I’ve been writing in journals for a long time, and I’ve been hybrid art-bullet journaling for almost 2 years. Although I don’t normally do well with anything that’s as structured as a daily requirement, I was inspired to try Hobonichi in 2021 because of Penguins Creative’s 13 Reasons Why I Love Using A Hobonichi Techo post.
Here are my thoughts on hobonichi journaling as a first-timer after the first 10 days.
A snapshot is special in its own way
I keep several journals for different purposes, but I write in them whenever I feel like it. Sometimes that means several days in a row, and sometimes it means not touching it for weeks or months at a time. Those deep dives into my feelings and thoughts are crucial for my personal growth, but that’s not what hobonichi is about, which is exactly what makes hobonichi special.
Hobonichi is more like a chronicle of the everyday rather than a record of only the highlights of life. I enjoy the ritual of creating a hobonichi page every day, even if I don’t have something specific to say.
It provides perspective
The last few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on how important perspective is and how you sometimes need to pull back to see where you are. This is especially important if you’re working towards long-term goals because, if you’re only focused on the end result, movement may be difficult or even impossible to see.
Because hobonichi techo is focused on each day, it’s a natural place to celebrate those small steps as you progress. I have the opportunity to say, for example, that I was mentioned in another blogger’s Instagram today. That’s really exciting, but if I didn’t add it to my hobonichi, maybe I would’ve forgotten in a week or two. With hobonichi, I have the opportunity to highlight all the little steps in between the major milestones of my journey.
Over time, I’ll be able to see and appreciate all the little steps I took to get where I am. Things don’t happen all of a sudden — they happen as a result of our daily efforts — and I appreciate being able to notice those smaller steps and celebrate them.
I prefer to keep my art journal cute and fun. If something makes me sad or cry, I probably won’t make a spread about that. I’ll certainly write in my journal about what happened to process the feelings, but I feel compelled to keep my art journal focused on positive mantras and lessons.
But because hobonichi is a chronicle of daily life, I’m able to include the things that made me happy with the things that challenged me. I record the reality of that day and my experiences.
The limited space is beneficial
With my writing or my art journal, more space is just a page-turn away. With hobonichi, you have one square, one strip, and one page for the day, period.
So you have to either focus on the few things that you want to include or find a creative way to squeeze all the things in. The space restrictions also encourage me to reflect thoroughly on the day and what I want to include, which is a great way to wrap up my day — and a wonderful opportunity to practice gratitude.
Hobonichi fits perfectly into my life right now, and I’m so glad I stumbled on it last year thanks to JetPens, one of my favorite places to shop for supplies.
I’ve found that creating a page per day has been liberating. I don’t feel pressure to create something “good.” The goal is to simply create — and whatever ends up on the page accomplishes that goal — which leaves me free to just have fun.