Everyone should have at least one journal, even if it’s just used to write down grocery lists. For those of you who don’t know much about bullet journaling, the process might seem a bit convoluted and confusing, but all you need to start is a good notebook and some pens.
There are hundreds of notebooks available on the market, but we've picked out a handful of the best to help make choosing one easier for you. Sit back with your pen and take note; these journals are designed to impress.
Quick Overview: Best Bullet Journal
LEMOME Dotted Leather Journal Notebook with Pen Loop
Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook
LEMOME THICK Notebook
Newestor A5 Dotted Notebook
TWONE Travel Journal Set
Table of Contents
Top 5 Best Bullet Journal of 2021
1. LEMOME Dotted Leather Journal/ Notebook with Pen Loop
The LEMOME brand offers a variety of notebooks to writers everywhere at an affordable price.
We chose their dotted journal to review first, though it’s not the last time you will see them on this list.
The dotted LEMOME journal features thick, high-quality paper and a design that’s made for all occasions and all people.
The 192 included pages are protected by a smooth, black leather cover to ensure your musings are kept for the long haul.
It has a thread-bound, lay-flat binding that makes writing a breeze for left and right-handed writers, and includes an elastic closure to keep the journal shut, a pen loop, an inside pocket and a bookmark.
Additionally, it comes with some page dividers and a money-back guarantee.
What I Like
The thick paper was a major selling point for us with this journal because there was no bleeding and very little ghosting. The notebook itself has a good weight to it, and we felt confident that the hard cover would protect our pages, and we were right.
The pen strap is exceptionally convenient because it means you don't waste time searching for the pen, and the price point was fantastic.
What I Didn’t Like
The placeholder ribbon didn’t feel as high quality as the journal did which was a bit of a disappointment, and we also noticed a slight ripple in the pages when it was opened flat. The stitching of the binding is also quite large and appeared to be held in place by noticeable spots of glue.
2. LEUCHTTURM1917 Dotted Notebook
We simply had to include the LEUCHTTURM1917 Dotted Notebook in this bullet journal roundup.
It has lots of very positive consumer reviews and is an affordable Amazon Choice that makes it a great notebook for those just starting with bullet journaling as well as those who have been doing it for years.
The LEUCHTTURM1917 notebook comes with 249 numbered pages and a blank table of contents that helps the writer with their organization.
The thread-bound binding helps the journal open flat for smooth writing, while the included stickers help with labeling.
The notebook also has an expandable pocket on the back cover, a page hold, elastic closure and acid-free, ink-proof paper.
What I Like
The notebook's high-quality paper prevented ink from bleeding through the pages when we tested this journal out. The dotted pages also make it much easier to plan and are helpful for beginners.
We also really like how well the elastic band keeps the journal closed because it prevents the paper getting crumbled. Additionally, the index is a big help when trying to stay organized, and the labels are a nice add-on.
What I Didn’t Like
Unfortunately, with this notebook we noticed that it didn’t take much for the binding to start coming undone. There is a small amount of ghosting that’s noticeable, especially if you have a heavier pen or hand.
Also, while ink doesn't bleed through, Sharpies do. Another issue was that some of the pages appeared to be off center.
3. LEMOME THICK Notebook/Journal with Pen Loop
This notebook is similar to the first LEMOME journal that we reviewed, but with a few differences.
Its Amazon Choice status and large number of positive consumer reviews caught our attention, so let’s take a look at what makes it different from the LEMOME dotted journal and other notebooks found in this comparison.
The LEMOME THICK notebook is a great gift option for new or experienced journalists. It’s easy to carry and the size makes for smooth writing.
The cover is all black and beautiful, and acid-free paper protects the pages from changing color when exposed to elements such as air and light. There are 192 pages that are 120gsm in weight and feel soft to the touch.
What I Like
Like other LEMOME journals, this one has a hard cover that protects the pages from getting ruined and it’s much thicker than the other LEMOME journal we reviewed. The paper is a nice weight that has limited ghosting with the majority of pens and colored markers.
The packaging was lovely and refills are easy to find with this notebook, which makes it easy to continue using. Also, it lies flat nicely and performed great when getting tested with left-handed writers.
What I Didn’t Like
We did notice some page alignment issues with this journal when testing it for this list, and while it is refillable, the elastics can’t be replaced, so it can only be refilled so much.
There were also some small issues with the binding cracking after bending it back a couple of times, and heavy-duty artist markers do bleed through the pages. It’s not one that we would recommend for those who use a lot of drawn artwork for their bullet journals.
4. Newestor A5 Dotted Notebook
Moving on to the fourth notebook, the Newestor is an affordable option and another Amazon Choice with great customer reviews.
It’s a simple journal that’s great for business and personal use, but how did it hold up during comparison? Let’s find out.
The Newestor A5 Dotted Notebook comes in a pack of three which makes it a fantastic deal for the price. They can be used on their own or as inserts for A5 traveler’s notebooks, and have 40 sheets with a standard paperweight.
The sewn-in binding allows the journal to lay flat when writing, and the paper is a cream color that suits the majority of journals it can be inserted into. The dots are noticeable but not distracting, which makes it ideal for everything from school work to drawing.
What I Like
The multifunction capabilities of this notebook were one of the key selling points for us. It was nice to find one that could do everything instead of having to purchase different journals for different purposes. Additionally, the cost can’t be ignored, and the way the notebook lays is another big plus.
What I Didn’t Like
The paper is thick enough to prevent bleeding, but ghosting is noticeable. After using multiple types of pens and markers, we found that it’s best suited for pen and pencil, but it can be used with markers.
The covers are thinner than most when used by itself, so we did have to be careful not to damage any of the pages when traveling around with the notebook.
5. TWONE Travel Journal Set
The last journal in our top five is the TWONE Travel Journal set.
We wanted to include this journal because it comes in a set with a variety of options, has multiple uses, great reviews and is affordable.
The TWONE Travel Journal set is extremely versatile and can be used for a variety of different things.
Whether you’re drawing or note-taking, you can find a use for it.
Additionally, you can purchase the set with blank, dotted, lined or square pages and the cost differs by just a small amount.
It has a unique binding that lets the journal lay flat on the surface you're writing on. The journals can be used alone or as inserts in your favorite leather set.
What I Like
First and foremost, what we enjoyed about these journals was the price. The entire set was affordable, and for the little amount that was spent, the quality was indeed there. The pages are stitched into the binding and not stapled, so they are durable and resist tearing.
The paper is a cream color that’s easy on the eyes, and the pages are easy to write on and feel pleasant to the touch. There is also a date and page heading at the top of the page that wasn't expected but was a very nice surprise, and there is minimal bleeding and feathering.
What I Didn’t Like
The lined pages were a little bold for our taste, and there was some noticeable ghosting after using pens with heavier ink. We also confirmed that the journals in the set didn’t have the same number of pages in each one, though it only differed by a couple of sheets.
Best Bullet Journal: Buying Guide
No matter whether you’re looking for your first bullet journal or if you’ve been writing in them for years, understanding what to look for in one is going to help you choose when faced with an overwhelming selection.
While notebooks might seem simple, there are plenty of things that you should take into consideration when buying them, so we have created this guide to help you find the best notebook for your needs.
The first thing that you want to take a look at in a potential bullet journal is the condition. You want to make sure that you purchase one that has even cut pages, can lay flat and has a good binding.
The binding is crucial because it’s what’s going to hold your pages in place. If you notice that it’s struggling after bending it a few times when you’re testing it out, it’s best to look at a different journal that offers more durability.
There are a variety of sizes available for bullet journals, and how you choose is going to be specific to your individual needs. If you require something small just to make a note here and there and you’d like it to fit in your pocket, it’s best to look at notebooks that come in passport sizes.
If you are using your bullet journal for creative writing, drawing, sketching and so on, you might want to consider purchasing one in an A5 or 8.5’’ x 5.7’’ size. Once you know what you’re going to be using it for, you should be better equipped to choose the right size for your specific requirements.
While there are many brands of journal on the market, we highly suggest the ones found on this list such as LEMOME, LEUCHTTURM1917, Newestor and TWONE. All have plenty of positive consumer reviews, have Amazon Choice ratings and are reliable notebooks that can be used by both beginners and advanced journalists.
However, if none of those options appeal to you, you can ask for assistance at your local bookstore to find something that might appeal to your taste more.
The majority of bullet journals that you are going to find on the market are made from moleskine, leather or cardboard. Each material has its pros and cons, and it takes some experience working with each type of notebook to determine which material you like the best.
More experienced journalists usually prefer writing in moleskine journals, but leather and faux-leather are good alternatives for those who are looking for something more affordable.
Using your journal is meant to be fun, but the great thing about them is their primary use is going to be specific to the person who is using it.
Some of you might only use your notebook to create exciting grocery lists and plan out your weekly meal-prep and write down recipes, while others might use it for drawings, lyrics, poems, diary entries and even advanced storytelling.
Your creativity and love for writing are what’s going to keep you using the notebook, but regardless of if you’re using it for personal or for business use, it’s always going to be there for you to write in.
Just like sizes, bullet journals come in a wide variety of dimensions to meet the requirements of the person using them. Dimensions such as 5’’ x 8-1/4’, 6’’ x 8.25’’, and 10.8 x 15cm are good if you want one with room to scribble down all of your creative musings.
Those who put a lot of artwork, colors, and stickers in their journal usually lean towards choosing a notebook with larger dimensions, while writers who are using their journal for bullet point note taking and creating lists find that having a pocket-sized journal is more suitable.
Best Bullet Journal F.A.Q.
What Should You Track in a Bullet Journal?
Bullet journals usually have four essential elements. First off is the index, which is a continuously running list of the pages that you use up in your journal.
It helps you to keep everything that you’re writing down in the notebook organized, so you don’t lose track of it as you continue to fill the journal up with all of your information and tasks.
Future logs are used to track all of your upcoming and exciting events, and monthly records are used as a continuously running list of your activities for that month on one page.
The way that bullet journals are designed means that you have the freedom to set up your logs to track your monthly and daily records in the way that you see fit.
Daily logs and tracking are the heart of a bullet journal system. If you’re serious about using it then each day, a list of tasks gets tracked, and you can use your own method of recording to make a note of which tasks and events have been completed and which haven't.
What Notebook Should You Use for a Bullet Journal?
When you’re just starting out, it’s always a good idea to look into purchasing a practice notebook before investing more money into an expensive one.
It’s a good idea to get familiar with how you want your bullet system to be, so that way you can make mistakes and get comfortable with your method. There is no rule stating that you need to use a specific notebook to bullet journal, you just need to make sure that it’s one that you’re comfortable writing in.
What are Moleskine Journals Made of?
For years, Moleskine journals have been a favorite type of journal for frequent notebook users. Typically, they are higher-end and more expensive than your everyday journal, but there are plenty of pros that come with using one.
The material name itself can be misleading; Moleskine journals are made out of cardboard and oilcloth to create a durable notebook that’s designed to withstand the elements and consistent use.
What are Dotted Notebooks For?
Dotted notebooks are mostly used by those who enjoy the bullet journal system. It adds an elegant aesthetic when creating the pages, and lines up written text perfectly without needing the standard ruled pages.
It makes it easier to create bullet point task lists, and because many times the dots are faded, they’re often missed when drawing pictures in the notebook. Many people prefer dots to blank pages because it still provides some lined guidance when writing or sketching in the journal.
What is the Purpose of Bullet Points?
Bullet points are used as a way to break up what you’re writing to categorize it into short and neat sentences that emphasize what you’re trying to say.
Usually, they’re in a clear list format that’s easy to read and helps to provide organization where there otherwise might not be any. Also, bullet points are used to summarize key elements within a paragraph, which helps the reader make more sense out of what they’ve just read.
After going through many different journals and looking at which ones are prone to bleeding, feathering, and ghosting, and which ones have the best binding that keeps your pages in place, we were able to determine what we think is the best bullet journal.
While taking other things such as price, paperweight and material into consideration, we concluded that our leading choice is the TWONE Travel Journal Set.
The number of high-quality journals that you get for the small price is one of the main reasons it became our first pick, but apart from that, the journal performs well, has a date and number heading at the top of the page and is large enough to suit a variety of writers.
If you’re just starting out, the journals are perfect to use as practice notebooks, and if you’re a season bullet journalist, you can use them as inserts for the leather journal you already have.