The Battle of the Bullet Journals: The Best Notebook to Use

Are you game to see if the best bullet journal notebook is your perfect match, too? This is only the most important decision of your planning life!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.
So I'm a firm believer in bullet journaling, and the only thing that trips me up is the overwhelm that comes with choosing the perfect notebook! I just haven't been impressed with any of the notebooks I've chosen! Hard-core bullet journalists consider Leuchtturm to be the darling of the community (it is the official BuJo!), but it just didn't work for me. So I'm so glad I found this review of the Scribbles that Matter notebook! Game-changer! #bestbulletjournalnotebook #bulletjournalnotebook

Once I’ve convinced someone to try bullet journaling, the next question is inevitably:

What is the best bullet journal notebook?

I hear the overwhelm hiding behind these words!

Should you choose a regular lined one? How about one with graph paper? Or should you try the ever-popular dotted design? And from what company?

This is only the most important decision of your planning life!

No pressure.

assorted bullet journals

When I first started bullet journaling four years ago, the choices were a very limited supply of grid and dot grid notebooks.

Fast forward to today, and companies all over the globe are scrambling to produce dozens of notebooks as bullet journaling increases in popularity. Even Walmart just launched their own line of bullet journaling notebooks!

But while hard-core bullet journalists consider Leuchtturm to be the darling of the community (it is the official BuJo!), I no longer believe this is the best bullet journal notebook.

I’ll explain why in a minute!

But first, we need to take a quick walk down memory lane.

My Notebook Choices Over the Years

When I first started bullet journaling, I wasn’t even sure I would stick with the system long-term. So I picked the cheapest notebook I could find with a grid pattern (the Fabriano EcoQua Notebook!)

Much to my surprise, I finished that notebook and still loved the system, so I moved into the Essentials grid-lined notebook. Then I followed that brand with three Leuchtturm journals.

bullet journal flat lay

I thought my search for the best bullet journal notebook was long since over.

But on a whim last year, I added an A5-size Scribbles That Matter dot grid notebook to my Amazon cart based on other rave reviews. What can I say? I’m a sucker for trying new things! (Even if what I currently have is working fine!)

The minute I smoothed my hand over those thick, bright white pages, I fell in love. My whim had been rewarded!

blank notebook flat lay

Now I’m convinced that Scribbles That Matter is the best traditional bullet journal on the market.

Are you game to see if this notebook is your perfect match, too?

Where Both Notebooks Shine

Both the Leuchtturm and Scribbles That Matter notebooks contain a few very important elements that I look for in every potential bullet journal:

  • An Index section
  • Numbered pages
  • 5mm dot grid design
  • Two bookmarks (you can never be too organized!)
  • Lays flat when open

Both notebooks do these things really well and they cost about the same too. But here’s where Scribbles That Matter pulls ahead in the race.

Why the Scribbles That Matter Notebook makes the Best Bullet Journal Notebook

Let’s start with the shallow reasons first—the cover!

The outside cover features a two-toned strap, which is SO pretty. All covers (unless you’re the professional business type and choose “Charcoal”) come in vivid colors with a fake leather feel that is much softer than the Leuchtturm cover.

woman holding a blue notebook

Note: Scribbles That Matter covers come either plain (the Pro version) or with whimsical icons all over the front (the Iconic version). I prefer the plain version myself, but I like that they provide both options!

The last thing I’ll mention about the outside is the sturdy pen holder. This is a game-changer! I’ve previously used the pen strap hack to keep my pen and notebook together, but I love the look of the pen holder much better.

Inside the Best Bullet Journal Notebook

Not only will you find an Index page (remember, that was one of my non-negotiables!), you also get a pre-designed Key page and a Pen Test page.

These little things make such a nice touch!

bullet journaling

But this is where Scribbles That Matter wins my heart.

The pages are bright white (not ivory like the Leuchtturm) and so they don’t look as weird when you royally mess up and need to use bright white-out tape (ahem).

They’re also luxuriously thick—double (that’s right, double!) the thickness of the Leuchtturm. So there’s no ghosting. No pen bleed-through. And less crinkling when you erase pencil marks leftover from layout sketches.

blue notebook side view

Granted, you have less pages over all because they are so thick, but the trade is totally worth it.

Note: I do not use water colors but did hear of a little bleeding when using this medium. But that’s the only way to make these pages ghost!

The Negatives

1. I don’t like the Scribbles That Matter logo displayed on the spine. Like I mentioned before, I like my notebooks plain, but this isn’t a huge deal. I’m just being picky!

scribbles that matter bullet journal notebook

2. The Scribbles That Matter company changes their product line quite often. A4 and A6 sizes used to be available, now they only offer A5, B6, and B5. I used to see grid-lined pages in addition to dot grid. Now they only sell dot-grid and one ruled. One special notebook comes with a few pre-designed monthly and weekly layouts, but it’s only available in B5. And the colors change quite often.

Needless to say, there doesn’t seem to be much consistency, which worries me a little bit! Will my beloved A5 dot-grid notebook be available in three years?

I honestly don’t know. So I’m stocking up now.

But the Question You’re Really Asking is…

Should you buy one?

If you’ve just started bullet journaling, I would guide you towards a cheaper option, just to see if this planning system is for you. I always recommend your first pick be from Amazon … or one of Walmart’s newest additions.

However, if you’ve been bullet journaling for a few months now and love the permanence of a traditional notebook, I say snatch up one (or two, or three!) so you have a good stash!

It might seem silly, but when you have the right notebook, you enjoy using it more often.

And since this is the most important notebook you’ll ever use (it does help us organize our brains, after all!), I prefer to go with something that puts a smile on my face every time I open the cover. 🙂

Share Your Favorite Notebook!

Do you have a go-to bullet journal notebook? Or do you have any questions about this particular one? Let’s chat in the comments!

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. I have a Vivid Scribbles dot grid. It is my first BuJo and have not filled it up yet so it is the only one I have tried. It has three ribbon bookmarks so I really like that. The things I do not like about it are that the page numbers are so faint that I can hardly see them and the dots on one page do not line up with the dots on the facing page so if you make a two page spread, things don’t line up. Is there a brand of dot grid journal that has dark visible page numbers?

    1. Bullet journaling doesn’t have to be fancy. That’s a common misconception because everyone (myself included) is always posting their best pages and layouts to instagram. 🙂 But it’s all about using 1 notebook for everything, in an organized way…so you may actually be bullet journaling and not even know it.

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