Go Kokuyo part 1: Jibun Techo & accessories review

Japanese stationery brand Kokuyo is an up and coming competitor to Hobonichi. You guys know I love Hobonichi, and treasure my Safari cover as my everyday carry, but the Hobonichi planner isn’t the right choice for everyone. Many people find the daily layout offers more space than they need. And the universe knows, white space waiting to be filled with brilliance causes anxiety at the best of times.

If you relate to this, the Kokuyo Jibun Techo might be a better choice for you. The full Jibun Techo “3 in 1 Life Log Diary” is a set of three books: a yearly planner, a ‘Life’ book to record personal details and events, and a ‘Idea’ book – a thin gridded notebook made from Tomoe River paper.

jibun both.jpg


The planner offers only a monthly and weekly view (plus personal info pages), on beautiful fountain-pen friendly paper. There’s a regular edition, with color pages, and a monochromatic Biz edition. It has two built-in ribbon bookmarks, in black and red.

The Shiba Inu bookmarks up top are by the artist A Cloud is Born, from Hobonichi

The Jibun Techo comes in A5 slim or B6 slim. The A5 slim is 17mm (2/3 inch) narrower than full A5. It’s a compact size, great for an everyday carry. You can buy each book separately, but if you get the set it comes in a handy clear plastic cover with two outside document pockets and six slots for business cards/sticky notes/accessories.

cover both.jpg

The set also comes with a shitakiji which has a riveted elastic band to hold the whole lot neatly together inside the closed cover.

pencil board.jpg

If you don’t care for the idea of the elastic Kokuyo also make a separate shitajiki to use as a ‘Today’ bookmark.

A5 slim Jibun Techo (left) shitajiki photographed next to a Taroko Shop A5 for size comparison

Kokuyo makes sticky notes to fit into their boxes, but the Hobonichi ones work fine too. You would have to be pretty darn OCD to mind the 2mm overhang. They also make index stickers to add to your pages and make navigation easier.


Belle Beth Cooper has done an extensive walkthrough of the Jibun Techo, and the Kokuyo website lists all the pages in the Yearly Planner and the Life book, with good images. Currently the Kokuyo website is only in Japanese, which makes ordering scary. There are some showing up on eBay and Etsy now, although the seller markup makes them pretty damn expensive. Do not worry about what cover color you buy: this is simply a trimmed piece of A4 (letter) paper slipped inside the clear cover. You can easily print and make your own.

Currently I’m trialling the Jibun Techo as a daily log, recording how I actually spend my time: all my time. Sometimes I don’t know where the hours go. Five days of recording down to the minute already tells me where I need to improve.

In part 2 of this post I review the Kokuyo A5 notebook cover, a well-designed and price-conscious choice which also works for a Hobonichi Cousin, Moleskine, Seven Seas, or Taroko journal.

13 thoughts on “Go Kokuyo part 1: Jibun Techo & accessories review

    1. you are awesome! Can you tell how much the 3-in-1 set is on the Kokuyo website?? Because I get the feeling these are aimed LOT lower than Hobonichi, but on Etsy they cost a BLOODY PACKET


      I have just came about to read this blog and I tried just yestarday on Kokuyo website but I am not sure I can order a jibun techo for US delivery, is it wright? I think I will try to find it in NYC … but I would have preferred to order on the proper website. Do u know something more about?
      Thank you.

    3. Jenn

      Would you be able to translate the life book if you own a Jibun Techo?
      I really would like to be able to use it, but since I can’t read Japanese it will go to waste.

    4. Anonymous

      I would prefer a quick explanation of the miscellaneous pages.
      Especially, what is the difference between finances and saving in the life dream and 2018 dream pages?

  1. Pingback: Go Kokuyo part 2: Jibun Techo cover review – With a Squid Ink Pen

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  3. Kurt Bennett

    Hi, just hunting for more info on the Jibun Techo Diary B6 and A5 Slims. The B6 Slim appears to use a 3mm graph/grid paper, but I cannot seem to find any information for the A5 Slim. I thought it might be a 5mm graph/grid but that exceeds the planner measurements. Any information would be greatly appreciated.



      1. Kurt Bennett

        Thanks, the book size for the A5 Slim is bigger, so if the design/layout of the A5 Slim is the same as the B6 Slim, the grid would have to be larger in the A5 Slim. Appreciate your time! 🙂

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