One of the most common quests a Bullet Journalist undertakes is searching for the perfect notebook with the right paper. You have a few choices you can make and it can be overwhelming! Let’s walk through some considerations and then a pen test on three common insert choices for bullet journaling in a traveler’s notebook.
Moleskine. I bought these Cahier notebooks in a 3-pack readily available at Target and have heard good things about them. I tried a grid notebook for my collections. The book has a kraft paper cover which is lovely and ready to be decorated, and the binding is sewn which means the spine is perfectly straight. There are about 72 pages (front and back) of ivory colored paper, not white, with somewhat of a sheen to it – it’s hard to describe but the pages are very smooth. You can see there’s quite a bit of ghosting on the back. Personally, this is very annoying because it deters me from being able to use the backside (which may mean I only get utility from half the pages… grumble grumble).
May Designs. I ordered several of these in various covers and page patterns during a sale and used this for my Daily Log. Like the Moleskine they are 72 pages with a sewn spine. Unlike the Moleskine these notebooks have beautiful sturdy covers that are a plastic-like material that is water resistant. Part of the joy and pitfall is the endless combinations of covers with personalizations and page patterns! As you can see, there is some ghosting but not as obvious as the Moleskine. I tried watercolor on another page but that … didn’t work. The pages got very wrinkled with the water. They notebooks can take a few weeks to ship, and they retail at $20. Personally, I think they get heavy as a planner insert.
YellowPaperHouse. This Etsy shop features a LOT of fun colored paper for your inserts. I’m boring and like to add color in other ways so I stuck with the white during one of their Friday sales featured on their Instagram. These little inserts are also in a Kraft paper cover, and are stapled at the spine rather than sewn, which means the pages may lay a touch off on certain pages. There are about 40 pages in these notebooks. These are meant for folks using the Traveler’s Notebook system. You can see this paper features the least amount of ghosting – you can see a bit of the boxes and indications of the washi tape, but I can definitely use this side of the page. These inserts do take up to 2 weeks to get to you but I love how light they are in my system.
My current verdict: I am eliminating Moleskine from my system.
Future experiments: There are obviously many different inserts out there! I have yet to try them all. The Tomoe River paper comes highly recommended so I may look for those… but what about you? What inserts do you love? I’d love to give them a shot!
Until next time – when we launch December’s #PlanWithMeChallenge with a surprise!