For those in the know, no other planner comes close to a Hobonichi. There are lots of great reasons to love the Japanese brand's impeccably-crafted diaries, from the paper to the just-so layouts to the charming covers, but the range can also be daunting for a newcomer, so here's a guide to Hobonichi diaries that'll help you get on board with these cult-favourite planners.\nHobonichi Techo (from the Japanese term for 'planner notebooks', pronounced "tetch-oh") work a little differently than your typical diary and the same is true for their naming conventions, which can be a bit cryptic. Let's start by looking at what the Cousin, Original and Weeks planners do best so you can figure out which one is right for you.\n \n\nOriginal\nDaily and monthly layouts (A6)\n\n \n \nAs the name implies, the Original kicked off Hobonichi's Techo lineup when it was released way back in 2002. Those decades of experience are on show in the little details, like the Secret Line – a very subtle page marking that you can use to break up your Daily page so that the schedule is cleanly cordoned-off from the page, but is subtle enough that you can just skip right over it. It's that kind of considerate design that has made Hobonichi such a fan-favourite – it shows that they think very deeply about how their Techo will be used, Hobonichi's designers also appreciate that planners are personal, and no two are exactly alike.\n \n\n\nHobonichi's 'Secret Line' helps break up your Daily page, or you can breeze right by it if you like\n \nThe Daily pages also feature the day and date (as you'd expect), along with the phase of the moon, a neat little to-do section at the top and a mini calendar, with most of the space given over to a lightly-ruled 3.7mm grid that you can use or ignore as you see fit. That balance between structure and freedom helps guide you in how you might use your Techo, but if you have a better idea, Hobonichi are more than happy to step back and let you take the lead. \n \n\n \nIn addition to the Daily pages, the Cousin also features elegant Monthly layouts to help with longer-term planning. This sort of layout is helpful for managing deadlines, keeping track of birthdays, holiday planning, and generally making sure you're on top of everything that's coming up. Printed on the same subtle grid layout, these pages are intuitive to use, with space around the edges for top-level stuff that isn't confined to a particular date like quick budgeting or to-do items that you need to keep in mind.\nThe Original packs all this and a bunch more into a super-compact A6 size, so it's a great option for thorough planners who like to keep their diaries close to hand. \n \nCousin\nDaily, weekly and monthly layouts (A5)\n\nTaking all the lessons learned from years of refining the Original Techo, Hobonichi introduced the larger Cousin in 2009. At A5 size, the Cousin is twice as big as the Original, meaning you have more room to plan, play and decorate on each page. The Cousin also adds Weekly pages for even more organisational options.\nThe Cousin's Daily page is a scaled-up version of the Original's beautifully-crafted layout, taking that wonderful adaptable design and giving you twice as much room to play. Whether you want to plan every day down to the hour or bullet-journal your meal pan or end each day with a reflection or get your thoughts out or draw fashion illustrations or paint something every day the Cousin has plenty of space and support to help you express yourself.\n \n\n \nApart from the larger size, the inclusion of Weekly pages is the biggest difference between the Original and the Cousin. The Cousin lays your week out in a series of columns across two pages, with hour markings to make scheduling your time clear and intuitive. That vertical layout is popular with professionals and people managing appointments, but as we've already learned about Hobonichi, those page markings are guidelines at best – use what suits you, and leave the rest.\n \n\n \n \nWeeks\nWeekly and Monthly layouts (Slim Vertical size)\nThe newest entry to the Techo range, the Weekly takes a different approach to the Original and Cousin. As the name implies, Weeks is a Weekly planner, forgoing Daily pages to keep things as slim and as lightweight as possible. That logic extends to the shape of the planner itself – a narrow strip of a rectangle compared to its broader siblings, more like a wallet than a diary. But that's the point of the Weeks – everything about it is designed to slip neatly into your your bag, going everywhere you do so your schedule is never far away.\n\n \nDespite its slim profile, though, the Weeks has an impressive amount of room for you to play, play, design, draw and more. When you open your Weeks Techo, the left-hand page has the days running down the page from Monday to Sunday, with space to jot down important appointments, birthdays, due dates and other quick reminders. On the opposite page is a sheet of the 3.7mm grid that started out in the Original, giving you a flexible notebook page to use as you see fit. From the practical to the creative, there's no limit to what you can do with your Techo.\nAnd if you're keen on the Weeks' slim design but you'd like a little more space, the Weeks Mega packs in three times as many notebook pages as the standard Weeks, basically adding an extra notebook to your diary. So if you're planning on writing a novel in your planner, the Weeks Mega might be the place to start. \n \nWe'll have more to share with you soon, but rest assured that Hobonichi has plenty of covers and styles to choose from, with bright colours, warm fabrics and delightful designs on offer. Follow us on socials for more updates, and become our Friends For Life to get the inside scoop when Hobonichi's 2022 range is ready to launch – you don't want to miss out!