KOKUYO Jibun Techo 3-in-1 Overview

Posted in Notebooks, Planners

What is the Jibun Techo?

kokuyo jibun techo books
Japan’s yearly planner game is strong. They have magazine publications dedicated solely to feature all the great planners on offer. Kokuyo’s Jibun Techo’s diary portion can be had alone, but for completeness, we will be discussing how the other 2 books come into play as well.


Hobonichi vs Jibun Techo

Let’s just get this out of the way because this is the big question isn’t it?

Well, both books feature delicious 52gsm Tomoe River paper from start to finish. Strong binding methods have been used in both, enabling them to lay flat.

If you like the use of daily pages, the Hobonichi is your friend. But for those who find themselves not utilising the daily pages and want a lighter, more pared-down planner, then the Jibun Techo steps up. You also get the choice to carry additional notes (IDEA Book) or not. It really depends on how much you want to lug around on any particular day.



jibun techo front cover

The version we will be discussing here is the A5 slim. It measures 21cm x 13cm so think A5 size but skinnier on the east-west axis.

The book comes with a clear vinyl protective cover, boasting several slots both internally and externally that can be used to store small pieces of notes/cards.

Jibun internal slots

Back internal card slots. Also present at front of book.

The elastic band to hold the books together (or used alone with DIARY) is attached to a handy plastic ruler board as well.

Jibun back slot and ruler board

The back plastic slot meant for attaching additional notebooks, can also double up as additional storage. The elastic band comes with a nifty ruler board.

There’s something for everyone here whether you prefer a full month view or a weekly one.

Jibun Techo Monthly View



jibun techo weekly layout



There are also pages for monthly scheduling purposes.

Jibun Monthly Schedule


There are several pages at the beginning of the diary that is printed with built-in tracking templates. There’s no hard rule here that you must use them for what they were intended for. Personally, I would consider the pages that are of no use for me as spare writing pages.

  • Spending tracker
  • Favourite Phrases
  • Recommendations List
  • Book List
  • Movie List
  • Gifts Received and Given
  • Promise List

Despite all that, the DIARY book alone is only 1cm thick!



jibun techo idea book

IDEA notebook

The IDEA book is a gridded notebook for you to write all your notes and thoughts. The vinyl cover from the DIARY section allows you to attach new IDEA books as you fill them up.
The paper is 52gsm Tomoe River paper.




Jibun LIFE notebook

LIFE notebook

The LIFE book is printed on Kokuyo’s MIO paper and encourages you to plan out your goals. This book in particular is designed to be moved from year to year along with your new DIARY.



Other Features

  • A clear vinyl protective cover comes standard
  • An elastic band is also included to hold everything together
  • 2 ribbon bookmarkers
  • Lays flat at 180º


The CamiApp

For those who want to take it one step further and digitize your notes for all eternity, the CamiApp steps in to take care of that. For more info on this, see here.


Purchasing Info

The Jibun Techo 3-in-1 set costs $82.00 AUD and is available in 3 colour-ways: Navy, Pink and White.

November 27, 2018

Colorverse Ink Comparison- Purples

Posted in Inks, Reviews

The Brand

Colorverse inks have taken the fountain pen ink community by storm in recent months. With its uniquely shaped bottles and great packaging, it’s easy to see why they’re doing so well.

There are a total of 28 colours in the range spanning across 3 ‘seasons’- Spaceward (Season 1), Astrophysics (Season 2) and Multiverse (Season 3). All ink colours come packaged in a 65ml and 15ml mini bottle set, but the Multiverse (Season 3) sets differ by having 2 different shades instead.

Colorverse Ink Einstein Ring Andromeda Lights On Ceres


The Contenders

Ever since Lamy introduced (and then swiftly took it away) Dark Lilac, the hunt for a dupe has been never ending. It does not help that as a colour by itself, the deep plum shade is beautiful. Dark enough for a more serious setting, yet also colourful enough to bring some whimsy to every day writing.

Spoiler alert, there are no Dark Lilac dupes to be had here. BUT! There are lots of beautiful inks that are in this comparison.

Here we have:

  • Einstein Ring (Season 1)
  • Andromeda (Season 2)
  • Lights On Ceres (Season 1)

All ink tests were done on 52gsm Tomoe River Paper.

Colorverse Ink Review Einstein Ring

Colorverse Ink Andromeda

Colorverse Ink Lights On Ceres




There are a few take-aways from this comparison of Colorverse inks

  • For those after a dark plum for everyday use, look no further than Einstein Ring. On much thinner nibs, the plum may lean towards black in some light, so if that bothers you then Andromeda might be the better option.
  • Fans of Pilot’s Yama Budo will find Andromeda to be a warmer alternative.
  • No sheen to be had from any of these.
  • Unless you are collecting the lot, Einstein Ring and Andromeda could be too similar for you to come off feeling like you spent money on two very different inks colours.
  • Lights On Ceres manages to be a great shade of red without being blinding or intrusive. It’s a good red to have in the arsenal without it screaming back at you from the paper.


colorverse ink purple ink comparison



Colorverse inks retail for A$45 for 80ml, split between a 65ml glass bottle and a 15ml mini bottle. At $0.56 per ml, Colorverse actually beats out Pilot Iroshizuku inks ($0.60 per ml).

Available now

February 28, 2018

Opus 88 Koloro Fountain Pens

Posted in Fountain Pens, Reviews

Taiwanese pen manufacturer Opus 88 is no stranger to the world of writing instruments. The man behind the brand, Michael Hsu, has decades of experience under his belt and OEMs for many other brands over his career. The Opus 88 Koloro is a part of his own private label, and was created because there wasn’t a truly affordable Japanese-style eyedropper pen on the market.

Opus 88 has spent years OEM-ing eyedropper systems for many brands (though for contractual reasons, they are not allowed to disclose specific names). This mechanism is usually reserved for higher end collections like the Maki-e, and comes with a 4 or 5 figure price tag. Certainly not in the reach of affordability for the average Joe.




There are technically 2 versions of the Koloro due to the variation in nib sizes.

The Koloro demonstrator houses a #6 nib instead of the #5 nib found in the coloured models.

The demonstrator also does not have ebonite included in its body, only acrylic.



The pen comes in a black magnetic-closure cardboard box with an outer sleeve.

Opus 88 Koloro Box

opus 88 koloro box



Accompanying each set is an eyedropper tool for the user to load ink with and a set of operating instructions.


Opus 88 Koloro Demo model


Opus 88 Koloro instructions



The Koloro comes in 4 colours and a demonstrator (clear). Now, what the exact colour names are, seems to vary from person to person. The red model has been referred to as red, cinnabar red or red-red. For simplicity’s sake, the colours mentioned here will be red, blue, green, orange/yellow and demonstrator since that was what the invoice listed them as.

The materials used in the construction of the pen’s body are a combination of ebonite and acrylic.

Ebonite (or Vulcanite) these days form the base for Maki-e works, so it comes as a nice surprise to see it being used here. Getting the two to work together was no easy feat as well, taking the company months of revisions to get it right.

Opus 88 Koloro Pen Colours

(left to right) Blue, Green, Red, Orange-Yellow

The green model has tinges of teal, and the ebonite section on the orange-yellow model leans a little to olive in some lighting.

Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator

Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator model



Both versions feature a branded German nib (Jowo), with the coloured models having a #5 nib and the demonstrator a #6. It also has a dedicated shutoff valve and central rod mechanism. The screw-on cap takes about 3.5 turns to unscrew, so probably not the best pen for on-the-fly note taking.

The shutoff valve unit is a mechanism traditionally found in Japanese eyedroppered urushi pens. It closes off the ink reservoir chamber to prevent unwanted leakage, making this pen a good one to take on airplanes.

To fill, simply twist the barrel open and use either the included eyedropper or a blunt tip syringe to load up your choice of ink. Both pens have an O-ring so be careful not to lose it!


Opus 88 Koloro Demo


Weight23.8 grams27.1 grams
Length (unposted)14.3cm14.7cm
Length (posted)16cmCannot be posted
Width 1.56cm1.64cm
Body MaterialEbonite and AcrylicAcrylic
FurnishingsSilver chromeMatte Black
Ink Capacity2ml3ml



The demonstrator model overall is a slightly larger pen compared to the coloured ones. For aesthetic and weight balance, a larger #6 nib is used.

opus 88 nib comparison

#5 nib (left) vs #6 nib (right)


Opus 88 Koloro Models

Opus 88 Koloro size comparisons

(left to right) Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI Diamond 580AL, Lamy Vista, Lamy 2000, Opus 88 Koloro (blue)


Opus 88 Koloro Demo Comparison

(left to right) Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI Diamond 580AL, Lamy Vista, Lamy 2000, Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator



German nibs generally write one step up from their Japanese counterparts. So it comes at no surprise the Koloro fine nib writes subtly wider than Pilot’s fine nib.

Opus 88 and Pilot Vanishing Point writing comparison

Ink: Kobe #43 Gakuen Toshi Fresh Green



The Koloro definitely delivers what it promises for the price. There were no burping issues nor leakage when we let it roll around in our bag as we ran errands (okay, we stored it in a ziplock bag just in case). Mind you, there was no greasing of the threads involved. There’s no need to do so with the Koloro.


The 4-coloured Koloros retail for U$93/A$120, while the demonstrator model retails for U$120/A$155.


The Opus 88 Koloro pens can be purchased from our online store here.


Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator with Kobe Ink

February 7, 2018