Bullet Journaling in Hobonichi Weeks

By now there have been lots of articles and blog posts already written on the topic of bullet journaling. If you’re not yet familiar with bullet journals, first check out the following: the original Bullet Journal system by Ryder Caroll, a comprehensive starter on bullet journaling by Boho Berry, and a short and humorous guide to bullet journaling by Buzzfeed. Each link is set to open in a new tab, so you can either go read those first or refer to them later on. I’ve always wanted to try out the system; I’ve incorporated some elements of it in my previous planning spreads before.

The aim of this post is to show you how to bullet journal in a Hobonichi Weeks. Or rather, I’ll show you how I do my bullet journaling in mine and maybe you can take away some ideas to incorporate in your own.

As you may know, bullet journals comprise of several sections. The beauty of the bullet journal system is the flexibility; you have complete freedom on how you lay out your journal and its components. Using the Hobonichi Weeks in this manner provides a lot of shortcuts since the Weeks already has its own sections. Here’s the basic breakdown of my Hobonichi Weeks as a bullet journal:

  • Monthly calendar – future planning
  • Weekly view – events on the days of the week, weekly task list on the right notes page
  • Notes section – index, collections, daily log

Monthly calendar = Future planning

The monthly view is just what it says. I log a list of events and tasks that will happen months in the future. I refer to the monthly calendar at the start of each week to copy any events that is scheduled for that week into the corresponding weekly view. Having this system also gives me a month-at-a-glance view of my schedule. For events or tasks that don’t have specific dates, I list them at the bottom right of the monthly page so I can remember them during the month.

Weekly view = Weekly planning

The format of this section is simple: events on the left, tasks on the right. The tasks are unfortunately not specific to the days, which sometimes causes me some problems especially for time-sensitive tasks. To address that, I put deadlines on the left as well.

Notes section – Bullet journal

Here is where I consider the bulk of my bullet journal lies. The Hobonichi Weeks conveniently already comes with its notes pages numbered, and even kindly provides an index page.

I have decided to use a pair of facing pages for each week of the year. As I wanted to leave pages for my collections in the front, I started my daily log on page 19. However, since I started using this when the weekly pages started (November 28), this will only give me enough to last until week 22 of 2017. It’s not really a big deal, since I had already bought the supplementary Hobonichi Weeks notebooks which I plan to use when the notes pages run out. On the daily entries, I use the rapid logging system to mostly list down the things that happened during the day that I thought needs recording. I put my bullet legend on a sticky note that I just transfer to the current week.

After about six weeks of doing this, I find that the two-page spread is indeed enough for one week, with space to put some decorations should I wish it. I really like the look of decorated pages, so I do put in as much decorations as I feel could fit around the entries. I use a combination of pens, stickers, washi tape, and stamps for my decorating. Here is a sample of a completed decorated page, which usually matches the design of the weekly spread for that week.

Notes section – Collections

In the pages before the “daily pages” I put enough space for the collections that I want to keep for the year. A good example would be my wishlist (which I try to minimize as much as possible!) and my order tracker which gives me an idea of which packages are still pending and how long I wait for each to arrive.

My other collections include a 2017 Goals page, a book recommendation list, and a list of my TNs.


So far I feel that this system is working very well. The way I see it, the weekly pages tell me what I plan to do for the week while the bullet journal at the back tells me what happened during the week. The decorations keep me interested and look forward to each week, without making me feel like I need everything to be perfect. In fact, I do get a lot of mistakes in this book which I either just cross out with a red ink or use a correction tape. As the readings I linked say, the idea of a bullet journal is that it should be a tool that suits your purpose and its versatility is its strength. Take advantage of it and shape your bullet journal the way you like it!


CBTL The Giving Journal 2017

One of the things I look forward to in the holiday season is the “coffee planner” offers of various coffee shops. CBTL (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) is my preferred coffee shop and I really do like the look of their planners even if I don’t end up using them in its entirety. Last year, I attempted to use its weekly layout with notes page as a creative journal but to my sadness the paper couldn’t stand up to brush pens and fountain pens, and that killed the drive for me to use it. This year, I still got myself a CBTL Giving Journal anyway and I am planning to use it for some sort of journaling.

One of the things I like about this journal is that it only takes 12 stamps to complete. It didn’t take me long to get this, and in fact I was already able to acquire this before December.

The journal, as always, comes with a cardboard sleeve with the name of the journal and the CBTL branding.

At the back is a nice big caption with space to put your recipient’s name if you are giving this as a gift.

I chose the purple journal, to match the one I got last year. It’s great that the icon embossed on the cover was a top view of a coffee cup, which I thought was appropriate given my coffee addiction. The cover has a nice smooth leatherette/suede feel to it, and it’s a delicious shade of purple. The journal also has two ribbon bookmarks built in.

The first page is the personal information sheet.

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The next few pages are a sort of introduction. I really like how the artwork is scattered all over the place, and the doodly style of it is really appealing.

The start of each month has a sort of cover page, with a two-page artwork with an inspiring quote. It’s really beautiful, and I think it can even be colored in if one wishes.

The spread after that is a monthly overview, with top 3 priorities, goals, learnings, featured here among other things. The opposite page gives us a bit of a peek into the activities that CBTL holds for their charity.

Next we have a two-page monthly spread that starts on a Monday. Each day has a nice amount of space for either appointments or artwork, depending on how you would like to use the journal. There’s also a smaller, fainter copy of the monthly artwork on the bottom of the left page.

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The weekly pages are structured in the same manner as last year’s. The notes pages alternate between blank and lined. The weekends are grouped onto one line, which may be a turn off for some.

The very end of the book has a few pages of lined pages for any additional notes.

The back cover has a gusseted kraft pocket that has a sheet of planner stickers which are always appreciated. What surprised me about this is the branding of the sticker as being made by Viviamo, which is the company that makes the Belle De Jour group of planners. I’m not sure if that means they made the entire planner, or only the sticker sheet.

Overall I am quite pleased about the entire Giving Journal, and I am really hoping I can do it more justice than last year’s.

Do you have a CBTL Giving Journal? What do you plan to use it for? I’d love to hear about your plans!



Creative Journaling: Pocket Size Edition

Instagram can really provide lots of beautiful inspiration, and the field of creative journaling is not exempt. I really love looking at other people’s journaling pages, and for some time I was hesitant to try it on my own. I just mostly did haphazard layouts without an overall theme to the page, and attached my ephemera randomly. This week I decided to try out layouts with specific themes, in my pocket sized journal (Alunsina Graph insert).

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Today's journal spread, before the ink.

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My first two attempts took advantage of two of my newest washi tapes of envelopes and tickets. It’s basically just a series of different prints of envelopes and tickets, and I cut them up individually and interspersed them throughout the page.



At some point I also incorporated some kawaii elements such as this adorable anime-ish sticker which served as the focal point of the layout.


In my latest vacation I printed out some photos and attempted a bit of scrapbooking. I find it hilarious that I journaled about my journal in my journal.

I really enjoyed this little experiment, and I think I will continue doing themed spreads and scrapbook photos. I am planning to incorporate other techniques such as brush calligraphy and mixed media.


Current Pocket Sized Inserts: March 2016

While I am still using most of the inserts I discussed last January, I added a few new inserts to my stable. This first one isn’t really a new addition, but I did finish my daily journal insert and needed a new one. At first I was planning to use Tomoe River paper for my journal insert, but I was concerned that I would not be able to attach ephemera to the journal effectively because the paper is very thin. Good thing that Everything Calligraphy started carrying loose Elias paper, which is a great deal thicker but performs just as well fountain pen-wise. I got myself a pack and made my first couple of Elias paper pocket insert.


This insert came out really thick! I used 20 sheets, which makes 40 pages for the journal insert, but the thickness of the insert came out at about 7-8mm! In comparison, a Word. notebook is only 4mm thick. The paper is just perfect though! It really works very well with fountain pen inks, and can take washi tape, stamp inks, stickers, and ephemera quite well. I’m pretty confident that it will take watercolor just as nicely.


The second insert I am now using is my creative journal. I said previously that I had failed doing creative journaling in a couple of attempts, but I wanted to keep trying. I determined that perhaps the problem was the size, as I had been using the standard and A5 sizes for that purpose and I found that there was just too much space. I decided to try again in a pocket size, and printed out a weekly planner format from Growing Up Goddess in Etsy on Bevenia Splendorgel paper. It’s thinner than Elias paper, is very smooth, and works very well with all sorts of pens.


I’m really liking the layout, the size, and the paper of this insert. I believe that this is now more sustainable, and I will be able to keep up with my creative journaling now!


The last of the new pocket inserts I’m using is one I have made a couple of months back. It is made of the near-miraculous Tomoe River paper, and I cut and bound this myself.


I have decided to use it as an Ink Journal. I have recently ordered quite a few fountain pen ink samplers, and I wanted to have a good place to store my thoughts about each of the inks I come across. This way, I can look back and see if I liked an ink or not, and it will help me decide if I really want to buy a full bottle. Tomoe River paper really shines here, because it can take just about any type of ink written with any type of fountain pen. It’s perfect as an Ink Journal!

pocketinsertsmar4 pocketinsertsmar5

As of the moment, I have an active 8 pocket inserts stored in two pocket sized traveler’s notebooks. I feel like I have found a good mix of inserts for the near future, and I am very happy with all of them.



State of the Journals

I’m a compulsive journal writer. I love writing about what happened to me for that day, my thoughts and feelings about certain things, anything! This is why I have several types of journals that I try to maintain, but as you can very well imagine, I really don’t have enough time to regularly update those. In this post I want to list down the various journals I have, and what state are they currently in.

Daily Journal [pocket blank insert by Planners and Journals] – This is probably my most updated journal. In this journal I try to write about what happened to my day. Sometimes if I’m too busy or tired, I skip some days and I just try to catch up on the next available day. I also like writing with this journal because I get to use the various fountain pens and inks.


Prompted Journal [pocket blank Tomoe River paper, DIY] – This is where I journal about specific topics, usually from prompts that I find from Instagram or blogs or the Paperblanks Journal app. I don’t get to write here as often as I like, primarily because I am very choosy about the prompts I use.


Letters to My Daughter [pocket BenCab blank notebook] – As I mentioned before, this is where I write letters to my daughter with the idea that she’ll read this when she’s much older. I make sure to write only about positive things, so that she will find this to be a comforting read. I also consider this as a journal because I do write about particular events here.


Gratitude Journal [A6 BDJ Petit Planner, weekly] – This is one of the “failed” journals that I have. I got this weekly planner around December, and started writing down three things I’m grateful for at the end of the day. I got things going well for the first few weeks, but fell off the wagon hard when I encountered a tiring and difficult couple of days where I could not really come up with things I’m grateful for. I honestly got depressed about it and was not able to get the inspiration to continue even if my days did get better eventually.

Memory Keeper [standard blank insert by CN Papercrafts] – I started this around October of last year, and was really pleased by how it turned out. It was very nice to look at when completed, and I was able to get maybe three completed months before I ran into a roadblock. The biggest difficulty I found with this memory keeper is the amount of time I have to dedicate into choosing and editing the photos that go into the layouts. The other thing is that for the most part, the photos I take most frequently are the ones connected to my hobbies, so eventually the overall look of the layouts are rather single-minded. I do hope that I can still update this journal because I really like how it looks.


Creative Journal [A5 CBTL planner, weekly] – I’m really a big fan of creative journals, which is one of the reasons I did the memory keeper. However, as soon as I realized I cannot regularly work on the memory keeper, I wanted to try a non-photo-centric type of creative journaling. I decided to use the CBTL planner which was in a weekly horizontal format, with a notes page on the opposite side. I thought this is a great way to make things as I wish. Unfortunately the paper wasn’t that good, so I could not use fountain pens or brush pens, which defeated a lot of the reasons I wanted to creative journal. The space was also much too big that I ran out of ideas of what to write or stick on the pages, and since I could not do brush calligraphy a lot of the space was left sadly blank. I stopped doing this after a couple of weeks of the mostly-blank layouts.


Moving forward, I still want to have some form of creative journaling because I think that the daily journaling is not really the place for all the bells and whistles that I wanted to try. I had already purchased a pocket sized printable from Growing Up Goddess in Etsy, and I have printed it on my choice of paper which based on previous experience is pretty friendly to fountain pens and brush pens. I’ll be starting on it next week!


As for the gratitude journal, I am thinking of incorporating it somehow into my Hobonichi planner. There are still quite a lot of space left over in a lot of my daily pages, so there might be a way to put in a line or two of gratitude journaling there.

Do you do any journaling?

February Journaling Challenge Week 1

I’ve upped my paper game this year, and part of it is to write a journal entry every day. So far I am able to do so with fair regularity. I wanted to lean towards something more creative though, so I joined the February Journaling Challenge (by @my_planner) in instagram. This is basically just a set of journaling prompts for each day of February, and I just need to take a photo of each day’s journal entry and upload it to instagram with the hashtag #febjournalingchallengelove.


Here are my entries for the first week.

Day 1. This Month’s Wish


Day 2. I Can’t Live Without


Day 3. Happiness Is..

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Day 3: Happiness is… #febjournalingchallengelove

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Day 4. Pretty Colors

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Day 4: Pretty colors #febjournalingchallengelove

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Day 5. On My To Read List


Day 6. Movies I Love

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Day 6: Movies I love #febjournalingchallengelove

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Day 7. Pink

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Day 7: Pink #febjournalingchallengelove

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I’m loving this challenge so far! My journal has become much more colorful, which was my original intention. These entries are written (or drawn) in my current journal, a black lined Moleskine, using Pilot Frixion Point pens.