5 Best Bullet Journals to Capture Every Idea (2020 Review)
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Did you know that keeping a bullet journal can make you a happier person?
According to a 2004 research study, people who fail to meet their goals and expectations tend to be lonelier. This is because they lose the desire and motivation to succeed.
But if they can see their goals laid out before their eyes (just like in bullet journaling), it is easier for them to accomplish their objectives and be happier.
Starting your own bullet journal isn’t that hard. There are thousands of bullet journal ideas available on the internet today. However, to begin such a practice, you need to have the best bullet journal supplies first (mainly a notebook).
In this post, we’ve reviewed the five best bullet journals that you can use to start your bullet journaling practice. We’ve categorized them based on their quality, choosing only those that can help you write easily and comfortably.
But before we introduce the top products, we would like to share with you some information we have gathered regarding the benefits of keeping a bullet journal. We will also share with you the considerations you need to think of when purchasing one.
Don’t have time to read the entire review?
If you’re a busy person who doesn’t have time to read this entire review, we’ve simplified everything. Here is a table to show you a quick rating of the best bullet journals.
Best Choice For…
Best bullet journal for fine writing and unleashing your creativity
Best bullet journal for one that has many sections (has 200+ pages)
Best bullet journal for on-the-go users
Best bullet journal for other types of journaling (travel notebook, business notebook, recipe journal, etc.)
Best bullet journal for those with heavy handwriting skills
What You Will Learn
- Benefits of Bullet Journaling
- Considerations When Choosing the Best Bullet Journal
- The 5 Best Bullet Journals to Capture Every Idea and Plan Your Life
- 1. Best Overall Idea Capture Journal: Essentials Dot Matrix Notebook
- 2. Best Sectioned Bullet Journal (200+ pages) Dotted Journal by Scribbles That Matter
- 3. Best bullet journal for on-the-go users Dotted Grid Notebook by Poluma
- 4. Best Bullet Journal Choice for Travel and Recipe Journaling Dingbats Wildlife
- 5. Best bullet journal for those with heavy handwriting (no bleedthrough) BookFactory Ghost Grid Dot Journal
- A final word on the best idea capturing bullet journals
Benefits of Bullet Journaling
Bullet journaling keeps everything in your life organized. Having a bullet journal allows you to lay down all of your to-dos in one single place. You don’t have to worry about forgetting a task that needs to be done. Being organized also allows you to become happier. You can literally keep track of everything in your bullet journal.
From the time you get up to the time you turn in for the night, you can record everything you do and new ideas that come to mind in your bullet journal. If you keep an ongoing to-do list, you don’t have to recreate a new list each day. Rather, you can make a list each week and cross items off as you go. This saves time and reduces duplicated efforts.
Similarly, bullet journaling allows you to track all your activities and progress. With so many things happening in your busy life, you need to make sure you don’t forget your urgent and not-so-urgent tasks. You can customize your lists based on the things that you need to do, keeping a specific place for things that need to be done right away and putting ongoing tasks in another list.
Recording your daily, weekly, and monthly achievements is one of the main purposes of bullet journaling. Research shows that tracking your efforts to reach your goals can set you up for success. Tracking your progress will help you stay motivated and keep up your momentum. Getting some bullet journal accessories can help you organize your journal even more efficiently.
A bullet journal allows you to lay down all of your to-dos in one single place and keeps everything in your life organized.
There are a lot of bullet journal ideas that you can use, including tracking your mood, health, and goals, while watching your progress in each area. You can even monitor your finances and savings. The good thing about doing this in a bullet journal is that you can break your larger goals down into smaller, more manageable pieces that will help you move toward your ultimate success. You can do things like creating monthly challenges, keep track of your diet with a food journal, or set exercise goals for yourself.
Bullet journaling reveals your artistic and creative side! Since bullet journaling is an art, it allows you to explore your creative talents. Studies show that being creative can lower stress levels, and less stress means more happiness. Even if you don’t feel like you are a talented artist, bullet journaling can still be a form of self-expression for you.
Don’t compare your artistic abilities to other people. Get some stickers and colored markers and allow yourself to have fun with it. Look into any bullet journal supplies for beginners to find some inspiration.
This activity will inspire you to become more productive. When you know that your life is in order, you tend to be more enthusiastic about doing things the right way. Keeping a bullet journal motivates you to continue doing the things that make you happy and productive. Often, it is these intangible metrics, like peace, improved concentration, and increased energy, that ultimately make you more productive in the long run.
You are probably wondering where to start, or how you know a certain bulleting journal will fit your lifestyle better than the next. Let’s look at some factors that differentiate bulleting journals.
Considerations When Choosing the Best Bullet Journal
Although you could simply use a pen and paper to start bullet journaling, this isn’t the best option for everyone. Your needs will vary depending on how you’re using your bullet journal. Some people enjoy drawing, while others write calligraphy or paint with watercolors. Some people just stick to writing down their day-to-day tasks. Choosing the right journal for your needs is important to allow you to have an enjoyable experience.
First, consider the size. The most common size for bullet journaling is A5. But you always have the option to choose the larger B5 size if you want to be able to write more content. Alternatively, if you’re planning to bring your bullet journal along with you each day in your bag, then going for the smaller A6 might be your best bet.
It really depends on your preference. When considering size, you will also want to think about the number of pages included in your journal. If you’re planning to create a lot of sections for your bullet journal, you need one that has a lot of pages.
Also, consider the design. Some people like their journal notebooks nicely decorated with colors, while others prefer a minimalistic design. Whatever your preference is, make sure that the design you pick will inspire you. You also have to consider if you prefer a hardcover or a softcover. You also must consider the design or type of the inside of your journal.
There are different types of bullet journals: plain (blank), dotted, lined, or squared (graph-like). It’s really up to you which one you prefer, and how large your handwriting is. But you should consider the thickness of the lines and how dark they are if you choose a journal that has lined or squared pages. You can also look into the best bullet journal supplies to personalize your journal to your liking.
Journal and diary keepers will surely agree that the quality of the paper matters. When the paper you’re using is easy to write on, has a smooth surface, and has high opacity, you will enjoy writing in your journal.
One way that you can measure the quality of the paper is to look at the grams-per-square-meter measurement, which shows the weight of the paper. Another thing to consider when choosing your preferred paper quality is the type of writing instrument you prefer using. For example, if you write with a nice fountain pen but use low-quality paper, it will bleed and smear.
All of these qualities help determine the price of your journal. There are expensive notebooks, but there are also cheap ones. For beginners, it is recommended to use the more affordable notebooks. But if you are really into bullet journaling, and the brand matters, you can always choose to purchase an expensive (yet really worthy) journal.
Now that you know the possible differences between bullet journals, let’s take a look at the best products that are on the market today.
The 5 Best Bullet Journals to Capture Every Idea and Plan Your Life
1. Best Overall Idea Capture Journal: Essentials Dot Matrix Notebook
This is the best bullet journal for fine writing and unleashing your creativity.
This choice is great for bullet journaling, sketching or drawing, designing, and writing. This is a great notebook for people who are just starting to practice bullet journaling because it is a high-quality notebook, but not so expensive that you may worry about messing it up or altering your journaling style partway through.
This journal comes with 192 100-gsm acid-free/archival pages with a dot-matrix/dot-grid design. The paper is 25% heavier than other leading brands, which helps preserve your work. It also includes a pocket on the inside back cover to hold your loose papers, notes, and business cards that you collect throughout the workweek. The elastic band that is attached to the back cover ensures that the journal remains closed and any papers you have in the folder stay put.
- Has a durable hardcover.
- The elastic band protects the notebook.
- Convenient pocket to store loose notes.
- It has thick, smooth pages.
- Low price for high quality.
- Only available in black.
- Pages do not have numbers on them.
- It has only one ribbon, while some people prefer two.
2. Best Sectioned Bullet Journal (200+ pages) Dotted Journal by Scribbles That Matter
This is the best bullet journal for people who prefer to have many sections. With over 200 pages, it can keep all of your tasks and goals compartmentalized. Each page offers 27 dots across and 38 dots down to allow for convenient journaling. Additionally, the dots line up across the pages, so it is simple to spread your page designs across two pages.
The company behind this product knows the benefit of journaling for mental health and aimed to make a product that was both beautiful and affordable. One appeal of this product is that it is completely vegan, which is a huge selling point for people who live a vegan lifestyle.
This bullet journal includes a key code page, index pages, dotted numbered pages, and two color-coded bookmarks to help you keep track of every page. Another convenient factor of this product is that it comes with a pen holder for easy access so you won’t be scrambling to find a pen when you are working on your journal. There is also a “pen test” page in this journal, which is convenient when you want to try out new pens. By testing your pens first, you will know right away if they will bleed through the pages of the journal.
The durability and size of this journal allow you to take it along with you every day. It has a silky yet sturdy faux leather cover that protects your work against environmental factors. The strong binding ensures you won’t have to worry about pages falling out due to heavy use, and its lay-flat design is ideal for smoother writing. This journal is A5, making it perfect for portability so you can keep it on you at all times.
- It has convenient features such as a pen holder and an index section.
- Great for people who need a lot of sections.
- Pages may bleed if you have a heavy hand.
- Some find the bullets to be uneven.
- Some have found page numbers to be out of order.
3. Best bullet journal for on-the-go users Dotted Grid Notebook by Poluma
If you like to bring your journal with you on the go, this might be the perfect fit. The narrow A5 size is ideal to carry in your bag. It comes with a hard vinyl cover, a back pocket, and a ribbon place marker. This journal is convenient, as it opens flat at 180°, allowing you to spread your work across both pages.
This is a very inexpensive option for a bullet journal, but can still withstand daily use. It is stitched with a standard Smythe binding, and the vinyl cover is a bit flexible, allowing users to easily grip the cover. The elastic covering the book is appropriately sized and has a snug fit, keeping it neatly together.
The inner cream-colored pages have a dot grid design, ruled at 5mm. The paper is thick and smooth, making it perfect for fountain, gel, ballpoint, and rollerball pens. When using pens with more ink (like a fountain pen), the lines turn out true to nib size, and there are no signs of feathering. This book includes 28 unnumbered pages.
- It has a solid binding that opens completely for easy journaling.
- High-quality paper.
- Perfect for on-the-go use.
- No page numbers or index.
- Some users prefer to have more pages.
- Some people find the inside pages to be warped.
4. Best Bullet Journal Choice for Travel and Recipe Journaling Dingbats Wildlife
This is the best bullet journal for a variety of other types of journaling. While many choose to use it as a bullet journal, it can also be used as a travel notebook, journal, diary, professional notebook, exercise journal, recipe journal, etc. It is made from degradable and recyclable materials and is 100% vegan.
The acid-free paper used in this journal is 100gsm, silk, cream-colored, fountain-friendly, and FSC-certified. The journal comes with 92 pages that can be used on the front and back, and are micro-perforated for easy removal. This journal also lies flat when it is open.
The Dingbats Wildlife journal comes with several bullet journal essentials. It has an inner pocket, a bookmark so you can mark your place, a pen holder, and an elastic closure. The cover is well-constructed to ensure durability, and each page has a square grid that extends throughout the entire page.
- Superb paper quality.
- Environmentally friendly product from a family-owned company.
- Pages are perforated for neat removal.
- It does not include an index page.
- Due to the high quality of this journal, it is heavier than others.
- No page numbers.
This is the best bullet journal for people who have heavy handwriting skills. It offers 70-pound paper, which is perfect for various pens, including markers, fountain pens, and watercolors. The ink does not bleed or ghost on this heavy, acid-free paper.
This notebook is spring-bound, making it easy to lay flat. It comes with 60 grid-designed pages, allowing you to write on 120 pages. With this format, you can align your text and use a variety of layouts in your journaling practice. It offers a four-page index to allow you to categorize the things that are going on in your life.
- 70-lb paper is great for any kind of pen.
- It comes with a four-page index.
- Spring design makes it easy to lie flat.
- Some find the dot marks are too dark.
- It comes in only one design.
- Some people find the dots to be too close together.
A final word on the best idea capturing bullet journals
The products we have mentioned above are the best bullet journals available on the market today. This is according to the positive reviews and high ratings from customers who have already tried them.
However, our winner for today is Essentials Dot Matrix Notebook for its overall effectiveness in helping you start your bullet journaling practice.