Bullet journals made a big
internet splash in 2013, and the trend hasn’t slowed down much since. While the bullet journal system can easily be done in almost any dotted grid notebook, there are a few key things to consider when shopping for the best bullet journals for you, including the thickness of its paper, how many pages it has, and whether it has any additional organizational features you might want.
Because bullet journals typically involve double-sided work, it’s important to consider the paper’s weight, which is often
measured in grams per square meter (or GSM), to prevent bleed-through. Ideally, a bullet journal will have super-thick paper that weighs in at 160 GSM or higher. But many popular journals for bullet journaling aren’t quite that heavyweight — you can find some great ones that clock in at around 80 GSM, which is roughly the weight of standard printer paper. Just keep in mind that if you write with a heavy hand or prefer inkier pens, thin pages likely won’t be the best option. You’ll also want to estimate how many pages you’ll need — some people can stick with one book for a full 200 pages while others will want to bail after 80. Fortunately, there's an assortment of highly rated notebooks for different skill and commitment levels.
Beyond dotted pages, some bullet journals come with extra features that make it even easier to stay on track every day. If you could use extra help staying organized, a notebook that comes with a dedicated index and/or numbered pages can be helpful. Meanwhile, a sewn-in bookmark or additional stickers can help you keep your place.
The perfect way to personalize your planner and put all of your creative musings together in one place, bullet journaling is a
unique system to keep you organized. Whether you’re a beginner who needs a little guidance or a pro seeking to splurge on a high-end notebook, here’s a list of some of the best notebooks on Amazon for bullet journaling at a range of price points. 1 The Overall Best Bullet Journal With Thick Pages
If you’re looking for a
bullet journal you can use with a range of pens without any bleeding or ghosting, this one should fit the bill. The 155 dotted, acid-free pages have a weight of 160 GSM — one reviewer described, “I really love the paper quality,” adding that it’s “super thick and I tried my sharpie and it didn’t even bleed or ghost!” But if you have any reservations about how free-flowing a pen’s ink might be, you can use the journal’s Pen Test page before you start writing.
The journal also features index pages, numbering, a key page, and a pocket inside the back cover. Two ribbon bookmarks help you keep your place, a pen loop helps you keep track of your go-to writing utensil, and an elastic band keeps the notebook closed. Boasting a faux leather cover in 12 color options, the journal can be purchased in two sizes.
One reviewer wrote: “I’ve been bullet journaling for a while and have not found a journal this amazing:) The pages are so thick, I don’t even have to worry about what pen or marker I use. There is NO bleeding and NO ghosting at all. The pages are very smooth, overall a really good notebook that I use every day!!” 2 A Cult-Favorite Hardcover Journal In 24 Vibrant Colors
Leuchtturm 1917 hardcover notebook has your bullet journaling needs covered with 251 acid-free, ink-proof pages that weigh 80 GSM and are available in dotted, ruled, blank, or gridded styles. The journal features a table of contents, numbered pages, and has a thread-bound binding so that it lays flat. Built with an expandable pocket, an elastic closure, two sewn-in bookmarks, and available in 24 different colors, it's no wonder that more than 5,000 Amazon users have given it glowing reviews. One reviewer wrote: “I recently started a bullet journal and I can’t express how happy I am with the dot grid in this book. It allows for customization that goes beyond anything I thought a planner could be.” 3 Or A Softcover Version With Fewer Pages
If you’re curious about bullet journaling but are unsure if it’ll stick, this
softcover journal — which offers your choice of 123 dotted, ruled, blank, or gridded 80 GSM pages — could be a great one to start with. With this journal, a lot of the initial work for bullet journaling will be done for you, as its pages are pre-numbered, it has a blank table of contents, and includes stickers for easy organization. It also has two sewn-in ribbon bookmarks, an elastic closure band, a gusseted back pocket, and eight perforated sheets you can easily tear out, making it the souped-up journal of your dreams. Best of all, it’s available in 13 bold and neutral colors. One reviewer wrote: “Love Leuchtteurm 1917 dot journals. Have always bought hardcovers before this but the soft cover is light, durable, and easy to take anywhere I need it. I use it for the purpose of bullet journaling and it has served me very well so far.” 4 A Budget-Friendly Bullet Journal
100 GSM journal is a bargain at just $8. With 128 dotted pages, two sewn-in ribbon bookmarks in different colors, and cream-colored acid-free paper, it’s ready to be customized with your bullet journal lists, memories, and schedules. It also has an elastic pen loop on the spine so you never misplace your favorite writing utensil. The hardcover notebook is available in five colors. One reviewer wrote: “Great quality for value, pretty snotty when it comes to notebooks, perfect for bullet journaling, no bleeding/ghosting :)” 5 An Editor-Recommended Classic Notebook
Moleskine is a beloved journal brand, and this
Moleskine hardcover notebook has over 2,900 five-star Amazon reviews and is the preferred notebook of one of Bustle Digital Group’s commerce editors as well. The 240-page notebook has 70 GSM ivory pages and is available in dotted, squared, ruled, plain, or even a mix of ruled and plain options. Simplistic in design, it features an elastic closure, one sewn-in ribbon bookmark, a small back pocket, and is available in 22 colors. The rest of the interior’s design is up to you and your imagination. Editor praise: “I’ve used this dotted Moleskine notebook for years for my bullet journals. The dotted design makes it easy to make really simple charts, graphs, and visuals, but doesn’t get in the way of any writing you want to do, as well. It has 240 pages, which is plenty of space for me to make calendars, track things, and also have monthly spreads. I’ve also found the paper isn’t so thin that markers bleed through it. I’d highly recommend.” — Amy Biggart, BDG Commerce Editor 6 A Bullet Journal Kit With Tons Of Extras
Keeping organized is a priority with this
bullet journal kit. In addition to 224 dotted pages, the A5 hardcover journal features an index, pre-numbered pages, two sewn-in ribbon bookmarks, and a back pocket. The notebook also comes with a bunch of bullet journaling accessories, including a black pen, 15 colorful fine-tip pens, five journaling stencil sheets, six sticker sheets, and six patterned rolls of washi tape. The manufacturer doesn’t specify the weight of the paper, but one reviewer estimated it to be 100 GSM, and another wrote that it’s “heavy enough for a lesser bleed through depending on ink choice.” The journal is available in six colors, each ready to put the included kit to great use. One reviewer wrote: “This is my first bullet journal and I cannot begin to explain how great this product is, the journal itself feels amazing and the pages are thick too so I won’t worry about the pen bleeding thru. When I would buy other journals I wouldn’t know where to begin but with I know what I want to do! For the price it’s unbelievable what you get!” 7 A Pair Of Large Bullet Journals
large notebooks come in at almost 10 by 8 inches, making them a spacious pick for note-taking, idea-jotting, and planning. Crafted with 190 pages per notebook, the 100 GSM paper keeps bleeding to a minimum and makes writing a dream. The dotted pages are pre-numbered, and the notebooks also feature two sewn-in ribbon bookmarks, elastic closures, a back pocket, and even a journaling stencil that’ll help you design the bullet journal layout that’s best for you. They come in 10 color combinations, with some packs including two journals in the same color and some mix-and-match options. One reviewer wrote: “I love the size of these. They are bigger than the standard bullet journal but not as large as a notebook. Sturdy and the pages are a good thickness.” 8 A Bullet Journal With Extra-Smooth Clairefontaine Paper
Built for durability, this
Rhodia journal utilizes French Clairefontaine paper, known for its exceptional color and ultra-smooth acid-free sheets. The hard-bound notebook has an embossed faux-leatherette cover, an inner expandable pocket and a ribbon marker. With 96 sheets of 90 GSM paper, this notebook is marked as fountain pen-friendly. One reviewer wrote, “I would consider this paper to have a very premium feel to it; it is thick and smooth.” One reviewer wrote: “This notebook is great for bullet journals. I just purchased my third one for the third year in a row. The journal itself is sturdy and has held up to being shoved in my backpack on a regular basis. The paper is also thick enough to prevent bleed through. I don't do significant drawing or sketching so maybe that would be different, but for my journal purposes the paper thickness is great (for reference I use a Pilot Precise V7 RT pen). The only drawback I can think of is it just has the dots on each page, with no page numbers or pre-made table of contents, but that works for me. I personally like a more minimalist journal so I didn't want any of the pre-made content. I’m sure at the end of the year I'll be buying my fourth one!” 9 A Spiral-Bound Journal With Organizational Stickers
If you have an affinity for
spiral-bound notebooks, this is a great bullet journal option with a sturdy wire binding that allows the pages to lay totally flat when you’re writing. It uniquely features a clear cover so you design your own cover and front page. It has an elastic closure, 160 dotted pages with a weight of 100 GSM, and comes with tab stickers that’ll help you organize the journal’s content. One reviewer wrote: “I really like this journal. It's a great size, the pages aren't that thin and can handle stabilo/Le pen markers. The spiral bound is the biggest selling point and now I can't go back to my bound bullet journal. Down side would be not that many pages, but will definitely re order when I need a new one.” 10 A Bullet Journal With Thick Pages & A Charming Cover
dotted journal with a gold moon pattern hardcover has 160 pages of 160 GSM paper, meaning it’s extra thick and ready to prevent bleeding. As for the interior, it features pre-numbered pages, an index page, key page, and even a “pen test” page. It also has an elastic closure, back envelope pocket, and a sewn-in ribbon bookmark, and is available in two colors, each with a vegan leather cover. One reviewer wrote: “Best bullet journal I've ever purchased! The pages are super thick, sturdy, well made. I appreciate the pages are numbered as well as the Key and Index pages being already set up for use. Super happy with my purchase and i will re-purchase in the future.” 11 A 3-Pack Of Oversize Journals With 96 Pages
Committing to just one journal can be hard, but luckily this
multipack of notebooks gives you the flexibility to move between them as needed. Each journal contains 96 pages of 90 GSM paper that can easily handle fountain and brush pens. The lay-flat sewn binding allows for smoother writing while the 7-by-10-inch sizing gives you lots of room to roam. They have informal paper covers you can customize and doodle on, and you can choose from dotted, squared, lined, or plain paper — whatever best suits your bullet-journaling needs. One reviewer wrote: “The paper is high quality. This notebook is cheaper than other bullet notebooks because it is staple-bound. If you are hard on your notebooks or are planning to save them for many years, you may want a different binding, but these notebooks are good for many normal use cases.” 12 A 360-Page Notebook For Long-Term Bullet Journalers
If you’re fully committed to bullet journaling, consider this thick
softcover journal with 360 pages that will allow you to use an entire page every day for nearly a full year. It’s available with dotted, lined, or blank 100 GSM pages, with a red or black cover featuring an inscription, and even with gold-edge paper or plain. It also has two sewn-in ribbon bookmarks to keep track of where you are in its vast number of pages. One reviewer wrote: “I love the size (I am always burning through my bullet journals and I am excited to see this one last more than four months) and the style. I do wish there was one more ribbon, but that is easily dealt with by using a bookmark in its place. Overall, definitely worth the price I paid and I would probably buy it again.” 13 A Set Of Tiny Journals For On-The-Go Bullet Journaling
For easily bringing your bullet journal with you wherever you may roam, consider this set of three 3.5-by-5.5-inch
Moleskine pocket journals. Each paper-cover journal has 64 dotted pages (or squared, ruled, or plain pages) and has 16 perforated pages in the back for easily tearing out notes as needed. At 70 GSM, the paper in these is on the thin side — so you might want to stick to ballpoint pens to prevent bleeding or ghosting. But these little notebooks are perfect for tucking into any bag for easily having on-hand at a moment’s notice, and they’re available in 10 colors. One reviewer wrote: “These notebooks are fantastic! I’ve been using one as a pocket bullet journal, and it’s held up very well. The stitched spines aren’t just more durable than the stapled ones in e.g. Field Notes, they’re more comfortable to use, too. It also has significantly more pages than Field Notes - 64 to FN’s 48 - at about the same width. I’ll definitely be buying again.”
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This article was originally published on
Oct. 12, 2017