I can't stress enough how much I adore my physical paper notebooks. And I've tried to use apps and other cool gadgets to note ideas and work on my fiction, but nothing beats good 'ol pen and paper! Right? But, the truth is, I'm torn between my Moleskine lined journal—which I use for personal thoughts and notes—and my Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal (the official BuJo one in black) for my diary, to-do lists, calendar and everything else.
So, I took some time this week and did a bit of research to help YOU decide which you prefer. I'm a huge fan of both brands, and I've owned various colours and editions in the past. There are tons of others out there, too, but so far I haven't found anything I love as much as these two.
IN THIS POST, I'LL BE REVIEWING THE LEUCHTTURM ONLY. To read about the Moleskine, please visit last week's post for more info!
MY LEUCHTTURM 1917 JOURNAL
My Leuchtturm 1917 is an A5 hardcover in black (the official Bullet Journal branded one, so it has BULLET JOURNAL on the front as seen in the image above) with 240 ivory pages and 80gsm paper. It's dotted because I use the Bullet Journal Method and has acid-free, numbered pages with a corresponding table of contents (index) in the front and a place to plan for the future (future log). If you are new to bullet journaling, mine also has a few guide pages in the back, as well as a handy pocket. It fastens with elastic, and I've added an extra pen loop that sticks in at the rear for when I'm on the go.
As standard, the Leuchtturm notebooks come with indexing stickers so you can label the spine and the front if you wish, and there are three ribbon page markers in different colours, so you can reference various pages. The corners of my journal are rounded.
In the front, there is a key (again, part of the Bullet Journal Method) and a page to write your name and contact information.
Mine is black, not green (but ooh, I love that colour too!)
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LEUCHTTURM 1917 JOURNAL
To my knowledge, these notebooks come in hardback and softback, a variety of colours, and you can choose ruled, plain, dotted (and more) paper types. Some of the Leuchtturm notebooks also come with 8 perforated pages which you can remove and a table of contents in the front. There are lots of sizes available, and pen loops can be purchased separately.
WHY I LOVE LEUCHTTURM 1917 JOURNALS
The Leuchtturm journal is so sturdy—I've dropped mine, used it as a coaster amongst other things and it is yet to mark. It has even survived the chaos that is my handbag. With 240 pages, I can use 2 bullet journals per year and it's enough, though some people do go through more. The paper is a little thicker than the Moleskine, so you can get away with using different inks, though there may still be a bit of ghosting or bleed (depending on which ones you choose).
The numbered pages and corresponding index make it so easy to find what you've written—no more endless flicking until you see something familiar, and the three coloured ribbons in the version I have definitely help... to be honest, there may be too many!
I do have the book by Ryder Carroll who designed the Bullet Journal Method, but I love that this version of the notebook has some reference pages to help you get started if you don't.
Finally, this journal lays perfectly flat, which is a must for me!
WHAT I DON'T LIKE ABOUT THE LEUCHTTURM 1917
As I mentioned above, there are a few too many ribbons but if you have lots going on and need this level of organisation, it would be perfect. You could easily use magnetic bookmarks or washi tape to mark your pages instead, or fold the pages if you're not fussy about that sort of thing.
I like the thickness, but I find it much heavier and more difficult to carry around than the Moleskine—it just doesn't feel quite as personal. However, I do have the BuJo version, so a standard Leuchtturm will be different.
I don't like that the pen loop isn't already included with the journal. For the price, I'd maybe expect one, but the loops are fairly cheap to buy if you need one (if not, there's a hack—let me know if you want in on the secret!). Also, it's nice to be able to buy a different coloured loop to your journal if you want to mix it up a bit.
Finally, I'm not a fan of the pocket because I hardly use it, but sometimes when a sticky note loses it's stickiness, I'll pop it in there for safekeeping.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THE LEUCHTTURM 1917 JOURNAL?
Overall I'd recommend the Leuchtturn 1917 Bullet Journal for the job it was intended to do... as a bullet journal. But, if you need a desk diary or an organiser, I can see the Leuchtturm being perfect for that. If you were going to use this as a personal journal, I would perhaps opt for the thinner version.
So, what do you think? Is it worth adding a Leuchtturm 1917 to your Christmas list?
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