A Practice: My Hobonichi Techo

When I started learning how to ride my scooter, I quickly learned a valuable lesson. Look where you want to go. This sounds so obvious, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. If you saw me riding in those first few days, you’d know it didn’t come to me naturally. I wanted to turn into the right hand lane, but my eyes would lock onto the cars I was trying to avoid in the left lane and my scooter would head right towards them. Eek!

Hobonichi Techo

Life, it turns out, is a lot like my scooter lesson. If you focus on the negative, you’ll find the negative. The opposite is also true, look for the positive and you’ll find the positive.

I started using my first Hobonichi Techo at the end of December and bonded with it right away. But I wasn’t entirely sure how I wanted to use it. I knew I’d use it to keep track of appointments, but what would I do with the rest of the page- that gorgeous Tomoe River paper page?

Keeping track of the weather

I quickly decided to use the monthly index pages to jot down some notes about the day’s weather. My grandmother used to routinely record the weather on a calendar that hung by her back porch door, so maybe this urge is genetic.

I also decided to use the “knife and fork”prompt on each daily page to record what we ate for dinner. Yes, ham again!

Tracking dinner

But how was I going to use the rest of the daily pages?

Initially I started doing a kind of activity log- we went here, we did this- but I was only a few days in before I started boring myself. Do I really need a record of the errands I’ve run? My daily Field Notes to-do lists fill this niche pretty nicely, so rehashing the day-to-day stuff in my Hobonichi seemed redundant.

The answer to this datebook dilemma was handed to me by a friend. “Why don’t we,” she said, “record three good things for each day? Three things we’re grateful for.” We’d been talking about journaling and how we both suffer from “new journal paralysis” when this idea popped up. “Yes!” I said, and a new practice was born.


On some days, I may jot down a quote that hits home, or a verse or note from a sermon, but I always record my three things. In a world that’s gone haywire, with so much in our lives that’s hard, closing out the day by writing down those small special moments keeps my focus where it should be- on all that I’m grateful for, on the positive.

Hobonichi Techo

Keep your eyes focused on where you want to go and you’ll get there. It just takes a little daily practice.


23 thoughts on “A Practice: My Hobonichi Techo

  1. fellow hobonich techo user! so nice! but i use the cousin because it has more space although i would have wanted to know the quotes written at the bottom (it’s in japanese)

    • I was a little worried about the small size of the Techo, but find that it’s working out great for me. Have fun with your Cousin!

  2. Thanks for the continued motivation Mary. I too struggled with the Hobo. 2014 was a total bust. I did better in 2015 but marginally. I am committed in 2016 to enjoy the book and have similar entries as what you have chosen. I striving for no negativity. The weather is a good idea as of right now I have only really figured out something for the daily pages. Keep it up!

  3. That’s a good idea! I, too, got massively bored last time I attempted to keep a daily chronicle sort of journal.

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    • The blue in the main journal entries is Iroshizuku tsuki-yo in my Nakaya. The brown in one photo is Kaweco sepia, and the bible verse was written with Kaweco blue or purple. The orange is from a 0.5 mm uni-ball Signo DX gel pen. Love that orange!

  6. I’ve started using a Hobonichi this year too. So in love with the paper!! I’m just using my for random jottings and doodles. I don’t know if it will evolve over time. I’ve been keeping a doodle planner for a few years now, but this is my first year not in a Moleskine.

    I love your handwriting. So neat and tidy.

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  13. I know this is an older post but I just had to tell you – my grandmother did the EXACT same thing with the temperature!! Same calendar location and everything! And I record the weather daily too 😂

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