Natasha Miller Letters

Bullet Journal Review Series

Bullet Journal Notebooks

As promised, I am sharing my wrap-up of my Bullet Journal Review Series. For the last 3-4 months, I have been doing mini reviews on a bunch of bullet journals on YouTube. I tried to stay as neutral as possible, sharing only the facts about the journals. Included in the reviews was a pretty epic pen/stationery test. I tested as many pens as I felt was reasonable, as well as watercolours, pencil, and stamp ink. In total, I looked at 14 different notebooks. The Review Series wrap-up video is uploaded here. If you want to see a specific review, you can find the playlist here.

Bullet Journal Review Series Notebooks

In this review, I looked at the different sizes, specifications, bonus extras, and then did a stationery test, looking at smudging, ghosting, and bleed through, specifically. I will finally be sharing my thoughts on these different journals, including my favourite, my least favourite, biggest surprises, an honourable mention category, and the notebook that no one should get, if they can help it.

Here are the tables that I promised. One is the breakdown of the different aspects of each notebook, and the second is a breakdown of the ghosting, smudging, and bleed through of the different stationery items.

Please note that this review isn’t sponsored or paid for in anyway. These opinions are my own and everything was purchased with my own money.

This post contains some affiliate links. This means I may earn a referral fee if you make a purchase through my link, without any additional cost to you. By doing so allows me to keep creating content for your enjoyment. Thank you SO much for your support!

Bullet Journal Review Series Stationery

Here is the list of pens that I used to test smudging, ghosting, and bleed through.

Bullet Journal Review – Thoughts

I’m going to start off talking about my personal opinion regarding these notebooks and some things to note as well. Following this section, I have provided information regarding the notebooks, in case you aren’t able to access the downloads.

Favourite Dot Grid Notebook

If you follow any of my social media channels or blog, you’ll know that my favourite notebook is the Archer & Olive 160GSM Dot Grid Notebook. I can’t say enough good things about this product, the Company, or the people! Yes, it is the more expensive of the bunch, but honestly, it is definitely worth the price!

Archer & Olive Dot Grid Notebook Review

I have definitely put this notebook through its paces and it holds up so well. The thick paper is bright white and holds up to almost anything. The cover colours and designs are beautiful, and there are a TON of size options for you to choose from, including Traveler’s Notebook, 8 x 8 inch Square, and B5 to name a few.

You can buy your own notebook here. As an Affiliate, I am able to offer you a discount with the code NML10 for 10% off. (And for the record, I became an Affiliate because I love the product so much.)

Least Favourite Dot Grid Notebook

My least favourite notebook is the Moleskine. Considering that this notebook has the thinnest pages of the bunch that I tested, this should come as no surprise. In fact, I’m pretty sure I laughed when I flipped the page in the video to show the ghosting and bleed through. I can’t stand ghosting and bleed through. Okay, maybe I can get over a little bit of ghosting, but this is next level.

I wish so much that I liked using these journals. The colours, the variety, the designs – they are so beautiful. But I just can’t move past the horrible bleed through as I feel just looking at the page will cause ghosting and bleed through. The page colour is also a deal breaker for me because I have come to really dislike ivory and cream pages since they are so unforgiving. Another thing to note, sometimes colours don’t show up quite as well or vibrant either.

But this is completely my own personal experience with this notebook. They clearly have a large fanbase, but I’m just not one of them.

Moleskine Bullet Journal Review

Biggest Surprises

The biggest surprises for me were the 120GSM notebooks, and the Paperage journal. I goofed in my video and talked about the Paperage like it is 120GSM, but it’s actually just 100GSM. So I will first address the Paperage journal and then the 120GSM journals.

For price, quality, availability, and colours, the Paperage wins, maybe even overall. I found this small, somewhat non-descript notebook on Amazon. It was the colour that drew me to it and when I saw it was $10, it found it’s way into my cart and onto my front door step. If you are trying bullet journaling for the first time and aren’t ready to invest in a more expensive/luxurious notebook, this is the best option.

Paperage Dotted Notebook Review

The next surprise was the 120GSM journals. The paper was thick enough that bleed through wasn’t a big problem, but thin enough that the journals didn’t feel clunky, and there were more pages in each notebook. I love the Clever Fox journal for it’s quality and design, but the Artist’s Loft Premium notebook was a good substitute (especially considering price).

Biggest Disapointment

I still twitch a little thinking about this notebook. The biggest disappointment by far, was the Artist’s Loft 100GSM notebook, (not to be confused with the Artist’s Loft 120GSM Premium notebook mentioned above). I didn’t even realize how much uneven margins bothered me until I reviewed this notebook.

Dot Grid Notebook Reviews

Yes, the price is good, and if you have a Michael’s nearby, it’s easily available, but I don’t think it’s worth it. If you are exploring with creative journaling, or want cohesive layouts, stay as far away as possible from this notebook. The Paperage, which is also 100GSM, is so much better. And if you can manage it, the Premium notebook is only a few dollars more.

Honourable Mentions

Honourable mention number one goes to the Rhodia GoalBook. Now, if you are familiar with this notebook and the Moleskine, I probably just lost some credibility because they are very similar, but hear me out! The Rhodia paper is the best! Give me Rhodia paper in 160GSM and I’m a customer for life. Rhodia uses vellum paper in their products which means that the paper is so smooth and won’t ruin, or fray your supplies. They have a variety of products available for a reasonable price too, and if you’re in Europe, their notebooks come in bright white paper!

My next honourable mention goes to the bullet journal I found at the Dollar Store in Canada. This little book is just magic. Of course it’s not the best quality paper as it’s very gritty, the grittiest of the bunch actually, but for $4 (CAD), it’s fantastic. I have been using it as a sketch book and it’s been just perfect. It has an open spine so I’m not sure how long it’ll last, but for $4.00, I love it just the way it is!

Dollar Store Bullet Journal Review

Bullet Journal Review – Notebooks

Under 100GSM Notebooks

Bullet Journals under 100GSM

Moleskine Dotted Notebook (Video)

  • Price: $19.95
  • Size: 5 x 8.25 inches
  • Dots: 24 across x 40 down
  • Pages: 240
  • Page Colour: Off-white
  • GSM: 70
  • Dot Colour: Light-medium
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Gritty/Rough
  • Page Numbers: No
  • Lie Flat: No
  • Size Options: Yes
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, name page, elastic closure

Leuchtturm Bullet Journal (Video)

  • Price: $25.95
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 27 across x 38 down
  • Pages: 251
  • Page Colour: Ivory
  • GSM: 80
  • Dot Colour: Medium-Dark
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Gritty/Rough
  • Page Numbers: Yes
  • Lie Flat: No
  • Size Options: Yes
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, index, name page, elastic closure, perforated

Studio Bullet Journal (Video)

  • Price: $2.50
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 25 across x 37 down
  • Pages: 160
  • Page Colour: White
  • GSM: 80
  • Dot Colour: Light
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Gritty/Rough
  • Page Numbers: No
  • Lie Flat: Yes
  • Size Options: No
  • Colour Options: No

Extras: none

Amazon Basics (Grid Notebook) (Video)

  • Price: $9.37
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 25 across x 40 down
  • Pages: 240
  • Page Colour: White
  • GSM: 90
  • Dot Colour: Medium
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Gritty/Rough
  • Page Numbers: No
  • Lie Flat: No
  • Size Options: No
  • Colour Options: No

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, name page, elastic closure

Rhodia GoalBook (Video)

  • Price: $24.95
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 28 across x 40 down
  • Pages: 224
  • Page Colour: Ivory
  • GSM: 90
  • Dot Colour: Light
  • Cover: Vegan Leather
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Smooth
  • Page Numbers: Yes
  • Lie Flat: No
  • Size Options: Yes
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, index, pen loop, name page, elastic closure

100GSM Notebooks

100GSM Notebooks

Artist’s Loft 100GSM Notebook (Video)

  • Price: $6.99
  • Size: 6 x 8 inches
  • Dots: 29 across x 35 down
  • Pages: 192
  • Page Colour: White
  • GSM: 100
  • Dot Colour: Dark
  • Cover: Vinyl
  • Margins: Uneven
  • Paper texture: Some grit
  • Page Numbers: No
  • Lie Flat: Yes
  • Size Options: No
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, index, elastic closure

Dingbats Dotted Notebook (Video)

  • Price: $19.95
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 28 across x 39 down
  • Pages: 192
  • Page Colour: Cream
  • GSM: 100
  • Dot Colour: Light
  • Cover: Vegan Leather
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Coated
  • Page Numbers: No
  • Lie Flat: Yes
  • Size Options: Yes
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, pen loop, name page, elastic closure

Paperage Dotted Notebook (Video)

  • Price: $9.95
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 26 across x 38 down
  • Pages: 160
  • Page Colour: Off-white
  • GSM: 100
  • Dot Colour: Light
  • Cover: Vegan Leather
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Some grit
  • Page Numbers: No
  • Lie Flat: Yes
  • Size Options: No
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, name page, elastic closure

120GSM Notebooks

Artist’s Loft Premium Notebook (Video)

  • Price: $9.99
  • Size: 6 x 8 inches
  • Dots: 29 across x 38 down
  • Pages: 180
  • Page Colour: White
  • GSM: 120
  • Dot Colour: Light
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Smooth
  • Page Numbers: Yes
  • Lie Flat: Yes
  • Size Options: No
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, index, pen loop, test page, elastic closure

120GSM Artist's Loft Notebook Review

Clever Fox Dotted Journal (Video)

  • Price: $16.95
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 26 across x 39 down
  • Pages: 160
  • Page Colour: White
  • GSM: 120
  • Dot Colour: Light
  • Cover: Vegan Leather
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Some Grit
  • Page Numbers: Yes
  • Lie Flat: No
  • Size Options: Yes
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, index, pen loop, name page, elastic closure

Clever Fox 120GSm Bullet Journal

Essentials Dot Matrix Notebook (Video)

  • Price: $12.99
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 26 across x 39 down
  • Pages: 192
  • Page Colour: White
  • GSM: 120
  • Dot Colour: Light
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Margins: Uneven
  • Paper texture: Some grit
  • Page Numbers: No
  • Lie Flat: No
  • Size Options: No
  • Colour Options: No

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, elastic closure

Essentials bullet Journal

160GSM Notebooks

160GSm Dotted Notebooks

AmandaRachLee Dotted Notebook (Video)

  • Price: $26.00
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 26 across x 38 down
  • Pages: 160
  • Page Colour: White
  • GSM: 160
  • Dot Colour: Dark
  • Cover: Vegan Leather
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Some grit
  • Page Numbers: No
  • Lie Flat: No
  • Size Options: No
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, pen loop, name page, elastic closure

Archer & Olive Dot Grid Notebook (Video)

  • Price: $32.00
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 26 across x 38 down
  • Pages: 160
  • Page Colour: White
  • GSM: 160
  • Dot Colour: Medium
  • Cover: Linen Hardcover
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Smooth
  • Page Numbers: No
  • Lie Flat: Yes
  • Size Options: Yes
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, pen loop, name page, elastic closure

Notebook Therapy Bullet Journal (Video)

  • Price: $25.98
  • Size: A5
  • Dots: 24 across x 35 down
  • Pages: 176
  • Page Colour: White
  • GSM: 160
  • Dot Colour: Light
  • Cover: Vegan Leather
  • Margins: Even
  • Paper texture: Some grit
  • Page Numbers: No
  • Lie Flat: No
  • Size Options: Yes
  • Colour Options: Yes

Extras: bookmarks, back pocket, name page, elastic closure

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this helpful in your quest to find the bullet journal that’s right for you. Feel free to reach out with any questions or comments. I will be adding to this list as I get a chance to try new notebooks. This felt like a bit of a marathon by the time I reached the last notebook, so I will definitely be taking a bit of a break from notebook reviews.

With that said, if there is a particular notebook that you want me to try or that you think I’d like, please let me know. I am always so eager to try new stationery and notebooks.

As always, thank you so much for your time today.

Talk soon!

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