So 2020 wasn’t a great year to try to use a planner. This was the year that I first tried Kokuyo’s Jibun Techo planner in A5 slim size and the Biz format.
I chose the Biz format because the paper seemed thicker than their Standard version and less likely to ghost.
Monthly the planner runs December of the previous year through March of the following year. (So for 2020, December 2019 – March 2021.)
Weekly runs with whatever week December 1st lands on until the second week of January.
This planner has no daily pages.
The monthly pages are all grouped together and after them, all the weekly pages are grouped together. The planner includes two bookmarks so you can put one on the current month, and the second one on the current week.
Note: The planner has a mix of English and Japanese language.
The boxes this planner checks:
- The planner is large enough to write in while being perfectly portable.
- Being a Japanese planner the paper is more fountain pen friendly.
- It’s a Monday start planner.
- Month on 2 pages with boxes for todos on the left side and bottom of each month’s spread. There’s also a mini monthly calendar on the bottom with previous, current, and next month displayed.
- Vertical weeklies. The time marking starts at midnight (0) and goes to 24. Like the monthly spread, there is room for todos on the left side of the left page.
Other features that it includes:
- Full page monthly layout of the current year at a glance, half of a page dedicated to previous and next year.
- 2 pages dedicated to the whole year with a box for each day of the year for quick (small) note jotting or scheduling.
- Lots of pages for lists: My Dream, Money Plan, Favorite Phrases, Recommendation list, Book list, Movie list, Gifts received, Gifts given, Promise list, and 2 pages of blank unlabeled lists for whatever you need.
- Gantt charts. I use these for habit tracking and medical condition flare-up tracking. (For my 2020 planner, I use a reusable sticky tab to keep track of where the current Gantt page is.)
- There are a few blank grid pages at the end of the paper. 8 individual pages total. You can buy Kokuyo’s “Idea” booklet and stick it in the back of the planner’s cover. The Idea booklet is an entire booklet of blank grid pages.
- The cover includes pockets for cards in the front and a built-in pen loop on the inside of the back cover.
- Everything is grouped up together in one dedicated area. The Gantt charts are grouped together, the list pages are grouped together, the monthlies are grouped together, and the weeklies are grouped together. So there’s a lot of going back and forth in this planner. At times I would forget to log habits in my Gantt chart for the month. The bookmark ribbons and the sticky tab I use do help, but I still had to remember to go back to the habits and lists. The Jibun Techo Lite puts the Gantt chart on the same page as the month, but to the cost of space for the monthly layout. I wish the layout flowed more from monthly to weekly to monthly again with that month’s Gantt chart page somewhere in that layout flow.
Despite the cons, I have chosen to give the Jibun Techo a second chance this year.
Mandy Lynn Plans has a good YouTube video that shows what the inside of the Jibun Techo Biz looks like.
I would like to point out that the Jibun Techo comes in a couple of different sizes (A5 slim and B6 slim) and different formats (Biz, Standard, and Lite). JetPens have a webpage showing all of Jibun Techo’s options.
There is also a new option for 2021, the Jibun Techo Days, which like the Hobonichi Avec, splits the year into 2 books. The Days quickly sold out everywhere online, including Amazon Japan. JetPens did a nice YouTube video showing everything in the Jibun Techo lineup for 2021.