I have seem the term, “techo kaigi” floating around various journaling and planning blogs, channels, and communities that I follow online. It is a Japanese term that translates to notebook/planner meeting and roughly refers to a self-reflective meeting that one has with themselves to review what planning systems did or did not work and why. I find it to be a good end-of-year and mid-year audit of personal organization and project systems. It’s also a good opportunity to review if any personal needs have changed to warrant something new being added or removed. And if we are all being perfectly honest, it is also an opportunity to treat myself to new stickers or something like that.

At one point in time I had tried containing all of my journaling and planning to one or two notebooks but I am terrible at journaling regularly in any capacity whatsoever and well, life is too short to only use a mere one or two notebooks anyway. So, I will take what I can get which usually means writing, drawing, or scribbling in any number of notebooks or digital devices whenever I feel like.

For the past 5 years or so I have been using two Traveler’s Notebook Passport sized-inserts for my personal planning: The weekly insert and the monthly insert. All work related items being mostly done digitally on my work laptop and a separate work notebook. It now makes more sense to combine all that into one planner system since I am a lot busier and work from home. As such, I now find the passport TN too small for my needs and have since migrated over to a Hobonichi Techo.

Passport Traveler’s Notebook

I have had this notebook for kind of a while now so the leather cover is really lovely, supple and soft. It also has a few battle scars from throwing into various bags. Although this notebook is no longer my daily planner, it now serves as a pseudo-commonplace book and on-the-go journal. If for example, I have a random idea for a project or something that I want to quickly sketch out or diagram, this is the notebook that I will almost always grab for first. It houses two blank inserts, a kraft paper folder, and a clear insert. If I need a notebook for a purse and not a backpack or something, I will use this one.

  • One of the blank notebooks is for general note taking, diagramming, ideas, and random art stuff. The other notebook is for on-the-go journaling, listing of things, and notating tops/places visited to expand on later in my other journal. Stuff like that.
  • The clear insert is the one that has a clear zip pocket on one side and 3 card slots on the other. The card pockets serve as a wallet extension for club cards, gift cards, and anything that I don’t want to lose but don’t need to EDC in my wallet. The clear zip pocket has a few stickers that I like, emergency information for stuff, trinkets, and a few cat whiskers <3
  • The kraft folder holds a shitajiki, empty sticker paper for collecting random labels from stuff that I want to save, and some smaller sticker sheets.

Regular Traveler’s Notebook

I treated myself last year to a customized camel TN from Baum-Kuchen’s TrulyYours service. I absolutely adore it; It is my daily driver for journaling, planning, and other stuff. I really like the TN system’s modularity as it allows me to easily switch between different inserts when I need to switch gears. My other TN, the Tokyo Station exclusive from our first Japan trip now houses travel adventure inserts with photos and pamphlets from the trips.

  • There are several inserts that I will swap between: Journal, planner, drawing notebook, and creative writing/RPG notebook.
  • I have been exploring solo RPG systems as a means of generating creative writing prompts on-and-off over the past year and it has been really really fun! I particularly like Ironsworn Starforged, I have dedicated notebook for it, character sheet, ability cards, and stat trackers that nicely fit into my TN.

Hobonichi Techo Weeks

This planner fits perfectly into a regular Traveler’s Notebook FYI. It is somewhat smaller than the standard inserts, but it’s not overly thick so it won’t turn it into big journal chungus. This planner lives in my regular TN most of the time, though I do take it out and stuff it into my work bag if I need to go into the office. I really like the size and the layout: Each week has its own 2 page spread with a 7 day spread on the left side and a full page of grid paper on the right side. There is. also ample note taking room in the back of the notebook as well as monthly spreads in the front.

Canvas A5 Notebook Cover

This cover usually houses two A5 sized notebooks. One is for Japanese language study notes (in an attempt to remember all of the grammar, vocab, and kanji that I have forgotten and maybe learn something new). The other has more drawing/RPG/project notes.