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. I’m also providing a list of places you can buy bullet journals both online or in stores.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for more information.
If you want to learn more about bullet journaling you can check out this beginner’s guide to get started.
Questions to think about when choosing a bullet journal:
What size bullet journal should I get?
Bullet journals range in a wide variety of sizes from mini approximately 3 x 4” to large 8 x 10” (nearly the size of a sheet of paper).
However, when choosing the right size for you, it’s important to consider your lifestyle.
Do you like to travel light and keep a bullet journal in your back pocket? Consider a mini or pocket size bujo.
If you like to plan at a desk and your bullet journal won’t be moving very often, you may want a large notebook. This size notebook is also handy if you are going to use it to take notes or you have a lot of information you need to get on a single page.
By far, the most popular size bullet journal is a medium also known as an A5 notebook. It’s a great size for most people because it provides a good amount of space for writing yet it’s sized perfectly for a backpack, computer bag, handbag, or tote.
A5 is my personal favorite because I like to carry my bullet journal EVERYWHERE. I tried one of the pocket sizes and it just wasn’t enough room for me to write in. Now when I shop for handbags, making sure my bujo will fit is a requirement.
Because this size is the most popular, there is a huge variety of notebooks options for you. When you are new to bullet journaling, all of these options can be overwhelming!
So, I’ve rounded up all of the best bullet journals (a bit later in this blog post) for you to choose from. I’ve also added links to each of them on Amazon so you can browse, compare, and check prices.
Hard cover or soft cover bullet journal?
Soft Cover - This is another decision you will have to make when choosing a bullet journal. If you want a flexible notebook that curves to fit your pocket or your backpack, soft cover is your best bet.
Hard Cover - I like to write when I’m out and about and sometimes I don’t have a hard surface to write on; I may end up using my knee as a desk if I’m sitting on a bench. That said, hard cover is my favorite choice.
Consider how you will be using your bullet journal when deciding on hard or soft covers.
Where Can I Buy A Bullet Journal?
Bullet journals are widely available. Not only can you have them delivered directly to your door from Amazon and other online retailers, there are many places you can buy them locally.
Many people ask, “where can I buy a bullet journal in stores” and here’s a list of places for you to check out in your local neighborhood. As you can see, dot grid notebooks are available almost everywhere and at prices to fit every budget.
Book stores such as Barnes and Noble
Best Bullet Journals
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.
Leuchtturm1917 is available in four sizes:
A7 Mini measures 2 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches
A6 Pocket measures 3 1/2 x 6 inches
A5 Medium measures 5 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches
B5 Composition measures 7 x 10 inches
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
All Moleskine notebooks are made with environmentally-friendly acid-free paper.
Best Beginner Bullet Journal
Are you just getting started in bullet journaling? If you want to get the full experience without breaking the bank, check out this bullet journal set from Feela.
This all-in-one set has everything you need to get started in bullet journaling mania. Bujo favorites such as a dot-grid notebook, fineliner colored pens, washi tape, black pen, stencils, and stickers are all included.
Color & Size Options
The Feela Notebook comes in five colors: orange, yellow, green, grey, and black.
It’s only available in one size which is an A5 measuring 5.7 x 8.2 x 0.66”
This hardcover dot-grid notebook is filled with 224 numbered pages and 4 index pages.
It’s thread-bound so the pages stay in place and comes with two ribbon bookmarks to easily find your favorite pages.
There’s a pocket in the back and elastic closure to keep everything neatly placed within your journal.
As I mentioned before, this set comes with lots of goodies to get you started in bullet journaling.
6 Super Slim Washi Tapes - decorative tapes are perfect for adding splashes of color and small element to Bullet Dotted Journal.
15 Fineliner Pens - Feela fineliner pens in a wide rage of colors are designed for coloring or writing in your bullet journal.
5 Stencil Sheets - Just right for adding personality to your bullet journal, these easy to use stencils include frames, arrows, borders, block letters, and popular planning icons. When not in use, tuck them into the back pocket of your journal.
6 Sticker Sheets - More fun for your bullet journal pages! Use these cute stickers to add your own style to your planner pages or to highlight important information.
1 Black Pen - Get started writing in your bullet journal right away with this black pen for writing, drawing, or doodling.
Scribbles That Matter
Scribbles that Matter is another very popular bullet journal with a large following. In addition to the pre-numbered dot-grid pages, it has index pages, a key page, and a pen test page.
A cover decorated with doodles makes this such cute journal that begs to be used. If you want a more low-key journal without a decorated cover, check out the PRO version in a variety of solid colors.
Both styles come with a back pocket, pen loop, and elastic closure.
Color Options & Size
Scribbles that matter is available in an A5 size and it comes in 5 colors: pastel pink, mint, teal, navy, and charcoal.
PREMIUM (160GSM) WHITE PAPER: it’s easy on the eyes and avoids ink bleeds (or smears) with rounded corners making your writing experience enjoyable and consistent. 150 numbered pages inside this journal.
ENGINEERED PERFECTION: (a) lay flat binding to allow for easy and convenient writing (b) always have an accompanying pen thanks to the pen holder (c) store important notes, cards and documents in the expansive cover pocket (d) keep the journal secure with the high quality elastic band (e) 2 colored ribbon book marks
STRUCTURED: Index page, key code page, pre-numbered pages and a pen test page
UK DESIGNED: customized waterproof/sweat-proof synthetic leather cover together with great color combinations will give your journal a distinctive look from standard journals
ALL-PURPOSE JOURNAL: can be used by anyone as a bullet journal, brainstorming journal, workout journal, travel journal, school journal, recipe journal, book journal, style journal, office journal, secret diary, ideas journal etc
Treat Yo’self Dot Grid Notebooks
Nuuna Graphic Luxury Dot Grid Notebooks
At almost twice the price of Leuchtturm and Moleskine notebooks, Nuuna notebooks are for bullet journalists looking for a truly special dotted journal.
Color Options and Size
Available in 40 unique cover options, these leather-cover notebooks are a special treat for yourself or a great gift for someone you know loves journaling.
Measurement: 8.7 x 6.5 x 0.9”
Nuuna dot grid notebook are leather bound and come in a wide variety of artisanal covers.
Inside, you’ll find 256 numbered pages dot-grid pages.
The dot grid spacing is quite a bit small than other journals mentioned in this post. The dots are spaced approximately 3mm apart rather than the standard 5mm spacing you find in most bullet journals.
Also, the paper is a bit whiter than most of the other journals listed here.
It doesn’t come with an index, so leave a few blank pages before starting the bujo section.
I also want to mention that these notebooks do not have a pocket in the back, bookmarks, or elastic closure.
Promising review on Amazon:
“Nuuna is as close to holy grail bujo for me as I've found so far…If you're into quality goods and will use your notebook like it's a third arm, it's worth the money. If you're more of a hobbyist notebooker and only use it once in a while, you might save some money and get a cheaper brand.”
Ultra Thin Notebook
Hobonichi is a Japanese paper company which has been producing Hobonichi planners for many years. This notebook is a new addition to the line yet it has all the features Hobonichi lovers enjoy about the planners.
It comes in an A5 size and the 288 pages are lightly gridded rather than dot-grid. The notebook is divided into four color sections: red → blue → green → purple (72 pages each), so you can use it as a continuous book or use each section for a different topic.
It has a well-made lay-flat design and features ultra-thin Tomoe River paper.
I absolutely love the thin, smooth, crispness of this paper and how it crinkles when the pages are filled with lots of handwriting.
I have seen many bullet journalists fill the pages of their Hobonichi with doodles, stickers, washi tape, photos, and mementos. It seems the more you stuff a Hobonichi, the better it gets!
I have been buying Hobonichi notebooks and planers for more than five years and I have to agree, they are even more enjoyable when you load the pages with all of your favorite things!
Both the Leuchtturm and the Moleskine cost between $19 - $25.
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 $7.59. Click here to check the current price on Amazon.
Color Options & Size
It’s an A5 size 5 x 8.25" and as far as I know, only available in black.
It includes a hard cover, good quality paper, a back inside pocket, ribbon bookmark, and elastic closure.
Note: Although this journal is affordably priced, it has 128 pages; that’s quite a bit less than most of the other journals posted here.
Wow! This journal has received more than 1000 5-star reviews on Amazon.
What Journal do You Use for Bullet Journaling?
I’d love to hear what bullet journal is your favorite. Let me know in the comments below!