18 Feb 2016

a hobonichi techo as my placement log book

Almost five years ago, I did a summer of work experience with a hospital consultant (the equivalent of an Attending in the States) and back then, I kept a log of the conditions I'd seen each day, the interesting patients encountered and anything else that I learnt (even things such as names of surgical instruments and things like that). Then, when I started medical school, this all stopped. Last year on placement, I did something similar but to a very minor degree so I made it this year's goal to be more thorough with my record keeping. I found it super useful to be so detailed whilst on work experience and can't believe I didn't carry it on when I become a proper medical student!

To combat this, I splashed out and ordered a Hobonichi and cover from Foyles. The student discount lessened the dent made on my bank balance but it was still a pricey purchase. Hopefully it'll mean that I now have a daily diary which can withstand fountain pen ink!

The monthly pages will be used as an overview to my days on placement. I'll write in where I'm meant to be each morning and afternoon so that the actual day pages can be utilised for things seen in clinic/theatre/on the wards.

I have no idea what to use these vertical month spreads for if I'm honest! (Any ideas?)

The dot note pages are perfect for random notes that I may need to refer to from time to time. Examples include contact details of placement co-ordinators, things I still need signed off and elements of the AMTS (Abbreviated Mental Test Score).

I love how there are some information pages about Japanese cuisine and dinner table etiquette. A lot of it is quite similar to my own culture too so it was quite an interesting read.

Before the start of each month, there is a ruled page and I've not decided what to use this for. Possibly for notes taken when I clerk a patient or something? The weekend pages are already earmarked for patient clerkings (anonymised of course) so these will probably serve the same purpose.

This leaflet that came with the Hobonichi is a nice touch too.

Finally, a picture of a day page before it is all filled in. I'll post again in the near future with how the pages look when all filled in and in use :)

All in all, it's exciting to keep track of the things seen and done on placement. A lot of medicine is about experience and my Hobonichi will allow me to keep a record of surgeries where I've scrubbed in and what I did, things seen and done in clinic and also interesting cases on ward round. Let's hope it makes me a better student (and also doctor!) in the future.


  1. Wow you are super organised. Even now I struggle, my work desk at the public health unit has so many pieces of paper with notes on them.

  2. I bought a hobonichi techo to use as a daily journal, for personal thoughts and information and such, and I love it! That leaflet is so cute, and I love the paper quality. :)

    1. Such a good idea! The paper is perfect for journaling too. I can just imagine filling up the pages with watercolour inks, etc :) x

  3. The thing I love so much about the Hobonichi is how fountain pen friendly this paper is, although - depending on what ink and nib conbination you use, it can take a while to dry (the only downside I can think of). The use of Tomoe River paper means that for an annual journal with a page-per-day layout, it's remarkably thin and extremely portable. I have a lot of love for this product, and I'm happy to see you're getting such great use out of it!

    I have a Hobonichi for daily journaling this year, and I use the pages you couldn't think of a use for as a record of the day's weather as I perceived it (the entries currently range from "BRB MELTING" to "Colder than London, WTH?"). Unfortunately, I don't have any suggestions as to what you could use it for, but if I do, I'll be sure to let you know!

    1. Agree - it takes fountain pen ridiculously well. I also hear you on the dry time - it takes forever with some of my inks! x

    2. Got an Hobonichi too, and have the same issue. Too bad :(

      Among the inks you tried so far which one ended up being fast-drying? I am considering to give the Premium Carbon ink a chance. It is waterproof and apparently quick-drying on some other papers. Have you had any experiences with this ink?

      And also, how long does the blue black ink you used on those pages take to dry? Not so much, I hope.
      Would you mind telling me what ink is this? I may purchase it, because it is just gorgeous!

    3. To be honest, I only really used Diamine Blue-Black in it! And I never timed it so not sure exactly how long it takes to dry. I think it would be similar with most inks though due to the properties of Tomoe River Paper :)

  4. The Monthly Vertical pages are for indexing or special events. Hope this helps.