the pen from the impact…

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      3. It is not only darker but has some irregularities too – I like that :-) You’re right about the unevenness, and when I look at what I store in these pockets I am sure that a plain leather cover without these pockets would be OK for me too ;-)

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      4. I know, those pockets are a bit iffy. They are too tight to store more than a couple of sheets of paper, and if you did force more into them they would bulge all the more and make writing more inconvenient! I too am guilty of underusing them ;)

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  3. Nice set up you have here! Life does become very exciting and unpredictable sometimes, but whatever happens, embrace and enjoy it. The Netherlands do not sound like a bad place ;)
    I need to do a bit better with planner next year, as this year I am not very fruitful with it. Lots of catch-up I need to do. Hopefully once the master’s program ends, time will become more abundant!

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    1. Hi Shangching! I sometimes wonder about the amount of time one spends on a planner. How often do we re-read old entries? It’s good that you are busy enough actually living your life not to have too much time to keep records of it. Don’t let guilt creep up on you :)

      I hope to be able to post some good news in the new year. Hope lots of good things happen to you in 2016!

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  4. It looks beautiful! I like the peachy color as is, too, but I’m also looking forward to how it will age in your hands. I have to say, I’m really drawn to the Midori MD line, including the leather cover; it seems they will continue to expand it. For 2016, I seriously considered the MD Notebook Diary (1page per day) as an alternative to Hobonichi, but once I found out its PVC cover is not removable, I gave up on the idea. Instead, I’m going with what I can find locally: Hobonichi + Muji Weekly planner (without its cover) + Midori Pouch Diary in A5 (just for its denim cover, http://www.midori-japan.co.jp/diary2016/item/pouch.html).

    Good luck on your transfer, Sola! And Happy Holidays!!

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    1. Thank you, and happy holidays to you to, Jinnie! The MD Notebook diary was a perennial presence on my list, but it somehow never made it to the top ;) I still have a few regular MD notebooks that I need to use up, but the thing is that I find the paper ever so slightly grayish(?!), especially compared to L!FE, and a bit too absorbent, so that the strokes from my pens come out thinner than is normal. I don’t think I would have been able to fill in the pages with an MD diary anywhere near as with my Hobonichi – in that sense the Hobo really worked for me!

      But thank you for directing me to the Midori covers – I didn’t know about these new pocket-type covers. They look great! If I ever need to carry my Techo around I might get them too :)

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