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The concept of putting pen to paper can seem alien in a largely digital world, but just because it’s not in style doesn’t mean it’s a worthless endeavor. In fact, experts say your brain is able to process and retain information more effectively when it’s written by hand. So whether it’s your shopping list or an appointment you need to remember, you’re better off writing it down than typing out a note in your iPhone. This is where a bullet journal can be a huge asset.
How Do Bullet Journals Work?
In addition to helping keep you organized, there’s evidence that suggests bullet journaling can be effective in helping with the upkeep of our mental health. And while a simple planner might do the trick in most cases, bullet journals offer more ways to be creative and really leave a part of yourself imprinted on each page thanks to the paper’s grid format, as opposed to more traditional templated journals that utilize lines. Your bullet journal can truly be whatever you need it to be, with room to plan, organize, list, strategize, sketch and more.
What Makes a Good Bullet Journal?
If you’re thinking about investing in a good bullet journal, consider the following criteria before shopping for bullet journals online.
Hardcover vs. Softcover: Like most notebooks and journals, the best bullet journals are available with hard covers and soft covers. Though this will largely be decided by what your personal preference is, it’s better to get a journal with a harder cover if you’re planning on taking it places with you since they’re more durable.
Paper Weight: Bullet journals should have much thicker paper than a typical notebook, so that whatever pen you’re using doesn’t bleed through the paper. For this, you’ll want to refer to the grams per square meter (GSM), which will tell you how thick the paper in that journal is. Around 100 gsm is considered the gold standard for journaling.
Spiral vs. Bound: This also is a matter of preference. Spiral bullet journals are largely considered to be more user-friendly given that they can lay completely flat as you work, making it easier to write on.
What Are the Best Bullet Journals?
Below is our list of the best bullet journals you can find online right now.
1. Paperage Dotted Journal
Amazon’s Choice for best bullet journal is this one from Paperage, which is great whether you’re just getting started with bullet journaling or you’re a seasoned veteran. This journal boasts an interior that’s every bit as exquisite as the vegan leather hard cover exterior. Whether you’re writing with a pencil or a marker, your thoughts are bound to stand out on the premium 100 gsm acid-free paper, thanks to its light ivory color. There’s also a variety of beautiful colors to choose from; we’re very fond of the blush journal.
2. Northbooks Bullet Journal
If you’re a no-frills kind of person, we recommend this minimalist option from Northbooks. Its slim design makes it easy to keep just about anywhere. Best of all, this journal offers you the opportunity to journal sustainably; the cover is made from 50 percent post-consumer recycled, natural jute fiber and the paper is sustainably-sourced and certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
As an added bonus when you purchase one of these journals, Northbooks will plant a tree to support reforestation efforts through their partnership with Eden Projects.
3. Yop & Tom Dotted Journal
We love the fun moon and stars design on the vegan leather cover of this bullet journal, but the very thick paper (160 gsm) makes this the perfect place to store any thoughts, lists and especially artwork without the risk of bleeding. The lay-flat binding makes it easier to work across two pages if necessary. Also included are pen test pages, back envelope, a bookmark as well as an elastic fastener.
4. Scribbles That Matter Bullet Journal
This bullet journal has 150 dreamy pages to write and draw on, as well as two colored bookmarks and a key code page that can help you create something that’s truly one of a kind. The faux leather cover feels silky to the touch, but is study enough to keep your thoughts and masterpieces in progress safe for years to come.
5. Moleskin Classic Notebook
Moleskin notebooks are revered for their classic yet fetching design, but are still perfect for note taking, journaling and doodling. The thick, ivory pages make them especially preferable to fountain pens, but are just as compatible with pencils and ballpoint pens.
6. BookFactory Ghost Grid Dot Journal
If you prefer a spiral-bound bullet journal, Ghost Grid’s Dot Journal is the perfect option. Create a Table of Contents for your creations and to do’s with the built-in index; the high quality acid-free paper may is on the lighter side (70 gsm) but still promises zero bleed and is thicker than your average notebook.