Which Hobonichi Cousin Cover?
It’s that time of year when we start thinking about our 2021 planners.
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I say start thinking, I’ve actually ordered my planners for 2021 (there’s a post on that coming soon!) If you’re settled on getting a Cousin for 2021 but aren’t sure what to do about a cover for it, I thought I’d bring together all the different types of Cousin covers out there.
Hobonichi Official Cover
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first.
You can also purchase a cover on cover (you can see it above) to give the cover some extra protection.
These are very functional covers, come with two bookmarks and lots of pockets. They also have an interesting double pen loop closure system.
Despite being in a Cousin for three years, I’ve never actually purchased one of these. Firstly I’m not a fan of the material these are made of, polyester. To me, they look a little cheap and although they start off at just £22, once you’ve added in customs and shipping, they’re pretty much double that. The insides and pen loops are usually also a contrasting colour, and I’ve never found a colour combo I like.
For basically the same price, you can purchase a…
I don’t know whether these haven’t been around long, or if they just had a surge in popularity thanks to some advertising, but these are everywhere* at the moment. They also seem to go out of stock a lot, probably helping the buzz.
You can get folio style covers in pretty much all standard sizes, alongside a rings collection. I haven’t tried the rings, but I did get a Cousin/A5 folio.
As you can see, it’s very similar to the Hobonichi covers in terms of number of pockets and bookmarks. However, these covers have an amazing full length back cover that can hold A4 papers folded up. They also have a good size pen loop and a traditional popper closure in case you don’t like the double loop system that the Hobonichi covers have.
I have a full review of this cover here, but it’s a great option if you want a leather cover, that has a lot of functionality.
Speaking of lack of functionality, let’s talk…
That’s not me trying to be insulting to many of the beautiful handmade covers I’ve come across but if you like a lot of storage in your covers, you’ll have a hard time on Etsy. And if you want a pen loop and closure too? Very difficult.
At the end of last year I purchased a leather cover for my 2020 Cousin on Etsy. After lots of searching, I settled on One Star Leather Goods*.
This is a beautiful cover, and has some storage but the lack of closure and pen loop was a bit of a deal breaker for me and I ultimately ended up purchasing the Moterm to replace it. That’s not to say there aren’t makers out there creating covers with all the pockets and pen loops you might need, with this* from Cocoa Paper firmly in my favourites. Galen Leather* are another favourite in the Hobonichi community.
However, when it comes to choice, you really can’t beat Etsy. Chances are, if you’re looking for something very specific in a cover there is already one available on Etsy, or you can find a maker who will create it for you. If leather isn’t your thing, my favourite stores are Da Casca* and Cadenta Designs*. I’ve had Hobonichi Weeks covers from both of these stores and loved them.
Folios from Filofax and Gillio
A Gillio Appunto is a beautiful A5 folio that is basically everything you’d expect from a ringed planner (pockets, closure, pen loop) but in a folio format instead. Lots of people use these for their Cousins. However, these are frequently sold out and also super expensive (several hundred pounds). If you really want one, it’s best keeping an eye on the second hand market.
The Filofax folio is something I recently discovered, and don’t recall hearing much about its release. They have two designs available; The Original and Chester. The Chester is a zip around cover coming in at £310 with The Original only £75. It’s basically exactly the same as the A5 Original rings I have, just with those taken out.
While I like Filofaxes, I believe they’re expensive for what they are. I’ve never paid full price for one. I’ll keep an eye for a sale and maybe pick one of these up for a discount.
Ali Express Covers
I thought I’d give these their own separate section. I purchased one of these for my first year in a Hobonichi as a cheaper alternative to an official Hobonichi cover.
If you want to change your cover every year and don’t want to spend a lot of money, these are a good solution. With a lot of things on Ali Express, quality can be hit and miss and so be sure to read the reviews before purchasing. Also, prepare for a bit of a wait if you order anything from there.
Finally, a nod to the simple clear cover. The Midori A5 cover* fits the Cousin and I used it last year.
It takes a little bit of work to get the cover in, as the Cousin is a bit thicker than a Midori notebook. However, it works a treat, protects the book and you can slip some paper or vellum in between the book and the cover to pretty it up.
At around £7* it’s a bit of a bargain cover if you don’t need a lot of storage with your planner.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas if you’re debating your Cousin cover for 2021
I’m sure I’ve missed out some options, but these are the main ones. If you’re using something different and love let me know in the comments!