How a popular Japanese daily planner still thrives in the digital age


With the spreading popularity of smartphones, we’re transitioning many aspects of our lives to digital. This is mostly true for daily task management too, but in Japan physical daily planner books have a strong following too. At around this time of the year, if you go to variety shops like Loft or Tokyu Hands, there is as much as half a floor dedicated to these paper planners for the coming year.

One paper planner in high demand is ‘Hobo-nichi-techo’, which roughly translates to ‘Just about everyday planner’. This paper planner sold over 480,000 units last year alone, and has nabbed the number top spot in Loft’s paper planner genre for nine years consecutive.

Behind this popular planner is a very well-known copy-writer and cultural figure, Shigesato Itoi. His writings and other creative works have inspired many people in this country, and it was back in 2002 that he designed this paper planner. His famous attention to detail is definitely evident in this planner. It stays open no matter which page you’re on, and it uses special paper for a smooth writing experience. On the bottom of each page (each day has its own page) there are quotes from Itoi.

Hobo-nichi-techo recently made its first promotional video, which was created by Yugo Nakamura, a famous interface designer also behind a hot Japanese startup Sumally.

The people that appear in the video are the actual users of the planner, and the resulting video is pretty magical. The many types of this popular planner can be found over on the official online shop.