My First Leuchtturm1917 Notebook

For Christmas, my sister gifted me a green Leuchtturm1917 that I’ve been using for my 2018 planning. I’ve also been using a second journal for long-term planning, rather than monthly and weekly spreads. I wrote about why and how I’m using two bullet journals here.

I’ve read and heard a lot about these notebooks for bullet journalling. To be honest, I was never interested in them. They run for $30.00 on Amazon for the A5 size I have. I’ve read reviews every time I was in the market for a new journal, but picked a different product because I’ve found something cheaper.

January, February, and March all have spreads in the Leuchtturm and I’m glad I finally got to try it! I love starting the year in a fresh book, and even though I had space in my Scribbles That Matter, I’m using the Leuchtturm for 2018.

I’ll be using this journal for 2018 until either the year ends or the pages run out. It’s let me loosen up a little bit, on account of all the accidental smears and the less-than-polished quality my spreads end up being. I’m not saying I’m messier in this journal than I am in other ones, but I feel better messing up in the Leuchtturm compared to my Scribbles That Matter.

Pros:

  • Lots of pages
  • Dot layout is well structured
  • Numbered pages are not intrusive to the layout
  • Hardcover
  • 2 ribbon bookmarks for easier navigation
  • Elastic band

Cons:

  • Gel ink smears and takes longer to dry
  • Ghosting through the pages
  • Hardcover finish gets dirty quickly (it was dirty after the first day I opened it, oops!)
  • Page quality is average

As a journal, it’s well-rounded and serves its purpose. It’s a great notebook for bullet journalling!

However… I think the Leuchtturm is overpriced when there are options for lower costs (Scribbles That Matter is less than $25.00) However, if you can get a Leuchtturm in a craft or art store for less than $30.00, it’s definitely a great notebook for bullet journalling.

Bullet Journal Notebook Follow-up Review

A worn-out black notebook that says "Matte Black" on the cover.

Well, this book only lasted 3 months and I’m preparing to start a new 7 x 10 inch book (from the same company) in 2017. For December, I’m not going to be doing bullet journaling to the degree I did the past 3 months.

So how did the book hold up?

Well, compared to how it looked in the original review post, it doesn’t look too bad. I’m glad that it didn’t constantly fall open!

Here are a few pictures of the wear on the outside!

A worn-out black notebook that says "Matte Black" on the cover.

Close-up of open pages that are slightly swollen from usage.

Close-up of a worn-out spine of a black notebook.

Side-view of a closed notebook, the cover with lots of smudges.

As for the interior, I have a few other posts that show my layouts. (Here is one post for monthly spreads in October and another post for weekly and daily logs.) I’m incredibly pleased with how the paper handled my pens. There is next to no ghosting or transfer!

As such, that’s why I’ve purchased another Productive Luddite “Every Day Carry” book in the dot grid style. Since it’s from the same line, the new book also has 100 pages like the one I just finished. The new book is bigger, though, measuring 7 x 9 inches. The one I just finished measures 6 x 9 inches. A one inch difference shows up more than you’d think, especially in a dot grid.

I’m excited to set up through December. Expect a post on the new notebook in the new year! New new new~

Bullet Journal: Notebook Review – Productive Luddite

In preparation for my next (and final) university semester, I sought a new notebook for my bullet journal. Up until now, I had been using a lined notebook I had kicking around—it was spiral bound with a hard cover, measuring 6.5 x 9.5 inches. It was a great notebook to explore the bullet journal system, but it had gotten more annoying than productive by the time I got the hang of how I use the system.

Originally, I wanted my new notebook to be a 7 x 9 inch spiral bound… with a dot grid.

Specific, I know, and that didn’t even take into consideration my preferences for paper weight (20lb or higher, no exceptions).

Needless to say, I had a lot of difficulty finding one that I could buy. It was either I settle for something else, or I go through the process of printing, trimming, and binding my own (and that would have cost me a bunch).

The classics for bullet journalling are Moleskine and Leuchturm brands. However, I had seen them used in other people’s spreads, and I really didn’t like the layouts or how they handled ink. The Bullet Journal brand was way out of my budget (the $20.00 notebook is high, in my opinion, but the cheapest shipping was $15.69, so… no). I wanted something different, but couldn’t find anything reasonably priced.

I was buying my last few textbooks for classes (using The Book Depository because hell yeah, free shipping!). I decided to browse their stationery, and although the colouring books were tempting… I saw some dot grid notebooks. In sizes I like. For reasonable prices. With free shipping.

SO! I purchased the “Matte Black” dot grid notebook in 6 x 9 inches. This product is from Productive Luddite and is available from their website, The Book Depository, and Amazon. It’s part of their “Every Day Carry” lineup, designed for daily use and portability.

None of these pictures have been edited. They were shot with my Samsung S5, on a lovely overcast day. The pens I use in my BuJo are a Uniball Signo for permanent entries, and FriXion brand pens and markers for anything to be changed later or accented. I love my FriXion markers to the moon—they add just the right amount of colour, and I can erase them cleanly a few times.

Pictures speak more than words, so without further ado, here are some photographs!

EDC Dot Grid Cover 1

The cover, just after removing it from the packaging!

EDC Dot Grid Title Page

The “title” page, which appears after a blank page. It says: title, name, “If lost, please contact,” and a space each for the date & place started/finished.

 

 

EDC Dot Grid Table of Contents

The 2nd and 3rd pages of the index/table of contents.

 

EDC Dot Grid Index Tags

 

The tags index, which is only 2 pages.

EDC Dot Grid Right Page Numbers

EDC Dot Grid Left Page Numbers

Page numbers. The 1st page is so impossible to see.

 

EDC Dot Grid Spread

 

Here’s a view of the dot grid on a spread.

EDC Dot Grid Title Page Inked

Starting to fill it in! I’ve put my name and contact details in there by now.

EDC Dot Grid title Page Ghosting

 

Barely any ghosting onto the backside of the page. Very, very pleased with this!

 

 

EDC Overview

I thought this was a neat addition! On the inside of the back cover, they overview the different styles and sizes they offer. Look at this selection! The best part is that they’re all the same price.

EDC Dot Grid Cover 2

This is how the book looked after I took the pictures. The curve of the cover is… not ideal. But we will work with it.

Pros

Paper weight—it’s thick, but not so thick that page turning is difficult. I was so pleased by the weight and how it didn’t let my ink ghost through.

Numbered pages—The pages are already numbered and they aren’t in-your-face about it. They’re discreetly in the corner. Considering my lack of use for numbered pages, I’m glad they aren’t very noticeable.

Table of contents/index—It’s already laid out on 3 pages (a sheet and a half), which I think is plenty of space for a 100-page notebook.

Tag index—I much prefer this to an index/table of contents system. Other BuJo users have developed ways to track their tags and whatnot, from colour coding on the edge of the page, to stickers, to using the index. This tag feature is something I look forward to so much! It makes more sense to me, as I can put in a keyword instead of starting a new entry in the table of contents.

Cons

Numbered pages—This is a pro and a con, for the exact same reasons: the numbers aren’t very visible or legible.

Dot size—I think the dots are a little too big, or maybe too dark. I wish they were more subtle.

The cover—The feel of it is nice, but it bends a lot. The last picture was taken just after I had flipped through, held open, and photographed. I’m unsure how it’ll fare after being used daily for the next few months.

Page count—I like to use about a page a day, maybe every two days, so I wish there were more than 100 pages in this notebook.

Overview

I’m not sure how I’ll feel about the binding style. I prefer a spiral bound notebook, and I also prefer having a hard cover. But we have to compromise. If I can’t have a hard cover, then I’ll at least get a dot grid layout.


Upcoming, I’ll list out my collections and whatnot; before I even got the book, I wrote out what exactly I wanted to include. I’m so excited to get started using it! Having the dot grid has made me feel more free in my layouts. I can draw boxes and measure on the page so much more easily than in a ruled notebook.

Bullet Journal Notebook Review of Productive Luddite EDC Dot Grid Notebook