How I use my hobonichi planner these days

I’ve been into ‘planning’/‘journaling’ (and adjacent stationery hobbies) on and off for a long time. This year, I’ve been a lot more consistent at it, though not necessarily good. I define ‘good’ as writing a substantial amount of detail about a day, which usually takes more than 2 minutes, and often I am failing to commit that amount of time and effort. But I make low-effort records every day, which is better than zero.

What I use

I use a Hobonichi Techo original planner, which has one page per day. I previously used a day-free planner, and then I bought this daily one and stopped using the day-free one. It’s now collecting dust until I will myself into doing something with it. I write with a colourful pen from Muji.

A small planner on a sunny desk.

How I use it

Here is a recent page, which I’m showing here because it’s relatively sanitized and makes me look like a functioning human being (e.g. I had a non-embarrassing diet that day and also went outside).

A page listing events I had and what I ate. Events include morning meetings, an afternoon coffee meeting, and an evening raid. Meals include yogurt, sushi, and soup. I also watched a TV show and noted that my building elevator wasn't working. Some details are redacted.
september 8

These days, I’ve been recording:

  • What I eat
  • What activities I do
  • Where I go

I don’t exactly have goals when it comes to this, but some motivation for doing this is:

  • Having an idea of my diet, so I can adjust it accordingly (I have not yet made adjustments based on my record-keeping, but maybe one day)
    • Relatedly, notes on new recipes I try
  • Having an interesting (I hope) and accurate summation of events so I can look back on this 10 years later and have an idea of what a typical day was like.
    • When I was in my last year of high school, I had a short-lived but detailed diary like this, which is kind of fun to look at now. I want this to provide some amusement to myself in the future.
  • Not pictured here, but earlier this year I wrote more of this in Vietnamese. I speak it very badly, and never learned how to read or write it. Google translating select words (mostly foods and places) was a low-effort and consistent way of practicing it.

Stuff that’s tricky

I like writing in a physical journal, but the convenience of a digital calendar is hard to beat. I used to write down my upcoming events, but then it was too inconvenient to refer to or edit. Now, all my scheduled events live in my google calendar, but I record them afterward here.

This is also not any good way of managing aggregate ‘data’, in the sense that I can see trends or anything like that. I think it’d be interesting to see a breakdown of what I eat, for example, but that would require some kind of actual spreadsheet and I don’t want to do that.

Why I’m writing this blog post

  1. My blog consisting only of posts about my website feels boring. I have more hobbies than just messing around with pixels.
  2. I want to meet other people who also enjoy this hobby. Please say hi!
  3. I like seeing how other people use their planners, so I must also put what I want to see into the world. Here is how I use mine.