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Notebook Check 2020 - Which notebook is right for your Bullet Journal?

Unpaid advertisement, everything bought by yourself // In this blog post brand names are mentioned


Are you looking for a new Bullet Journal? Or would you like to try a new one because your previous notebook is so slowly filled? As you have probably noticed, there are simply countless notebooks with different designs and functions. But what is really important when you want to use a notebook as a bullet journal? Which functions should not be missing? What should you pay attention to in general? In this blog post I want to give you a personal overview. Of course I have done a little pen test in each notebook, so you can see better how different colors and pens come out. I have tested four well-known notebooks and briefly summarized the most important criteria. So if you are interested in one of the models, feel free to have a look - maybe it will make your choice easier or you will discover a still unknown model for you!


I would like to point out that I bought all products myself and use them for my private use. There is no cooperation with any of the mentioned companies/brands.


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Four notebooks in comparison: Lighthouse 1917, Archer & Olive, Takkti and Notebook Therapy



Leuchtturm 1917 A5 Medium

  • Paper: 80g

  • Binding: Hardcover, very robust, available with or without embossing

  • color selection: very large selection, my notebook is "Marine

  • Number of pages: 251

  • Page numbers: are pre-printed on the pages

  • Table of contents: preprinted index on the first two pages

  • Dotted Grid: 0,5 cm

  • Extras: Insertion pocket at the very back, two bookmarks, rubber closure (same color as the notebook itself), the last 8 pages are removable, self-adhesive labels for labelling

  • If you need more information, here you can find the notebook


Pen test:

The paper is of very high quality, so any kind of pen can be used here. Especially the Brush Pens can be used very well for handlettering and lettering. However, strong colors press through quickly, because the paper is not very thick with 80g. In addition, there can be color differences, because the sides are not bright white. Additionally I would like to mention that the notebook lies very flat on the table when opened. This is especially important when designing your Bullet Journal for easy handling.


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Archer & Olive A5 Notebook

  • Paper: 160g

  • Binding: Hardcover, linen (fabric), available with or without small doodle on the front

  • color selection: very large selection, my notebook is without doodle and in the color "Dark Blue

  • Number of pages: 160

  • Page numbers: not pre-printed

  • Table of contents: not preprinted, can be created by yourself

  • Dotted Grid: 0,5 cm

  • Extras: Back pocket, two bookmarks (one with golden logo tag), rubber closure (same color as notebook itself), pen holder on the side, 100% vegan & environmentally friendly

  • If you need more information, here you can find the notebook


Pen test:

All pens I have tested and mainly use for my Bullet Journal work great. They draw in quickly and there are hardly any color differences due to the bright white paper. What I especially like about it is that not a single pen presses through the 160g paper thickness. Water colors can be used very well here as well. Also this notebook lies very flat on the table after opening and can be used very well. The dotted grid is very visible in the A&O notebook, because the dots are printed larger and stronger than e.g. in the lighthouse.


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Takkti A5 black & white Booklets


Info: The cover of the Takkti notebook can be changed, so you have to choose the right notebook (booklet) separately. I only chose the booklets (pack of 2 with black and white pages) without cover.

  • Paper: white 135g, black 120g

  • Binding: Hardcover, cork fabric

  • Color selection: 3 architectural designs to choose from, no monochrome models

  • Number of pages (booklets): 120 or 240

  • Page numbers: not pre-printed

  • Table of contents: not preprinted, can be created by yourself

  • Dotted Grid: 0,5 cm

  • Extras: 100% vegan, natural materials, high flexibility (only one cover is needed, but you can work with several booklets and change them as you like), very high quality paper

  • Tip: I use the white and black booklet without cover as a sketchbook, because the book can be designed from the outside by yourself and the paper is just perfect.

  • If you need more information, here you can find the notebook


Pen Test:

The paper is so bright white that every color is totally radiant. I just have to say that right from the front because none of my notebooks has such white pages like this one. So if you attach great importance to this, you are absolutely right here. The Dotted Grid is not very noticeable. The Brush Pens are very easy to use and dry very fast. The pens are generally very easy to use on paper. In addition, not a single pen you use will push through on the other side. However, I would like to mention that the opened notebook is not completely flat on the table (fixing with staples is possible).


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Notebook Therapy A5 Tsuki "Night Time"

  • Paper: 160g