Dingbats Wildlife Medium A5+ Notebook

Bullet Journal Notebook Review

Key Features:

  • Size: 6.3 x 8.5 — 1/2″ wider than true A5
  • Cover: PU vegan Leather
  • Binding: sewn
  • Pages: 192
  • Additional features:  perforated pages, back pocket, pen loop, FSC certified
  • Page styles available: dotted, lined, blank, squares
  • Paper Quality: 100gm, cream paper
  • Ghosting? minimal ghosting
  • Bleeding? no bleeding
  • Feathering? no feathering

My Review:

I initially resisted buying the Dingbats Wildlife Medium A5+ notebook for a couple big reasons:

  • It’s too wide for my Galen Leather journal cover (it’s 1/2″ wider than true A5)
  • It’s expensive

But there’s such a craze over this journal and so many people raving about how awesome it is, that when I found it on sale for $19.99, I decided to take the plunge. I bought the red Kangaroo journal with lined paper. The app I use for tracking prices of products on Amazon shows that the price of this fluctuates between $19.99 and $25.99 pretty regularly, so if you’re going to buy it, wait until the price drops – it seems to change every few weeks.

Let’s jump straight into the specs and construction of this journal.

COVER – The cover is a textured PU leather in a variety of colors (red, gray, green, blue) and each different color has a different animal embossed into the leather. These include Kangaroo (the one I bought), whale, deer, bear, duck, tiger, elephant, etc.  Then inside the cover, on the end pages, the pattern matches the footprint of whatever animal is on the front of the journal.  The cover material is soft and it feels nice in my hand and the journal and binding seems to have good construction. I haven’t seen anyone post about the binding breaking down, so that’s a big plus on the construction side.  The cover material is vegan.

FEATURES – You get one bookmark, an elastic pen loop, and a strong elastic closure band. There’s also a back pocket – and again the end pages of the inside back cover and pocket show the footprints of the animal shown on the front of the journal.

PAPER – The paper is cream colored and micro-perforated (yes all the pages have a perforation so they can be torn out) and the paper is 100gsm weight and has a smooth writing texture. The ghosting is minimal but you can still see some ghosting on the fineliners and heavier inked pens. There are 192 pages (which seems to be the standard page count for notebooks with 100gsm paper). Pages are NOT numbered, but instead, in the space where you’d write a number, there’s an asterisk (a dingbat symbol?).

OVERSIZED – Let’s talk about the width of this journal since that was one of the big reasons I resisted the purchase in the first place. I invested a large amount into the gorgeous leather journal cover by Galen Leather and it is important to me that my notebook fit correctly into this cover since I carry it everywhere. So technically the journal does fit. But – and this is a big but – because the journal infringes on the spine space of the cover, it doesn’t allow me to add a pen to the pen loop inside my journal cover. The journal takes up the entire space inside the cover with no room for anything else. Why is this an issue? Because with a standard A5 journal, I’m able to fit two highlighters into that pen loop space at the spine – without that space, I’m forced to carry a larger pencil case to fit those pieces elsewhere.

PRICE – I absolutely understand the need to adjust pricing on products based on demand and stock/supply so I’m not faulting the manufacturer for playing with the pricing. It’s definitely something to be aware of as you are shopping, though. However, I believe this journal is overpriced for what you are getting. There are so many other really great journal options for much cheaper – my favorite journal is only $13, for instance.

CONCLUSION – Overall, this is a good option for a bullet journal notebook. I like that the notebook comes with pen loop because I tend to put one on all the notebooks I use anyway. I wish the pages were numbered and I wish the paper wasn’t so cream colored (but then again, paper color is a personal preference and I like bright white).  The paper is nice, the construction is solid and the covers are adorable.

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