Ghost Grid Dot Hardcover Journal

Bullet Journal Notebook Review

Key Features:

  • Size: 8.25″ x 5.5″ – this is half-letter size rather than A5 which makes sense because this is a company based in the USA so American sized paper would be logical for this brand.
  • Cover:  soft touch wood grain cover that truly feels like wood made out of leather, really cool. The branding on the front is prominent (I wish they had gone more minimal here).
  • Binding: sewn
  • Pages: 168
  • Additional features:  no
  • Page styles available: dot grid with 5mm spacing
  • Paper Quality: 100gsm
  • Ghosting? minimal ghosting
  • Bleeding?  no bleed through
  • Feathering?  no feathering

My Review:

I was first introduced to the Book Factory when I bought the spiral A5 Ghost Grid notebook (I’m just starting to lay out my budget and financial tracking in that book). The paper quality was excellent in that little spiral book, so I was intrigued enough to try the hardcover journal too. I was not disappointed!

The Book Factory is a veteran-owned company based the United States of America and their books are produced in Ohio. I point this out because, as an American, I find it interesting that so few stationery-based products are actually made in America. We see a lot of paper and pens from Japan (seriously, Japan loves stationery!) and a lot of mass-produced materials from China. So when I see a USA-made book, I sit up and take a closer look.

When I first opened the package on this Ghost Grid Hardcover Journal I fell in love with the feel of the cover. It’s soft and it has a wood grain texture. The texture is so realistic that it fools you into thinking it’s real wood – except it feels like leather. It’s like what would happen if a tree and a cow had a baby. Ummm…. nevermind. Stop thinking about that. Sorry. Moving on.

I was a little bit worried about the binding of this book. It felt tight at first. When I opened the book it definitely did not lay flat. In fact, it wouldn’t stay open at all.  Then I remembered this video I watched a few weeks earlier about how to properly break in the spine of a book, so I thought I’d give it a try. It worked! Now, this journal lays perfectly flat without any problems at all. Watch the video below – I’m totally doing this with all my new journals!

So let’s talk about the paper here. Just like the little spiral Ghost Grid (I have no idea why I call it little, it’s normal A5-ish size but for some reason, it feels little in my hand, who knows. I’m strange.) the paper in this notebook is also 105gsm and ghosting is minimal with most of my pens. Only the wettest pens (Bic and Pilot Varsity) showed any type of ghosting at all. Those are two pens I don’t even use in my journals, but as a test, it’s good to know what the limits of your paper might be. There’s 1 bookmark (it’s red!) and it has 4 index pages at the front of the book. Pages are numbered and the paper is bright white.

A big bonus of this brand is that you can go with this size (half-letter / A5) or the larger size (letter / A4). Plus there is another cover option that’s just a brown leather with a bit of a gradient look to it. Or if you prefer spiral, there’s that too. Again, all their cover options are available in the two sizes and that’s a huge bonus!

My only suggestion to The Book Factory is to minimize the gigantic branding on the front of the journal. I’m fine with having the brand on the inside but give me the front of the journal, please. This would be a much more elegant journal if the front was purely the wood grain textured leather without any other embellishment.

Overall, this is a great bullet journal notebook and I highly recommend it.

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