You may be overwhelmed by all the different notebook options out there for your first Bullet Journal. I know how you feel! No joke, I spent about a week researching notebooks but came to a realization.
All of the most common notebooks were extremely similar. So how on earth do you choose which one to purchase?
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Why Did I Ultimately Choose The Leuchtturm 1917?
I honestly do not have a great answer to this question. In the end, it came down to, I needed a notebook, and they all seemed so similar, so I just picked one.
For me, my Bullet Journal is here to serve a purpose. It is my main productivity tool. I can write down all of my thoughts, plans, and goals. I can plan out my days, weeks, months and years.
Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks provide the space to do everything I need it to do, and it quite easy to find in-store, or online. Should mine ever get lost, I could drive to my local bookstore which is less than ten minutes away, and purchase a new one. (That was hard for me to even type out. I think I would have a heart attack if mine ever got lost!)
While I may not have bought it with the thought process of “I need THIS notebook now”, I have fallen in love with it. This simple notebook continues to impress me, and for that simple reason, it is the notebook I recommend!
The Leuchtturm 1917 has so many different features! While these are not necessary to have for a Bullet Journal notebook, they are nice to have!
The Built-In Index
Indexing is such an important part of the Bullet Journal Method, especially if you are using your system the way the creator, Ryder Carroll intended you to use it!
A Bullet Journal is a great tool to help keep you organized and on task. When utilized to its fullest potential, your spreads will end up everywhere. I know this will make the perfectionist cringe, but I encourage you to embrace it!
In my first Bullet Journal, I tried to set aside pages for certain collections, but it never worked. I spent so much time and energy trying to plan where everything would go, and I ended up either leaving too many pages or not having enough room. As a perfectionist myself, I had a hard time dealing with this.
In my second Bullet Journal, I decided to embrace this element of the original system – create spreads as you need them! Admittedly, this does create a bit of a scattered appearance to those looking in, but for me, it served the purpose of getting everything out of my head. I ended up finding a sense of calm from this method.
Utilizing the Index allows you to mark down where your spreads are located in your Bullet Journal, making it easier to go back to later. In the end, I discovered the pages and spreads are a way to get everything out of my head, and the Index serves as a place to organize my scattered thoughts.
The Leuchtturm 1917 comes with Index pages, making it easy to record your spreads as you go!
Having a Bullet Journal come with numbered pages will make your life so much easier. While it is not entirely necessary, it is just a really nice feature to have!
My first Bullet Journal notebook did not have numbered pages, and there were a couple of instances where I either recorded the same page number twice or skipped numbers altogether! Having the page numbers included allows you to just create your spreads and index without having that extra step.
I also just enjoy the book like the feeling of numbered pages. It makes me feel like I am writing the book of my life.
There are two ribbons that come sewn into the spine of the journal. You can set the ribbon on your most important pages, making it easy to flip too! I usually have one ribbon on my monthly goals page, and the other on the page that contains my daily log.
They are a nice thin fabric, so you don’t have to worry about them creasing the page where they are set.
12 Tear Away Pages
Do you have important information you may need to remove at a moment’s notice? Maybe it is important information regarding your sister’s health. Maybe you are just out and about, and you really need somewhere to write something down.
These tear-away pages provide the space to write down information that you don’t want to keep in your Journal or information you may need to rip out. There are 12 of them (24 if you count double-sided), and they are located towards the back of the journal!
Again, this is not necessary but is a nice addition. Ripping pages out of this style notebook will ruin the binding completely. The perforated tear-away pages solve that problem for you!
There is a nice expandable pocket included in the back of these Journals which I actually find extremely useful. When I first got mine, I did not think about using it. However, I have come to find a couple of uses for it!
Do you like to keep receipts? Keep your purchases from the day tucked in this pocket, and remove them once home. Stick your grocery list back there or the prescription from your doctor’s appointment.
I personally use Stencils in my Bullet Journal to keep my to-do lists neat and tidy! This pocket provides a great place to keep my go-to list stencil!
Bullet Journals are not necessarily a one size fits all type of thing. Leuchtturm has created several size options so that you can ensure you are getting the size that will work the best for you.
They include A4, A5, A6, A7, B5, and B6.
The most common size in the Bullet Journal community and the size I use is A5.
Not everyone likes to use the same paper pattern option for their Bullet Journal. While the Dot Grid is the most commonly used in the Bullet Journal community, there are others who like to use Grid paper, Lined paper, or even blank paper.
The Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks come with the options of Dot-Grid, Grid, Lined and Blank! So you can get whatever style suits your needs best!
The quality of the paper is also fantastic! It is nice and smooth and stands up well to the pens that I use in my Bullet Journal.
On Leuchtturm’s website, some of the notable features of the paper are that it is ink proof, and is 80g/sqm. While you can get notebooks with a higher g/sqm rating, they don’t always mean better paper quality.
I tend to lean towards very minimalist spreads, so my pen variety is pretty minimal. The pens I use definitely ghost on this paper, but they do not bleed through.
*Ghosting means you can see the pen marks that were on the other side of the paper, but the ink does not bleed through. Bleeding is when the ink goes right through the page, sometimes even ruining the following page.
These notebooks come in a wide variety of colors!
If you use multiple notebooks (ie. one for work, one for home, etc), having multiple colors can help you distinguish between them.
This also gives your notebook a bit of personality! I am currently using the Berry color, and I am obsessed with it.
Leuchtturm is always coming up with new color options and has released a couple of new colors in the past months. I look forward to seeing what else gets included in their collection down the road!
Of course, there are some cons to this product! None of these are deal-breakers for me, but should definitely be kept in mind when you are deciding what notebook to go with.
There are definitely cheaper options out there when it comes to notebooks.
This notebook cost me, CAD, $24.00. They are currently priced at $19.95 USD on Amazon.com.
If this is not in your budget, there are cheaper options out there! You can use literally any notebook for a Bullet Journal, so don’t feel like you can’t start if you don’t have a fancy notebook. (*If you are looking for a budget-friendly alternative, I would recommend looking at the Artists Loft Dot Grid notebook from Michael’s. Purchase yours with a coupon, and it would easily cost less than $5.00!)
Since this product is my productivity tool and comes with so many great features, I decided to not let the price stop me. I easily would have spent that much on a planner for the year anyways!
Keep in mind the price of the notebook will also speak to the quality. Cheaper notebooks will have a low quality paper that you may find frustrating down the road.
The Color Of The Paper
The paper in these notebooks has a bit of a yellow hue to them. Now I can’t speak for you, as the color of paper is definitely a matter of personal preference. If you have a local book store or stationary store that sells these notebooks, I would highly recommend going and looking at the paper for yourself.
When I got this notebook, I was kind of nervous that the yellow tone would bother me, but I was surprised to find I actually really enjoy it. Don’t rule it out until you have actually looked for yourself.
Where To Buy The Leuchtturm 1917
One of the reasons I chose this notebook was due to the availability of the product. Depending on what country you live in, they can be found online or in some local retailers.
If you plan to buy yours online, the best place to look is Amazon! They seem to always have lot’s in stock, and they stock many color options! If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get yours with free delivery in two days!
If you go through Leuchtturm’s website, you will find a wider variety of colors, and the option to have your notebook embossed with a personal message which is pretty cool (for an additional cost of course). However, their delivery window is one to two weeks.
If you would prefer to go and look in a store, do a quick google search to see if your local book store carries them!
Barnes and Noble carry them in the United States, and Indigo carries them in Canada.
Why Will I Continue To Use This Notebook?
There are plans in the immediate future to further test alternative notebook options, as I want to be able to provide you the best options possible, but for right now, I am happy with my Leuchtturm.
I am also such a girl in the sense that I want all of the colors. Yup, I need them all. So for now, I do plan to continue using this notebook for my Bullet Journal.
If you want to see what other supplies I use in my Bullet Journal, check out my blog post, 7 Must-Have Supplies For A Minimalist Bullet Journal.
What notebook are you using for your Bullet Journal? Is there one you absolutely swear by or are you always looking for your next notebook? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time!