Bullet Journal Notebook

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What is a BuJo notebook?

A BuJo notebook is a journal with dot grid pages. You can create a bullet journal with blank pages but dot grid notebooks are better for beginners. Dot grid pages help you draw straight lines, guide your writing, divide your page into sections and align objects.

How do you choose a notebook?

Notebooks come with a hardcover or softcover. I bought my first bullet journal notebook online and didn’t realize it was softcover. It was packaged well and yet still arrived bent and damaged. I didn’t even bother using it as I realized that it would look even worse after use. If you are going to take your bullet journal with you when you leave home it must be sturdy and durable. It should be noted that Ryder Carroll, creator of the Bullet Journal, suggests you use your daily bullet journal spread to rapid log events and notes as they occur during the day. To do this, you will need to take your notebook with you at all times and therefore will need a hardcover.

What is ghosting and bleeding?

The paper you use affects the bleed and ghosting (show through).

Bleeding occurs when ink soaks through the paper to the other side. If it bleeds too much then you might not be able to write on the other side of the page.

Ghosting is where you can see the writing on one side of the paper from the other side. The ink hasn’t necessarily bled through to the other side but it shows through. Ghosting can be a problem if you like using both sides of the paper in your notebook since the writing or drawing on one side of the paper can interfere with the other side.

The thicker the paper the less it will show through. With thinner paper, the ink will bleed through to the other side. The more absorbent the paper is the more likely it is to bleed.

See the best bullet journal pens to see which pens don’t bleed and which pens show the least shadowing / ghosting.

Which is the best bullet journal notebook?

It really depends on what you are looking for, the pens you use, the colors you want to use, etc. The following comparison weighs the pros and cons of some of the different products available today.

planner

Name

Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal Special Edition

Dotted notebook by Vivid Scribbles

Pens Friendly Paper by Scribbles that Matter

Dotted Grid Notebook

DIY Bujo Notebook

Colors

Black, emerald and blue

Black, blue, pink and yellow

Teal, black, purple and pink

Black, mint, orange and grey

Any color

Number of pages

240

200

207

128

Any number

Thickness

80 gsm

140 gsm

160 gsm

120 gsm

Your choice

Preprinted bullet journal pages

8 page bullet journal guide

Bullet journal key

Index

Future log

Index pages

Key code page

Index pages

None

You can print unlimited bullet journal printables with our free app

Size

A5

A5

A5

5”×8.25”

Your choice

Bleedproof and ghost free

No

Yes

Yes

No

Your choice

Extras

2 Bookmarks

Expandable inner back pocket

3 Bookmarks

Expandable inner back pocket

3 Bookmarks

Pen loop

Bookmark

Inner pocket

Since you can add any page you are free to add any extras such as envelopes for storage, planner dashboard, calendars, etc.

Manufacturer

Leuchtturm

Vivid Scribbles

Scribbles that Matter

Ursunshine

Handmade


Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal Special Edition

This Leuchtturm bullet journal is the official Bullet Journal notebook. The pages are numbered and there is an index at the beginning. It also comes with two bookmarks. It includes an 8-page bullet journal guide that will teach you how to get started. The bullet journal key helps you remember the symbols and provides space to create your own. There is a 4-page index to easily find the contents of your journal. It also includes a 4-page future log.

It comes in 3 colors: black, emerald and blue. The black is the nicest (in my opinion) and the cheapest.

The dot grid size is 5mm.

Pros

The pre-made pages are very helpful for beginners.

It lays flat when open.

It has an expandable inner back pocket which is perfect to store planner stickers or documents.

It also has 2 color-coded bookmarks to easily locate content.

Cons

The only problem with this notebook is the paperweight which is only 80 gsm. It resists ghosting and bleeding but doesn’t stop it completely. Most pens ghost and some even bleed through. This lightweight paper can only be used on one side with certain pens. They don’t offer a Pen Test page to test out your pens on the paper before using them in your spreads.  You can, however, create a pen test page at the end of the notebook. See the best bullet journal pens look on this notebook to see if the ghosting will bother you. You can also find the best pen for Leuchtturm 1917 there.


Bullet Dotted Journal by Vivid Scribbles 

It has 200 pages. The dot grids are 0.5 cm apart which is the same size as the official bullet journal notebook.

Pros

This dot grid bullet notebook has thick ghost-free and bleed-proof paper (140 gsm). Therefore, you can use both sides of the pages.

The binding is great quality.

It has an expandable inner back pocket which is perfect to store planner stickers or documents.

It also has 3 color-coded bookmarks to easily locate content.

Cons

It has pre-printed index pages but does not include the other pre-printed pages included in the official bullet journal notebook (see above).

Fewer pages than the Leuchtturm.


Pens Friendly Paper by Scribbles that Matter

It includes a key code page for your bullet journal key. It also has index pages. The dot grid size is 5mm.

Pros

This BuJo notebook has no bleeding, ghosting or feathering due to the 160gsm ink proof paper. That means you can write on both sides of the page without the ink showing through. It also offers a pen test page so that you can check your pens before you use them.

They provide two color-coded bookmarks that help you easily find your content.

The notebook can be laid flat when opened so you can use the entire spread.

They have an option to choose your cover and inserts separately. There is a big selection of colors. You can then just replace the inserts in the future and not the entire notebook. This will save you money in the long run. BTW, they also have a thinner version with 100gsm.

Cons

Fewer pages than the Leuchtturm.

The pen loop tends to fall off sometimes.

The cover is easily scratched.

Pages take longer to dry with some pens.

Watercolors and colored brush pens do not blend as well as they do on the Leuchtturm notebook. It’s not that you can’t use them it is just that the colors don’t blend as well.

 


Dotted Grid Notebook /Journal by URsunshine

This is a cheap bullet journal but it still does the job well enough. The recycled paper is slightly thicker than the official Leuchtturm bullet journal yet thinner than the other options we also recommend.

It resists feathering, ghosting, and bleeding but doesn’t stop it completely.

If the price is an issue for you then this is a great product.

Pros

Very cheap.

Cons

The pages are not numbered but it is no problem to number yourself.

The cover looks a little cheaper than the other options but IT IS a lot cheaper so that is understandable.

It has only 128 pages.


DIY Bullet Journal Notebook

If you are looking for a cheap bullet journal then this is for you. In fact, it might not cost you anything depending on what you have at home. To create this journal, you take an old planner with removable pages (such as a Happy Planner) or a binder. See: How to turn a binder or Happy Planner into a bullet journal.

Print our dot grid pages and your journal is ready. You can print a binder cover here for free.

This BuJo journal has loads of advantages besides the price (which can’t be beaten).

Firstly, with our free Bullet Journal App, you can create unlimited bullet journal printables and insert them into your binder. No need to draw layouts from scratch. It saves time and is helpful for people who want to include drawings in their journal but cannot draw or don’t want to waste time trying.

Secondly, if the idea of not being able to correct your mistakes makes you nervous then this journal is perfect. If you make a mistake, you simply remove the page. Ideal for perfectionists!

Thirdly, you might want to include ready-made printable pages in your journal and this is perfect. You can easily add articles, blood test results, school reports, etc.

Print free printable dot grid pages on this site in US letter size (8.5″ x 11″), A4, classic planner size and A5.  The dot grid size on our free printable grid paper is 5mm. They are the same size and color as the official notebook. You can change the color, size and reposition it to make the margins smaller or bigger.

And you don’t need to use white paper only. You can buy cheap colored copy paper and print the dot grid paper on it. You can also buy black bullet journal paper to make some spreads on black paper with a white gel pen. I don’t know if you have seen the black bullet journals but they are so special. I am not so sure about making an entire bullet journal on black paper but with this hack you can add a few sheets of black paper to make a few black spreads. Isn’t that perfect! I bought this paper with these pens.

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