My 2018 Planner & Journal Setup

Happy new year! To kick off 2018, I’m setting up my journals and planners! I’m switching it up this year by using my very first Hobonichi as my journal instead of my Traveler’s Notebook (which will be my planner). Check out my latest video to see how I set them up. If photos are more your jam, then keep on reading!

daily Journal

I'm switching it up this year! Instead of using my traveler's notebook as a daily journal, I will be using a Hobonichi Techo A6 original planner. I opted for the Japanese version rather than the English version because of the smaller grid size (3mm!) and the lighter colored grid lines.


This is my Pineapple cover from the 2017 lineup. My cousin gave this to me as a gift for my birthday in April, and I put an A6 Stalogy notebook inside of it to use a bullet journal.


The Hobonichi starts off with some handy yearly and monthly calendars. The first few planner pages offer an overview of four months per spread. I decided to make this section an index of each entry topic, and since December 2017 was already over, I used that section to brainstorm some writing prompts.


This is my December 2017 monthly calendar! I started this Hobonichi halfway through December, so I had to retroactively add in some of the entries. I write one memorable moment from each day, or a summary of what happened. Since this was my first time using a Hobonichi, I was unaccustomed to how the ink sits on top of the ultra smooth paper, and smudged it quite a bit. Yikes!


This is my first daily page of the year! I think I'm going to start every month with a quote. I love quotes, and I wish I knew Japanese so I could read the quotes on each page! But I will content myself with filling in my own quotes.


After all of the daily pages, there are several note pages. I used one of them to conduct a pen test using my favorite gel ink pens, fountain pens, and markers. As you can see, there is no bleed through, but there's definitely some ghosting. I'm not too bothered by the ghosting though. The Tomoe river paper in Hobonichi planners is remarkably thin, but since it's not as absorbent as other papers, it can handle fountain pens and other wetter inks. However, because it's not absorbent, the ink sits on the surface, requiring more time for ink to dry. I ordered a pack of blotting paper to try and alleviate my smudging problem.

No judgement Journal

I consider my daily journal to be a curated memory keeper. It shows the highlights, happy moments, significant events, and things that I want to look back on when I'm older. Of course, I'll include snarky comments, off days, moments when I felt irritable, and things like that.

However, for darker times, I turn to my A5 lined Leuchtturm 1917. This is a notebook where I can vent about depression, anxiety, racism, politics, mental illness, family issues, and other things that I don't need to decorate with photos and washi tape and stickers. It's for times when I want to scribble away without worrying about neat handwriting, or composition or color scheme. It's for my stream of consciousness, a therapeutic outlet, a place where words are all that I need.


Planner: bullet journal

For my planner, I'm using my traveler's notebook as a dissected bullet journal of sorts. I have three notebooks in here—two grid, one blank kraft paper. I also have a plastic zipper pouch and a kraft file folder.


The first notebook has an index, a yearly overview, and all twelve monthly calendars for 2018. The blank pages after that will be used for collections, lists, etc.


Even though this notebook says weeks, I'm actually using it for my daily logs. I thought I was going to create weekly spreads, but I find that the classic daily log works better for me.


I'm using the original legend or key that Ryder Henry uses in the Bullet Journal system. Just a simple dot deliniates a task, and when I'm done, I draw an X over the dot.


The last notebook is blank, so I labeled it as a sketchbook. I'm not sure if I'll actually use it though. I find that I like my sketchbook to be larger and standalone.

Wallet & mini planner

Lastly, my passport sized traveler's notebook will remain as my wallet, but I also added in two planner inserts!


I plan to use these little planner inserts as a social planner or for planning on the go. However, I feel like I'm going to defer to my large traveler's notebook more often, and this little guy will get neglected.

And that's it for my planner and journal lineup! I'm so excited for this year! Let me know what about your planner/journal setup in the comments below!