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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Rhodia Goalbook Review for Bullet Journaling

I know, I know you read this title and thought, “but the Goalbook is not new” … So, I am late to the game! I was lucky enough to be gifted the Rhodia Goalbook from J. B. Welly at the end of 2017 and immediately began planning out how I would use my new notebook. Unfortunately, I had already started a new journal for my regular planning, collections, and lists for 2018, so I decided that my new Goalbook would be used for blog-related planning outside of my daily planning bullet journal. This is my review of the Rhodia Goalbook for Bullet Journaling.

What drew me to the Rhodia Goalbook was the excellent reviews that I read. Everyone was raving about it. However, I had not yet taken the leap to spend money on a good quality notebook. When I got in touch with J. B. Welly, they offered it to me, and I jumped at the opportunity!

Rhodia Goalbook Review

Rhodia Goalbook 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!)
  • Available at J*B Welly

First Impressions

So, when the Rhodia Goalbook first arrived I was blown away! It was beautifully packed and included a very nice little card from J. B. Welly. Immediately I took pictures and swooned over the notebook. I love the feel of the cover and indented details on the front cover. Additionally, the pages feel lovely and are numbered! I have never used a notebook that was already numbered before!

While the Goalbook comes in various colors, I chose raspberry because it seemed like a beautiful red-ish-pink color, and it is! Once I realized that the inside covers, elastic, and ribbons were orange (a color I don’t particularly care for), I decided to change that. One of the first things I did with my notebook (other than ogle at it), was to dye the ribbons and elastic with a black sharpie. I enjoy neutral colors, and I just happened to have a black sharpie on hand.

Next, I had to do something about my orange inside covers. I decided to cover the orange with gold washi tape!

Pros & Cons of the Rhodia Goalbook

Like any other notebook or products, there are pros and cons. This section will focus on my personal pros and cons for the Rhodia Goalbook after three months of use.

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)
Customizable Hand-Drawn Bullet Journals

Final Impression

After having used the Rhodia Goalbook for three months, I’d say that I love the notebook and I don’t love it. I absolutely adore the cover and quality of the pages. The dots and numbered pages are great, and the elastic band, ribbons, and back pocket are immensely useful! The most significant downside to this notebook is the off-white pages. But page color is entirely up to user preference, I just happen to prefer white pages.

Do I recommend this notebook? YES, 100% yes. If you don’t like off-white pages this notebook might not be for you, but considering all the other great qualities it has, you might be able to overlook the page color. Other than the page color, the notebook is fantastic! Head over to J.B. Welly to get the Rhodia Goalbook and other amazing bullet journaling supplies!

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