Lemome Planner Journal Review, Flip Through, and Pen Test
We bullet journalists are picky about our paper, notebook construction, and product reliability. And over the past several months, the Lemome line of notebooks has wiggled their way into our hearts. The paper inside a Lemome notebook is a heavy 125gsm that stands up to nearly any pen or marker we throw at it. They just expanded their plain notebook line to include lines, dots, square and blank journals and now they’ve taken the leap into the world of planners. This Lemome Planner is something to definitely take notice of!
Yes, that’s right folks – Lemome now has a pre-printed planner journal. And you’re going to love it. No really, this planner might just be the game-changing journal to convince you to make the jump back to a pre-printed planner from your traditional blank bullet journal if you’ve grown tired of (or just don’t have the time to) draw out monthly and weekly layouts.
Let’s dive in and take a look.
First, let me warn you that Lemome Notebooks is in the middle of a full product upgrade so their Amazon sales page is changing quickly and things are moving around day-by-day. So the links I’m sharing below are current as of publication, but if you find that they no longer take you where you think they should – give me a shout and I’ll fix the links. I highly advise you to follow Lemome Notebooks on Instagram – they have new products coming out, new color families, and have started featuring customers artwork in their journals. I’ve also found them to be very responsive to answering questions and sharing information about new products, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them with questions if you have any.
When I first spied these planners on Amazon I snatched them up right away. And it didn’t take long for others to do the same because the 2018 planners soon sold out on Amazon and it took a few weeks to get things back in stock (this review has been waiting for that moment to happen, so I’ve been stalking their Amazon page!). As of this writing, these planners are back online and available for sale, but get them quickly because it seems they’re very popular.
When I found them on the Lemome sales page on Amazon, the descriptions for each notebook weren’t clear about the differences, so of course, I just bought them both. Now that I have them both, I’m going to shed some light on the differences. So let’s take a closer look.
Textured Faux Leather Hard Cover 2018 Planner
The Lemome Textured Faux Leather 2018 Planner is beautiful! The cover is a soft textured faux leather with a look and feel of woven fabric. It comes in black or blue – but other colors are coming soon. If you stalk the Lemome Instagram feed (like I do), you’ll see that they have been introducing new colors and styles over the past few weeks. So far I’ve spied green and gray – I wonder what else they have coming.
When comparing this journal to the suede version I feel like Lemome has stepped up their game significantly. The construction here is outstanding and the notebook itself feels solid. There is still a pen loop on the spine – which is an awesome feature that I haven’t seen on many other notebooks. The amazing 180º Lay Flat spine feature is truly amazing. You open the book when you first get it and it just falls open and lays completely flat. You don’t need to break in the spine or coax the pages to stay open. Yes, there are other journals that lay flat open, but this is different. It feels different and better and cool somehow. And just like their other journals in this style, the paper is THICK – 125gsm – which is the heaviest paper I’ve seen in any journal that isn’t sold as a sketchbook.
Soft Faux Leather Hard Cover 2018 Planner
The Lemome Soft Faux Leather 2018 Planner is exactly the same as the one above with a textured cover – the only difference is the feel of the cover. This version has a soft feel and it does a very good job of fooling me into believing it’s real leather. Again with this style, Lemome is coming out with a slew of new colors options. It’s already available in a beautiful soft blue and it looks like green and gray are also on the way in this style too.
As I mentioned, the construction of this faux leather version is exactly the same as the textured leather. Same pen loop, same 180º Lay Flat spine, same quality construction. Same heavy 125gsm paper.
New for the 2019-2020 Lemome Dated Planner is a larger size so you can spread out and use lots of space. At 8″ x 10″ it’s a bit bigger than B5 / composition notebook size.
The inside pages of these two dated planners are exactly the same – same paperweight, same printed style, same construction. The only difference I’ve seen is the cover style itself. So let’s talk about the insides…
Each journal measures 8.4” x 5.7” which is true A5 size. The journal is ⅞” thick, so it feels substantial but still compact enough to carry easily. It has the same footprint of the Lemome Classic notebook with the suede cover (if you’ve tried that notebook, it’s the same… but this new version is better.) At the front of the notebook, you have a full year calendar for both 2018 and 2019 plus a list of U.S. holidays for the next three years. There’s a quick reference contact page to begin the notebook and two full pages for other contacts. Plus a time zone map of the U.S. in the back.
Each journal has the signature pen loop on the spine that is surprisingly efficient. The pen loop feels tighter than the loop on my Lemome Classic (suede) notebook so if you’re using a thick pen like a fountain pen, it’ll be a tight fit until that elastic stretches out some. My Lamy Fountain Pen fits, it’s just super tight.
You also get two bookmarks, an elastic band closure, and a back pocket, as you’d expect.
I’m not typically a pre-printed planner type of gal but this one is different because Lemome has figured out how to give me a calendar-based journal and enough blank pages that I can include collections in the back of this notebook.
After the calendar pages end, you get 58 blank pages in the back. My journal actually has lined pages in the back, and I believe the early versions all came with lines. But because of my amazing stalking abilities – it looks like Lemome has listened to us and the new batch of journals have blank pages in the back instead of lined. These 58 extra pages are amazing in a printed planner though! This gives you space for journaling, drawing, practice your lettering, or place to add collections, lists, project planning or even habit trackers for each month. Brilliant, huh?
I know what you’re thinking… But these extra pages are blank. I need dots!
Hold on a minute. Give the blank pages a break. Give them a chance to prove themselves to you. Don’t let your love of dots overshadow how awesome the blank page could be for you. Pick up some cool stencils or grab a ruler and you’ll be just fine with blank pages. Imagine how creative you can get without the constraint of lines or dots.
Let’s talk pen tests. We already know the Lemome paper holds up to a lot of pen and marker options and this planner is no different. The paper is the same 125gsm that we’ve come to expect from this brand and it definitely stood up to the test I put it through.
No ghosting. No bleeding. No feathering.
Undated Planner Options
If you are hesitant to grab one of the dated versions of this journal, why not pick up the Lemome Undated Journal instead? So far I see that you can get it in black, gray or blue in both the soft faux leather and the textured faux leather – but I’m sure new colors are on the way. Un-dated could be helpful if you’re starting a new journal in the middle of the year or just want the flexibility of not using the planner every single day/week of the year. Take a peek at their Instagram feed and it looks like the UNDATED version has some decorative quote pages sprinkled throughout the notebook. How fun!
Why choose a pre-printed planner for your bullet journal?
Are you tired of drawing monthly calendar in you blank journal? Are you struggling to find the right weekly layout that gives you enough room to list tasks and notes? Do you need a bit of structure for your basic pages but need the freedom to add collections to help you stay on top of projects throughout the year? Do you want to fit the entire year into a single journal?
This planner journal honors all those needs. I believe this is an excellent solution for those who want the best of both worlds.
Oh, wait… we didn’t even talk about the price yet. Depending on which cover you select, this planner under $20. What?!?!! I know. I was surprised too. With that price point, I was a bit nervous about what would arrive in the mail. It was a pleasant surprise to receive such a high-quality planner for such a bargain.
But what if you’re not a pre-printed planner type of person and really want your blank bullet journal?
Let’s explore some other ideas for this planner. Maybe it won’t be your main bullet journal, but there are lots of other cool things you could do with it.
- For this price, you could do something drastic if you’re brave enough. Get this planner and tear it apart. Harvest the best parts of it and “tip in” pages to the journal you’re using. For instance, you could take the monthly calendar spread and tip it into the middle of a habit tracking spread in a more traditional bullet journal. (The term tip-in simply means to add an extra page to an existing page by taping it to the original page.) This could be especially helpful if you have a ring binder or discbound planner.
- Use this as a second bullet journal just for work-related information or task planning. The blank pages in the back could be used for meeting notes or more extensive project planning.
- This journal would be a great way to capture a whole year of gratitude. Each day’s lined box would be ideal as a way to write a few lines about the day and list the good things from that day.
- Capture #KidsQuoteOfTheDay.
- Speaking of kids – this could be a planner just to keep track of the hectic school and sports schedules of the family.
- A mini family scrapbook – combined with an HP Sprocket printer to print a photo a day in the life of your family. (I’m seriously considering this for myself – if I decide to do it, I’ll tell you all about it!)
- Capture a whole year of tracking your progress toward a single big goal like weight loss or remodeling your house or random acts of kindness.
The possibilities are endless! What are you planning to use for your 2018 bullet journal or planner? Have you gotten any new ideas from this review?
The battle I fight for you guys is fierce! I have two little monsters who insist on using all stationery supplies as their lounging space…. sometimes they’re just too cute to not snap a picture. Nerds, let me introduce you to Pounce. She’s a brat, but at least she’s adorable.