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  1. Thanks so much for this fantastic breakdown! I spent yeeeeears as a blank page journal purist, but recently came around to the idea of dot journal pages. As a perfectionist, the dots have made me feel a lot better by guiding me so that I don’t write out crooked lists, lol, but it still leaves lots of room for creative expression and doodles!

  2. Hi! What is best for use w/ sharpie markers? The ultra fine point. And Watercolor markers. Thanks!

    1. Sharpie fine point markers are great for everyday use! And watercolor markers are lovely, I have several different brands. I can’t say what journal will be best because the way you use these materials will determine what works for you, but my best advice is to look for a journal with thicker pages. Perhaps the Rhodia journals would be a good place to start! No matter which journal you go with, remember to do a test page in the back so you can see how the markers and pens react with the paper AND with each other — the Sharpie might bleed if used with watercolors, so it’s best to check!

      1. Hi Shelby,
        Have you tried the Rhoda Goalbook? It has great features like a pre-printed index, numbered pages, back pocket, ribbon place holders, and a pen loop, etc., and it has that beautiful Claire Fontaine paper like the other Rhodias. You can get it in a softcovers and they’ve also come out with a hardcover version. Definitely worth a look!

  3. Hoshi Star says:

    I use a dotted a5 notebook from poundland my friend once got me in a set of 3. Been working pretty well. Scared to try watercolour since my watercolour is the same brand they use in schools but eh I’ll see how it works when I do a September monthly I guess

    1. My first step into watercolor journaling was with the same cheap school paint set, it works fine! Just do a test page in the back to see how the paper responds and you’ll figure out pretty quickly whether it works for you or not. Good luck!

  4. Thank you so much for all the great info, suggestions, and encouragement. I’m just getting started on my bullet journal journey, and I’m working on a pretty small budget. For those of us in Canada, with access to Dollarama stores, I found a Studio brand bullet journal notebook, 160 pages and roughly 5×7 inches, for $3.50. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a bullet journal and it’s perfect if you’re not sure if this is going to work for you and you don’t want to spend a ton on a notebook!

    1. Thanks for that budget suggestion for our Canadian friends, Barb! I hope you enjoy your new bullet journal ? have fun with it!

  5. Great article on analog version of Bullet Journal! When will you do one on Digital options? One that is designed to replace your paper journal completely is Bullet-Journal v2 for iPad and iPhone. Would be cool to see an article about the digital options! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I don’t know when I’ll make a post on an entirely digital bullet journal, but it’s definitely a good idea to add to my list!

  6. Also there are a couple of really popular ones that you missed, Tumbetri Meri a 160 gsm notebook and Nunna which is not 160 bit close at 120 both are pretty popular.

    1. I haven’t had a chance to try those yet, but I’ll keep an eye out the next time I need a journal! Thanks for the recommendations!

    2. Cindy Kube says:

      I am using my first Tumbetri Meri for this year! I absolutely love it! All the things I want and none of the things I don’t – you definitely need to check them out!

  7. You guys should try Northbooks! Almost all of their journals are US made and eco-friendly, except for one. Absolutely love their minimalist design!

    1. I tried some of Northbooks’s paperback journals probably five years ago, but I should definitely explore them a bit more! I bet they have some excellent products I haven’t tried yet. Thanks for the suggestion, Kate!

  8. I just got an A5 Clairefontaine “My Essential” notebook! Great fountain pen friendly paper. It has an index and is paginated. Look forward to using it to Bullet Journal!!!


    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      It sounds like you’ve got a great journal Tom! Enjoy 🙂

  9. Have you guys tried Archer and Olive’s dot grid?? Amazing paper quality for someone wanting to do a lot of art in their journal! I have one to start off in the new year ?

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      I’ve not tried that one Melissa. Thanks for letting us know about it.

  10. STM best bullet journal hands down. I’ve tried the A5 but now am absolutely in love with the B6 size. Perfect for me love the paper, the hardy cover but most of all the fantastic customer service!

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      It’s so great when we find one that we love! I’m happy to hear you’re loving Scribbles That Matter, Bonnie.

    2. James LeBaron says:

      Agreed! And now I’m just so sad that it’s been discontinued, because I can’t find anything like it anywhere else! 🥲

  11. I have a different experience than another commenter with the $5 Fabriano journal — I love it. As she noted, I can write a *lot* of page numbers to save $15, but either mine was better bound, or I got lucky.

    PROS: The cover is a lovely leatherette that holds up well. There are a LOT of pages, and the binding is elastic enough to allow you to tip in additional pages if you want to add something. (I forgot to add a dream, so I tipped it in. That method is what I would recommend if anyone does encounter problems with loose pages, as well. Run a thin — I mean THIN, almost invisible — line of glue on the very edge of your paper and slot it right back into place. Old library book repair practice 🙂 ) This journal also stands up to being banged about in a bag with lots of other books, papers, and junk. It will take a lot of ink doodling.

    CONS: The pages are not as heavy as in a good journal (and I used to bind my own, so…) so if you are into a lot of color or use anything other than Tombow Fudenosuke pens and Pitt fineline pens, and do line drawings, then this is not the journal for you because you will get bleedthrough.

    Basically: If your bujo is very minimalist, and you stay with line drawings and/or coloured pencil or VERY light pen washes, then you can use this journal. It is great for a journal that is closer to the original pen and ink version than to a heavily lettered version. If you are into lettering with anything other than a Fudenosuke pen, or you do lots of watercolour washes, or you use Tombows, or basically plan for a much more artistic, sketchy bujo, this is NOT the journal for you. For my needs, I would buy it again. Since I am not concerned with perfect grids, if I ever start really sketching again, I will make my own Coptic-bound paper journal with blank paper. 🙂

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      It’s great to hear it worked really well for you Andrea! I love that we have options, because really there couldn’t ever be one journal that would work for every single person.

  12. I’ll share a mistake I made so others don’t have to make it 😉 Don’t skimp on the notebook just to save a few dollars.

    I’m new to bullet journaling, and after reading many blog posts for recommendations, reviews, and ideas, I knew the most-recommended notebook was the Leuchtturm1917. But the $20 price tag gave me sticker shock, so I went to Blick, the art supply store, looking for a cheaper alternative. I found one by Fabriano for $5, and felt very smart. It didn’t have the pre-printed page numbers, but I can write a lot of page numbers for a $15 saving.

    Fortunately, I didn’t use it for my “real” BuJo right away — I used it to sketch out ideas for different spreads, make notes, etc. I say “fortunately” because, when I got to the 3rd sheet (page 5&6), the 1st sheet started to detach from the binding. When I got to the 4th sheet, the 1st one fell out entirely, and the 2nd sheet started to detach. And so on. The beginning of this Fabriano notebook now consists of 4 detached sheets, and the 5th is well on its way. At that point I ordered a Leuchtturm1917 for my “real” BuJo, and I’ve loved it ever since.

    The moral of the story: A penny saved may be a penny earned, but not if it’s penny-wise and pound-foolish.

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience Jenny! The Leuchtturm1917 really is worth the price as are some of the other “nicer” bullet journaling notebooks. The pages are thicker than the cheaper options and the notebook in general just holds up better.

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      Thanks bunches Laura! I have not tried that one.

  13. I’m several months into my first bullet journal–a Mead 5-squares/inch composition book I got for a dollar during the back to school sales. I’m actually really happy to have started with this because it’s allowed me to experiment and find my way without feeling overly pressured for it to look perfect. I find I actually prefer the extra width enough to be hunting for a B5 notebook when I’m ready to move on. The paper is definitely thinner, but I haven’t had problems with Flair, Ink Joy, or G2 pens. Too often I’ve bought a beautiful notebook to start a new endeavor only to fizzle in a few weeks, in part because I make the project too big and complex at the outset. This time it’s sticking–possibly because bullet journals are intrinsically awesome, but quite possibly because I’ve allowed it to grow organically with flexibility and without expectations.

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      I totally agree that bullet journals are intrinsically awesome Siri! How wonderful that you’ve been able to learn through journaling in your composition book – it’s a great place to start and actually one that you could continue to use if you chose to.

  14. Shelby- you are an enabler- I just put the Lemome’s hardcover classic notebook in my Amazon cart… I swooned when I saw the lined pages were wide ruled. I love to write with my fountain pens on wide rule – also my journaling. So I will just have to have this.

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      That is so funny Charlene! I bet you will be glad for the enabling once it arrives.

  15. Scribbles That Matter has 201 numbered pages + index + key and a pen test page, not 185 🙂

    1. Jon Abrahamsen says:

      Whoops! Good catch, I fixed it 🙂

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