In July of 2023, I decided to switch from my A5 Rings planner to a Hobonichi Cousin and I wanted to share my journey with you!
I have to admit, that I had felt I had found my planner peace or at least close enough to it that I didn't feel the need to continue the quest of getting a new planner. I have gone through lots of planners in my time as a planner, from cute little calendars that fit in my purse, to Erin Condren, from a Passion Planner to my A5 Rings with inserts that still allowed me to use my weekly vertical kits - a feature I had thought was my 'Must Have'.
I had enjoyed all of the planners for a time, and still have dozens upon dozens of kits in the shop devoted to the standard verticals, and the Hobonichi Weeks, but recently, several customers started messaging me asking if I could design some kits in the Hobonichi Cousin format. So always up for a little challenge, I ordered my Hobonichi Cousin, and anxiously awaited its arrival.. Then when it got here, it sat. Life took over and I just could not find the time to pick it up and design a cousin kit. And knowing what I know about planning, sometimes you just need to use it to know what you want to do with it so I hesitated to start the kit until I knew how it felt to use the planner.
Then, one day I just picked it up, actually and started using it. No sticker kit - yet, just getting a feel for how it will work, and bam the magic began. The absolute love I had for the Tomoe River paper when I used the Hobonichi Weeks came rushing back to me. It's that kind of love that makes you 'want' to write just so you can look at it and see the way the impressions of your words makes the paper feel as you turn a page. And oh what a draw that is. I'm sure as fellow planners, that love of the written word, is innate in many of us! Then the doodling began! I started opening it up to write short bullet pointed blurbs during my day and adding cute little doodles that went with them. Since my little character Sprig is so fun to draw, I started doodling a new Sprig drawing for little things in my day, like my daily walking in the garden with my dogs each morning, and eating lunch. A little golfing Sprig to mark days my hubby golfed. And I had not even started to design stickers yet, in fact I added a few stickers the first week 'after' I had filled in the week. I know my little doodles would be great as stickers so I planned to make them later.
I also started noticing the differences in weight of my Auraestelle rings planner vs my new Hobonichi, and it was substantial almost 4 pounds vs my hobo which is just a little over 1 lb with a little plastic cover protector. I always took my tote with me to work but the sheer size of the planner was getting overwhelming. I kept pages in the back year after year, even though I would empty my weeks out periodically.
I also had started carrying a dotted journal that I got from Notebook therapy in March and some of the back of the rings planner items had moved there. I just found it more convenient to leave it in my purse and pull it out to quickly jot down notes... My rings planner had become cumbersome without my even realizing it.
Once I put both my Hobo Cousin and my Notebook Therapy journal in my purse, and quickly started pulling out the cousin to add my little bulleted one liners, I knew this planner was going to be life changing!
Now I've been a weekly planner for a long time now, so started to plan the weeklies in my cousin has been second nature. It's taking a little more time to start to use my dailies in my Cousin, but I really think it will be a welcome addition. I like the idea that I can decorate each day in its own flavor... I find myself excited for the possibilities. I can't wait to start making more kits for the cousin and I'm enjoying making stickers out of my little spontaneous doodles.
In short, I'm excited about my planning now that I've started using my Hobonichi Cousin. It feels 'new' in a comfortable cozy way and it sure feels like planner peace. I know that as a planner, who loves notebooks and stickers and being organized, someday off in the future, a planner may pop up that tempts me away and I may or may not feel this new excitement again, but until then I'm going to enjoy my new found Planner Peace with my Hobonichi Cousin!