In the most recent「趣味文CLUBメルマガ9/25号」email newsletter from Shumibun, editor Shimizu-san mentions a recent buzzword that popped up in the M5沼 community:


which literally translates to “M5s are no-count”. To put it in the context of how it was used, it means “M5s don’t count (to your budget)”.

I was watching the same Ashford IGTV Live, participating in the audience of the flowing stream of comments that birthed this new buzzword, and remembered laughing outloud. When you are among comrades who understand the depth of this “M5 swamp” (沼 meaning “swamp” or “bog” in Japanese) we find ourselves in, a moment of confirmation that you’re not alone truly helps.

As Mukai-san, Ashford’s brand planner, continually showcased the upcoming new & various M5 covers, the heightened mood of the audience was of “lusting eyes”. Because you just want to buy every cover yet you can’t justify the expense, right? Then someone in the audience started to bemoan how she wished she could buy all the new covers that she liked but as she already had another M5 on order – which happened to be Hoshino-sensei’s (who was also among the audience) D.Grayman M5 techo/wallet combo to be released in February 2021 – when someone quipped that “M5はノーカン” in order to help justify the purchase.

Naturally, everyone else started hopping on the bandwagon, agreeing with the sentiment, albeit in a playful way. And that was how this new buzzword took root in the community.

Shumibun x Ashford M5 Galuchat - Helios

The longer I use my M5 – the Shumibun x Ashford M5 Galuchat “Helios” – I also can’t help but understand the charm of a techo cover in this size form. It is light and even when packed to the brim, remains lighter than my phone. Size-wise, it fits nicely into my palm, making it extremely portable.

When I’m sitting at my desk, I have it open to the most recent page (usually it’s the grocery/shopping list). When I’m ready to retire to my room, I just slip a pen into the pen loop and put it on my bedside table. I often read or browse the web before I sleep so it is handy for a quick notes when things popped up in my head. When I go for a quick walk around the block (usually to a nearby grocery store), I just slip it into my capris or if it’s a snug one, I’ll drop it into my shoulder bag. Some times, I even think mistaken it for my wallet (as I use a flat minimal wallet) because of its shape & feel.

Its portability provides a low-barrier way to write down quick notes within moments. The reality is, we are beings who are constantly thinking and contemplating our next action. More often than not, if I don’t capture my thoughts at that moment, it’s mostly lost after. Even my sentiments and the utterance in this article is pieced together from various tiny notes that I’ve taken here and there when inspiration hits. And I have countless notes on future articles to be written that will never happen simply because it was a feeling captured at a moment in time that isn’t well solidified so I just keep them around in case I can fit it into a larger piece many months or even years later.

Some may say that they prefer to take notes in a mobile phone since you do have it on you at all times. Consider the time you need to wake up your phone, unlock it, find the application, click on a new note and then start typing it in. By the time you’ve found and open your note application, that fleeting thought of yours has long passed!

Anyone who uses some form of notebook will tell you that there is no comparison to a simple notebook that you just flip open and start writing. Make a mistake? Scratch it out with a line and move on. There’s no smart aleck beside you to auto correct your spelling or ask you if that is what you meant. You don’t have to print the words nicely. My notes are often scrawls. There’s no template to follow, just write it however you want. Then when you have time at the end of the day to sit down and compile your thoughts, you can easily remove the note(s) from the binder and slowing consider what’s on them, or to transfer them to a different binder, notebook for further elaboration.

What I’m advocating here is something you can also easily achieve with an A7 or pocket sized notebook. However, the perks of a system binder is its flexibilty to re-arrange its inserts at a later point, be it to file them away, or to dispose the unneeded ones, to store small items that you need with you (such as tickets, a band-aid, access card, bus pass, etc.). Most importantly, you can also pick a cover of your choice and change them according to your mood.

If you haven’t had a M5 in your life, I invite you to try it out. After all, “M5s are no count”.