Bullet Journaling Notebooks | A Review of 10 Journals

I get asked all the time about my opinion of various bullet journal notebooks and their ghosting or bleeding. For this reason, I decided to collect various popular as well as cheaper notebooks to do a comparison. Below you will find 9 different bullet journal notebooks, their specs, images of their ghosting and bleeding, pros, and cons.

Leuchtturm1917

Notebook Specs

  • 249 Numbered pages
  • Blank table of contents
  • 8 Perforated and detachable sheets
  • Expandable pocket
  • 2 Page markers
  • Elastic closure band
  • Thread bound book opens flat
  • Sticker for labeling and archiving
  • Dimensions: 145 x 210 mm (#x# inches)
  • Ink proof paper
  • Acid-free paper

Bleeding & Ghosting Test

Pros

  • Hardcover is durable
  • Elastic band keeps the notebook from getting damaged and bent
  • Pocket in the back is a great place to store loose notes
  • 2 ribbons make page marking more convenient
  • Pages are numbered, and the notebook comes with a built-in index
  • There are so many color options, it’s impossible to be bored
  • Pages respond well to watercolor paint (still a little wrinkle, but really not bad)
  • The dots are in the same place on every page

Cons

  • Pages aren’t a crisp white (while I do not mind, this can be a turn off for some)
  • The built-in index is a con for those who wish to design their own or does not want an index
  • There is some ghosting and bleeding, but this depends on the pen or ink that is used

Northbooks Dot Notebook

Notebook Specs

  • 5 x 8 inch
  • Vegan leather cover is textured and durable
  • 192 pages/96 sheets
  • 60-lb/90 gsm paper
  • Dots spaced 5mm apart
  • Small us-based company
  • 1 ribbon page marker

Bleeding & Ghosting Test

Pros

  • Mild ghosting and bleeding
  • Ribbon marker
  • US-based company for customers who prefer to buy US only, this doesn’t matter much to me.
  • White pages
  • Hard cover can be a pro for those who like really hard covers

Cons

  • Paper rips fairly easy
  • Cover is rough to the touch
  • No page numbers
  • No pouch
  • Only comes in black
  • Some bleeding

Rhodia Goalbook

Notebook Specs

  • 8 x 8.3 inches
  • 90gsm ivory brushed vellum paper made in Étival-Clairefontaine, France
  • 6-page index or table of contents
  • 4-pages for annual planning
  • 4-pages for monthly planning
  • 240 pages (224 dot grit numbered sheets)
  • Pocket inside the back cover
  • Elastic closure band
  • 2 ribbon markers
  • Flexible binding
  • Softcover (16 available colors!)

Bleeding & Ghosting Test

Pros

  • The flexible soft faux leather cover is excellent. Make using the notebook pleasant
  • Elastic band keeps the notebook from getting damaged and bent
  • Pocket in the back is a great place to store loose notes
  • Beautiful colors to choose from
  • Thick, smooth pages make ink look vibrant and write smooth
  • Pages are numbered

Cons

  • There is a Logo on the cover. This one isn’t a big deal, I just like sleek plan covers.
  • Off-white pages make it difficult to fix mistakes. I generally use white-out to cover my mistakes, but the whiteout makes an error look worse on the off-white pages
  • Orange inside cover and ribbons (but I fixed this DIY style)
  • Some bleeding

Lemome Eco-Friendly Natural Cork Dot Notebook

Notebook Specs

  • 8.4 x 5.7 
  • cork fabric as the cover
  • 100% cruelty-free
  • Thread-bound lay-flat design
  • micro-perforated
  • 180 Pages 
  • 120g high-quality acid-free writing paper
  • Sturdy Sewn Elastic Pen Holder
  • Expandable Pocket
  • Elastic Closure Strap
  • 1 Ribbon Bookmark
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed

Bleeding & Ghosting Test

Pros

  • Perforation is a pro for those who wish to remove their pages easily.
  • Almost no ghosting and bleeding.
  • Includes ribbon, pouch, and pen loop
  • Cruelty-free
  • Renewable resources create the cover
  • Comes in various colors
  • Little bleeding/ghosting

Cons

  • Perforation may make pages rip more for those who do not remove pages.
  • No page numbers
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Graphic Arts Books Dot Grid Journal

Notebook Specs

  • Hardcover notebook that lies flat, with rounded corners
  • Colorfully patterned endpapers
  • 249 numbered pages (100gsm Wood-free)
  • dot grid pattern
  • Customizable key and contents pages
  • Two contrasting color ribbon markers
  • Elastic closure to keep the book closed
  • Gusseted pocket for loose mementos and supplies
  • Designed in the USA

Bleeding & Ghosting Test

Pros

  • Amazing pages
  • Assorted colors
  • The cover feels really nice
  • Pages are numbered
  • Key and contents page for those who prefer it
  • Includes two ribbons and pocket
  • Elastic closure
  • Hardcover

Cons

  • Key and contents pages may be unwanted
  • Fewer pages than most other notebooks

Minimalism Art Classic Dotted Notebook

Notebook Specs

  • Size: 5″X8.3″; A5
  • 192 Pages (96 Sheets)
  • Dotted Grid
  • 100 gsm
  • PU leather Hard Cover
  • elastic closure
  • bookmark ribbon;
  • Internal Accordion Pocket
  • DESIGNED in San Francisco

Bleeding & Ghosting Test

Pros

  • Leather soft to touch cover
  • Comes in many colors
  • Includes ribbon, elastic closure, and pouch

Cons

  • Some ghosting and bleeding
  • Pages are not numbered

Tacuin Large Plain Notebook

Notebook Specs

  • A5 | 14.8 x 21 cm | 5.8″ x 8.3″
  • FSC® certified
  • Manufactured in Germany
  • Hardcover
  • 100% biodegradable
  • 192 plain pages, made from eco-friendly paper
  • Thread bound
  • Marker ribbon

Bleeding & Ghosting Test

Pros

  • Hardcover is soft to touch
  • Comes in various colors
  • Includes ribbon marker
  • Pages are smooth to write on

Cons

  • Soft to touch cover gets dirty easy
  • Comes in only blank and lined pages
  • No page numbers
  • No elastic band or pouch
  • A lot of ghosting and some bleeding

Essentials Dot Matrix Notebook

Notebook Specs

  • 100-gsm acid-free/archival paper preserves your work
  • Inside back cover, pocket holds notes, business cards, etc
  • Elastic band attached to back cover keeps journal closed
  • Ribbon bookmark keeps your place
  • Durable hardcover binding
  • Classic A5 size (5-3/4 inches by 8-1/4 inches)
  • 192 dot-grid pages

Bleeding & Ghosting Test

Pros

  • Hardcover is durable
  • Elastic band keeps the notebook from getting damaged and bent
  • Pocket in the back is a great place to store loose notes
  • Thick, smooth pages make ink look vibrant and write smooth
  • White pages (this could be a con if you prefer off-white)
  • Great price for the quality (generally around $9-$12)

Cons

  • Only one color choice – black
  • Pages are not numbered (this can be a pain if you like to have an index)
  • Only one ribbon, some people prefer two (you can easily add a second ribbon DIY style)

DwellStudio Leatherette Journal

Notebook Specs

  • Embossed rose gold
  • 104 Sheets
  • 6 x 8.5 in
  • Lined Ruled
  • Includes a black ribbon

Bleeding & Ghosting Test

Pros

  • Ribbon marker
  • Very cute stylish cover
  • Almost no bleeding or ghosting
  • Flexible cover
  • Pages are a nice quality

Cons

  • Comes in only lined pages
  • No page numbers
  • No elastic closure or pouch
  • Corners are not rounded

Wordsworth Planner 2019

Notebook Specs

  • Six free ebooks
  • Hardcover
  • 5.25 x 8.25 inches
  • 256 pages
  • 62 note pages
  • 100g of paper weight
  • Expandable inner pocket
  • 3 ribbons
  • echo-friendly resource

Bleeding & Ghosting Test

Pros

  • 3 ribbon markers make the notebook easy to maneuver
  • Beautiful hardcover, durable
  • Focuses on goal-making and goal-achieving, very helpful in goal organization
  • Very detailed
  • Includes black and dot pages in the back
  • Pouch includes stickers

Cons

  • Organized in a way that separates monthly and weekly layouts into different parts of the notebook (ribbons help make this easier to use)
  • Not a blank notebook, has pre-created layouts
  • Monthly and Weekly layouts start on different days of the week
  • Pages are not numbered

>>Want more about bullet journaling tools? CLICK HERE!

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