stationery

Find the perfect bullet journal for you

Post updated on 30 August 2019. This post features affiliate links.

We all have our preferences when it comes to notebooks, be it size, colour, paper stock, number of pages or price. Over the last year I’ve come to favour dot grid notebooks, a favourite amongst journalers and creatives the world over. But what do you need to look out for when you’re buying a new notebook or journal?

I’ve tried 16 in the last couple of years and I’ve brought all of my reviews together in one handy post so you can find the right one for you. For each one, I’ve noted price, cover, size, number of pages, photographed the ghosting and bleed through with some of my favourite pens, and listed additional features, such as page numbers, line spacing, ribbon markers and more. Because we all know choosing a new notebook is a massive decision!

Brands featured include Leuchtturm, Dingbats, Legami, Rhodia and Clairefontaine, and there are some cheeky discount codes too.

Need a quick overview? Skip to the bottom of this post to find out which is the cheapest, which has the most pages, which has the best paper, and which is the best value for money.

Creoly dot grid notebook review

Creoly Th[ink] Hardbound Dotted Notebook
Price: £9.99
Cover: Hardbound, PU leather
Size: A5 (13x21cm)
Pages: 240
Ghosting/bleed: Best to stick to a biro (Zebras are my faves)
Page numbers: No
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: Yes
Ribbon/s: One
Pocket/s: One
Additional notes: Lays flat, 5mm spacing

Creoly dot grid notebook review

Creoly dot grid notebook review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here

Watercolor Workshop stationery by Sasha Prood from Abrams + Chronicle

Watercolor Workshop Notebook (Paperback)
Price: £10.61
Cover: Paperback
Size: 14.6×21.2cm
Pages: 128
Ghosting/bleed through: Very minimal with a range of pens
Page numbers: No
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: No
Ribbon/s: No
Pocket/s: No
Additional notes: Lays flat, mix of lined and dot grid paper

Watercolor Workshop Notebook (Paperback) - dot grid notebook review

Watercolor Workshop Notebook (Paperback) - dot grid notebook review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here

Dingbats Earth Journal and Stabilo pens review - bullet journal layouts

Dingbats* Earth Sky Blue Great Barrier Reef Journal – Dotted
Price: £17.95
Cover: Hardcover, degradable faux leather
Size: A5
Pages: 192 (8 are perforated)
Ghosting/bleed through: 100gsm – near perfect
Page numbers: Yes
Pen loop: Yes
Elastic closure: Yes
Ribbon/s: Two
Pocket/s: One
Additional notes: 100% vegan, contents page, tabs, ‘how to’ guide, additional perforated pages, lays flat. I’ve used two of these now and find them very hard to beat. There’s one journal reviewed later in this post which comes close.

Dingbats Earth Journal and Stabilo pens review - bullet journal layouts

Dingbats Earth Journal and Stabilo pens review - bullet journal layouts

Dingbats Earth Journal - dot grid notebook review

Dingbats Earth Journal - dot grid notebook review

Find my full review and more photos here
Use my affiliate link and code ACORNISHGEEK10 to get 10% off your own Dingbats notebook.

T-Rex dot grid notebook from Mustard review

T-Rex Notebook – Magenta
Price: £12.00
Cover: Hardback
Size: A5
Pages: 190
Ghosting/bleed through: Some, even with lighter pens (80gsm)
Page numbers: No
Pen loop: Yes
Elastic closure: Yes
Ribbon/s: One
Pocket/s: No
Additional notes: Lays flat, spacing slightly larger than others

T-Rex dot grid notebook from Mustard review

T-Rex dot grid notebook from Mustard review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here

Hex and Ginger dot grid notebook review

The Minimalist: Dot Grid from Hex and Ginger
Price: £8.50
Cover: PU leather
Size: A5
Pages: 192
Ghosting/bleed through: Don’t use anything too heavy – Sensors and biro are fine. Opus fountain pen bleeds through but CalliCreative is ok
Page numbers: No
Pen loop: Yes
Elastic closure: Yes
Ribbon/s: One
Pocket/s: One

Hex and Ginger dot grid notebook review

Hex and Ginger dot grid notebook review

Find my full review and more photos here
This notebook is sold out but other designs are available here from £3.00

The House That Lars Built notebook review

The House That Lars Built Notebook
Price: £8.56
Cover: Paperback
Size: 14.6x21cm
Pages: 128
Ghosting/bleed through: None, even with heavier pens
Page numbers: No
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: No
Ribbon/s: No
Pocket/s: No
Additional notes: Coloured pages, gold edging, fancy AF

The House That Lars Built notebook review

The House That Lars Built notebook review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here

Celebrate Today stationery review

Celebrate Today Journal (Flexibound with Sticker Sheets)
Price: £7.80
Cover: Hard cover
Size: 13x21cm
Pages: 160
Ghosting/bleed through: None with typical Stabilo range or fountain pen
Page numbers: Yes
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: Yes
Ribbon/s: One
Pocket/s: No
Additional notes: Stickers, illustrations, contents page

Celebrate Today stationery review

Celebrate Today stationery review

Celebrate Today stationery review

Celebrate Today stationery review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here

Notebook Lawerta - dot grid notebook review

Notebook Lawerta
Price: £6.21
Cover: 240 gsm cardboard
Size: A5
Pages: 144
Ghosting/bleed through: Quite a lot, even with the Sensor (90gsm)
Page numbers: No
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: No
Ribbon/s: No
Pocket/s: No
Additional notes: Ruler on inside front cover, narrow spacing

Notebook Lawerta - dot grid notebook review

Notebook Lawerta - dot grid notebook review

Buy it here

My Notebook Legami bullet journal review

Legami My Notebook
Price: £11.00
Cover: Softback cover
Size: 12x18cm
Pages: 192
Ghosting/bleed through: Minimal ghosting
Page numbers: Yes
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: Yes
Ribbon/s: One
Pocket/s: One
Additional notes: square grid rather than dot, built-in index, additional template pages, including a world map to track your travels, space for yearly goals, monthly planners, plus pages for your contacts and passwords.

My Notebook Legami bullet journal review

My Notebook Legami bullet journal review

My Notebook Legami bullet journal review

My Notebook Legami bullet journal review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here. Get 10% off with my code GEEK10

Rhodia Goalbook from Stationery & Art - bullet journal review

Rhodia Goalbook
Price: £19.00
Cover: Flexible leatherette cover
Size: A5
Pages: 224
Ghosting/bleed through: Very minimal ghosting. Holds up with the Spectrum Noir brush pens (Clairefontaine 90g Ivory Brushed Vellum)
Page numbers: Yes
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: Yes
Ribbon/s: Two
Pocket/s: One
Additional notes: Available in three colours. Features six pages of contents, an undated calendar and future log. This is the only one which has come close to Dingbats for me, in terms of my personal minimum requirements. I’m currently using it as my Grow & Glow workbook, rather than a bullet journal, but I bleddy adore it.

Rhodia Goalbook from Stationery & Art - bullet journal review

Rhodia Goalbook from Stationery & Art - bullet journal review

Rhodia Goalbook from Stationery & Art - bullet journal review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here. Get 10% off with my code GEEK10

Clairefontaine Age Bag A5 notebook - dot grid bullet journal review

Clairefontaine Age Bag A5 notebook
Price: £14.99
Cover: Deep dyed cardboard with a leather effect
Size: A5
Pages: 192
Ghosting/bleed through: No bleed and minimal ghosting. 90gsm
Page numbers: Yes
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: Yes
Ribbon/s: One
Pocket/s: Two
Additional notes: Features eight built-in contents pages and eight perforated pages at the back. Available in various sizes and colours.

Clairefontaine Age Bag A5 notebook - dot grid bullet journal review

Clairefontaine Age Bag A5 notebook - dot grid bullet journal review

Clairefontaine Age Bag A5 notebook - dot grid bullet journal review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here

The Go-To Notebook with Mohawk paper - bullet journal review

The Go-To Notebook with Mohawk paper
Price: £19.99
Cover: Tactile cloth case
Size: 15.9×23.2cm (bigger than A5)
Pages: 192
Ghosting/bleed through: Minimal – 104gsm
Page numbers: Yes
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: No
Ribbon/s: One
Pocket/s: One
Additional notes: Features include lay-flat binding, a built-in contents (three pages) and 27 project pages (in addition to the 192 typical dot grid). Blue dots instead of grey. Available in a range of colours.

The Go-To Notebook with Mohawk paper - bullet journal review

The Go-To Notebook with Mohawk paper - bullet journal review

The Go-To Notebook with Mohawk paper - bullet journal review

The Go-To Notebook with Mohawk paper - bullet journal review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here.

Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal review

Leuchtturm1917 (Berry)
Price: £12.99
Cover: Hardback
Size: 14.5x21cm
Pages: 249
Ghosting/bleed through: No bleed but everything ghosts
Page numbers: Yes
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: Yes
Ribbon/s: Two
Pocket/s: One
Additional notes: Built-in index

Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal review

Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here.

Shine Bright Productivity Journal review

Shine Bright Productivity Journal
Price: £13.99
Cover: Hardback
Size: 16.2x21cm
Pages: 185
Ghosting/bleed through: Only Sharpies bleed and very minimal ghosting with some brush pens. Fountain pen friendly
Page numbers: Yes
Pen loop: No
Elastic closure: No
Ribbon/s: One
Pocket/s: No
Additional notes: Six contents pages, 160 stickers. Flippin’ stunning!

Shine Bright Productivity Journal review

Shine Bright Productivity Journal review

Find my full review and more photos here
Buy it here.

 

Now for the updated leaderboard!

Cheapest: Notebook Lawerta, £6.21

Best looking: Shine Bright Productivity Journal

Most fun: Celebrate Today (stickers!)

Best paper quality: Shine Bright Productivity Journal

Most pages: Leuchtturm1917, 249 pages

Most sustainable: Dingbats Earth Journal

Best value for money: Leuchtturm1917

Best all-rounder: Dingbats Earth Journal

Prefer something already laid out? Check out this fully customisable planner, with plenty of template pages to choose from.

For me, what continues to give Dingbats the edge is the sheer volume of features (built-in index, future log, page numbers, pocket, two ribbons, pen loop, elastic closure), great paper, nearly 200 pages, it’s super sustainable, and there’s a built-in guide for newbie journalers.

What are your deal-breakers when it comes to buying a bullet journal?

11 thoughts on “Find the perfect bullet journal for you”

    1. Yeah, Leuchtturm is The Brand but I’ve yet to try it myself. There are so many cheaper alternatives. I love a Moleskine too but haven’t tried their dot grids yet.

  1. So many journals 😮🤗 I love the customised Not Only Polka Dots one 💜 I only own one dot grid journal, it’s a Scribbles that Matter one. I like it, especially the fact it has minimal bleed through.

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