a peek inside my a6 notebook

As I mentioned last week when I discussed my overall planner status, today I’ll dive into how I use that tiny (and inexpensive) A6 notebook. It basically has filled the role all the index cards once did. It took me a while, but I figured out a way to live happily in one small notebook.

Overall daily book philosophy

This is not to be a book of record. This is really a hardworking book that goes just about everywhere with me. It gets beat up quickly and spends time in my pocket, the bottom of my bag, and often has tea, coffee, or wine spilled on it quickly. This particular volume I picked up in Budapest over the summer, it cost 150 forint or about 50¢. (I wish I bought more.) I picked up a few A6 grid notebooks the last time I was at MUJI, so I should be good until late February at least. One thing I’ve learned is it needs to be a proper A6, the small moleskines or other popular notebooks that are about the size aren’t right. I’m definitely misplaced here in the States!

But, Hobonichi?

Ok, I really loved the A6 Hobonichi avec. I love the 3.7 mm grid. Ok, love might not be strong enough a word. However, there’s not really an easy way to incorporate pages of tasks, without also adding in the memopad set, and with shipping we’re quickly approaching $45. I’ve learned to make peace with the 5mm grid.


This book started as a task list only book, similar to many others I’ve kept over the years. The biggest change I started with in this volume was to add two columns on the right, for due dates and for listing a client/project if applicable. I then review and transfer these tasks to my weekly planning and daily punch list.

meal planning

This was the next section to move into the notebook, and I started on the last page and have been working back to front in the notebook. I thought I would find it very difficult to move on from my index cards, but I quickly realized how nice it was to be able to add to the shopping list throughout the week. I list the menu at the top and the groceries are written out based on the store layout. We purchase the bulk of our groceries at the standard chain store, then followup with produce and fruit at a different local store, thus the line.

daily list

This is the newest addition to the small book. I experimented without this list for a short period and it was a disaster. Apparently I need to rewrite my daily tasks. When I don’t do this, no matter what happened during the morning planning session even if I waited until then to write items in the planner, my day unravels by about 11am. I guess it’s true that How Writing To-Do Lists Helps Your Brain (Whether Or Not You Finish Them). I guess you could say this looks most like a standard bullet journal. My sample ended up that way, but there are other random notes generally sprinkled in as I don’t include the Quo Vadis Principal isn’t part of my general every day carry. I started it in the middle of the notebook and I’m working to the back. When I meet up with my meal planning, I’ll work from the center toward the tasks.


I do wish it was easier to find smaller than 5mm grid, but I’ve come to terms with that. And I wish I bought more of the notebooks when I was abroad. I do need to figure out a thin cover solution as the covers are definitely cheap cardstock and fall victim to my rough use quickly. I’m tempted by these x17 A6 covers, but I’ll probably just fashion a cover out of random supplies I have laying around. I’m using an elastic hair tie to keep all the pages together right now.

I hope you found this helpful. How are you planning and what do you look forward to changing?

Reader interactions

2 Replies to “a peek inside my a6 notebook”

  1. Can you strengthen the cover with a layer of contact paper? I haven’t tried myself so I’m not sure how well it would hold up.

    After cycling through a few systems, I’m going with a Midori traveler style set up with monthly calendars, daily-a-page spreads, and an empty booklet for random captures.

    1. If I had contact paper! ;) Packing tape seems to be holding up reasonably well. Good luck with your notebook set & Happy New Year!

Comments are closed.