What is a System Techo?

“System Techo” (システム手帳) or system notebook refers to the 6-rings binder system which became ubuiquitous in Japan after being introduced to the Filofax system back in the 80s. This term is used exclusively for the 6-rings binder system that has been standardized in Japan, consisting of a “jacket” (leather) or “cover” (plastic) and filled with matching sized paper “refills” (inserts). It is available in the industry standard sizes as listed below with over 1000 different types of inserts produced by countless vendors retailing at stationery stores nationwide.

Personally, I’ve started using them since 2019 and have been enjoying the system in various ways. While the rest of the world tends to focus on thick bulky “let’s carry a brick with us everywhere”, the Japanese market tends to take a different more functional and practical take on using it. I’ve written several posts about this that I highly recommend reading for more insight on how to approach using this system with a different view:

I have a fairly extensive collection of Japanese-made (and otherwise) leather based system techos that I have amassed over the past few years. Approximately half were bought brand new while most of the regular editions were bought online from secondhand stores in Japan. I hope to eventually review a number of them in order to introduce its usefulness to the rest of the world.


Micro 5 (5-holes)

Mini 6


Bible / Personal

HBxWA5 / Square