Bullet journaling is a fantastic way to create a streamlined log of your days and months without the hand cramps of journaling and the haphazardness of a to-do list on any old piece of paper. “Bullet journals are a great way to track progress and habits,” says Holly Chapman, head of global PR for Papier. “[They’re] a great space for you to be creative, too.”
To help you find the right bullet journal, we researched the best options, considering attributes like cover style, added features, page count, paper quality, and overall value.
Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook
Paper is a bit thin
Great for both beginner and advanced bullet journalers, this hardcover notebook has well-printed dotted lines that make it easy to create an organized system that works for you. With over 250 pages, you’ll have plenty of space to create all kinds of calendars and logs and still have plenty of room for reflection. All pages are numbered, plus the book includes eight perforated pages, a blank table of contents, and a folder in the back to corral any loose items.
It’s also a nice, convenient size. At 5.75 x 8.25 inches, this notebook is just the right size to throw in your purse or work bag. It comes in 24 different colors, too. Go bold with a bright orange or pink or stay business professional with black.
Price at time of publish: $23
Dimensions: 5.75 x .67 x 8.25 inches | Format: Dotted | Page count: 251
Minimalism Art Premium Dotted Hard Cover Notebook
Dots aren’t evenly printed from page to page
Pages aren’t stark white
This bullet journal may be budget-friendly, but it’s a close comparison to much more expensive options on the list. For starters, the hardcover notebook has a beautiful leather thread binding that opens flat to help you write with less resistance. The 122 pages you’ll be drawing and writing on are ink bleed-resistant and acid-free, and numbered for better organization. All pages are dotted to help keep journal entries clean and organized, though you can opt for plain or ruled, too.
There’s no shortage of nice-to-haves, either. This notebook also has a table of contents for easy reference, a durable elastic strap for fast and secure closure, matching ribbon bookmarks, and an expandable inner pocket to keep loose items and papers organized. Choose from eight colors, from bold red to a professional brown.
Price at time of publish: $9
Dimensions: 8.31 x 5.31 x .79 inches | Format: Dotted | Page count: 122
Best for Beginners
Dot Journaling―The Set
Book is sturdy
Paper quality is good
Pages don’t line up perfectly
If you’ve never experimented with bullet journaling, this set provides an excellent foray into the art form, namely because it comes with a comprehensive how-to guide. You can stop Googling and simply get to work on your very own bullet journal, thanks to directions on how to make yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily spreads, as well as guidance on how to make habit and goal trackers. There’s also a host of tutorials to teach you how to make symbols that make sense.
The book itself is of great quality. There is an impressive quantity of pages—208 dotted ones, to be exact. They’re all numbered and secured by a flexible, yet durable cover and complete with an inner pocket to help you store any loose documents. When you’re done for the day, place the ribbon bookmark where you want it, and then secure your notebook with the included elastic.
Price at time of publish: $17
Dimensions: 6.06 x 1.19 x 8.75 inches | Format: Dotted | Page count: 208
RETTACY Dotted Bullet Grid Journal
Book is sturdy
Paper quality is good
Pages don’t line up perfectly
This set of two notebooks is a fantastic deal, with a total of 320 pages between the two of them. And despite the low price, the manufacturer didn’t skimp on the details—including an elastic closure to keep things secure, and a pen holder to ensure you always have a writing utensil close at hand
Reviewers were particularly wowed by the paper quality. Each page has a 120 gsm weight, meaning that they're thick, smooth, and easy to write on with a variety of mediums. If there’s any downside, though, it’s that the dots on the pages don’t seem to all line up perfectly—an attribute that might bother type A users.
If you can overlook that, you’ll love the soft leather cover, which is available in eight shades. Each book comes with two bookmarks and a back pocket to store loose paper, along with a journal stencil to help you keep everything lined up just so. And at about 6 x 8 inches, these notebooks are the perfect size for stashing in your bag for on-the-go journaling.
Price at time of publish: $19
Dimensions: 8.62 x 5.98 x 1.5 inches | Format: Dotted | Page count: 320 (160 each)
Scribbles That Matter A5 Dotted Journal
Two ribbon bookmarks
Pen loop doesn’t easily fit pens
Dots are extremely faint
Love the idea of bullet journaling, but not sure how to get started? This notebook is great for newbies, stocked with everything you need to start implementing this new-to-you practice into your daily routine. It has key code pages, index pages, dotted numbered pages, and two color-coded bookmarks to help you stay organized.
The paper is exceptionally thick, too. Each page has a 160 gsm weight, so you can experiment with a wide range of media, including Sharpies, without fear of bleeding through. It even has a pen test page to test out different pens, to make sure they won’t bleed through. (Note: The book does come with a free pen to help you get started.)
It’s a pretty notebook, to boot, especially since it comes in various colors that range from deep purple to a soft white. No matter what color you choose, the cover is made of the same high-quality, ethically sourced vegan leather.
Price at time of publish: $30
Dimensions: 5.71 x .71 x 8.27 inches | Format: Dotted | Page count: 150
Feela Bullet Dotted Journal Kit
Binding is a bit loose
The biggest hurdle to bullet journaling is getting started, but this set takes the guesswork out of the process. Though a comparable price to many of the finer standalone notebooks, this journal comes with an impressive array of offerings to make the whole process easier. You’ll not only receive a quality hardcover notebook, but you’ll also get 15 colored pens, five stencils, six sticker sheets, six rolls of washi tape, and a black pen.
There’s no sacrificing quality, either. The dotted journal is thread-bound, and each of the 224 numbered pages has dots that are easy to see, as well as attractive rounded corners. To make journaling even easier, the notebook lies entirely flat, and it also comes with conveniences like an inner pocket, two ribbon bookmarks, a pen holder, and an elastic closure.
Price at time of publish: $19
Dimensions: 9.37 x 6.38 x 1.73 inches | Format: Dotted | Page count: 224
Premade Bullet Journal A5 Weekly Planner
Great for beginners
Options for customization
Not as much flexibility
Many people may love the idea of a bullet journal, but feel intimidated by the design element of it all, as the practice does require a certain element of quality penmanship and basic drawing skills. Fortunately, there’s another option that makes bullet journaling more attainable for the masses: a premade journal.
While you’ll be limited to the confines of someone else’s design, this high-quality pre-filled option is a great place to start. It includes 12 months of content (all pre-designed by hand and then digitized), including an undated annual calendar and weekly planner, along with six habit trackers, a travel log, a place to record goals and achievements, and more. The book also comes with a pen loop to store your pen, a frog pocket to keep you organized, and two satin bookmarks for added convenience.
There is some element of personalization, however. You can choose from four different color combinations and six different cover designs, and even have the cover embossed with your name, if you’d like.
Price at time of publish: $50
Dimensions: Not listed | Format: Varies | Page count: 190
Best for Work
Rocketbook Core Smart Reusable Notebook
Easy, high-quality scanning
Works with multiple cloud storage platforms
Ink runs out quickly
Erasing is time-consuming
Not a lot of pages
The Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook affords you a unique opportunity: the chance to stick with a single notebook, no matter how many bullet journals you normally would have gone through. That’s because this smart notebook records everything you write and digitizes it, so you don’t have to worry about losing your entries once you erase them from the physical notebook.
Sure, it’s not quite as tactile as some other options, but the opportunity for unlimited reuse is highly appealing. Plus, once your entries are digitized, you can quickly search through your notes to find exactly what you’re looking for—no need to thumb through hundreds of pages. All you have to do is use the Rocketbook app to scan and save your notes on a variety of cloud storage platforms—Google Drive, Evernote, OneNote, and more.
Price at time of publish: $29
Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.25 inches | Format: Lined | Page count: 36
Best Spiral Bound
RETTACY Dot Grid Notebook Spiral 3 Pack
Cover is clear, which allows for a “custom” cover
Pages aren’t numbered
Not durable enough to use without a tabletop
The RETTACY Dot Grid Notebook has a transparent hardcover to keep it protected. And even though it’s not quite durable enough to use without a tabletop, the clear cover is a nice touch that allows you to create a “custom” cover without writing on the cover itself—perfect for changing things up every once in a while.
The dotted paper is perfect for bullet journaling, but you can also get the notebook with grid or entirely blank paper if you prefer. The 100 gsm acid-free paper is nice and smooth, making it easy to write on. Just note: While gel pens are perfectly suitable, heavier markers may bleed through a bit. If you do make a mistake, the spiral binding makes it easy to tear a page out and try again. You’ll have plenty of wiggle room for these errors, too, considering that each notebook in the set of three has 160 pages for a total of 480 pages.
Price at time of publish: $16
Dimensions: 8.26 x 6.1 x 2 inches | Format: Dotted | Page count: 480 (160 each)
Best Soft Cover
Moleskine Classic Notebook, Soft Cover, XL
Many colors and patterns
Multiple styles of paper
Hard and soft cover options
Paper is relatively thin
The Moleskine Classic Soft Cover Notebook is a perennial favorite for good reason. The soft, vinyl cover is easy to manipulate—you can fold it over to get a better grip without the whole thing losing its shape, plus it’s nice and durable. The cover can be wiped clean, and it has an elastic closure, so you can stash it in your bag without worrying that the pages are going to get bent and crumpled.
If there’s any downside, it’s that the pages are relatively thin. As long as you don’t have your heart set on markers, you’ll have no trouble, though—gel pens are perfect for the Moleskine. Plus, the pages are nice and smooth, making it easier to write in your best penmanship—key for a well-organized bullet journal. Another organizational feature you’ll love is that the journal has a built-in bookmark ribbon, so you’ll never forget where you left off.
Price at time of publish: $24
Dimensions: 7.75 x 0.5 x 10 inches | Format: Ruled, dotted, square, plain, mixed | Page count: 192
The Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook checks all of our boxes, with a manageable size and quality dotted pages. There’s a folder in the back for added organization, and you can choose from over 24 colors. If you’re looking for something that offers a little more guidance for beginners, check out the Scribbles That Matter A5 Dotted Journal. It has key code pages, index pages, dotted numbered pages, and two color-coded bookmarks to help you learn the art of bullet journaling.
What to Look for in a Bullet Journal
Cover and Binding
There’s no right or wrong binding style for your bullet journal; it’s all personal preference. Saddle-stitched notebooks allow the booklet to lay flat, while coil or wire binding makes for extra easy page-turning. As for the cover, select a design that you love and will happily gravitate toward every day. Perhaps a plain design that you can monogram or personalize with your own doodles and designs will suit your fancy. When choosing between hardcover or softcover, again, it’s all about personal preference. Hardcover tends to be more durable, but softcovers are generally thinner, making them easier to throw in your purse.
Typically, bullet journals rely on dot grid pages, but you don’t have to stick to that parameter. Ultimately, the best bullet journal is one that works for you, so choose the page style that you gravitate toward: blank, lined, or dot grid. Not entirely sure? Blank pages are ideal for sketches, diagrams, and decorative pages; lined pages offer a lot of structure for a type-A personality; and dot grid pages are best suited for habit trackers and calendars.
Bullet journals typically have a table of contents to help keep you organized—actually, that’s kind of the whole point of a bullet journal. Because of this, page count is extremely helpful. Of course, if there’s a journal you really love that doesn’t have numbers, you can always add them in yourself—especially if you love to doodle anyway.
What is the difference between a bullet journal and regular journaling?
A regular journal is typically a lined notebook in which you can express your thoughts and feelings in a stream-of-conscious format. A bullet journal, on the other hand, is more of an organizer, from broad goals to your daily routine. Think of a DIY bullet journal as part planner, part to-do list, part regular journal—it’s a little bit of everything.
Is it too late to start a bullet journal?
Here’s some good news: It’s never too late to adopt a new routine—bullet journaling included. A bullet journal is typically a blank notebook, so you can start one any time—the middle of the year, month, or even week. Need some inspiration? These bullet journal ideas can help.
How many pages is good for a bullet journal?
Anywhere between 100 and 250 is a good place to start. If you’re a beginner to bullet journaling and only plan to keep track of a few things, like your to-do list, you can opt for a bullet journal on the lower end of the spectrum, but if you have grand plans for daily logs, you’ll want to explore options closer to 250 or even above. If you’re not sure, start with a larger notebook to give yourself some wiggle room.
What are the benefits of journaling?
Journaling isn’t just an activity—it’s a practice that has very real benefits, particularly for mental health. “Studies have shown that journaling reduces stress, allows for self reflection, and inspires creativity,” says Holly Chapman, head of global PR for Papier. By writing down your thoughts, goals, and more, it’s easier to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, which can help you process emotions, thoughts, and feelings better.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Brigitt Earley, a freelance writer with nearly 15 years of experience writing about consumer products, including kitchen accessories like trash cans. To curate this list, Earley scoured the most popular retailers to find the best, most highly-rated options. Then, she vetted each, reading all of the specs and hundreds of reviews. To make her top picks, she consulted experts like Holly Chapman, head of global PR for Papier, and then used that guidance as she analyzed the construction, formatting, style, and overall value of each product.
Additional research and reporting was conducted by Sienna Livermore, a product reviewer for The Spruce, who covers travel, home decor, fashion, beauty, and toys, and Megan McCarty, a writer for The Spruce and MyDomaine with over 13 years of experience in both print and digital media.