Whether you are a seasoned bullet journaler or just getting ready to start your first bullet journal, you have probably noticed that there are many different styles. Looking around Instagram you will quickly see self-described minimalist along with bullet journals that look like art journals, so how do you decide the best bullet journal notebook for you?
Well, the truth is, there is no perfect notebook to use as your bullet journal. Which notebook is best for you is going to greatly depend on how you plan on using your bullet journal. This post will break down the notebooks that will best fit your style whether that is artistic, minimalist, or somewhere in between.
The Best Basic Bullet Journal Notebooks
If you are new to bullet journaling, you might be a bit overwhelmed. First, I would suggest you read this guide to get your footing in bullet journaling, and second, I recommend you keep it simple. Just grab something that meets your basic needs and try not to stress about finding the perfect journal. My first bullet journal notebook was a bit on the nicer end, and since I am a minimalist, it was more than I needed. Here are some options that are great for keeping it simple.
Scribbles That Matter
The Scribbles That Matter notebook has quickly become a favorite notebook in the bullet journal community. This bullet journal notebook has a simple design but also includes a few of the key components of any bullet journal. The Scribbles That Matter notebook comes with a preprinted key and index page to help you quickly organize your bullet journal. This notebook has hearty 100gsm paper that is strong enough to handle most pens with little trouble.
Available in ten different color combinations at an affordable price, Scribbles That Matter is a great option.
The Official Bullet Journal
The Leuchtturm1917 is by far one of the most popular bullet journal notebooks, and they have teamed up with Ryder Carroll to create an official bullet journal notebook. The biggest difference between the official version and the standard 1917 (discussed below) is the preprinted pages. The official notebook includes a preprinted index and key and is designed to help you set up a traditional bullet journal setup.
This notebook is excellent if you intend on keeping a minimalist bullet journal.
The Rhodiarama lacks the preprinted elements of the previous notebooks. However, it makes up for this by providing a dot grid with plenty of room to customize. It’s worth noting that this notebook only contains 160 pages, compared to the 200+ in a Scribbles That Matter. The Rhodiarama notebook provides a wide variety of colors, but do note that all versions include their trademark orange accent. You can see the Rhodiarama in action here.
This notebook from Rhodia is a solid choice for someone that wants a blank canvas.
Northbooks Notebook (The Best Bang for Your Buck)
This notebook is one of the most inexpensive options on this list, but that doesn’t mean that it lacks quality. This notebook has 90gsm paper that will keep ghosting to a minimum. Like the Rhodiarama, the Northbooks dot grid notebook lacks any preprinted bullet journal pages. One major drawback of this notebook is that it is only available in black and grey.
The Northbooks notebook is a fantastic and affordable option for your first bullet journal notebook.
Lemome Classic Notebook:
This journal provides 120gsm paper that will be able to take most types of pens without any risk of bleeding or smearing. Lemome’s classic notebook includes a built-in pen loop and is available in lined, graph, or dot grid paper. The notebook is fantastic as either a bullet journal notebook or as a dedicated morning pages journal.
This notebook from Lemone is ideal for anyone who wants to use wet pens, such as fountain pens.
The Best Bullet Journal Notebooks for Artists
Although I am a minimalist, Shelby has always been significantly more artistic in her bullet journal. By using her bullet journal as an outlet for her art, she has been able to unlock creative energy that has helped her blossom into a fantastic artist. Keeping an artistic bullet journal is a great opportunity to get back in touch with your creative side.
Leuchtturm1917 (Great Choice for Any Level)
The Leuchtturm1917 is and has been for many years a favorite in the bullet journal community. A Leuchtturm1917 was my first bullet journal and is a truly fantastic notebook. Although the Leuchtturm1917 only has 80gsm paper, we have put this journal through hell and it held up beautifully. Almost a year ago, the Leuchtturm1917 was put through a harsh watercolor test. Surprisingly, despite its lighter weight paper, we saw no bleeding. Additionally, we have used the Leuchtturm1917 extensively for hand lettering and have never had a problem with bleeding or too much ghosting.
The Leuchtturm1917 is my go-to bullet journal notebook, and I highly recommend it for any journaler. If you want to learn more about what this journal has to offer, then check out this complete Leuchtturm1917 review.
Moleskine Classic Notebook
Moleskine’s classic notebook was also on the receiving end of the intense watercolor test. Though the Moleskine did not fare quite as well as the Leuchtturm, it still performed better than expected. The Moleskine notebook’s lightweight paper is not ideal for watercoloring but is a solid option for drawing and sketching.
Overall the Moleskine is a fantastic notebook for anyone wanting to add a bit of art to their bullet journal.
Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook (Best Option for Hardcore Artists)
Alright, so I admit that a watercolor sketchbook hardly qualifies as a “notebook.” Nonetheless, I felt like I had to include it. Too often when considering options, people fail to think outside the box and consider different ways to meet their needs. The Moleskine watercolor sketchbook served as the centerpiece of the Month in Color series. As a result, I can say with absolute certainty that this sketchbook can handle anything you want to throw at it. The sketchbook uses heavy duty 200gsm paper that will not bat an eye as you throw layer upon layer of watercolor on it. Don’t believe me? Just check out this video.
My Bullet Journal Notebook Recommendations
- Best Bang for Your Buck: Northbooks Dot Grid Notebook
- Great Choice for Any Level: Leuchtturm1917
- Best Option for Hardcore Artists: Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook
Don’t Overthink It
Picking the right notebook to start your bullet journal can be daunting, but the important thing is not to overthink it. If you find a bullet journal notebook that you think is a good fit, then it probably is. There is no guarantee that it will be the perfect fit for you, but the experience will help you determine what you need from your journal in the future. If you’re pumped and ready to dive into bullet journaling headfirst, then make sure check out our favorite bullet journal supplies here.
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