Notebook comparison : 5 different brands compared

January 20, 2018

It’s probably the more asked question : « What notebook should I use for my bullet journal? ». And my answer is almost always the same : « whatever notebook you find! »
But newbies usually need more guidance and ask what brand is the best and why.

Notebooks

With this post, I’m going to try to answer this question by comparing five brands of notebooks :
Leuchtturm1917
Scribbles That Matter
Rhodia Goalbook
Dingbats* Notebook
Personal-Planner

 

Pens tested

When searching for the perfect notebook, the most important aspect is probably the paper quality! I’ve tested almost all the pen brands I own to give you an overview of the paper quality of the notebooks :

Pens tested
Pens tested

 

Please note that I haven’t tested any alcohol-based which aren’t adapted to the notebooks mentioned in this post.

Leuchtturm1917 : A5 dotted notebook

Leuchtturm1917 notebooks are probably the most popular in the bullet journal world. Ryder Carroll himself uses one. The brand also launched the official bullet journal notebook available in three different colors.

Leuchtturm1917
Leuchtturm1917 cover (+vinyl cover)

Description

Leuchtturm1917 notebooks are available in different formats, different ruling types and different colors. It features two fabric bookmarks, a pocket, numbered pages and pre-made index.

Paper quality

The paper is ivory and has a weight of 80g/m². It’s a bit thin in my opinion and ghosting is very apparent. Some of the pens I tested bleed through the paper so be careful and keep a page at the end of the notebook to test your pens.

Overview

Leuchtturm1917 - A5
Hard coverSoft cover
Other sizes available
A4+ ; A4 ; A5 ; A6 ; A7
A4+ ; A4 ; B5 ; A5 ; A6 ; A7
Dimensions
145 x 210 mm
Cover colors available
More than 20 colors
Black
Binding
Spread-bound
Number of pages
249
121
Ruling
Plain
Squared
Lined
Dotted
Paper weight (g/m²)
80
Paper color
Ivory
Numbered pages
Index
Bookmark
2
Elastic enclosure band
Pocket
Other features
8 perforated and detachables sheets
Stickers for labelling and archiving

Scribbles That Matter : A5 dotted notebook (iconic version)

Scribbles That Matter offer dotted notebooks that have been able to establish themselves in the bullet journal community.
Their unique cover is full of cute little doodles. The brand also launched a pro version without any doodles on the cover.

Scribbles That Matter
Scribbles That Matter

Description

Available in A4 and A5 formats, Scribbles That Matter notebooks only exist in a dotted version. In addition to an index, the notebook also got a key page and a pen test page. I really like the fact that it has two bookmarks, a pen-loop and a pocket at the end of the book. However, you’ll need  be patient or lucky to get your hands next a copy. Available only on Amazon, Scribbles That Matter notebooks are regularly out of stock.

Paper quality

The paper is thicker than in a Leuchtturm1917 (100g/m2). However, ghosting is present and some pens bleed through the paper.

Overview

Scribbles That Matter - A5
Other sizes available
A4 ; A5 ; A6
Cover
Hard
Dimensions
145 x 211 mm
Cover colorsIconic version : multiple colors availaible
Pro version : no doodles on the cover, multiple colors available
Binding
Spread-bound
Number of pages
192
Ruling
Dotted
Paper weight (g/m²)
100
Paper color
Ivory
Numbered pages
Index
Bookmark
2
Elastic enclosure band
Pocket
Other features
Key page
Pen test page
Pen-loop

Rhodia Goalbook : A5 squared notebook

The French brand made a impressive breakthrough into the bullet journal univers. Their Goalbook, especially designed for bujo users, has awesome features and a great paper!

Rhodia Goalbook
Rhodia Goalbook

Description

Rhodia Goalbooks are available in a few different colors. Their soft cover seems a bit fragile and can be unstable when writing compared to a hard cover. Besides an index, the notebook also has got some nice pre-made pages : perpetual calendars and a future log. The Rhodia Goalbook features and elastic enclosure band, a pocket in the back and two ribbon bookmarks.

Paper quality

Awesome! The paper quality is awesome! The Clairefontaine paper is thick and soft. None of the pens I tested bleed through the paper and the ghosting is almost invisible! When I get a new notebook, I always use a page a the end to test my pens. And I’ve got the ultimate test pen : a pink Pentel Touch that bleeds through every paper I’ve got! But not in this one.
There’s only one detail that bothers me : the dots. They are more prominent than in other brands’ notebooks. It can positive or negative depending on the user but I had a hard time getting used to it!

Overview

Rhodia Goalbook - A5
Cover
Soft
Dimensions
148 x 210 mm
Cover color
Multiple colors available
Binding
Spread-bound
Numbered pages
240
Ruling
Squared
Dotted
Paper weight (g/m²)
90
Paper color
Ivory
Numbered pages
Index
Bookmark
2
Elastic enclosure band
Pocket
Other details
Perpetual calendars

Dingbats* Notebook : A5 dotted notebook

Dingbats* Notebooks are so cute! The Libanese brand offers gorgeous animal themed notebooks.

Dingbats Notebook
Dingbats Notebook

Description

Dingbats* Notebooks exist in different colors, each color corresponding to an animal printed on the cover. Without any pre made pages, the notebooks allow you to do exactly what you want. It also features a bookmark, a pocket and a pen-loop. The only thing missing is the numbered pages feature.

Paper quality

Dingbats* Notebooks have a thick and soft paper (100g/m2) but as in most notebooks, the ghosting is here and can be bothering. I personally don’t mind it but I know some people don’t like it at all!

Overview

Dingbats* Notebook (Wildlife) - A5
Other sizes available
A4+ ; A5+
Cover
Hard
Dimensions
160 x 216 mm
Cover color
Multiple colors available
Binding
Spread-bound
Number of pages
192
Ruling
Plain
Squared
Lined
Dotted
Paper weight (g/m²)
100
Paper color
Ivory
Numbered pages
Index
Bookmark
1
Elastic enclosure band
Pocket
Other features
Pen-loop

Personal-Planner : A5 dotted notebook

As its name suggests, Personal Planner is a website that offers you to personalize your own planner. But the website also allows you to create your own customized notebook.

Personal Planner Notebook
Personal Planner Notebook

Description

Having a customized notebook is great! You can choose the dimensions, the cover color and ruling… I really love the fact that you choose to have different ruling styles in the same notebook. You can have some dotted pages, some lined pages… with white paper or pink paper or blue paper… your choice! At then end, you get a unique notebook that suits you. The notebook comes with a ruler and a plastic sleeve that you can detach  and reattach wherever you want in the spiral-bound notebook.

Carnet Personal Planner

Paper quality

One thing you can’t personalize is the paper weight and that’s fine! I mean… 130g/m2! The paper is really smooth and the ghosting is so slight. Only my ultimate test pen bleeds through the paper, and that’s a tiny bleed through!

Overview

Personal-Planner Notebook - A5
Other sizes availables
Mini, Square, Wide, A5
Cover
Soft
Dimensions
147 x 205 mm
Cover color
Multiple choices
Binding
Spiral binding
Number of pages
160
Ruling
Plain (white, pink or blue)
Horizontal lines (grey, white, blue or pink)
Vertical lines (grey, white, blue or pink)
Squared (grey, white, blue or pink)
Dotted (grey, white, blue or pink)
Paper weight (g/m²)
130
Paper color
White,
blue or pink
Numbered pages
Index
Bookmark
0
Elastic enclosure band
Pocket
You can add one or more plastic sleeve
Other features
Customisable cover
Ruler included
Plastic sleeve included

Conclusion

Check this tableau recapitulative table to get all the info and details at same time.

Notebook comparison

 

 
 
 
 

This article contains affiliate links, meaning that I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Your price doesn’t change because of these links.

Notebook comparison

1 Comments

  • Mallika

    August 22, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you so much for this review. I’ve been looking for a pen test comparison of the Rhodia, Scribbles That Matter, and Dingbats notebooks. I hate ghosting, so the Rhodia wins for me! Cheers!

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