The Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hard Cover Notebook
with 249 Square Ruled Pages
Nothing proclaims the start of a new year like a brand new journal! I started Bullet Journalling last April and my OCD nerve has been in a constant state of twinge because my journal-making didn’t start at the beginning of a new year. It was so unsatisfactory to have ‘April – December 2015’ on the label. But NOW, in a fresh 2016, my old Royal Blue and incomplete Leuchtturm1917 notebook has been reborn into a brand new Bright Orange wonder that begins on January 1st! This tickles my fancy no end and if that makes me a stationary weirdo then I consider this my coming out.
The Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hard Cover Notebook (A5) with either dotted or squared ruling was the journal recommended by the original Bullet Journal-er himself Ryder Carroll. If you visit his website now, you will note that he has come out with a product himself through a Kickstarter campaign: The Bullet Journal. (Surprise!) All of his instructions now feature his own product. But guess who makes it? Leuchtturm1917!
So why does Leuchtturm1917 make such good notebooks? Well, to quote themselves: ‘Details make all the difference.’
- Format – Medium: 145 x 210 mm: which is A5 size. For those who are ‘paperless’ thats around the same dimensions as an iPad mini with a cover on and weighs about the same too, so no advantage or disadvantage when it comes choosing tech over analogue. For those that are the opposite of ‘paperless’ this is the perfect size for photocopying as a double page spread fits on an A4 copy perfectly
- Ruling: The notebook shown is Squared, however this particular size is also available with Ruled, Plain or Dotted pages. Squared and Dotted are perfect for Bullet Journaling as they give a uniform framework to your entries. That sounds like perfectionism, but its much easier to find a previous important entry when the layout is clear and not trailing all over the page.
- Pages: The Medium format notebook is available with either 249 or 121 pages in any of the 4 different rulings! More importantly they are all already pre numbered and have a space for the date at the top of each page, if that is your thing. The last 8 pages are perforated, so if you need to hurriedly jot something down and give to someone else – ransom note, inspired poetry, the code to diffuse a bomb, this week’s shopping list – you can do it neatly, and without tearing across any existing entries.
- Paper: Ink proof and acid free. Like to use a felt tip pen? Highlighters? Don’t worry, you’ll never have to skip a page or decipher any inkblots on previous entries because your ink bled through the page. Acid free because these babies are for Archiving. Need an alibi for the night of Tuesday the 3rd of June 2006? No worries, its probably somewhere in your journal… Perhaps more importantly, the pages are not crisp white. They’re a pale buff/yellow. Anyone who looks into a bright computer screen all day will tell you the havoc it plays on their eyes. White paper can be the same. Buff is much softer.
- Binding: These are hard cover notebooks with an elastic closure – which is delightful, because dog-eared pages and bent covers make my eyes twitch. The pages are thread bound rather than just glued or stapled. Why is this important? Two reasons. The first is, without glue, you can’t crack the spine. I hate that about paperback novels and then having the book always flap open awkwardly at a certain place and the spine start to tear, but then not want to open where you are trying to read. Thread bound means the book will always open flat on a table – much easier to write in. The second reason is, if you tear out a page in a glued book you get 7 pages rather than just 1, and a chunk of glue with it too. In a stapled book, the page on the other side of the staple also comes out, whether you want it to or not. Thread bound equals good design and craftsmanship and not cutting corners to save a dollar.
- Expandable Back Pocket: Because sometimes you want to keep something – like a receipt or a lock of your true loves hair – and sticky tape is so permanent and ugly. You could opt for a novelty shaped paper clip, but who carries those around? No one. Expandable pocket!
- Dual Page Markers: You know those ribbon things that mark your spot like an attached book mark? Those. There are two. And they’re different colours! Have a page you’re constantly referring to and need to mark, but don’t want to loose your current place? You’ve got one for each.
- Stick On Labels: Keep these in your expandable pocket and when the year is done or the journal is full, write the dates on it, pop one on the cover and one on the spine and archive it until you need that alibi.
- Pen Loop: This is an extra. But its free where I bought mine (details below) so you’d be mad not to get one. They come in as many colours as the journals themselves and have some serious adhesive to keep it stuck fast. I’ve taken to ordering mine in the colour of the previous year’s journal. Because I can. And I’m a Stationary Weirdo. And I’m proud.
See what I’m using to Bullet Journal in 2017
I bought my last two from LarryPost where the journal is $29.95 and includes the free pen loop, colour of your choosing. They also offer a debossing service – which is where they stamp the text – name or logo – down into the surface of the cover which then protects the text from bumps and wear. (Embossing is raised bumpy text that on this kind of surface will rub off with constant use.) What a great gift idea. Mr CC, if you are reading, I think I need a separate journal for all the notes I take on running WordPress…
Amazon also carry the Leuchtturm1917 Journals.
A note on The Pen:
Slightly off the Leuchtturm1917 topic but, I am obsessed with these pens! I write sh*t down a lot, but sometimes my brain goes faster than my pen and I skip words, or have to see the word misspelt to know how to spell it. Enter, the Erasable Pen! What a game changer! The one in the video (shown left) is the Pilot Frixion gel rollerball, but PaperMate do one similar called Replay and a ballpoint version called Erasermate. They’re all good. All come in different colours but I favour black and the 0.7 thickness otherwise my large scrawly handwriting looks like chicken scratchings. The ink also tends to be not so pigmented, so the thicker line makes the writing clearer.
Now, tell me, what are your weird and wonderful stationary fetishes? What rocks your boat when it comes to journalling? Maybe you Bullet Journal… Have you come up with your own customisations? You know, Sharing on The Compulsive Consumer, is Caring…