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It’s time to start talking planner set ups for next year!

I recently shared my Hobonichi 2020 order and called it part one. That was because I was planning on picking up a Hobonichi Cousin cover when it was released later in the year. However, I started looking around Etsy for a cover instead. I’ve always had a niggling thought that Hobonichi covers were overpriced, and so I decided to give my money to a small business instead.

After what felt like forever comparing all the beautiful covers over on Etsy, I settled on a lovely green cover from One Star Leather Goods*.

This is the A5 size with internal pockets*. I love the simplicity of this cover.

As my Cousin lives on my desk I didn’t need a closure or pen loop. I’m not normally one for internal pockets, so was tempted by this wrap cover* but I preferred the leather on the one I chose.

The supplies

Along with the cover, I picked up some other goodies from Etsy to set up the Cousin with.

First up, I had to place an order with Kuldlelu*. This is one of my favourite European shops for stocking up on Japanese stationery goodies. The main bulk of the order was MU Print on Stickers*. I’ve been looking at these stickers for a while as they’re transfers that won’t bulk up your planner.

I also bought a set of Kitta washi tape*, as I’ve wanted to try it for ages. These are strips of pre-cut washi tape that have a backing to them. They’re perfect for adding a bit of colour to your planner and the pouch it comes in is card sized.

Next, because I like to use a lot of kits in my Cousin, I ordered some blank sticker sheets* for storing the leftover stickers.

Cut up, these fit perfectly in my sticker storage wallet. I’ve already filled them with my sticker kit leftovers.

Finally, I created some new tab stickers. These are smaller than the usual ones I use and I love how subtle they are.

The set up

Last year I set up my Cousin with some big expectations for the planner. I started off the year using the daily pages for bullet journal style collections. As the year went on I realised I wanted a separate planner for those collections. I set up a B6 Stalogy in the summer for that reason, so I can use my 2020 daily pages for more actual planning. This year’s set up is therefore much more simple.

I tucked both covers into each sides of the cover so I could create a nice cover page that I’d always see when I opened the planner.

This was created using the print on stickers* from Kuldlelu and I absolutely love how this has turned out. These are really easy to use with the special tool and I’m glad I stocked up on them!

I’m using the pockets for planning decoration that I don’t have anywhere else to store – a washi card, the Kitta and some cute notecards*.

On the yearly overview pages, I laid down some simple stickers.

But I don’t really use these pages so I used a simple Midori paperclip to take me straight to the yearly planning pages when I open the planner.

Last year I used these as an index. However, as I won’t be using the dailies for collections I plan to use them differently next year. The space at the top of the months, coupled with the graph paper makes these pages perfect for habit tracking. I’ve tried and failed to use habit trackers before and using a whole page to create a month of habit tracking is a waste of time and space. Using the yearly pages allows me to set these up really quickly. I also tend to go overboard with what I want to track and so with the limited space each month, I’ll be able to really focus on tracking what’s important. Again, I used some print on stickers to add a bit of colour to these pages.

In order to find each monthly spread quickly, I used the tab stickers.

These are perfect and don’t stick out of the side of the cover at all. These will be perfect used on the Weeks in a cover and won’t get in the way at all.

I do like to use a pencil board and while they can be handy to use as a page marker, I prefer to use tabs to mark the current week. I’m using the green one above for this purpose.

I like to use Coco Fusen tabs* in my Weeks, and these in my Cousin. Unfortunately I picked these up in a stationery shop a couple of years ago and have no idea of the brand.

When it comes to weekly planning, I intend to carry on how I’ve been planning in my weekly pages for the past couple of months.

Splitting the days up like this has been working perfectly for me.

In terms of the daily pages, I’ve used another tab to mark the current day.

I’m still working out how to use these pages consistently.

On super busy days I do use them to plan.

Next year though I intend to try to utilise all the pages, not just on busy days. I’ve experimented with some journaling but know that it’s not something I could keep up to daily. Instead, I’m going to try to use spare pages for water colouring and handwriting practice. This year I’m going to try to keep the blank pages to a minimum.

The cover

I absolutely love this cover. The colour is beautiful, the leather thick but not too stiff and it smells amazing. I really like the contrast of the internal colour and the build quality on it is fantastic. You can get an optional extra of a bookmark but I never use those so kept it clean and simple without one.

If I was carrying my Cousin around, I would have gone for something with a fastener and a pen loop, like this one*. However, for something simple to live on my desk this is perfect.

Shipping and delivery was quick and the only downside to the whole process was the dreaded customs! However, it all still ended up a lot cheaper than the Hobonichi cover I was initially intending to buy.

I’m really happy with this simple set up for my Cousin. This year I tried to get my Cousin to do everything and it just didn’t work. Next year I’m looking forward to using this just for basic planning.

This is the first in a series of planner set up posts for 2020 – stay tuned for the rest in November and December!