Best Bullet Journal Notebook: Back-To-School List For 2021

Once you decided to give bullet journaling a try, your next step is to find the best bullet journal notebook.

Now, when keeping a bullet journal is so hyped, there are many bujo notebook options to choose from, and, as a consequence, you may get stuck easily.

Because, what the best bullet journal notebook really means? The one you see in your favorite bullet journalist’s Instagram feed? Or maybe the one with the highest rate on Amazon?

Today, you’re going to learn:

  • how to choose the perfect bullet journal that will work for YOU
  • things to consider before you click “add to cart” button
  • my top 10 favorite bullet journal notebook list

Let’s get started.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It means that I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase a product that I have recommended. It won’t cost you any extra money.

Which Notebook is The Best for Bullet Journaling 

Dotted Grid...
3,231 Reviews
Dotted Grid...
  • Hardcover Dotted Grid Journal: This journal focusing on easy and efficient planning,...
  • Premium Thick Paper: This dotted grid journal features is made of durable faux...
  • Effective Features: This dotted grid journal is in MINT hard cover, which provide a...
Sale
Moleskine Classic...
16,769 Reviews
Moleskine Classic...
  • CLASSIC MOLESKINE NOTEBOOK: Moleskine classic notebooks are perfect notebooks for...
  • DURABLE COVER & ELASTIC CLOSURE: Hold writing projects & notes in your Moleskine...
  • GIFT QUALITY NOTEBOOKS: Moleskine planners, journals and notebooks come in hardcover...
LEUCHTTURM1917 - Medium...
26,136 Reviews
LEUCHTTURM1917 - Medium...
  • The A5 MEDIUM notebooks are the perfect size with a wide range of colors making them...
  • Thread-bound to open flat which helps make reading the contents easy and adds...
  • Features 80g/m² acid-free paper with high ink compatibility to help prevent bleed...
Rhodia Goalbook Journal,...
971 Reviews
Rhodia Goalbook Journal,...
  • A5 in size
  • Paper is made from Clairefontaine 90g Ivory Brushed Vellum
  • 120 numbered sheets, 6 page index and a perpetual calendar
Dingbats Earth Dotted...
9,957 Reviews
Dingbats Earth Dotted...
  • LOTS O' FEATURES: Durable hardcover bound with PU faux leather, round corners, animal...
  • For Bullet Journaling: Numbered pages, 3 index pages, 2 key pages and 16...
  • MULTIPURPOSE JOURNAL: Can be used as travel notebook, journal, diary, business /...
Sale
Travelogue Drawing Book,...
2,294 Reviews
Travelogue Drawing Book,...
  • HEAVYWEIGHT 130GSM PAPER - Buff colored drawing paper
  • 65 SHEETS/128 PAGES - Perfect for drawing and sketching with pen and ink, pencil,...
  • DURABLE COVER W/ ELASTIC CLOSURE - Cover is made with finely woven European book...
Moleskine Art Sketchbook,...
8,705 Reviews
Moleskine Art Sketchbook,...
  • MOLESKINE ART COLLECTION: From sketchbooks and sketchpads to watercolor notebooks...
  • DURABLE COVER & ELASTIC CLOSURE: Hold writing projects & notes in your Moleskine...
  • GIFT QUALITY NOTEBOOKS: Moleskine planners, journals and notebooks come in hardcover...
Tekukor A5 160gsm 192pgs...
56 Reviews
Tekukor A5 160gsm 192pgs...
  • Hardcover, A5, 5.8 X 8.3 inches, 96 sheets, 192 pages, thread bound and opens flat,...
  • Premium quality paper from Japan, 160 gsm, acid-free, white color, fabric cover
  • Numbered pages with dot grid that are 5mm apart, 27 X 39 dots, 3 ribbons - burgundy,...
Scribbles That Matter...
3,998 Reviews
Scribbles That Matter...
  • 😍 DONT RUIN YOUR HARD WORK: Pens and markers glide across the ultra smooth ink...
  • ✒️ START ORGANIZING RIGHT AWAY: Bullet journaling should be fun which is why...
  • 💪 WONT FALL APART: The silky yet sturdy faux leather cover protects your plans and...

Last update on 2021-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As usual in this kind of blog posts, you can find my favorite bullet journal notebook list below.

However, if you still want to find out how to make the final decision whether to buy this or that bullet journal notebook, then keep reading.

What Journal Should I Use for a Bullet Journal

Back in 2018, when I started my first bullet journal, it was definitely a big challenge to find the best bujo notebook. 

Although I read a ton of notebooks’ reviews and watched a ton of Youtube hauls, I still didn’t know which one of these bullet journal products was best particularly for my needs.

With this in mind, along with my best bullet journal notebook list, I put down some questions to ask before you even start shopping at Amazon. 

What Kind of Bullet Journaling Are You Leaning Towards

Generally, the bullet journal system, designed by Ryder Caroll, was created to be a simple and quick productivity tool.

Now, it seems that bullet journaling splits into two directions. It’s kept in a traditional, basic way or an artistic one.

In most cases, if you stumble upon a bullet journal hype on Instagram and/or Pinterest, you may be thinking that bullet journaling is all about fancy lettering, creative art masterpieces, and cute doodling.

At least, this was my case.

However, keep in mind that, again, the bujo system was originally developed to be first and foremost simple and functional.

Obviously, don’t get me wrong – if creating artistic bujo pages is your thing, it’s absolutely ok to do this.

I mention it only because it’s important to know what kind of bullet journal you want to start with before you choose a notebook.

Is it Your First Notebook

Along with it, if it’s your very first bullet journal, no matter what kind of bujo (classic or artistic one) you choose, just do your budget a favor, get the cheapest ordinary school notebook, and use it as your bujo for one month.

In most cases, it’ll be a little bit painful, especially if you’re a stationery nerd like me.

However, this one month trial period allows you to see if bullet journaling is actually your thing, without spending a fortune and risking a waste of money. Because we all know these bullet journal supplies can be really pricey.

Obviously, if you still want to use a regular notebook for bullet journaling, good for you (and your wallet).

What Is Your Bujo Goal

Although bullet journal originally referred to this simple notebook with symbols, now it’s a general term for an art journal, daily logs, diary, sketchbook, journaling, etc.

With this in mind, some bullet journal notebooks will work better than others according to your purpose.

For example:

  • if you want to start journaling with writing prompts, the notebook with lined pages will be more convenient to use than dotted one
  • for art journaling, you may prefer a blank notebook with thick pages 
  • by contrast, dotted notebook with soft cover is perfect as a planner carried in a tote daily

What Is Your Price Point

The next step is to set your bullet journal notebook budget.

From anything than $8 to even $30, these products can be both affordable as pricey indeed.

As a rule, the price strongly depends on:

  • number of pages
  • pages quality & thickness
  • cover type & design
  • additionally gadgets like pen loop, back envelope or premade pages

Firstly, you may think that spending $30 on a notebook is insane.

But in my opinion, it’s all about the experience you get in return. 

There’s some kind of a guilty pleasure, when you’re writing words smoothly with a fountain pen, touching an elegant cover and flipping through soft pages.

Other Things To Consider

Additionally, you want to think about the following bullet journal notebook features.

Pages

Definitely, you want to check:

  • number of pages (with a comparison to price)
  • if they’re numbered or perforated
  • if they lay flat when open
  • some notebooks have preprinted basic bullet journal pages like a key, index, pen test.

Size & Weight

As a rule, choosing the right (for you) notebook’s size and weight is crucial for a comfortable bullet journaling.

Just imagine carrying over 20 oz in your student bag daily.

On the other hand, trying to fit a monthly cleaning schedule in a pocket size notebook will be hard as well.

As you can see, sometimes size matters.

Generally, you can find bullet journal notebooks in different sizes.

For instance, you can get (affiliate link) Moleskine classic notebook in the following sizes:

  • pocket (3.5 x 5.5 inches)
  • medium (4.5 x 7 inches)
  • large (5 x 8.25 inches)
  • XL (7.5 x 9.75 inches)

Next, let’s talk about the paper.

Paper Thickness (gsm)

First and foremost, when it comes to paper quality, there is one measurement, specifying the paper thickness, you need to look at. 

It’s measured in grams per square meter (gsm). 

As a rule, the higher this number, the thicker the paper. And the thicker the paper, the less ghosting and bleeding through.

So keep this in mind while reading best bullet journal notebook reviews. Because of different bullet journal goals, the same bujo notebook might work for someone, but not necessary for you. 

For example, I use my bujo mostly in a classic way, as a planner. Currently, I rarely add doodles, drawings, or any other kind of decoration. 

For this reason, I really enjoy my Leuchtturm 1917 notebook with a paper thickness of 80 gsm.

But if you read some reviews, you see that other bullet journalists complain about thin pages and ghosting, even when using basic Crayola markers.

Compare to Dingbats (100 gsm) or Archer & Olive (160 gsm!) notebooks, it should come as no surprise that 80 gsm paper is thin and the ghosting appears.

Paper Color

Personally, I prefer whiter shades of paper than the yellowish ones.

Paper Layout

best bullet journal notebook
best bullet journal notebookbullet journal notebook

Again, as I mentioned before, there’re several options from which to choose depends on your bullet journal purpose.

So if you want to:

  • use a notebook for daily journaling than choose the lined pages
  • unleash your creativity and start an art journal, the plain notebook (or regular sketchbook) is a great option
  • organize your days and be more productive, then get a dotted or squared notebook

Obviously, feel free to use whatever page layout you want.

However, last year I bought a lined notebook by mistake. Although the notebook quality was amazing, creating the bullet journal spreads onto lined pages was a nightmare

Cover

Without a doubt, the bullet journal notebook in softcover is

  • cheaper
  • flexible
  • easier to carry around

However, it can get easily worn out just after a few uses.

On the other hand, a notebook in hardcover is:

  • usually heavier
  • more expensive

But they:

  • definitely last longer
  • give this unique, luxury experience.

Finally, it’s time to focus on tiny details. They seem to be unimportant at first sight, but the lack of these features might be annoying in the long run.

Ribbons

Having a ribbon in your bujo notebook allows you to mark specific pages inside the journal. 

In my opinion, the best bullet journal notebook should have at least two ribbons. 

From my experience, usually, you need to mark two pages at the same time. For example, a monthly habit tracker and actual weekly spread.

Elastic Band

An elastic band keeps your notebook closed safely.

Back Pocket

Also, having a back pocket in a bullet journal notebook helps you keep loose post-it notes in one place.

Pen Holder

Moreover, such a small thing like a pen loop prevents you from constantly digging around in your bag, searching for a pen.

Cover Design

Although it may sound obvious, choosing cover design you love motivates you to use your bullet journal on a daily basis.

For instance, my (affiliate link) yellow Leuchtturm 1917 notebook makes me feel energized. It definitely boosts my mood with its sunny, happy color.

What is The Best Bullet Journal Notebook

gsm paper thickness bullet journal

Before you start scrolling through my top ten favorite bullet journal notebooks, I only want to address whole ghosting thing.

As I mentioned before, whether your writing product bleeds through or not depends strongly on the paper thickness.

For instance, this is how Sakura Pigma Micron ink pen ghosting looks like while writing in three different notebooks:

Again, pay attention to gsm number and remember:

the higher this number, the thicker the paper, the less ghosting and bleeding through.

The Notebooks for Classic Bullet Journaling

Poluma Dot Grid Notebook
3,231 Reviews
Poluma Dot Grid Notebook
Format: 132 pages (no page numbers)
Size: A5+ (5 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches)
Weight: 11.4 ounces
Paper: 120 gsm, dot grid, ivory
Cover: hard; 4 colors
Other: 1 ribbon, elastic band, back pocket, opens flat

Last update on 2021-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
Moleskine Classic Notebook
16,769 Reviews
Moleskine Classic Notebook
Format: 240 pages (no page numbers)
Size: A5 (5 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches)
Weight: 8 ounces
Paper: 70 gsm, dot grid, ivory
Cover: hard; 15 colors
Other: 1 ribbon, elastic band, back pocket, opens flat

Last update on 2021-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leuchtturm1917 Medium Notebook
26,136 Reviews
Leuchtturm1917 Medium Notebook
Format: 256 pages with 251 numbered pages, 2 preprint index pages; includes 8 perforated pages;
Size: A5 (8.3 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches)
Weight: 9 ounces
Paper: 80 gsm, dot grid, cream
Cover: hard; 20 colors
Other: 2 ribbons, elastic band, back pocket, opens flat, adhesive labels

Last update on 2021-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rhodia Goalbook Journal
971 Reviews
Rhodia Goalbook Journal
Format: 240 pages with 224 numbered pages, 6 preprint index pages, 4 undated vertical calendar pages, 4 undated horizontal calendar pages
Size: A5 (8.3 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches)
Weight: 13.1 ounces
Paper: 90 gsm, dot grid, ivory
Cover: soft; 16 colors
Other: 2 ribbons, elastic band, back pocket, opens flat

Last update on 2021-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dingbats Earth Medium Journal
9,957 Reviews
Dingbats Earth Medium Journal
Format: 192 pages with 184 numbered pages, 3 index pages, 2 key pages; includes 16 perforated pages
Size: A5+ (6.3 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches)
Weight: 15.8 ounces
Paper: 100 gsm, dot grid, cream
Cover: hard; 4 colors
Other: 2 ribbons, elastic band, back pocket, opens flat, pen holder

Last update on 2021-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Bullet Journal Notebooks for Artists

Sale
Travelogue Drawing Book
2,294 Reviews
Travelogue Drawing Book
Format: 256 pages (no page numbers)
Size: A5 (5.6 x 3.8 x 0.8 inches)
Weight: 5.3 ounces
Paper: 130 gsm, plain, cream
Cover: hard
Other: 1 ribbon, elastic band, opens flat

Last update on 2021-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Moleskine Art Sketchbook
8,705 Reviews
Moleskine Art Sketchbook
Format: 104 pages (no page numbers)
Size: A5 (5.2 x 8.2 x 0.8 inches)
Weight: 12 ounces
Paper: 165 gsm, plain, cream
Cover: hard
Other: 1 ribbon, elastic band, opens flat

Last update on 2021-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tekukor Dotted Notebook
56 Reviews
Tekukor Dotted Notebook
Format: 192 numbered pages
Size: A5 (5.8 x 8.5 x 1 inches)
Weight: 21 ounces
Paper: 160 gsm, dot grid, white
Cover: hard
Other: 3 ribbons, elastic band, back pocket, opens flat, pen holder

Last update on 2021-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A5 Dotted Journal by Scribbles That Matter
3,998 Reviews
A5 Dotted Journal by Scribbles That Matter
Format: 158 numbered pages including 1 key page, 3 index pages, 2 test pages
Size: A5 (5.2 x 8.3 x 0.7 inches)
Weight: 14.9 ounces
Paper: 160 gsm, dot grid, light ivory
Cover: hard
Other: 2 ribbons, elastic band, back pocket, opens flat, pen holder

Last update on 2021-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Bullet Journal Notebooks – Final Thoughts

To sum up, I hope you find this best bullet journal notebook comparison helpful.

Although I’m not able to predict whether this or that notebook will work or not, I tried to cover everything you need to know before making a decision.

No matter if you start bullet journaling or just want to pick the best bullet journal notebook for next year, focusing on the main features mentioned above will help you limit your options.

There’s only one last tip I want to tell you. Stop overthinking. Set an alarm and get the perfect journal for your needs.

What’s Next? Discover Other Bullet Journal Related Articles:

Best Bullet Journal Supplies You Need for 2020

Best Daily Journals For 2021 [My Honest Review]

Sticky Note Planning [in a Bullet Journal]

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The Best Bullet Journal Notebook

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