As I have mentioned in my February TN EDC post, I have changed the cover holding my Hobonichi Techo, wanting to give the Zenkraft A6 TN a rest. I have also always wanted to try out the Hobonichi-brand covers ever since I decided to use the Techo for planning. Luckily, there’s a local online shop that offers some basic and some premium Hobonichi covers so I no longer need to import it myself. Granted, CraftyLane adds a bit extra on top of the retail price, but that does take into account the shipping cost from Japan and the hassle of picking up packages from the post office. I felt doubly lucky, as they offered the one cover I had wanted to try from the very beginning: Framboise Chocolat.
There should be no doubt why this is the one I wanted to try. It’s red! It’s quite a vibrant shade of red, which is exactly what I wanted. In addition, it came with a Cover-on-Cover, which is basically a plastic sleeve that is meant to go on top of the Hobonichi cover. It serves as extra protection for the actual cover, which probably is prone to dust and dirt. The cover is made of soft, durable polyester. To be honest I would have preferred a leather cover, but the red leather Hobonichi cover (Rosso) costs about 8x as much as this one.
Unlike traveler’s notebooks, the closing mechanism of this cover is not an elastic band. Rather, it is an affair of two penloops that keeps the cover closed when a pen is inserted in both loops. It does keep the cover closed securely enough, but it also means that I can only keep one pen with the cover. The penloops are in a nice chocolate brown color, which is the color of the interior of the cover, which we will see more of below. The penloops are also quite generously sized, and can take the fattest pens without problems. Here I am using a Pilot Coleto Lumio, which is of a medium thickness and as you can see there’s a lot of space left in the loops. A Lamy Al-Star, which is quite a bit fatter than my Lumio, fits quite comfortably with room to spare.
The back of the cover differs from the front, which is featureless. There is a full-length pocket at the back, which you can use to slot in random pieces of paper or ephemera.
The Cover-on-Cover also has a zip opening, which gives access to the back pocket quite nicely. I don’t really use this pocket though, as I find the inside pockets quite sufficient for my needs.
The Framboise Chocolat cover comes with two built-in bookmarks, with two differently shaped tags at the end in the same brown color as the inside of the cover. These are very handy for keeping my place in my daily pages, as well as marking my current monthly page.
The Cover-on-Cover has 2016 stamped on the spine, which I thought was mostly a nice touch. This means I can keep this year’s Techo in the cover with the Cover-on-Cover and it would allow me to easily know which year the book is on a shelf. This also means that I cannot reuse this particular Cover-on-Cover next year, which is not such a big deal if I were going to buy a new cover for the new Techo, which I probably am.
Let’s take a look at the inside of the cover! At the front there’s quite a lot of pockets. The Techo itself is slotted at the very back pocket.
There are four credit card sized pockets at the top, where I keep some stencils and washi samples. There is a tiny pocket at the very bottom, which can also hold a credit card if you so wish. I keep a tiny paper pad here. In front of the slot for the Techo is another full-length pocket, in which I keep some masking stickers.
The back cover on the other hand shows a different pocket configuration. Again, the backmost pocket is for the Techo itself. I added some dot stickers here. There’s another full-length pocket in front of it, which I keep some page flags. In front of that is a secretarial pocket, which I keep copies of my diabetes test results.
In conclusion, I really love this cover! I love the many pockets that I actually find I don’t use everything (surprisingly!). Perhaps the only factor that I don’t like is how thin the cover is, by which I mean I can really only put the Techo inside and nothing else. I had wanted to slot in my Hobonichi-brand photo holder or card holder but I find that it’s a too-tight fit.
Aside from that, the workmanship of the cover, even if it’s not made of leather, is impeccable. The polyester material feels sturdy and the stitching of the pockets is perfect. I really, really love the color of this! I’m definitely very pleased I got myself this cover, and gives me a very pretty cover to use when I want to rest the Zenkraft TN.