Apart from my diaries and journals, one thing that I have consistently owned in the past decade is a planner. Yes. I’ve loved planning ever since I was young, because I liked having the idea of knowing what I had to do in a day (even during my vacations and trips). My days could get really chaotic, so it’s good to know that I have some sort of anchor to help keep me on track. This 2020, I invested in trying out numerous planner systems, but none worked for me the way the Kokuyo Jibun Techo did.
For those who like to plan and cross out things from a list, how are you all doing?
2020 has been a challenging year for me, and as someone who loves planning and making lists, I just want to put it out there that I’ve been having a tough time these days. I couldn’t seem to make personal plans anymore. At one point last weekend, I thought, screw it. But then, I realized that oh wait, I can still plan for work (haha), so that is what I am mainly using my planner for work nowadays.
My planning journey has always been transitioning from separating work and personal life, to eventually combining and using a single planner for both. For the first time in years, I found a planner that works so well for me, and that planner is the Kokuyo Jibun Techo. Before that, the most effective planner I’ve used was the Moleskine horizontal weeks, which I used in 2018. And in 2019, I used the Traveler’s Notebook, which was just alright because I found the space to be constricting.
I would like to think that my planning system is more geared towards a minimalist and functional style as I rarely use stickers for my planner since I get so distracted with the colors, but I like to use stickers and washi from time to time to liven up my planner. However, since this my Jibun Techo 2021 planner is way more colorful than the Biz, I might just decorate sparingly.
I’d like to think of 2020 as a year of planner exploration. I tried different notebooks and systems from BuJo to the Hobonichi A5, and what I realized worked really well for me is the vertical weeks format. So, when my friend Ikay told me about the Kokuyo Jibun Techo, I bought myself one to try out for the rest of the year and immediately fell in love with it.
Of course, my planning system for my Jibun Techo has also evolved and was inspired by others. I looked up to Pinsionoto on Instagram, aand I also devoured the JetPens vlogs here, here, and here.
Okay, so, onto the setup!
In 2020 I got the Jibun Biz in Navy Blue. Not my first choice, but I had to make do because it was the cheapest one being sold on Carousell.
I loved the MIO paper, which is super smooth and fast-drying. I used to use the Sarasa 0.5 on my Hobonichi A5 planner, and all the blots and smears made me lose my mind. Haha.
My planning style for the Jibun Techo evolved from using the uni Jetstream pen and large-sized writing font. But I realized I sometimes had so many things to do in a day, so I made my writing fit in the grid, and used boxes to indicate that I had completed my tasks (first by shading completely, and then using lines instead for a cleaner look; I got this tip from Pinsionoto on Instagram!). I also use the leftmost side for my weekly Big Rocks. I also use the bottom part to write workouts and what I ate on that day.
I also started using the Pilot Coleto instead as recommended by my friend Ikay and the JetPens team. I also use the square shape from the Hobonichi Green Stencil to draw the boxes!
So, onto 2021!
For 2021, I went for the Pale Pink cover, which uses the Kokuyo Thin Paper that’s known to be resistant to bleed-throughs. You can read more about it here. I also used Hobonichi Index Stickers to mark out the months for easy reference.
I started maximizing the other pages of my new Jibun Techo. It has pages for Wishes, Promises, Books, Habits, etc., so I started filling those up. JetPens has an amazing vlog that covers all translations and pages because they’re in Japanese; you can check out that vlog here.
Since the Jibun Techo 2021 conveniently starts on November 2020, I’ve already begun using it as I don’t want to be reminded about October 2020, LOL. November also happens to be my birth month, so I started filling it up the monthly page right away.
I guess one of the reasons why I like to plan things is because in its small way, hope is present.
The topic of hope has been such a bleak subject because, well, 2020 has been a tough year, to say the least. I love planning my leaves and holidays because it meant I got to do the things I enjoy with my family (we usually do escape rooms together, followed by Filipino dinners) and plan lots of afternoons with Rocket (whether a walk in the park or just lazy in bed; but that’s never happening anymore hahaha). Due to the pandemic, I haven’t taken a leave from work since March. My boss reminded me that I needed to clear some leaves, so I am slowly taking them now.
Anyways, I’ll stop babbling now! I’d like to know what your planner systems are for the year ahead! I have been so curious about the Nolty 6501, but couldn’t find that version in Singapore. I also saw a new planner in town, which is the Japanese Franklin Covey in A5, which contains some elements of the Focus Planner, but I am not sure! I really am a planner nerd forever, hehe. Thank you for allowing me to indulge!