Hello Planning Mashers!
When you start your Bullet Journal, or even when you just think of moving to a new notebook, it’s important to find the right journal for yourself.
Of course always remember, that for bullet journaling you can use any notebook you have lying around in your house. Yet, it’s always nice to have the best materials and tools for our hobbies and passions.
So, I did my research to figure out what brands are on the market, which ones are popular and why people love them. So before you get your journal, take a look at these 9 dot grid journals to try out for your next bullet journal.
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Before we dive in and take a look at some fantastic Bullet Journal notebooks, I want to be clear about something – there is no such thing as the best notebook!
Everyone needs something different from their notebooks, so it’s up to you to decide what is the best notebook for you.
Personally, I also have a few favorites, depending on what it is I use them for. For creative purposes, I love my Archer and Olive B5 notebook, while for my day to day planning I can’t get enough of my Nuuna.
How To Choose The Best Notebook For You
Choosing the right notebook might be a bit difficult. There are so many amazing players on the market, and especially when you’re just starting it’s hard to understand what exactly you need from your notebooks.
I’m here to help though, here are a few characteristics you might think about when choosing your perfect notebook.
- Paper color. Do you want ivory? Cream? Pure white? Think about it, because the color of your paper will have an influence on how the color of your markers and brush pens will look.
- Numbered pages. If you want to follow the original Bullet Journal structure you’ll need numbered pages. Not all journals offer that though. So think if you have to have your pages numbered or it’s ok for you to do it yourself as you go.
- Extra pages. Some journals come with already pre-made pages, such as key and index. This really helps to speed up the process. So think if you need those or you prefer to create all the pages yourself.
- Amount of pages. On average you might need 250 pages for your journal to last for a year. But it all depends on how many pages you use monthly. Whatever the amount is, you might take it into consideration when choosing the journal. The more pages it has the longer it will last, but also the heavier it will be. So consider how you plan to use your journal.
- Paper thickness. Last but not least is the paper quality. You definitely don’t want any bleeding or ghosting on your pages, so always make sure you check how thick the paper is. I’d say anything around 100-120 GSM is pretty solid, but of course the higher GSM the better.
I hope by now you have an idea of what you might be looking in your Bullet Journal notebook, so let’s get on with the list!
Best Bullet Journal Notebooks To Try This Year
I tried quite a few notebooks already and I researched tons of others. Here is the list of some of the best available notebooks for Bullet Journaling which you might consider using.
Each of them is different and has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s up to you to pick which one would fit your needs better.
If it’s your first Bullet Journal and you feel a bit confused, come and join my FREE course which will help you to start a Bullet Journal in just 10 days. You will receive daily lessons with details on all things Bullet Journal and step by step instructions that will lead you through the whole process.
Now let’s dive in and choose your next notebook!
At the end of the post I’ll give you my opinions on the best notebooks in different categories, so be sure to check that out at well.
Also in the end will be some options for 160 GSM notebooks if you want to get something with a little extra-thick paper. if you’re only interested in 160 GSM notebooks be sure to check my post Best 160 GSM Bullet Journal Notebooks: The Ultimate Comparison.
Nuuna journals are among the most pricey ones on the market and my notebooks of choice for daily planning. I absolutely adore these notebooks – their line has a size somewhere between A5 and B4, so it provides a lot of space for creativity.
The paper is pure white and the dot grid is actually smaller than in any other notebook. White paper allows for much cleaner and brighter colors and a smaller dot grid, well, is just my preference.
Among the disadvantages are: the journal has a soft cover and no elastic band, the paper quality decreased with the latest issue and doesn’t hold that well some materials (Ecoline watercolor brush pens for example).
If you want to learn more, check my complete Nuuna journal review.
- Premium soft cover notebook made from soft recycled leather and screen printing motif limited edition.
- 256 pages of the finest 120 g premium paper with dot grid and coloured edging, perfect for sketching and writing, not transparent.
- High quality thread stitching and innovative binding technique for a perfect look mark-up behaviour and position.
This notebook is for you if you’re looking for a stylish clean journal and have a more minimalist style.
Archer and Olive
Archer and Olive journals are on the expensive side, but you’ll be getting something really special for this price! I bought and was gifted quite a few Archer and Olive notebooks and I can absolutely vouch for them.
You can also get 10% off your order if you use code MASHA10 at the checkout.
Archer and Olive notebooks have 160 GSM paint friendly paper, the thickest of any other Bullet Journal notebook on the market. It’s also pure white, which is pretty rare on the market.
If you want to learn more about the notebook, check out my Archer and Olive review, with a YouTube review and a grid spacing guide for A5 and B5 notebooks.
This notebook is for you if you’re looking for a journal to withstand it all and explore your creativity with lots of different materials.
As a little extra entry here – Archer and Olive released a watercolor notebook! Be sure to check my complete review and see if this might be a good choice for you.
Midori Traveler’s Notebook
Having a traveler’s notebook as a Bullet Journal can be very beneficial. You can create collections in separate inserts so you never have to redo them. Plus it’s one journal for the whole time, you just need to add inserts.
- Kit for beginner of Traveller's notebook.
- You can easily have together everywhere and everytime and use in your own way.
- A set of body made of cow skin, papers without rules, cotton case, and rubber band.
This notebook is worth your time if you want to invest in a quality journal top carry around on your adventures.
Leuchtturm 1917 The Official Bullet Journal Notebook
This is the official notebook for Bullet Journaling, designed by Ryder Carroll, the Bullet Journal inventor himself. So you really can’t go wrong with this journal.
This journal includes a preprinted index and key and is designed to help you get accustomed to a traditional bullet journal setup.
The notebook has a very classy look and it has everything you might expect from a BuJo notebook, like ribbon, elastic band, numbered pages and such. This is a great basic notebook. Unlike its counterparts, it’s actually more suited for Bullet Journaling and has three ribbons, that make navigating in it much faster and more convenient.
There are however some issues I see people mentioning. The paper isn’t pure white so all the colors will be a bit less bright, and it’s just 80 GSM, so sometimes people mentioned they had slight ghosting or bleeding.
- BULLET JOURNAL: Leuchtturm1917 brings to you a journal with all the quality of a Leuchtturm journal formatted with the Bullet journal method, Track the past, order the present, design the future
- INKPROOF PAPER: Leuchtturm1917 A6 pocket notebooks have 80 gsm paper, which is equatable to 60lb stock, and has 185 numbered pages
- OPENS FLAT: This thread-bound notebook opens flat so you can write and draw at all angles without compromising the integrity of the spine
This notebook is for you if you’re starting and want to have an easier way to learn how to use your Bullet Journal.
Leuchtturm 1917 Dot Grid Journal
If you want to try out Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks, but want more color options and a bit lower price – just try their usual dot grid journals. These have numbered pages and index for your Bullet Journal, and of course same paper quality as the official Bullet Journal notebook. But the best thing is all the colors you can choose from!
Leuchtturm 1917 journals are very popular in the Bullet Journal community and were the first notebook for many Bullet Journalists. It’s a very good basic notebook to start with.
Just like with the official Bullet Journal Notebook, the paper quality is 80 GSM, and here opini0ns divide between it being good or experiencing some of bleeding. Personally, I never used these notebooks myself, so I can’t let you know for sure, but I know Shelby from Little Coffee Fox loves these notebooks, so you can check her review.
- The A5 MEDIUM notebooks are the perfect size with a wide range of colors making them ideal companions for all walks of life — this notebook series is perfect for midnight ramblings, daily entries, thoughtful reflection, careful chronicling and illuminating life stories
- Thread-bound to open flat which helps make reading the contents easy and adds efficiency to note-taking
- Features 80g/m² acid-free paper with high ink compatibility to help prevent bleed through, an expandable gusseted pocket on the back cover, 2 ribbon page markers and an elastic closure band
This notebook is for you if you want high quality and cover color variety.
This brand is famous for being eco-friendly and featuring different animals on their covers. I’ve had these on my wishlist for a while and was so happy when they offered to send me one.
Dingbats notebooks have adorable cover designs and a pretty dense paper. I personally enjoy using mine and how smooth the paper is. Another special treat of these notebooks – the pages re perforated, so if needed it’s pretty simple to take a page out.
Moreover, the notebooks come is a slightly larger size than A5, which is always welcome – who doesn’t want to have just a little bit more space for their Bullet Journal setups?!
- For its UK sales, Dingbats* Notebooks Ltd donates 2% of its revenue to WWF-UK, a charity registered in England and Wales (1081247)
- LOTS O' FEATURES: Durable hardcover bound with PU faux leather, round corners, animal footprint endsheets, micro-perforated 100gsm cream pages, inner pocket, bookmark, a lay flat design and elastic closure. Also includes a pen holder - perfect.
- Highest Quality Coated 100gsm Writing Paper: Size: Medium A5+ (6.3 x 8.5); Sheets: 96 (192 pages). Lined (Ruled), Plain (Unlined), Dotted (Dot Grid), or Squared (Grid) in the world's highest quality 100gsm (thick) acid free fountain-friendly paper
If you want to learn more about a notebook from this line, make sure to check out my detailed review with a YouTube video review as well.
- LOTS O' FEATURES: Durable hardcover bound with PU faux leather, round corners, non-perforated 100gsm cream pages, inner pocket, 2 bookmarks, 192 pages with a lay flat design and elastic closure. Also includes a pen holder - perfect.
- FOR BULLET JOURNALING: Bonus features include numbered pages, 3 index pages, 2 key pages and 16 micro-perforated pages. The endsheets of each notebook are also finely printed with an infographic spread of the endangered region. Size: Medium A5+ (16 x 21.5 cm); Sheets: 96 (192 pages)
- MULTIPURPOSE JOURNAL: Can be used as a bullet journal, travel notebook, journal, diary, business / executive / office notebook, gift, workout journal, travel journal, school journal, recipe journal etc.
This notebook is for you if you want something cute and a bit bigger than the standard A5.
Scribbles That Matter Journal
Scribbles That Matter journal has been on my wishlist for a long while already. It’s famous for bright cover designs and cute doodles. Apart from general dotted pages, these journals offer pre-made key and index and special pen test pages. Moreover, all pages are numbered.
Scribbles That Matter is a wonderful company that keeps listening to their fan base and always tries t0o improve their product, and this new journal with 160 GSM paper is just another example of it.
- 😍 DONT RUIN YOUR HARD WORK: Pens and markers glide across the ultra smooth ink proof 160gsm acid-free paper. Zero bleeding, ghosting and feathering for beautifully clean double-sided musings. Our journals have a Pen Test page so you don’t ruin all your hard work
- ✒️ START ORGANIZING RIGHT AWAY: Bullet journaling should be fun which is why we’ve made our journal an overwhelm-free zone. Includes key code page, index pages, dotted numbered pages and 2 color coded bookmarks for optimal organization and stress-free set up
- 💪 WONT FALL APART: The silky yet sturdy faux leather cover protects your plans and ideas for years to come. Strong binding means even die hard journalers won’t have to worry about pages falling out from avid writing. Lay flat design for smoother writing
All you need is a Bullet Journal notebook and a pretty affordable price – I think this notebook might be for anyone in BuJo world.
The Rhodia Webnotebook A5 Dot Grid Journal
This notebook has 192 smooth, ivory-colored 90-gsm pages. The pages are friendlier for fountain pens and felt-tipped pens. The dot grid on the pages is darker than most other bullet journals, which makes them easier to see. It also means that the dots will be well seen in your designs as well.
The journal comes with one black ribbon bookmark and an elastic closure.
- Size of web notebook - A5/140 x 210 mm
- The paper within the web notebook is 90 g Ivory Brushed Vellum
- The web notebook has a leatherette cover with an elasticated strap
This journal is a solid choice if you’re looking to start fresh.
Filofax Refillable Notebook
In case you’re looking for something you need to reorganize with time, I recommend you to give a look to Filofax notebooks. They don’t come with dot grid paper, you’d need to buy it separately, but the paper quality is absolutely fantastic.
I used it for my travel journal this year and I must say I loved it!
Before you decide on this one, check out this post to learn what are the advantages and disadvantages of a refillable notebook as your Bullet Journal.
- Pretty pastel leather-look Filofax Notebook with color coordinated elastic closure. The sturdy design ensures your journal will be well protected and have increased longetivity.
- Innovative hole design allows the pages to be repositioned to suit personal needs. The unique and clever construction allows the premium pages to be easily added, removed or repositioned.
- 112 moveable ruled pages, premium cream-colored paper provide plenty of space for personal reflection, creative writing, sketching, or jotting down favorite quotations or poems. Plus, it's refillable - refills available in ruled, quad and plain. 30% post-consumer recycled paper.
This journal is for you if you’re looking for flexibility in organizing your Bullet Journal pages.
Lemome Hardcover Dot Grid Notebook
These are good quality notebooks with an elegant design. Lemome journals have a high-quality paper in ivory color. Even though you won’t find here any special features like pre-made key and index or numbered pages, it’s still a great notebook to use for your Bullet Journal.
- DURABLE HARDCOVER JOURNAL - Touched comfortably, sturdy hard cover protects your art for years. The elastic pen loop is always available for your pen and kept well.
- LAY-FLAT 180° LARGECLASSIC NOTEBOOK - Let you reading more easy and note-taking efficiency. The tight band of journal keeps it securely closed. And firm binding ensures pages don't get peeled away from the cover. Enjoy your writing by hand with no distractions.
- 180 PAGES DOTTED BULLET JOURNAL - Thicker paper resistant to passionate artist. Dotted grid notebook helps guide your writings, stand out very clearly. Perfect for bullet journaling, compiling recipes, creative writing, planning a holiday, keeping track of your workouts, or just doodling and drawing.
This journal is definitely for you if you’re just starting your BuJo journey, for any other kind of journaling, and actually if you use lots of wet pens, like fountain pens.
Scrivwell Dotted A5 Hardcover Notebook
The great basic notebook without any extras to distract you. The paper is 120 GSM, meaning that most likely ghosting or bleeding won’t be a problem here.
Plus the paper is much closer to pure white than in many other notebooks.
- ✔ NO-INK-BLEED THICK PAPER ... Extra thick 120 GSM paper with a light coating so pen & marker ink won’t seep through the page. Use both sides of Scrivwell Journal 208 pages
- ✔ 2 MARKER RIBBONS + POCKET ... Keep your place with 2 attached silky ribbon markers. An expandable back cover pocket stores business cards & receipts.
- ✔ VEGAN LEATHER HARDCOVER … Holds securely shut with a built in elastic strap. The 5.5 x 8.2 inch hardcover protects your notes from spills, drops, & provides a firm, quality feel.
This notebook is a great option for your first Bullet Journal.
Northbooks Hardcover Notebook
Northbooks hardcover notebooks are as basic as you can get. Just 192 pages of smooth dot grid paper with no ribbon, pockets or pre-printed pages. It’s a well-made notebook, it holds up over time and lies flat.
- SIMPLE, YET SOPHISTICATED: Our 5 x 8 inch notebooks are the perfect size for journaling, daily planning, or note taking, either at your desk or on the go. No constraints and no distractions -- just a high-quality notebook you will love. Northbooks are elegant, yet competitively priced. We put function first -- allowing you to bring back the joy of writing by hand.
- DURABLE, YET ATTRACTIVE: Our elegant vegan leather cover is textured and durable. It features a silky smooth touch and square corners for a sophisticated look. The soft cream color of our pages does not distract from the writing, allowing you to effortlessly read your notes in even direct sunlight. Our hardcover notebooks are able to lie almost completely flat once broken in.
- ARCHIVAL QUALITY: 192 pages/96 sheets of 60-lb/90 GSM 30% recycled paper that resists feathering, ghosting, and bleeding, without any extra bulk. Our paper is thick, smooth, and acid-free, and makes an elegant backdrop for whatever media you use. Minimal ghosting may occur with very wet inks. Alcohol-based markers are not recommended.
This is a notebook for minimalist kind of Bullet Journalists and is a great option as a test journal.
Bullet Journal by Poluma
Bullet Journal notebook by Poluma is one of the cheapest options you can get to start with your bujo, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a good notebook. It’s among Amazon’s picks in the Bullet Journal notebooks category and has a solid quality paper.
The only drawback could probably be the fact that they have only 1 ribbon and the pages aren’t numbered, which might be an issue for you if you’re planning to follow the original Bullet Journal system. But then again you might not need those – just check my Index post to check which option is best for you.
- Hardcover Dotted Grid Journal: This journal focusing on easy and efficient planning, scheduling and organizing your successful life and you can use it for note-taking or painting and so on. This hardcover journal is the best choice for home, work office and family.
- Premium Thick Paper: This dotted grid journal features 100% durable faux leather hard cover and cream white paper. And It uses acid-free cream white paper to help prevent from damages of light and airs to keep notes on the pages clearly.
- Effective Features: This dotted grid journal is in black hard cover, which provide a professional looking and the size of this journal is 5”x 8.25”so it’s very convenient for carrying or putting into/taking out of your backpack. Besides, there are 128 pages/64 sheets in this dotted grid journal, which provide you with plenty space for note-taking, planning or scheduling.
This notebook is definitely for you if you’re new to Bullet Journaling and want to experiment and try out the system before committing.
That’s a lot of notebooks to choose from, so to help you out here are my top picks in different categories.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Lemome Notebook
Best Overall: Scribbles That Matter 160 GSM
Best For Artists: Archer and Olive
Best On A Budget: Bullet Journal By Poluma
Best For Beginners: Scrivwell Dotted A5 Hardcover Notebook
Best For Minimalists: Northbooks Hardcover Notebook
Here are a few more options for you if you decide to invest in a 160 GSM notebook.
My best choice is of course always Archer and Olive that after my tests of 7 160 GSM journals came out as the best one. But this is also a premium product so in case you want to go for something more budget, here are a few recommendations on 160 GSM journals to get started with.
- A GORGEOUS DOTTED NOTEBOOK- Inspired by an IG follower, my Kelsey Notebooks are one of a kind bullet journals with features that you won’t find anywhere else. The Tumbitri Meri Kelsey Notebooks are 5 x 8.3 inches in size and are the perfect dot grid notebooks for those wanting to really delve into their creative side.
- BUJO SPECIFIC STENCIL RULER INCLUDED- Comes with a gold metal stencil ruler that has its own pocket in the front of the notebook. Create those gorgeous spreads with ease using the stencil ruler specifically designed for bullet journaling- write evenly spaced monthly dates, draw perfect bullet point squares to tick your daily agenda items off, measure with ease using the side ruler. It’s the perfect accessory for your Tumbitri Meri notebooks and journals
- THICKER 160 GSM WHITE ACID-FREE PAPER- Ideal for using a variety of mediums, including pens (such as fountain pens, Tombows and UNI pin), watercolors and pencils, with no bleeding and feathering and minimal ghosting. The super thick paper means that it can handle even the juiciest of pens and the white paper will make your colors really pop in your notebook
- Hardcover, A5, 5.8 X 8.3 inches, 96 sheets, 192 pages, thread bound and opens flat, weighs 600g or about 21oz
- 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, yellow and white for page markers
The important thing is really not to overthink it. If you want to start and excited about your first Bullet Journal, just go for it! Find the notebook that seems ok for you at the moment and get it.
In time and with more experience you’ll learn what exactly you need and what kind of notebook is a perfect fit for you. Meanwhile, just jump in and start exploring!
Did I miss your favorite notebook? What brands would you include in this list? Let me know in the comments section below, and I hope this post was helpful for you!
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And always remember! Keep Bullet Journaling and don’t be a Blob!