Hello Planning Mashers!
Dingbats notebooks are pretty among the Bullet Journal community. But why do people love this brand? What are the features? Are they a good fit for you?
Learn it all in the post below!
Dingbats have been on my wishlist for a while. Just see my stationery wish list below, all the way from October 2018. I’ve heard a lot about this brand, and I really wanted to give it a try.
A month ago, they offered to send me their notebook, and I was absolutely thrilled! So this post is my review of the cute journal I got.
For the sake of transparency, I just wanted to mention here that in spite of the gift, this post has my own honest opinion..
I also made a YouTube video review, and if you feel like checking that out – it will be at the end of the post. Let’s dive in and see what this notebook is made of!
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Dingbats is a Lebanese brand that produces eco-friendly vegan notebooks. This means that they use recycled and eco-friendly materials while producing their notebooks. The notebooks themselves can also be recycled.
The notebook design goes together with their ideology to keep nature safe. They have two lines of notebook, wildlife, and earth, and each notebook is themed accordingly. On the “wildlife” notebooks you’ll be able to find wild animals, and on the earth line, you will see some beautiful trees.
Wildlife notebooks come in different sizes and with different grids. The Earth series is a new one, and so far only offers A4+ size dot grid notebooks.
Wildlife VS Earth Notebooks
Wildlife notebooks are the original line, and they’re more of the general type of notebooks you’d use, not specifically a Bullet Journal notebook. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t use it as a Bullet Journal, but it’ll miss some elements you might get in others especially customized for BuJo.
Earth notebooks seem to be built to be used as Bullet Journals. Even though the quality is the same, they have some special elements you might need in your BuJo, such as two bookmarks, numbered pages, and pre-made spreads for Index, Key, and Future Log.
I received what’s probably the most well-known Dingbats notebook – a Wildlife Grey Elephant notebook in A5+ size with dot grid paper. Of course, below, I’ll be reviewing that one.
General Journal Info
First of all, I have to point out the size difference. Dingbats don’t have a standard A5 size, their notebooks are A5+ (16×21.5 cm). It’s about a centimeter more on each side than A5 (14.8x21cm).
I think it’s absolutely amazing because I always found that A5 is just a bit too small. I guess I’m just too used to my larger sized Nuuna.
- A5+ size
- 100 GSM Paper
- 192 Pages
- Silk Cream Acid-Free Paper
- Elastic Closure
- 1 Bookmark Ribbon
- Expandable Back Pocket
- 100% Vegan PU Leather
Dingbats Notebook Cover
The cover is textured, and it feels like smooth elephant skin. It’s TOTALLY comforting and therapeutic to caress it; I simply couldn’t stop myself!
It’s also made from eco-friendly 100% Vegan PU leather, that means no chemicals were used to make it.
The cover also features a little debossed animal, an elephant in my case (because elephants RULE!). It also has stitched borders, which I haven’t noticed in other notebooks. It’s a nice little design touch.
Inside The Journal
A very sweet detail when you open the journal is that the first thing you see are the little animal tracks printed inside the cover. Mine are elephant tracks, of course, but other notebooks actually correspond with the animal you have on the cover.
The notebook doesn’t have any pre-made pages, and the pages aren’t numbered. This means it might take you a bit longer to set up since you’ll need to make key and index pages. Plus you’ll have to number the pages yourself to be able to use the Index.
Personally, for me, it doesn’t really matter. First of all, because I don’t use the Index that much (maybe you don’t need an Index either?). Secondly, because I prefer to do all my pages myself, so it’s really not a big deal.
Dingbats notebook has 100 GSM vegan acid-free paper, it’s eco-friendly and cream colored. The dot grid is standard 5mm.
The Paper itself feels absolutely amazing and super smooth! A cool little thing this notebook offers is perforated pages. Each page in the notebook is perforated, so if it’s needed you can pull them out pretty easily and without damaging the whole structure of the notebook.
But of course, I would recommend not overusing this feature and if you made a mistake, just try some of these creative ways to fix it instead.
Cream-colored paper isn’t pure white, but it’s barely noticeable, and it shows the colors pretty well. But it does make the colors look a bit differently, so my top choice is still a pure white paper journal.
The notebook lays flat, no need to break the spine. Which is great for taking pictures of your amazing future spreads!
The most exciting part of a journal review for me is, of course, a pen test, and this notebook didn’t disappoint. The paper is 100 GSM, so as I expected, it fared pretty well.
I tried most of the pens I own, and none of them bled through. There wasn’t even much ghosting! You can see the pen test more clearly in the video below. 100 GSM is a solid paper quality for a Bullet Journal notebook.
The sleek feel of the paper made sure the colors laid perfectly, and there was no feathering.
Materials used: Staedtler Fineliners, Staedtler Triplus Fineliner, Zebra Mildliner Highlighters, Crayola Supertips, Pentel Touch Brush Pen, Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen, Zebra Brush Pen, Tombow Dual Brush, Kuretake Zig Brushables, Kuretake Fudebiyori, Sakura Koi, Ecoline Brush Pens.
Dingbats Notebook – Final Thoughts
This is a beautifully designed notebook, and it really warms my heart to know that it was made at no extra expense of Mother Nature. Uh! I almost forgot! Did I mention that it has a pen loop? It’s my first time having one, so I’m quite excited about that.
It’s a great notebook with lots of little cool tweaks, and I think it would be a great Bullet Journal. Let’s look at all the pros and cons.
- Wonderful eco-friendly paper (A big one on my list!)
- Almost no ghosting and no bleeding
- Bigger Size
- Back pocket
- Pen holder
- Fantastic textured cover
- Perforated pages
- No pre-made pages
- Just one bookmark
- Pages aren’t numbered
For me, the pros overweigh the cons, and actually, the cons don’t matter at all. What about you? Does it sound like a perfect notebook for you? Let me know in the comments!
In case you want to see all these tests in a video format, here is a little review I posted on my YouTube channel.
Have you ever used this journal? Or are you thinking of maybe using it as your next Bullet Journal?
Let us know in the comments!
And be sure to check my post 13 Best Notebooks For Your Next Bullet Journal to get some more recommendations.
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be A Blob.