Planner Pouches Review – Which is the best? Featuring Hobonichi, Delfonics and more!
As someone who basically only ever plans on her desk, the idea of a planner pouch is something I resisted for a long time.
This post contains affiliate links – these will be marked with a *.
As a stationery magpie I’ve always had many pencil cases to choose from. In recent years though as I got my desk set up with some great storage (hello Muji) I didn’t use them and stopped purchasing them.
But then I stumbled across planner pouches. Much more than a pencil case, these have all sorts of pockets perfect for storing all your accessories. Or, they’re little cases perfect for carrying your planner whilst travelling. I also discovered that toiletry bags made pretty good planner pouches. Such as this Orla Kiely number, my first ‘planner pouch’. This was great for taking to work or going away, as it kept my planner, pencil case and any other accessories all together. They sadly don’t seem to make this size anymore but it’s perfect for carrying an A5 planner.
Wanting something a little more easy to access, I purchased this a few years ago. I preferred this one, as it had a great little net insert inside, to keep loose things together. This was my go-to travel planner pouch/case for quite a while. Until I discovered Hobonichi.
Hobonichi Drawer Pouches – Small
These pouches come in three sizes – Small, Ane and Large. I own the small and ane sizes.The small is just a touch smaller than a Hobonichi Weeks and the Ane is just a bit larger than one. The large is around an A5 size and while it says in the description you can fit A5 papers in it, it doesn’t clearly say it’ll fit a Cousin.
I purchased the small pouch* first, when I placed my 2019 Weeks order last year. While the other two open in an accordion style, this opens flat. With three pockets on the left hand side, and a netted area on the right (with elastic inside for keeping things secure inside it) there’s lot of scope in terms of what you use this for. There’s even a pocket on the outside for anything you’ll need to quickly access (though sadly this pocket is too small for a Weeks).
When I first purchased this I used the two bottom left pockets for stickers and sticky notes. The top left pocket was used for my Mildliners and the right hand pocket was everything else. This included Micron pens, a pencil, tweezers and mini scissors. Because I use different supplies in my Weeks to my Cousin, this basically became my Weeks pouch. If I was planning in that, this pouch was laid out on the desk.
While I liked this pouch I didn’t find it very practical to use for two reasons. Number one, the cotton fabric that the outside is made from attracts all the dust and bits. Even just left on my desk, it seems to accumulate so much. I now actually keep a little lint remover in one of the drawers on my desk to give this a brush down from time to time. Also, I found the netted pocket a bit of a hassle. The zip gap is only 14.5cm which is smaller than even a Pilot Coleto pen. That makes this pretty impractical for storing pens in as they’re annoying to get them in and out of. This really is best just for other accessories.
Hobonichi Drawer Pouches – Ane
I got very excited about the Ane Drawer Pouches when they were released because they actually fit a Weeks inside. I picked one up in yellow* to match my small pouch. The reason why these pouches are called drawer pouches is you’re supposed to be able to fit a whole drawer in them. I didn’t really feel like that about the small one, but I absolutely do about the ane. This is now my purse. It has all my cards, vouchers, coupons and any receipts I need. Because it is big enough for a Weeks, it also keeps handy planning things inside too.
I’ve got sticky notes, stamps and important documents I might need on the go. In the zipped part I keep the Pilot Coletos that get used in the Weeks. There’s even space to carry my headphones and a spare phone charger. It’s pretty amazing how much I can fit in here and zipped up it doesn’t bulge at all.
I absolutely love this as it’s basically my life in a pouch. It does have the same issue at the small pouch in that it attracts dust, but as it lives in my bag it doesn’t need cleaning too often.
This initially felt quite expensive.* However when I thought about the fact I was going to be using this as a purse too, I felt a little more comfortable with it. I purchased this in yellow but it was initially available in a range of colours and designs. Sadly these pretty much all sold out instantly. The material and colour of this don’t exactly scream nice purse (though it does match a lot of my accessories as I love yellow). I would have much preferred something a little more classic looking.
Speaking of materials, the outer of these are cotton with the inside polyester. When I first opened a drawer pouch, I was a little surprised at how cheap the polyester inside looked. It’s quite light coloured and shiny. It’s definitely my least favourite thing about these.
Delfonics Pouch – Medium
Along with Hobonichi pouches, Delfonics pouches are ones I’ve probably seen around the most lately. These canvas pouches are filled with pockets and are simple but pretty looking (in my opinion). I paid just under £38* for this but I have since found it cheaper on Ebay here*.This is the medium size that I picked up from Amazon. There’s also a small size that’s a similar design. In this style they also have two flat pouches, one in A5 size and one in A4 that are equally heavily pocketed. They have a massive range of pouches though, including some that look less practical and a little more pretty.
As the tag says, this has a massive 15 pockets. To be honest, I’ve no idea what I’m going to put in them all. There’s some on both the front and the back. Plus there’s some inside too. The inside of this pouch is cotton, rather than polyester. I prefer this to the polyester as it looks nicer but I imagine it’ll stain much more easily than the polyester.
Speaking of material preferences, I much prefer this canvas material outer to the cotton Hobonichi. It feels much more hard wearing, the mustard colour is nicer and I just think it looks a higher quality. Even if the build quality seems the same between the two.
This is big enough to fit an A5 planner which is the primary reason I bought this. I want somewhere for my Cousin to live when I don’t have it open on my desk. I also want to be able to take my Cousin with me places and have lots of storage for accessories.
Now I have this, I think I want the small to match!
Livework A Low Hill pouches
I actually came across these by accident while taking a look at the fallindesign website. These pouches come in a range of sizes and are very similar to the Delfonics. The yellow canvas is pretty much identical so they perfectly match. Can you tell I like yellow yet? I purchased two pouches – the pocket card case and the travel pocket zip around wallet.
The pocket card case was pretty expensive for something so small. However ever since I purchased my Ane pouch and started using that as a purse, I wanted something smaller to keep cards and a few essentials in for days when I wouldn’t need everything with me. I don’t carry cash anymore so this holds my debit card, drivers licence, hair brush, eye drops and lip balm. It’s perfect for when I’m just nipping out or going to the pub.
The travel zip around wallet is a little more expensive than the Hobonichi pouch but I found it so much more practical. It has a pocket on the outside and opens over three sides like a normal pencil case. Inside you’ll find a net zipped pocket on one side, and an open pocket in the other. I switched everything that was in the Hobonichi small pouch into here (and more). I much prefer using this as pens go in the middle and are so much more accessible. This pouch is also more rigid than the Hobonichi. This stands upright on my desk next to my planners with no issues.
These cases are very well built and high quality. With canvas on the outside they’ll be hard wearing and although they have a polyester interior, they’re less shiny and cheap looking than the Hobonichi pouches.
So, which is best?
I’m going to chicken out here and say it depends on what you need it for! I absolutely love the Hobonichi Ane Pouch. I can fit so much in there that sometimes I wonder whether I should just carry that instead of putting it in a bag. I’d love to have it in a more stylish design though! If Hobonichi ever release the mermaid design again as much as I’d hate to move away from yellow, I’d probably purchase it.
In terms of just something to store your stationery I love the Livework pouch. It’s a perfect size for carrying your essentials and is great quality too. If you’ve never seen Livework stationery before, I highly recommend you check them out. They make great quality product and really pretty stationery.
As for something that is capable of holding a lot of supplies, either just to keep your desk space looking neat or for travel, the Delfonics pouch is awesome and I’m going to enjoy filling this up. I don’t travel loads with my planner so it may end up living on my desk but I’m happy with that as it’ll be nice to have everything planning in one place.
If you’re wanting a pouch on a budget and don’t want to risk custom fees I highly recommend taking a look at toiletry bags. They are usually decently priced, come in a range of designs and usually have several compartments to keep everything separate. This one from Orla Kiely is a particular favourite of mine.
Do you use a planner pouch? Let me know in the comments!