Bullet Journal Notebook Review
- Key Features: I hate this notebook. I’m linking to the original listing on Amazon just so you can see the product details – but notice they aren’t even in stock anymore, so it’s not available for purchase.
- Size: 8.25″ x 5.75″
- Cover: soft | coated plastic
- Binding: sewn | paperback bookbinding
- Pages: 160
- Page styles available: lined
- Paper Quality: ~70gsm (although I don’t think stone paper is measured in the same as normal paper)
- Ghosting? Heavy ghosting
- Bleeding? Heavy bleed-through
- Feathering? Major feathering
Of all the notebooks I bought, this is the one I regret the most. In fact, I’m not sure that I even regret any of the above notebooks … but this one was a disappointment from the first time I put pen to paper. So first, let me explain this notebook.
The paper is made from stone, not wood or paper pulp like all other paper you’re used to. Basically, it’s made by grinding up leftover stone used to mine other types of stone (like marble or granite). The leftover stones are ground up into a powder then mixed with some type of plastic to create paper. Watch this fascinating video that shows How Stone Paper is Made. The paper is tear-resistant and water-resistant, so it makes the paper more durable than wood-based paper. It’s more expensive and it’s definitely a hot trend in journals right now. So of course, I needed to try it out.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was how heavy the notebook was. Not heavy like I couldn’t lift it, but when compared to a notebook of the same size and shape, it was noticeably heavier. In fact, as I’m writing this, I was curious enough about the weight that I dug out my trusty food scale. The Alibabette notebook above weighs 180g whereas the Xonex journal weighs 346g. Whoa! (That was sorta nerdy of me, wasn’t it?)
So let’s talk about the paper and how it performs. The paper is soft to the touch – like running your hand over white Caribbean beach sand. But the second you start to write you realize this paper has “tooth” (a roughness in texture) and grabs hold of the pen nib. Writing on the paper feels a little scratchy. The other thing that’s strange is the plastic content of the paper seems to … I don’t know how to describe it … engulf my pen nib? That sounds strange. My pen tip sinks into the paper even when I write with my normal light pressure and makes an indentation of writing on the backside of the page. On some of the pen tests, the pen tip poked right through the page and created a hole. On all the pens used there were major ghosting and a lot of bleed-through.
Also, notice the major amount of feathering – that’s when a wet ink soaks into a paper and spreads along the pores of the page and feather into each other. Even with the lightest fineliner that never has a problem (like Staedtler Triplus Fineliner) you see the distorted line of the pen. Actually look at that Staedtler writing sample – that’s a black pen I used, why is the ink purple? Also notice that the wet inks (fountain pen, Bic, and highlighters) didn’t actually dry on the page enough before I turned the page to look at the other side, so the ink smeared onto the previous page in the book. Very disappointing performance.
I have no idea what I’ll use this notebook for. But I have it. I guess I can just say out of 30+ notebook purchases, only regretting one of them isn’t so bad, right?