My daily journal with Hobonichi. (Photo by Gwen Ma)
Orange Lutheran High School

Opinion: Journaling with Hobonichi is a better way to record life than social media

Don’t you ever get anxious when posting your life on social media, afraid that some creepy stalkers would know everything about you? Don’t you ever feel annoyed when you have to come up with some nice captions to go along with your cute pictures? And don’t you ever get upset and embarrassed when you didn’t get a lot of likes or when someone has left bad comments?

Well, it seems like you should start journaling with Hobonichi — a pathway toward total relaxation and exuberant happiness.

Hobonichi is a Japanese company that designs notebooks for journaling and planning, but Hobonichi refers to any kinds of journaling with a small notebook.

Creative journaling and planning are very popular in Asian countries. The Japanese have a “techo (planner) culture,” meaning that many people carry a small notebook with them to organize their activities and record their day artfully. In China, parents are also buying pretty stationary for their children to encourage them to return to the old tradition of writing on paper and hoping to raise the awareness of time management. Many people even go to creative art journaling classes to learn how to capture the pleasant moments in their lives.

Journaling with Hobonichi is not only mentally relaxing, but physically too. You don’t have to experience the eye fatigue from staring at a screen for too long, instead, you pick up a pen and start writing and drawing on a piece of paper.

A big part of Hobonichi is adding artistic decorations to your journal to make it memorable when you look back at your old days. You don’t have to be an artist to make a pretty page, it really can just be as simple as some stick figures that describe the text and express your current feelings.

Most journaling experts collect a variety of stickers, tapes, and pens. When they don’t want to draw, they arrange these ready-made elements in their pages to brighten up the dull text.

Almost anything that is flat and thin can be stuck into the journal: a concert ticket, an encouraging note from a friend, or a photo from a trip to the beach.

The journal provides a home for all of these sweet memories, which would fade away in time if they are not carefully kept in the pages. Because of the existence of these pieces, every time when you flip back to them, you can regain the exact feelings of that moment, as if all the joy is sealed in a time capsule and has never been changed.

What’s more, Hobonichi enables you to capture a moment in life right away, no matter where you are at. These conveniently designed journals first became popular among travelers, who would carry them everywhere they go in order to record their adventure to the unknown.

Today, many people simply carry their journals with them to jot down the pleasure in their everyday lives. You could be in a park having a picnic with family and friends and you want this moment to be something you would like to look back at in the future. In this case, you could take out your tiny journal, which fits perfectly into your purse, and start sketching the scene down with a pen.

Then, finish off with a paragraph that expresses your sentiments and maybe gather some wildflowers and plants to stick on to the page as embellishments. All of these can be done within a few minutes and they really generate a sense of pride and accomplishment in you when staring at a neat and meaningful page.

These are the reasons why I try to journal as much as I could with Hobonichi, for it certainly renders simple contentment that cannot be replaced by social media.

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