Hello Planning Mashers!
Bullet Journal is by now a part of myself, so I’m determined to find the best notebook to use for my greatest helper. There’re so many brands on the market now that everyone can find something to their liking.
I was lucky enough to start my brand tryout from a new line of dotted notebooks by Rhodium Mines. They actually sent me a notebook last week, and after using it a bit (UPDATE: for 6 months already) I’m thrilled to share my experience here! Could it be a perfect match for you? Read on and find out!
I must confess I had never heard of this brand, and no wonder – up until lately they were producing mostly lined notebooks, which I simply never use. I’m so happy that now they released their dot grid notebook, so I can give them a try!
My general impression after browsing their website was extremely positive. I love their mission statement: “To inspire creativity through the power of imagination” I think this is so very similar to my own take on Bullet Journaling! Their name story is also quite interesting – you can check it here. They’re all about letting your creativity flow and discovering your uniqueness.
But enough about the brand, let’s get into the notebook!
DISCLAIMER: Since I’ve already had a journal for my everyday planning, this one I use as my collections journal, as well as a special place for doodles, tutorials, and other fun pages. So after 6 months, I actually used it a lot and tested out many stationery supplies. See below my detailed review.
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General Journal Info
This is a pretty sturdy journal, so to begin with let’s start with some general information.
- A5 (21cm x 14.3cm)
- 100 GSM
- 206 Pages
- Acid-Free Ivory Paper
- Elastic Closure
- 2 Bookmark Ribbons
- Expandable Back Pocket
- PU Leather
- Eco-friendly Paper
If you’re not sure yet how these specifications fit your needs, be sure to check my post How To Pick A Perfect Notebook For Your Next Bullet Journal.
The Notebook Cover
The dot grid notebooks come in 5 colors. Being quite tired of dull colors, I chose the turquoise one, and it was the right choice indeed!
The color looks amazing; for me it was love at first sight. The cover has a soft touch feel, and it looks like it’ll age very well.
I also love that there is a monogram of the brand.
It looks really cool, and it’s kind of really nice to touch.
UPDATE: I do use this notebook at home, but accidents can happen, especially when your workplace is a dinner table. So let me tell you – this cover is very easy to clean!
Plus it didn’t flake off at all.
Inside The Journal
On the first page, you can see the contact details page. Unlike some other journals, this one doesn’t have a special page assigned for key and index.
For me, it’s a plus, since I prefer to design the pages myself. Moreover, the pages aren’t numbered. It is, again, a matter of preference. And yeah, I actually prefer them that way myself, at least for collections journal.
The Notebook Paper Quality
Acid-free ivory paper is eco-friendly. The dot grid is 5 mm. I do somehow get a feeling that the dots are a bit darker than in my current planner, so it’ll take some time to get used to it.
When you open the notebook, the pages lay flat naturally, which is amazing for future spread pictures. They say the color is ivory, but in a very light shade that doesn’t really distort the colors.
The paper is also very sleek (check the pen test section for the advantages this has).
UPDATE: After 6 months of using the journal, I can 100% confirm that the quality is exactly as good as it seemed at first sight. I for example do a lot of drawings in pencil, and then have to erase it, maybe not even once.
And it’s never noticeable on the paper! It still feels so sleek to touch. Moreover, I’m extremely happy with how it holds all the materials, but about that read more below.
Ok, this is something I’ve never seen before – the notebook actually comes with separate two sheets of paper for the pen test. I personally was never too bothered to do my pen testing on the back of my notebook, but I still thought it was a nice touch!
UPDATE: After 6 months, I actually started using the notebook from both sides (one side for collections, and another for fun doodles and pages), so I’m really happy I did my pen test on the separate sheets. Just shows you that you never know which way your journal will go!
Now I tested the notebook with all the pens I have – Sakura Pigma Micron, Muji Ballpoint Pen, Pentel Fude Touch, Signo Uniball, and Staedtler fineliners. I also did a test with markers and brush pens – Kuretake Zig Brushables, Zebra Mildliners, Tombow Fudenosuke, Crayola Super Tips, Sakura Koi, Stabilo Boss, Kuretake Zig Fudebiyori and Tombow Dual Brush Pens. And I’m super happy with the result – there was no ghosting or bleeding. And because the paper is so sleek – there was no feathering either – all the lines are very sharp.
The only thing which can be seen is Stabilo Boss Highlighters, because at the end of the line too much color accumulated. But as my experience tells me this is problem with Stabilo Highlighters – you really need to be careful using those.
I also tested watercolor and was even happier! I applied it three times – the first time with excess water and the next two times with less and less water on the brush. There was no bleeding, and only with an excess amount of water on the brush, you can see the paper being a bit damaged (it’s at the bottom of letter M). This was an amazing result!
The price for their notebooks is £14.95, so around $20. From what I saw, this seems like an average price for a quality notebook of this size.
But this is definitely not your only notebook option though, feel free to check my post 13 Best Notebooks For Your Next Bullet Journal.
Conclusion (after 6 months of using)
Based on my experience over the last 6 months, this is a great journal. I really enjoy using it and I think it might be a great choice for you as well! However, I’ll let you be the judge – check below pros and cons I found.
- Great quality eco-friendly paper
- Minimal ghosting and no bleeding
- Back pocket
- Separate pen test sheets included
- Good quality cover is easy to clean and doesn’t flake off
- The dots are bright
- No pen holding loop
- Available only in 2 colors
- Pages are not numbered
My Conclusion: I love this notebook, and I think it would be perfect for anyone who is simply looking for a good-quality basic journal. Having no numbers on the pages and amazing paper quality also makes the notebook perfect for art journaling.
So, what do you think? Seeing all the specifications, would it be a good notebook for you? Let me know in the comments!
Pages Created In This Dotted Journal
Here are some examples of spreads I made in this journal.
As you can see, I used a lot of different materials and the paper held them all very well.
Since I’m using this journal as a collections notebook, of course, I started by creating a tracker for the TV shows.
I actually created this one in 2018 I think; it’s a good reminder to finish up these shows.
Creatine routines can be so very useful to stay organized and avoid overwhelm.
To learn more about it check my post How To Create Routines In Your Bullet Journal.
I always find that it’s much easier to keep journaling every day when you know exactly why you do it and what you get out of it.
For more info, be sure to check my post How To Make Your Bullet Journal Habit Stick.
I love doodling, so of course, this journal had quite a few doodling tutorials.
If you’re looking for more, check my post with 11+ Cute and Easy Stationery Doodles.
Looking back at this page, I’m happy to say I actually did end up watching all these movies.
For my next movie tracker, I think I’ll want to use the movie stubs as prompts to decorate the spread.
Does that journal seem like something you’d like to try? What journal are you using right now?
Let us know in the comments!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be A Blob!