Planning your year ahead – Hobonichi Planner is a must have

Planning your year ahead – Hobonichi Planner is a must have


As the Christmas goes by the new year is awaited. This is the time of the year when bookshelves are flooded with yearly planners, diaries and other cool stationary just to kick start the new year on a positive note. With each year we are moving further into the digital arena and have digital pads in our hands even for jotting down something. But, there are people like me who still believe in the pen, paper type of writing. I have written diaries for years and professionally being into Project Management and Continuous improvement, I tried my hands at planning last year. Planning day to day activities to a little bit of process improvement in my daily routine was the priority in 2017. I could do a lot of changes to my day to day routine with planners. Often it is a challenge, but 2017 was meticulously planned and executed.. well at least 70% was as per the plan. This time I have decided to write everything down in a Hobonichi Planner. Hobonichi Techo Cousin 2018 is a yearly planner which is regarded all over the world at least in the planner circle.
Initially started in 2001, in Tokyo Japan, Hobonichi has been selling around 6,00,000 planners around the world. This planner is way too different than other yearly planners I must say. But first of all, let us just ask ourselves,

Why do you need a planner or a diary?

  • The planner helps to keep the priorities in place because we write them down. Writing your preferences enables you to work on them without distractions
  • You can schedule your work more efficiently with the planner.
  • One can do more if all the tasks are laid down on a piece of paper.
  • If the tasks are not done, one can reflect on it and can schedule it for the next possible time.
  • The planner helps you to stay focused in the world full of distractions.

Hobonichi Planner – A sneak peek

The most important aspect of any diary is the spread which is from the January (New year) to the December. Some journals have separate pages for every day, some of them club it. I prefer a full day spread because I write a lot. But carrying a massive journal is very tedious. Last year I had three journals, one had a weekly spread, another one had a full day spread and the third one had just plain pages to jot down any random thought anywhere, it was a pocket size diary with “Pencil, Paper, Action” written over it <3. HOBONICHI Planner is all in one…Just a little bulky but better than carrying three diaries with you all the time.

Hobonichi has three sections.

Hobonichi Main Page – I ordered Cousin which is A5 size – doubly bigger than the original Hobonichi Techo.

Hobonichi Yealy Planner

  • Yearly Index

  • Monthly Calendar

  • Daily Page


Hobonichi has a timetable which is so helpful in jotting down the routine and non-changing chores like watching TV or mundane household work. Having a timetable on the diary is such a blessing for forgetful people like me.

My 100 

There are other things like a page for My 100 where one can include 100 important things one want to accomplish in the year. I know after all the new year wishes, and one more week it gets so mundane that no one will ever want to note down the 100 things and all..but how thoughtful is it to have a space in the daily journal. It also has age table which is Japanese, and I am yet to figure out how to use it.

This is a Hobonichi Cousin which is a bigger version of Hobonichi Original. These planners do have English versions too. You can get Hobonichi Planner here..

Hobonichi planner is a good way to start planning your days because

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.

                                              Dwight D. Eisenhower

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I am Margazhi

I am Margazhi

Amma:- “ Shrilekha, tomorrow Marghazhi starts. Naivedhyam kagu Pongal Senjikko!”

Me:- Ok, Amma!

Misty Sunday morning followed, and there was indeed an absolute divinity in the atmosphere. The morning was like never before. A flock of people went on singing what is called “Thirupavai” along the road. Barefoot they were all decked in white veshtis! What a heartwarming recitation it was on the otherwise cold morning.Thirupavvai is the work of the Alwar saint “Andal” who was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu.

No wonder the verse 35 – chapter 10  of Bhagwat Gita says:-

बृहत्साम तथा साम्नां ( Brhatsama tatha samnam )

गायत्री छन्दसामहम्। (Gayatri chandasamaham )

मासानां मार्गशीर्षोऽहमृतूनां कुसुमाकरः।।10.35।।

(  Masanam  margasirso Hamrtunam kusumakarah )

Amongst the hymns in the Sāma Veda know me to be the Brihatsama; amongst poetic meters, I am the Gayatri. Of the twelve months of the Hindu calendar I am Margsheersh, and of seasons I am spring, which brings forth flowers.
Today, we welcome the first day of Tamil month of Marghazhi! The month of inner peace and tranquility.The month when we can easily connect with HIM.
The month of music-Marghazhi utsavam!

music margazhi

The composers Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Diskshitar, Shyama Shastri

The art form of music has always connected us to the divine. The various “kutcheries” Tamil word for music programs arranged in this particular month are instrumental to attain our higher selves by connecting to Him-the Marghazhi. He is the listener, and HE is the vocalist. The love for Music (Carnatic and Hindustani) abounds in Chennai when it comes to Marghazhi. The various Sabhas like Narada Gana Sabha, the Music Academy, the Brahma Sabha arrange various music programs in this month to promote and propagate the Carnatic and Hindustani music.

Rangolis, kolams are a beautiful sight to the eyes and the naivedhyam of Pongal makes this month even more pleasant.

God exists in all forms. God is the source of all: to know Him is to know all.

Hope you all have a Fantastic Marghazhi…



Shrilekha Arun, The author is an ardent Vishnu devotee. Her daughter Anusuya, her four-legged Best friend Caramel keep her engaged. She is excited about her new organic vegetable garden.


Why we should leave Virushka alone!

I am not a political person, but when it comes to giving opinions I am an Indian 😉  Virat, and Anushka have got married two days before, and they are all over the internet. From Anushka’s lehenga to Virat’s pastel pagdi to the NRI priest, the Indian Janta has heard and seen it all. At this point, we have shown our genuinely Indian nature of forgetting the numerous trolls that we had posted on the social media when Virat famously did not score in the World Cup final or some match where Anushka was present. Twitter is abuzz with some trolls even after they got married but this time Indian Janta has taken it to heart and have lost their usual way of trolling. The wedding must have mellowed down the trollers. After all being true Indians we really love shadi baraat stuff a lot. Trolling the shaadi baarat stuff is just not the way how it works in India, we do occasionally share videos of bride falling behind the stage or the groom falling or landing in some goof up through Whatsapp, but we like the Shaadi as such so no trolling there.
The Virat Anushka wedding has brought so many people into the limelight despite trying hard not to go public. The first and the principal person who got one full column write-up on the 13th page of National Newspaper, the NRI priest. The Lucknow girl who was the wedding planner also got a lot of footage as Virat and Anushka. Well good for them. The Times of India has reported the Priest has not talked anything about the remuneration. Times of India reporter should go to the wedding event planner (The Lucknow girl) to ask about the tariff of everything related to this marriage instead of asking the priest directly so that the Indian Janta gets all the information at once place. So far we know how much the hotel room charges per day and why only 50 guests in the wedding and the food which was served. I am still waiting for the more details because it is so so important to know what Virat whispered in Anushka’s ear when she walked down the aisle..and what did they speak during the engagement ceremony.

Indian media should actually be delivering more details about this important national event where India’s two celebrities chose to ditch the media to have a peaceful wedding finally. The fun part is that the media has hardly noticed the ditch 🙂

Where to go in South India for Vacation

Where to go in South India for Vacation

Tamil Nadu, is one of the travel destinations you should tick off your bucket list. Vacation in South India is a pleasant experience during Winter, so this is the perfect time to visit the land of 1000 temples. Here are some of the fantastic places you should go to South India for Vacation.

  • Chennai
    • Often disgraced for severe weather and the very infamous Chennai Rain
      Margazhi Rangoli

      Margazhi Rangoli

      s, this year Chennai has received its rainfall already, and the weather looks clear till the end of the holiday season. With the start of Margazhi month, musicians from different parts of the world travel to Chennai for concerts held in various sabhas. For a native Tamilian, this season is a music and food season, where after the concerts one can gorge on the tastiest South Indian delicacies from the respective canteens. If you are a music connoisseur and would like to listen to world-class Carnatic singers across the world, this is the right time.

    • Just a stroll around agraharams (the locality near temples) in Chennai in the early mornings would be like a cultural feast with beautiful kolams ( Rangoli) drawn on streets. Drawing kolam is a regular ritual but drawing them on streets is a feature of Margazhi Mornings. I would say this is the most beautiful month to see and feel the real Tamil Culture.Other most significant things to visit are
        • Kapaliswarar Temple
        • Marina Beach
        • Santhome Chapel

                     And many more beautiful temples around the city.

  • Mahabalipuram
    Shore Temple

    Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

    • On a 2 hour drive from Chennai, Mahabalipuram awaits tourists throughout the year. Beautiful beaches are the highlight of Mahabalipuram. The Shore Temple, which has been standing there for eras has a historic tale to tell. What I love about Mahabalipuram is the Sunrise. Calm, away from the chaos of the city. Start as early as 4.30 am and reach Mahabalipuram by the Sunrise to just seek a glimpse of the beauty nature has to offer.
  • Pondicherry
    • My favorite destination Pondicherry is around 4-hour drive from Chennai. Pondicherry has a lot to offer. If you want to be away from the chaos of the city life, Pondicherry is the best place to be. There are two amazing Ashrams around Chennai, one

      Banyan Tree

      is Aurobindo Ashram which is in Pondicherry, and the other one is on the way to Thiruvannamalai, Shri Ramana Maharishi Ashram. Both have an extraordinary place in my heart. Auroville is a Global Village, An experimental Community which has to be experienced ( I often feel that I need a couple of days to explore Auroville 🙂 ). There are no words to describe what one feels after visiting Auroville and The Aurobindo Ashram. I do not want to dwell on explaining what will these places offer you; I leave it up to you to feel and to comment on this article 🙂

Stay Happy Stay Blessed!

Note: All the photos are taken from google.