Journal of a 40-something year old wife, mother and chicpreneur.

I started using the Jibun Techo B5 sometime in February last year. Now almost a year of using the Jibun, I dare say I’ve finally found planner peace. If you don’t know about the Jibun Techo you can read my first post on the planner here.

In a nutshell, the full set of the Jibun Techo comes in a set of three. The Life book, the Diary and the Ideas book. My set up for 2017 was one Diary plus two Ideas notebook. I didn’t make much use of the Life book and left it at home mostly unused. To be honest, I didn’t really have time to explore the Life book because it needed some translation work to fill up but I’m planning to make use of it a little bit more for 2018 since I have just discovered the Google translate phone app… *slaps forehead, rolls eyes*

For 2017, I mostly in the weekly calendar section of the Diary. The Jibun has many other sections but I ignored it for the most part of the year because I just wanted to try planning using their weekly calendar page. My last planner was a Hobonichi A6. I love the Hobonichi A6 but not as a primary life planner. The one page a day was a big turnoff for me because I attend a lot of meetings and the one-pager is simply not enough to cover my meeting notes for the day or I don’t use the page at all and leave it empty.

There are a few reasons why I love the Jibun Techo’s weekly diary layout:
– I love that I can see my whole weeks activity at a glance.
– There is enough space to bullet journal my to-do-list for the day in each daily section as well as space at the side of the journal to list out goals for the week.
– There is also a section at the bottom to plan what to cook for each day, which is important because I try my best to plan ahead my meals so that I can also plan my grocery list.
– I love that its also a grid styled book, this is more of a personal preference.
– The paper quality is excellent for the rare times that I use my fountain pens. I write mostly using a mechanical pencil.

I used the Ideas notebook for all my meeting notes and used a total of 6 books in 2017. Yup, I DO TAKE A LOT OF MEETING NOTES.

The only thing I had a problem with was the size. It was kinda big to carry around in my handbag as an everyday carry.
Here are a few samples of how I’ve used the Jibun in 2017.

Seeing that I love the Jibun Techo’s diary which is the most important part for me in a planner, I’ve decided to continue on with the Jibun Techo for 2018 but in a B6 biz mini size. I am going to fully explore and use ALL books and sections of the Jibun Techo as much as I can this year.

I’m currently one month in with my 2018 Jibun Techo B6. I absolutely love it. Looking to find time to write a full review on the Japanese planner soon.

If you’d like to find out more about the Jibun Techo, you can read my first post on the Japanese planner here.

Instagram is dangerous. I’m serious.

Instagram is how I found out about the Kokuyo Jibun Techo. I was just surfing around the usual #planneraddict hashtag, ogling on how others are setting up their planners when I saw a post on the Jibun Techo. I did a quick check on google, fell in love with it and ordered one for myself the next day. I hate you Instagram.

My Jibun Techo arrived on the 26th of January, just one day shy of my 41st birthday. So, I consider it as a birthday present to myself. Purchase justified, hurrah!

About the Jibun Techo

To be honest, there is not much information I could find on the Kokuyo Jibun Techo since the site is in Japanese but through google translate, I tried to understand as much as I can about the planner and how it works. So some of my information may need correction cause you know… it’s google translated.

The full Jibun Techo is a 3 in 1 Life Log Diary that comes in a set of three books; the ‘Diary’ is the yearly planner, the ‘Life’ book to record your personal notes and the ‘Idea’ book which is a grid notebook to jot down ideas or for note-taking. Each booklet has a specific purpose and can be used together or separately depending on the users’ needs.

The usual practice for most planners is that you would need to migrate key information on a yearly basis at the end or start of each year into your new planner. The Jibun Techo’s concept is that you can keep important information in the ‘Life’ booklet forever, so it saves you the trouble of transferring information every year and you only need to change the ‘Diary’ section on a yearly basis.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the Jibun Techo sections:

The Diary section –>

This is where you can plan your life for the year. This booklet has:

  • A four-year calendar
  • Weekly and yearly schedule
  • Age chart
  • My dream 2017
  • Money plan
  • Map of Japan
  • Favorite phrases
  • Book and movie list
  • Gifts received and given
  • Promise list

The Life section –>

This section allows you to record personal information that can be carried forward for years to come. It’s made with high-quality Mio paper suitable for long term use and allows for a smooth writing experience. The Life booklet is broken into:

  • Life dream
  • 100 wish list
  • Personal motto
  • Life Plan
  • Monthly anniversaries
  • Travel map
  • My news
  • Family tree
  • Emergency contact list
  • Password hint list
  • Financial management
  • Medical record
  • Favorite photo

The Idea section –>

A slim grid notebook that can be used as a memo pad. This notebook uses the Tomoe River Paper, well known for giving users a smooth writing experience.

First Impressions

What I received with my purchase

I ordered all three booklets for the Jibun Techo. My purchase also came with two clear plastic covers. The clear plastic cover is used to hold the three booklets together. The cover has a lot of pockets where you can store cards or planner stocks. The purchase also included a pencil board that has a elastic band attached to it. You can slot the pencil board at the back pocket of the cover and use the band to hold the books in place over the plastic cover.

Picture ref 1: I’m using the plastic cover with the gray insert. At the back is the pencil board with the elastic band attached to it. 

Picture reference 2-4: The plastic cover and the many pockets for you to slot in name cards, craft paper, stickers or whatever else you need. 

What I immediately liked about the planner is the size. I am currently using a Hobonichi A6 as my daily planner and I’m finding it a bit too small for everyday use. The size of the Jibun Techo is just nice and a bit more comfortable to write in. I also like the weight of the planner, it’s not heavy and has a solid feel to it despite it being three separate booklets.

I really liked that the ‘Diary’ and ‘Life’ booklets have detailed sections to cover almost every aspect of life but in all honesty, I don’t think I’ll make use of all of them. The ‘Idea’ book is really a notebook. It’s in a grid format, which I love and will definitely use for bullet journaling and note-taking.

Left: The Jibun Techo in my Traveler’s Company notebook cover. Right: The Jibun Techo in my fauxdori.

I’m also considering the option of carrying only the ‘Diary’ and ‘Idea’ book around with me. I don’t really see a need to carry the ‘Life’ section with me everywhere I go. The clear plastic cover works fine and still holds two booklets quite firmly. I also tried using my Traveler’s Company notebook cover but the notebooks jutted out slightly, and I don’t really like it when that happens because the elastic band will leave a dent on the notebooks. However, it did fit in one of my wider sized fauxdori slightly better than the Traveler’s Company cover.

If I do decide not to carry the ‘Life’ section with me, I might consider using two ‘Idea’ books instead; one for doodling and one for meeting notes. Probably makes more sense to carry two notebooks around with me as I do write down a lot of notes when I’m out and about or in meetings.

Finally, here is a picture of the Jibun Techo size against my 4-month-old baby girl. As you can see, the techo is probably a little bit more than a quarter of the size of my baby girl… lol… I’m just playin’ with yah…

Baby vs Jibun Techo

Anyway, these are my initial thoughts. I’ll probably do one or two more posts on the planner after I’ve fooled around with it for a bit.

Where to purchase the Jibun Techo

As I mentioned, the Kokuyo Jibun Techo website is in Japanese, so I was not able to purchase it from the site. Anyway, I was lucky to be able to get an Etsy supplier who sells products from Japan to get me the planner. I usually get all my Japanese stationery supplies from her. I think there are some people who have also made their purchases via eBay, so thats another option to look at purchasing the Jibun Techo.

If you are interested in purchasing the planner for yourself, you can also try the Etsy store I purchased it from called Japaneseeasyshopper. It took about three weeks for my planner to arrive from the date of purchase.

Other reviews

When I was researching about the Jibun Techo, Belle Beth Cooper’s blog was the first I stumbled upon and I found her post to be very informative. You can read her review of the planner here. She also created a video review of the planner which is more detailed than her blog posts. Belle also created a Facebook group for those who share the love for Jibun Techo’s. You can request to join the group here.

I also liked Hello Kyoto’s youtube channel on how he moved from a Midori Traveler’s Notebook to the Jibun Techo.

About a week ago, I came across this Jibun Techo review at Rogue Mom’s Blog which I thought was also pretty detailed.

Ok folks, that ends my very brief overview of the Jibun Techo. Happy planning and have a great week ahead peeps!