Hobonichi Weeks Planner Review

I thought that my Quo Vadis Weekly Planner would be enough for school assignments. Then I started missing my other non-school appointments. My Quo Vadis was so crowded with schoolwork and exam dates that I didn’t have much room to write down other obligations. I’m naturally a very disorganized person so as school gets harder, I have trouble juggling all my commitments. I thought about using Google Calendars, but technology distracts me. So I bought a Hobonichi Weeks of course!

Specs:

  • Cream 52gsm Tomoe River paper
  • 3.7″ x 7.4″
  • 240 pages
  • $25, though there are variations that are more expensive
  • Calendar format, yearly overview, monthly pages and weekly pages
  • Extra pages at the back
  • Thread and glue binding

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The Hobonichi Weeks is different from its more famous sibling, Hobonichi A6 Techo. It is taller and narrower, and comes into a horizontal weekly format. It also has cream 52 gsm Tomoe River paper instead of white. It’s also less expensive at $25 compared to $37 for the A6 and $52 for the Hobonichi Cousin.

My Weeks has a red fabric cover. I was supposed by how flimsy the cover felt! It’s not very protective. I already accidentally crumpled the pages inside so I wrapped a rubber band around the outside to keep it shut. The cover does feel nice to touch though! There are two thin bookmarks that are already unwinding. 2020 is embossed on the cover in gray ink. The Weeks doesn’t lay flat sadly. I always have to push the pages down with my hand. It’s very light because of the thin pages inside! It doesn’t weigh down my backpack at all. I really like how slim and light this planner is. It came with an adhesive pocket sticker that I attached to the back.

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The interior has cream 52 gsm Tomoe River paper. I love this paper but it’s somewhat impractical for a planner. I keep on leaving ink stains on the opposite side of the page because it dries so slowly. Fountain pens feel great on the paper. Shading and sheen show up in my pen test. My Zebra Sarasa and Pilot Precise V5 work well on the paper, but the Pentel Energel takes forever to dry. Using Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu ink, it took 20 seconds to dry on the paper! That’s quite a while for a planner I’ll be opening and shutting constantly.

There is a calendar, yearly overview, monthly pages, and weekly pages. There are pages in the back and quotes throughout the pages but they’re in Japanese. A set of memo pages are in the back of the book, which is helpful for making lists or activity tracking. I enjoy the light 3.6mm grid that is used in much of the book. It gives me structure but isn’t too distracting. There is one month per spread, with room on the side and bottom for lists. I’d rather that the calendar was bigger though. The weekly spread has the week on the left side and grid paper on the right side. I’d prefer if the week continued on the right side so there’d be more space. However, I’m using this only for writing down appointments and deadlines so it doesn’t matter as much.

Overall, I like the size and slimness of the Hobonichi Weeks but its format and paper isn’t perfect for me. I’ll keep using it this year then switch to Google Calendar or another planner. But if you like the format and its size, I’d recommend it. The Weeks is unique among the Hobonichi planners because of its horizontal weekly format. There is also an April start planner available. It’s not too late to pick one up at Jetpens!

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

 

Stalogy365 A6 Notebook

Nothing quite compares to Tomoe River paper. It is as smooth and thin as tracing paper yet sturdy and bleed-resistant. It exhibits more shading and sheen than any other paper I’ve tried. The ghosting takes time to get used to but becomes less of a problem as the pages fill up. I’d still rate TR as the best paper for fountain pen lovers. However, some other contenders come close in quality. Today I’ll be reviewing one of them, Stalogy. Many people use the A6 as a cheaper Hobonichi alternative. It sells for $17.50 rather than the $35 + that a Hobonichi demands.

Specs:

  • A6 (4.1 in. x 5.8 in.), also comes in A5, B5 and B6
  • 368 pages
  • 5mm light gray grid paper
  • pre-printed months and days on top of page
  • numbers indicating timeline on left side of page
  • A6 for $17.50 at Amazon

Design:

The Stalogy has a slightly-textured black cover with some golden stamps on the front. I was instantly impressed by its minimalist yet sleek exterior. The logos are off to the left side so they don’t get in the way. Stalogy’s motto, “What Should Have Been, Is” is printed in tiny letters. Unfortunately the cover is rather flimsy for me. If I used this as a planner, I would put on a protective case. From what I’ve heard, Stalogy notebooks fit inside of Hobonichi covers. It doesn’t lay flat easily. I needed to break in its spine so it wouldn’t spring up. Notebooks like the Nanami Seven Seas lay flat with ease.

Paper:

There are 368 pages packed into this small notebook! They are thin and crinkle easily. Inside is light gray 5mm grid that doesn’t reach the borders of the pages. It also has two unique features that are more useful for planners. Tiny months and days are printed where the header usually is. Numbers representing times line the left border. Unfortunately, these numbers are tiny and such a light gray I couldn’t see them well.

I’d like to see more features that distinguish it from an average planner. Hobonichi Techos have yearly/monthly pages and timetables. However, if you’re more of a bullet journal person and don’t mind making your own layouts, the Stalogy offers similar paper and portability, while being twenty dollars cheaper. For me, I prefer structure so I like the Hobonichi style more. (My current planner is a cheap Exacompta student one I got at my university bookstore lol.)

The paper is very thin and light, reminding me of tracing paper. But despite looking delicate, it handles ink well. There was heavy show through, but only my globby Pilot Precise V5 RT bled in places. The ghosting is distracting, but if you’ve used 52gsm Tomoe River paper, it is also known for that. I didn’t have any heavy sheen inks on hand, but all my inks showed shading. There was no feathering or spreading of ink. I did see a hint of sheen in my Iroshizuko Momiji sample. It takes over ten seconds to dry, around the same as Tomoe River or Apica paper. Be careful not to brush your hand against the drying inks, especially if you are a lefty. I’m left handed but I’ve grown used to writing in a way that my hand doesn’t touch the paper lol.

Compared to my Nanami Cafe Note B6, the grid on the Stalogy is much lighter. I’m usually a fan of lighter grid but in this case it looks fuzzy and hard to see. The TR paper is equally as thin. There are small boxes at the top and bottom of the Cafe Note, spaces for dates or page numbers I guess. The Cafe Note A6 is only a dollar more than the Stalogy and has 480 pages! I personally think the Cafe Note is a better deal but shipping can raise the price. Stalogy is available with Amazon Prime.

I liked the Stalogy at first, but I’m not a fan of making my own planner. It’s nice but not as mind-blowing as Tomoe River offerings. I’m thinking of using this as a diary because it is undated. I would recommend it for people who want more freedom in their planner or those who appreciate quality paper.

I bought these notebooks with my own funds. I was not paid for this review.