How to start a Fauxbonichi Journal

How to start a Fauxbonichi Journal tutorial video and blog post by iHanna

I first heard of this type of journaling a few years ago and was intrigued, but not at all tempted to create one. Until I was a few months back, and then I couldn’t wait another day to get started on my own version of a DIY daily journal! So I did, and it was so much fun. I don’t think I’ve been this in love with a journal for a long time.

Fauxbonichi you ask? It is a complex word to pronounce and spell, but the concept of the Fauxbonichi is really simple, and I made a video talking all about how you can start your own – today!

That is, if you’re as tempted to do it like I was.

iHannas first spread in a Fauxbonichi style
My very first spread in my very first Fauxbonichi: Time to get comfy!

The idea is a style based on a brand name called Hobonichi.

Hobonichi is a Japanese calendar that had its start in the early 2000s, and since then it has grown in popularity. If you search for daily journaling on YouTube you’d be fooled to believe that everyone has bought themselves this calendar, but that’s not the case. I for one, can’t commit to something that is expensive and impossible to find locally.

If you can’t afford or don’t want to buy the original Hobonichi planner you can make your own, DIY it, and still get a great experience I think. Not the same, of course, but still a blast!

Faux means made in imitation; artificial. But that’s just the name, the creativity and joy you can get from any journaling is true and beautiful.

Video: Start a Fauxbonichi Journal

Here’s how mine got started and how you can get started with your own, if you can find an empty notebook at home.

If you can’t see the video here, watch it on YouTube where it is called How to start a Fauxbonichi JOURNAL, and when there please consider giving it a thumbs up and a comment – it helps others that might be interested see it too.

Fauxbonichis are a do it yourself version of the original calendar, and there is a specific “look” to it that I absolutely love. It’s a mix of art journaling and layout to me, and since I’m into both I decided to give this type of journaling a try. Would you try it?

Note: There are a lot of different kinds of journaling, and this is just my latest obsession. If you think that there needs to “happen” something in your day to be “worthy” of a page in a journal, you’re incorrectly informed. For example:


This is the Hobonichi Techo slogan and it means: Happy Nothing Special Day, which I absolutely love. A day can really be happy (or interesting or sad or full of other feelings) without something special happening, right? I often write about what I have created (when it comes to embroidery, knitting, clay, watercolor, collage and so on), a book I am reading, or about a show or film I watched that day. Those things are even more important to write down, because you will definitely forget them before you forget about a birthday, a holiday or any other “big event” in your life…

King blank notebook
Get a grid notebook and get started, or if you can’t find one, get a lined one – they work equally well for journaling I think.

iHanna’s Fauxbonichi Tips

  • Starting is fun! You can get any kind or regular notebook and get started with the “style” of? what’s called fauxbonichi. It’s easy to get started but it might take a while to find what you like, “your personal style”. That’s okay.
  • The look can be what ever you feel like, or rather it will be the look of what ever kind of items you glue down. For me, I love colorful and eclectic, so that’s what I want in my pages. But it could be more monochrome, calmer or even somber if that’s your thing.
  • Photographs: You can use photos from your own life, on that specific day or just as illustrations from your ongoing life. A lot of journals are photo heavy, but mine won’t be since I don’t print that many photos at home. Either way is fine.
  • Size: I started in a notebook that is most common here in Sweden, A5 size, and I think that is a good idea because I can easily find similar sized notebooks later on, so that I can keep working on a series of journals.
  • Room: Create “a page a day” or fill a spread like me. I like how uniform and full it looks when I work on two pages at a time, so once I started that way I kept going. It gives me plenty of room both for journaling and decoration.
iHannas second (very autumny) spread in a Fauxbonichi style
Orange and pink is such a yummy color combination, right?

Ideas for Fauxbonichi Layouts

What to include?

This is a made up style that has no rules, so what ever you like “goes” if you ask me. I bet there are people with strict rules for what to include on each page, but you can make up your own rules here!

To me, if it’s a journal that documents any part of your life, you need to add in the year, month and day. I always think it is a good idea to date your pages, because it gives your other content context. But other than that, do what I did and go search for “fauxbonichi journaling” on Instagram or YouTube, to see many, many beautiful examples.

Another “must” (to me) is including your own hand-writing. That is a big part of “the look” and also what makes it into a journal instead of a glue book or photo album. I keep a separate writing journal so I am a huge fan of writing down thoughts and events, as it helps me think.

You can also include:

  • Tickets and other ephemera from your day
  • Make borders with washi tape or pretty papers
  • Magazine images as decoration
  • Articles or “fun facts” from magazines
  • Words or quotes written in a bigger style across the pages
  • Labels or cute paper pad papers to journal on
  • Envelopes to tuck secret journaling into
  • Photographs from the day
  • Printed screen prints from your phone
  • Stickers
  • Anything that feels pretty or feels relevant to your situation right now!
Randomosity notebook created by iHanna 2020 #travelersnotebook
Stay at Home Activity: Fill a Notebook – showing the current Randomosity notebook.

By the way, I did start my own version of this a few years back, working in a traveler’s notebook that I made myself. I called mine Randomosity. It’s a bit of a different concept really, since it was not something daily, but rather a “when ever” thing, both about past, present and future. But maybe quite similar in look, with hand-writing, images, decoration and color, color, color.

But back to Fauxbonichi… I don’t think this is something I will stick with for ever, because it takes a lot of time and dedication to do even if you’re not creating a page a day, but I love it for right now!

What do you think? Is fauxbonichi journaling something you have tried before, are doing right now – or would want to try out?

Thank you to everyone who is sharing their beautiful pages online – you are an inspiration!




2 Responses

  1. I have an A5 sized pre dated planner, with one page for every day. This way I have a full page for every day and I write the weather, what happened every day in it. I really like to embellish it with magazine clippings, washi tape and stickers (sometimes doodles). I call it my creative daily journal.

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