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8 Swoon-Worthy Notebooks for Bullet Journaling

Having trouble sifting through all those notebooks for bullet journaling? I’ve rounded up some of my favorites to simplify your life.

8 Swoon-Worthy Notebooks for Bullet Journaling | pageflutter.com | Your ultimate roundup of notebooks for bullet journaling, planning, and habit tracking

|8 Swoon-Worthy Notebooks for Bullet Journaling|

Hobbies are notorious for the equipment and accessories necessary to keep them going. They’re great fun at first, but one day you look around and wonder how you ended up with so much stuff!

When I first picked up bullet journaling, I knew I did not want a hobby—I was looking for a solution. My blog, creative writing projects, submissions, reading lists, and family schedule were a hot mess, so the last thing I needed was a diaper bag full of equipment to organize my life.

Bullet journaling has only two necessities: a notebook and a pen. The type of notebook and pen depends largely on the user’s budget and requirements.

In an attempt to help you buy only one notebook—the right one—I’ve rounded up some of my favorites for bullet journaling. They all have pros and cons, so keep your needs in mind when considering each option.

*UPDATE*  The official Bullet Journal notebooks are back in stock at http://store.bulletjournal.com! The official notebook is made by none other than Leuchtturm1917 (my personal favorite), and comes with a printed bullet journaling guide, key, index, three ribbon markers, and everything else you would expect from Leucchtturm (numbered pages, elastic closure, gusseted pocket, sturdy cover, smooth 80g paper). This notebook is designed by Ryder Carroll, the bullet journal inventor himself, so  you definitely can’t go wrong with it! 

1. Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebooks

My notebook of choice. I’ll refrain from reciting my “Ode to Leuchtturm.” I’m partial to the dot grid version, but Leuchtturm also makes lined, squared, and blank versions. As far as I’m concerned, Leuchtturm1917 is the ultimate bullet journal notebook; the paper is high quality, covers are durable, pages are pre-numbered, there’s a pre-printed index in the front, a pocket in the back, two ribbon markers, an elastic closure, and they come in every color of the rainbow. You can see my bullet journal in action here.

2. Moleskine Notebooks

Moleskine notebooks compare closely to Leuchtturm1917, and the brand is more accessible in the U.S. I’ve found soft cover versions with lined and dot grid paper at Target. They are smaller than Leuchtturm1917 (192 pages vs. 250), and some bullet journalists find the paper too thin for elaborate colored doodles. Still, this is a quality notebook that can take a lot of abuse.

3. Rhodia Webnotebook A5 Dot Grid

Rhodia fills their A5 notebook with 90g Clairfontaine paper, which holds up to fountain pens and calligraphy inks. With a ribbon marker, elastic closure, pocket on the back cover, and 192 pages, Rhodia’s Webnotebook is Moleskine’s twin, but with much better paper.

4. Midori MD Notebook, A5 Grid Paper

Midori makes smooth paper suitable for fountain pens and calligraphy. If paper quality is your biggest concern, you should give Midori a closer look. One thing to keep in mind is that the cover is thin paper, so you’d be wise to invest in a Midori MD plastic cover or stout paper cover.

5. Miquelrius Soft Bound Medium Journal, Graph

Even with 250 pages in my Leuchtturm1917, I find myself rationing pages. Having 600 pages to work with in the Miquelrius gives you plenty of wiggle room (and then some). On the downside, the binding is glued, not threaded. If you need a notebook that lies completely flat, this one might not be for you.

6. Moleskine Cahier Journal

Moleskine Cahiers are my pick for bullet journalists who take customization to the max. Sold in packs of 3, cahiers are small and lightweight but maintain the quality you would expect from Moleskine. They’re perfect for short-term projects or separating your journal into sections. I’ve even seen some bullet journalists use a fresh cahier for each month, and the brown paper cover creates a stunning backdrop for doodles and lettering art.

7. Northbooks Dots Hardcover Notebook

Northbooks hardcover notebooks are for no-frills bullet journalists. Just 192 pages of smooth ruled or dot grid paper, sewn into a hard cover—straight up, no chaser. It’s a well-made notebook, to be sure, and will suit those who prefer simplicity. No ribbon markers, pockets, pre-printed pages, or any other extras, but it does hold up over time, lies flat when open, and stays true to the simple spirit of bullet journaling.

8. Essentials Grid-lined Notebook, A5 size

The Essentials notebook has a sturdy cover and nearly 200 pages of quality grid-lines paper. Many bullet journalists who find Moleskine’s paper thickness inadequate are satisfied with Essentials, and it is less expensive than Moleskine and Leuchtturm1917.

Any notebook lying around  your house will get you started journaling, but quality details make the process come alive. Any one of these notebooks would serve you well as a bullet journal; now, it’s just up to you to make it your own!

Oh, no! Did I miss your favorite notebook? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment with your go-to brands, and tell me how you use them in your daily life! 

Brainstorm with me!

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Megan Rutell
Megan Rutell
Writer & Creative Blogger
Megan Rutell is the blogger behind Page Flutter. She's also a writer, stationery lover, Air Force veteran, and homesick Colorado girl.

49 thoughts on “8 Swoon-Worthy Notebooks for Bullet Journaling”

  1. I adore my Northbooks and I am so happy that they made your list! I debated between a few of these, but honestly I had a lot of fun adding my own bookmarks in… Page numbering, not so much, but technically that is optional as I lean heavier on sticky tabs than I do on my actual index… Lol

      1. Really, someone dumped a colorful woven headband in my front ditch, and I cut it up and superglued them to the edge. They’re a bit stiff, but that’s my fault, and I’ll have beautiful ribbon coming in soon that I have yet to find how I’ll use. Then I just tied knots in the bottoms of the cords, but they keep coming untied. Lol. I’ll try to post a pic on BuJoJunkies later!

        1. Great idea. Thanks for sharing, since I’m sure there are other people looking for the ribbon markers, but don’t want to pay Leuchtturm1917 premium prices for them. 🙂

  2. Just stumbled across this site. I needed something really lightweight to carry around. The Apica CD15-MU has a soft but sturdy cover and has more or less held up for about 6 months.

    1. Welcome! I’m so glad you found my site. I’ll have to look for the Apica CD15-MU, since it’s not one I am familiar with. I’m always on the lookout for great notebooks. Thanks so much for the suggestion, and I hope to hear from you again soon!

  3. Kathy Richardson

    I am looking for a good journal that I can add pages to as needed (ring type I guess) that lays flat but is still attractive, not “school notebook” style. Are any out there?

    1. I’ve seen many peole use a Filofax. I know Addicted 2 Planning and Jessica Torina (Ruby Doobies) on Youtube use a filofax for their bullet journals.

    2. Christina Martin

      If you’re interested in something unique, Staples has some disc binders that you can add pages to without having to open rings. They sell paper for it, or you can buy their puncher to make any paper compatible. (The Staples M brand and Levinger are completely interchangeable as far as I can tell, but the Levinger paper is much better, while the Staples puncher is better.)

      1. This is very helpful, Christina. Moving from one journal to another can be a pain, and I would LOVE to be able to keep some collections in a long-term binder. Wonderful suggestion!

      1. Hi, Brianna! I haven’t used a Traveler’s style notebook yet because I’m so attached to the page size of my Leuchtturm1917. I did find a leather cover that fits an A5 notebook, though, so I’m planning to blend the two systems together soon. 🙂

  4. Christina Martin

    I’ve been looking at the notebooks at cognitive-surplus.com. They are visually very interesting and appealing (the covers are really beautiful) and they have 80 gsm paper that I’ve heard is good for fountain pens. They carry dot, grid, lines, blank, and a couple of variations with two different types (like grid on the left and lines on the right).

    1. You’re right, they’re beautiful! Having grid on the left, lines on the right would be an interesting feature and could lead to unique layouts. The covers on these are stimulating… They make me want to invent something. 😉

    2. floridanative1203

      Just ordered two of these… I love the covers! Looking forward to having something light to carry in my bag!

  5. I like the Maruman Septcouleur notebooks (lines only) for paper quality. But I’m going to be trying out the Kyokuro Campus Dot Line (so i can have the dots for spreads). Anxious to try it!

      1. I’m now using the Kokuyo (boy I mangled that before) Campus (from jetpens) for my Japanese studies. Loving the “dot line” paper for writing the characters. (Lined with dots for drawing lines or making a character in the square it creates) Would be equally great for drawing spreads. It’s got 50 pages so no big commitment needed, also great to use for small projects if you want a separate Bujo. Good paper quality – some ghosting, and a little bleed through if I make dark areas with my felt tip pens. But really not bad at all. Also nice to have the No/subject and date areas at the top.

        I stumbled upon the Stalogy 018 Editor’s Series 365 days notebooks too. Drooling over them and these will be for my next Bujo. I love the setup of these!

  6. I’ve been using a Franklin-Christoph medium size lined journal for my first BUJO. It seems to be a hair small, since I cannot fit 31 days on a single page, but I generally just put the last few days in the middle of the page. What I like about these journals is the paper, which is made of sugar cane and is very fountain pen friendly. I have no business interest in this company and I may actually switch to the Leuchtturm, based on your recommendation. Don’t know if it’s okay to put a link, but here goes. Feel free to delete it since I’m not trying to advertise for them. http://www.franklin-christoph.com/firma-flex-journal-notebooks.html

  7. I like the greenroom eco notebook, but they only sell it at Target. I’m on the lookout for a good 8 x 10 or so size with more than 100 pages, preferably dot grid. Any suggestions for this size that doesn’t break the bank?

    1. Hi, Erin! I agree, the greenroom papers a nice quality. 8 x 10 is a tough size to find for dot grid notebooks. Leuchtturm makes a 9 x 12, and there are a few companies making the B5 (composition notebook) size. I would suggest digging around on Amazon to see if you can find one. Otherwise, you could take the paper from a Rhodia dotted notepad and have it bound into a notebook. I hope that helps!

  8. I’m looking for a bullet journal that is a spiral and has the thick pages like the Leuchtturm1917. I can’t really find any with the blank or dotted ruling. I’d really like the dotted but I can’t find either! Any suggestions??

    1. Hi, Timothy! Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet. I wish I had a good answer for you. I haven’t come across many spiral journals with dotted ruling. I know Rhodia makes a graph spiral notepad, but I can’t really think of any others. Blank notebooks should be fairly easy to find in the drawing section of an art supply store.

      Otherwise, I would suggest buying loose dot grid paper (or deconstructing a notebook from gouletpens.com). You can have the loose pages spiral bound at an offie supply store pretty easily. It sounds like a lot of work, but then you can have the exact journal you like using. Good luck!

        1. Cristina Wagner Allred

          Thanks! I really appreciate the paper info, I went ahead and ordered them yesterday, you’ve given me greater confidence in that decision. Fingers crossed that the paper is the same as what you’ve tried. 🙂

  9. Any idea where I might find a quality notebook with all of the features I want: composition book size 9.75×7.5 “, grid lines, hardcover, lays flat when open (so no wire). I’ve always loved those cheap composition books that we all grew up with but the paper is so thin that ink bleeds through. Any suggestions? Thanks!

      1. Thanks for your super fast reply, MJ! I’ll try these suggestions. I’m so glad I found your blog. All the best!

  10. I just discovered the “Scribbles that matter” notebooks on amazon and when it came in the mail today I was pleasantly surprised. It has every feature I’ve seen described with the Leucchtturm, including a key page, 3 index pages, numbered pages (only to 185 though), and a “pen test” page as well as the pocket in the back. It also includes two coordinating ribbon markers and a pen holder. I’m curious to hear of someone who has used or seen both this book and the Leucchtturm and can give an honest comparison because this notebook is $10 cheaper and seems pretty awesome.

    1. Thank you, Emily! I’ve seen them on Amazon but never got around to trying one. Great option if you prefer lined pages and want to save a good chunk of change. For anyone reading through the comments here, we’re talking about this notebook (http://amzn.to/2iMEoZz). I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      1. Thanks, BigMitch! I suspect there have been some price shenanigans on Amazon lately. The LT1917 used to be more expensive, and the Scribbles notebook used to be quite a bit cheaper. Hmmm…I say take your pick and shop around for a notebook that suits your budget & needs. 🙂

        1. Thanks, I was just going to point that out–prices fluctuate so much at amazon! I can only speak to the book I bought since it’s my first but I absolutely love it and no pens have shown through.

  11. Horikawa Kunihiro

    I’m looking for a notebook that has dotted grid pages and with pages that are very strong. This means pages that could sustain ink or markers from seeping through the pages. I’m also looking for one with a somewhat low price and if possible, a spiraled notebook. Can someone help me with finding a notebook like this?

    1. The thickest paper I’ve used is in the Blackwing Slate dotted notebook. (They’re sold at jbwelly.com; coupon “pageflutter” for 10% off). Still, I’m not sure the paper would even be thick enough for what you’re describing. Many art markers seep through everything except super thick artist paper. I have a bleed through test of the Blackwing in this post: https://pageflutter.com/blackwing-slate/

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