I’ve recently got back into bullet journalling, and I’m thinking hard about how I can adapt the system to be helpful for my writing. In the meantime, though, I’m enjoying browsing notebooks as much as possible and collecting all the beautiful notebooks I can find as potential replacements when I fill up my Leuchtturm1917. Sadly I’m finding the page bleed in that journal really bad, so I definitely want to use a different brand with thicker paper next time.
I recently ordered myself a Dingbats* journal in dark green because a) the paper thickness is apparently higher, b) they’re fully eco-friendly and cruelty-free, and c) this one has a deer on the front! Gorgeous.
Anyway, if you’re a fan of notebooks (and I think most writers are at heart!) you might enjoy this post. I’ve rounded up my top seven favourite notebooks that you can find for under £25 on Etsy.
My requirements for journals are that I like them to be dot grid, A5 (or thereabouts) in size, and thick paper if possible (preferably 100gsm) but I’ll take thinner if the notebook is pretty enough. So far I’ve found myself preferring soft covers as I like to be able to spread them very flat, but the Dingbats* journal is a hardcover and I’m hoping to gradually move into using hardcover more and more as I think they stand up better.
Anyway, here’s my round-up of my top seven notebooks I’ve found over recent browses of Etsy.
Size: 7” x 9”
Price: £21.28 (+£18.55 shipping to the UK)
I love this journal. I think it’s so beautiful, and I adore a constellation theme wherever I can find one.
Unfortunately, there are some serious cons to this notebook, which are the thinness of the paper and the exorbitant shipping costs. I totally understand why it costs the shop owner so much to ship, but sadly I think I’ll just be lusting over this one from a distance.
If you’re US-based though, shipping is probably a lot cheaper, so this could be a great option for you!
Size: available in A5 or A6
Price: £7.41 for A5(+free shipping if you buy £27.95 worth of items from shop)
I really like this notebook. I can’t tell what thickness the cover is, although it looks like it may just be cardboard which may result in it getting pretty battered when it gets shoved into a bag.
The pages are dot grid or lined, whichever you prefer, and the paper is wonderfully thick. Plus, shipping is free with other purchases! There are loads of adorable bullet journal stickers in the shop, so I don’t think you’ll have any issues getting up to that price point. In fact, you may struggle not to go well over.
I’ve seen people who construct entirely separate bullet journals for their writing, and I think this notebook would be a great option for that.
Price: £9.32 (+ £4.66 shipping to UK)
This notebook easily has the most beautiful cover I’ve seen in ages, and the great news is there are several different designs you can choose from in this artist’s shop. They’re all her own personal watercolour designs and I want them all.
Like the one above, this looks like quite a thin journal, but again I think it would be great as a journal dedicated to a specific writing project or if you just want something light to chuck into a bag and go.
Price: £10.71 (+ £9.32 shipping to UK)
I’m a sucker for grey, and also a sucker for gold foil, so this notebook pretty much hits all my buttons. It seems to have a more solid cover than the previous two plus a lot more pages, so this is probably my favourite on the list so far. This would be a great full bullet journal candidate.
The store has loads of other beautiful options too, so why not have a browse!
Price: £20.00-£26.00 (+ £4.00 shipping to UK)
This is the first spiral-bound notebook on the list, and definitely a winner if you like bright colours and putting your name on things! You can have the notebook customised to suit you and choose from different page prints so there are loads of options for you. A couple of options will take you over my £25 top mark, but most are below it. Plus the shop has lots of other covers if you like their style but don’t like this cover!
Price: £11.65 (+ £3.26 shipping to UK)
The second spiral-bound notebook! I just adore the cover design on this one. Apparently it’s Japanese influenced, and I just think it’s really unique and unusual.
I’m not the hugest fan of spiral bound as I like to be able to spread drawings across double-page spreads, but I think if you are a fan of that binding this is another fab option. The thick cover will keep it safe in your bag, and I love that you can choose your spiral colour.
Size: A5 (plus lots of other options)
Price: £5.20 (+ £1.52 shipping to UK)
This is the thinnest and cheapest of my options here, and definitely not right if you’re wanting to delve into setting up a bullet journal that will last you months. However, this could be a great option if you want to have a go at bullet journalling before fully committing to a more expensive notebook or if you’d like to just jot down notes for a novel.
This is one I’d probably pick up for myself if I wanted to track a Nanowrimo project or just wanted a pretty notebook for my shelf. I’m a sucker for star signs, and I think this is just such a pretty design.
And there you have it, my seven favourite notebooks I’ve found recently on Etsy. Let me know if you guys like any of these, or even if you decide to buy one of them! If you’re as much of a notebook hoarder as I am, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to notebooks and I try to make sure they all actually link to sites you can buy them from so you’re not left lusting helplessly after a notebook when the search takes you to some random Tumblr page!
Also, does anyone else use a bullet journal? I love it as a system, so let me know!