Posted on April 19, 2017
Notebook review: Jibun Techo
I’ve said before that I’m a total stationery geek, especially when it comes to notebooks. I like to keep my life planning (schedules, reminders, to-do lists) on pen and paper, and for the last few years I’ve experimented with Bullet Journaling in all sorts of different notebooks. None of them have ever quite matched up to my perfect notebook dream, however – until now.
I first came across the Jibun Techo on /r/notebooks, I think. It is a Japanese notebook, made by a company called Kokuyo, and you can get the Diary by itself, or order a package which comes with two more notebooks: Life and Idea. When I investigated the Diary a little more I totally fell in love with it. I found this blog post all about it, and I watched a fair few review videos besides. Safe to say, I became a little obsessed, and at last ordered one. It was pricey, it took ages to arrive, but for me it was worth it. I’ve been using it for about two months now, so I thought I’d show you the new notebook that contains my life.
[For the sake of privacy, I’ve blanked out faces, names and personal information in the pictures below.]
First, there’s the cover. My Jibun Techo is white (I believe they do come in other colours) and it has a plastic protective cover. I wasn’t sure I’d like that, but it’s actually one of my favourite things about the notebook, because it has a pouch on the front which I’ve been filling with my favourite photo-of-the-moment. It means that whenever I look at my notebook, I get a little happy memory hit. :)
The Jibun Techo has two little ribbon bookmarks, which I use to mark the current month page and week page. I also added a stick-on Leuchtturm pen loop to the back cover so that I could keep a pen with the notebook, and it works beautifully (I use a silver Parker retractable ballpoint). Of course, a lot of the text printed inside the notebook is in Japanese, but the essentials are in English too, and I’m not really bothered by the Japanese text at all.
The inside cover has more handy pouches. I’ve put a few spare business cards in there (for my blog and my business), and at the back I’ve stashed some paper where I note down my ideas for gifts, for other people and myself.
There are several unique pages at the front of the notebook. As well as a 4-year calendar view (2016-19), there’s a double page view of the entire year, as well as several sections I’m not using: ‘Money Plan’, ‘Favourite Phrases’, ‘Recommendation List’ and ‘My Dream 2017’. There is a page for ‘Gifts Received’ and ‘Gifts Given’, which I think is a nice reminder, and a double page each for ‘Book List’ and ‘Movie List’. These pages give you space to review the books and movies you’ve seen, and they have these cute little faces which I’ve been colouring in so I can see a quick overview of my opinions. I’ve also turned some spare pages into a ‘TV List’ and a ‘Video Games List’.
One of my favourite features is the ‘habit tracker’. It breaks down each month into individual day squares, and I’ve been using it by writing particular habits I want to get into on the left side, and then colouring in a box for each day I manage to do it. The above picture shows my habits for the end of February (when I got the notebook); I’m far too embarrassed to show you how running and writing have slipped this month! Anyway, I think this is a really awesome feature, because it gives you a really quick visual representation of what you are doing (or not doing!).
Now we get to the month view. This includes a good-sized square for each day and those cute little faces again, which I colour in depending on my overall mood for the day (I find doing this actually makes me think quite positively; I don’t like to condemn a whole day to a red sad face, and I’ll try and look for the things that tip a day from orange ‘meh’ to green ‘good’). I put general tasks for the month down the left-hand side, and put all the major appointments/birthdays in the month view.
After the month pages, you get the week views. These are just awesome! Each day has a column, and those tiny circles on the dividing lines break the day up into hours, so you can schedule events quite accurately. My tasks for the week go down the left-hand side, with chores at the bottom. At the top of each column are symbols indicating that day’s weather, and then there’s some space at the bottom which I’ve been using as a diary. It’s really satisfying, condensing the day into its most significant/amusing events, and I think it’ll be a lovely record to look back on. (My orange ‘meh’ day happened because I was recovering from a full day of travelling on a hangover!)
On the inside back cover are more pouches. I’ve put some slips of paper in to remind me of my regular monthly/weekly tasks. I update what I need to do month by month, and these lists remind me about the recurring things I need to write in. (In case you’re wondering, ‘Dave’ is the sourdough starter that lives in my fridge. I have to remember to ‘feed’ him weekly!)
I’ve also paperclipped some paper into the back for my shopping list. This needs to be replaceable because I fill it up quickly, and by keeping it here it’s easy to flip to and see what I need.
On the back there’s another pouch in the cover, which I am using to hold our meal plan! My boyfriend and I plan out our meals for two weeks and do all the shopping at once (money saving, yo), so with this list I can quickly check what dinner is each night. This is a ‘cheap’ fortnight – lots of frozen meals!
The final important thing: stickers. I keep these inside the back cover, and I’ve bought quite a few sheets since I got this notebook. They’re a really quick, cute way to jazz up the week pages and fill up those empty gaps.
I absolutely adore my Jibun Techo. It has everything I need, plus lots of ways to record interesting stats/facts about my life. I can easily see myself ordering another one of these for 2018!
Do you have a Jibun Techo, or do you have any other notebook recommendations? I’d love to hear about it with a comment down below!
I bought my Jibun Techo on eBay. Be aware when you order that they might add customs charges once the order arrives in the country.