A beloved Japanese day planner goes global


That looks nice, but I can’t figure out what makes it different than an ordinary run of the mill day planner? Why did people build an apparent sense of community around such a pedestrian product?


So if I buy one I can be part of this great notebook community? Sign me up! Wheee!


These guys had better have a good international marketing team, since overseas customers are much more used to using Palm Pilots.

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I don’t have any day planner at the moment, and this one looks good. I like the fact it’s got graph paper on the pages.

Yep, it looks nice.

But I treasure my Rhodia Meeting Book. My guess, it would win against this newcomer to the :racehorse:

Rhodia Meeting Book]1

Maybe somebody can explain this, but I just don’t see the appeal, except as a retro/hipster affectation. I ditched my Daytimer as soon as my employer had a reliable calendar server, more than 10 years ago. Is this thing even practical for anyone employed by a company with more than two people in it? Does it sync with my iPhone or a secure server that saves everything even if I lose it and my iPhone? Are my appointments visible to my manager and peers? Or does it just look cool?


some of us older grumpier london-raised types will recall the filofax craze of the early 1980s. sigh. can we do no better than simply rerun the past over and over and over, each time with a different label and a new sense of wide-eyed discovery?

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“All the cool kids have one! Why don’t you? Aren’t you a cool kid? AREN’T YOU?

And don’t forget to buy a box of authentic Blackwing Pencils to write with inside it! If your ideas aren’t written with Blackwings, what good could they possibly be?


annoyingly the web page seems not to be able to sell me this Hobonitchi thing.

Some context:

  1. Entering Japanese text electronically is more time consuming than typing the roman alphabet. As such, smart phone/tablet note taking is still underdeveloped.
  2. Taking copious notes is a sign of respect/seriousness in a Japanese meeting. With so much talky-talk spent on creating consensus, people finally see someone taking notes and think that (finally) shit’s gettin’ real and Things Will Happen.
  3. There is an entire class of junior office people who’s sole responsibility is to take notes in meetings. Whoever has the cleanest notes gets the gold star (these guys never speak during meetings-- their contribution to the company is note-taking). As such, there’s a serious market for nice daily planners.
  4. While old-school paper notebooks are the mark of hipsters in Tokyo just as much as they are in San Jose, there’s a real need to write things down and go over your notes on paper: how else are you going to look busy and majime while you’re slacking off those 2 hours in the afternoon at Tully’s Coffee in-between meetings and going back to the office at 6pm (where you will go over the notes once more while waiting for the boss to leave so you can all go drinking together)?
  5. A nice techo is a great gift for your office-worker bee boyfriend/girlfriend/train-stalker.

Yep. Me too. Looks like a good planner/notebook, as planner/notebooks go, but there’s far too much of a ‘hipster’s latest must-have’ feel about it.

Why did they have to ruin a perfectly good idea by marketing it as for ‘special’ people?

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For $172 this thing better massage my neck while I’m writing in it.


I didn’t even look at the price!

Definitely the Emperor’s New Notebook. I’ll be sticking with the no-name Moleskine clone I picked up for free at a conference…

Just double-checked the spelling of ‘Moleskine’ online, and discovered that it “is a brand that encompasses a family of nomadic objects”.
FFS… What’s wrong with selling well-designed, well-manufactured notebooks? Why do they have to market a lifestyle?

If that’s the price, count me out.

It’s an intriguing product as a whole though. I have endless amounts of small spiral bound notebooks that I use for this, that, or the other and I prefer unlined which apparently isn’t really a thing. The ability to tear out my sheets on a whim (such as when I don’t need them anymore or when I need to write a note to give someone) is pretty handy. The spirals tend to bend and become unmanageable before I’m anywhere close to out of paper though. At a $1 USD or so apiece, I’m more upset by the wasted paper than their ability to hold up.

Increased organization isn’t really a thing I aspire to so a dayplanner really isn’t for me. Even if I did aspire to it, that price is fairly outrageous.

EDIT: Ok, the basic model works out to be about $25 USD, not $172 USD. It’s a bit pricey, but I would consider it at this price.

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It’s a matter of preference, not an affection.

I prefer writing things down by hand because I remember them better that way, and if I don’t, well, it’s in my notebook. I tried switching to my iphone for a while for my schedule and my shopping lists, but though I liked the compactness of it, for me the additional complications outweighed the benefits, and I wound up going back to the old fashioned way.

And yes, it’s perfectly practical. Companies with more than two people have existed for quite some time.

I wouldn’t get one of these without having a chance to actually examine one, though. $25 is a lot to spend on something like this without getting a feel for it.

At $25 for the base book, it’s a bit pricey, but not crazy expensive. I like the grid format and the various page “features”. But I was kind of turned off by this: " Each two-day spread features an English translation of a quote from ARTS&SCIENCE owner Sonya Park or one excerpted from the Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun website."
Now, if it was someone who I’d actually heard of before, or someone I respected, I’d be all up for that, but I don’t really care one bit what the founder of a series of boutique luxury item stores has to say about the world. In fact, it would probably actively annoy me seeing those quotes on the page. Strangely, it’s enough to make me not want to buy it.


Boy, is it cynical in here. I guess I could see how a notebook wouldn’t be practical to someone who would only use it for text, but it’s nice for anyone who draws or drafts, and I’ve never seen a notebook’s user base encourage so much creative use. And I’m pretty sure the 147 dollar or such price tag is for the one with the hand made leather case, if you’re into crazy luxury stuff. I just like the planner itself, especially all the weird little bonus things like word and jokes and pages on birds, all things you’d expect from the creator of EarthBound.

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We all know it is but a short jump from here to the “Dawson’s Creek Trapper Keeper Ultra Keeper Futura S 2000”. What happens after that isn’t pretty.


No, it’s Cynical, right here:slight_smile:

The whole “graph paper”/“grid format” thing is just a very well established techinque to get kids to write legible Japanese; if you have to separate the characters and you’re given a square within which to write each one, it forces you to concentrate on correct placement of radicals within a given kanji and improves your handwriting. With adults, it forces you to write in a way that is legible to other people rather than in the shorthand that most people use when writing notes or minutes. I’m not entirely convinced that this feature holds much value to someone writing in English, however, unless you’re really committed to drawing graphs, on the fly, in realtime. YMMV.