How to Choose a Bullet Journal

Bullet journals are available in a wide range of sizes, types of paper, and brands. How to you choose the right bullet journal for you?

In this guide, I’ll show you all of the best bullet journals, what makes them fabulous, and provide all of the information you need to decide which is the best bullet journal to fit your needs.

If you want to learn more about bullet journaling you can check out this beginner’s guide to get started.

Leuchtturm Bullet Journals

Leuchtturm1917 is one of the first brands to make journals created specifically for bullet journaling.

Founded in 1917, this German brand is still family-run and focused on quality craftsmanship.

They recently teamed up with the creator of the bullet journal method, Ryder Carroll, to create the “official” Bullet Journal Leuchtturm.

I’ll cover both the regular Leuchtterm1917 and the Bujo Official styles in this guide.

Color Options and Page Design

Leuchtturm1917 is available in 17 fabulous colors with four page options: blank, grid, dotted, and lined.

Most bullet journalists prefer the dotted pages because the small dots allow you to line things up but still keep the page looking clean.

SIZES

Leuchtturm1917 is available in four sizes:

The most popular size is the A5 Medium. It’s a bit wider than other A5 notebooks in this guide, and I like that it gives me more space on every page.

Even though notebooks are available in a wide variety of sizes, the A5 is the most popular for several reasons.

  • It’s large enough to write in yet still easy to take everywhere.

  • It easily fits into a handbag, backpack, or computer bag.

  • It doesn’t take up too much room on your desk.

  • There’s enough room to write everything you need without being overwhelmingly large or too small to get your thoughts down.

Features

Taking a look at the inside of this planner, it has a table of contents in the front, lay flat design for easy writing, two bookmarks, a pocket in the back, and an elastic band to keep your pages secure.

Leuchtturm1917 is available in both hardcover and softcover versions.

It also has three index pages in the front to easily locate information on the 249 numbered pages.

The notebook also comes with stickers for archiving after you have finished using it.

Leuchtturm also makes an official Bullet Journal Leuchtturm version which includes the index pages, key, and how to use it as designed by Ryder Carroll.

NOTE ON PAPER QUALITY

In my experience with Leuchtturm1917, there is a bit of ghosting on the pages. It’s not enough to be bothersome when privately bullet journaling. However, since I take a lot of photos of my work for this website, I don’t like having the ghosting for photo-ready pages.

I’ve also noticed bleed-throughs when using markers and fountain pens.

While this is not an issue for me since I usually use pen and colored pencils, this can be a deal breaker for those using markers and fountain pens.


Moleskine NoteBooks

Moleskine - I have been using Moleskines for YEARS as my planners (see my planner guide for more details), so when I started bullet journaling, I had to try their dotted notebook as well.

The Moleskine brand was created in 1997, bringing back to life the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries, such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin.

Colors and Page Options

Moleskine Notebooks come in 9 colors and four page options: blank, grid, dotted, and lined.

Sizes

  • Pocket measures 3.5 x 5.5 inches

  • Medium measures 4.5 x 6.9 inches

  • Large measures 5 x 8.25 inches

  • XL measures 7.5 x 9.75 inches

  • A4 measures 8.25 x 11.75 inches

Features

It’s everything I love about a Moleskine Planner but with dotted pages rather than planner pages.

It doesn’t come with an index, so I left a few blank pages before I started the bujo section.

It’s a little narrower than a Leuchtturm so it fits a bit easier in my smaller pocketbooks. It also has a pocket in the back, lay flat design, bookmark, and elastic band to keep your book secure.

Moleskine comes in both a soft notebook and hardcover. I have used both. I thought I wouldn’t like the soft cover, but I usually end up writing and doodling on a hard surface such as table or desk so both versions worked comfortably for me.

Paper Quality

All Moleskine notebooks are made with environmentally-friendly acid-free paper.

An affordable alternative - Both the Leuchtturm and the Moleskine cost around #25.00.

If you are looking for a more affordable entry into bullet journaling, I recommend this URSUNSHINE Bullet Journal Dot Notebook.

At the time of writing, it’s priced at $6.99. It includes a hard cover, good quality paper, a back inside pocket, ribbon bookmark, and elastic closure. Click here to check the current price on Amazon.