Help me find the perfect journal.
January 11, 2021 10:59 AM   Subscribe

I love to journal, but I'm having trouble finding that one oh so snowflakey perfect notebook that suits my stationery junky needs. They just don't seem to make them like I need anymore. I just want a hard cover, large lined journal with nice paper. I want to use it to brain dump and journal in with some decorating a little with photos, washi tape & colored pens. More snowflake details below.

Size A4 preferably, but will go as small as a B6 or a non standard size if needed, but not US letter sized.

Lined or graph not dot grid due to bad eyesight. though there are some interesting dot grid hybrids out there so if you think they'll work I'm open to experiment. Dot lined would be perfect. I'd prefer college lined or lager than 7mm, this rules out leucthttrum 1917, I love their A5 graph journals & use them a lot for other things, but their lines are just too close for my big messy brain dump writing.

I want nice paper to write on and white as possible. I like the paper in my my various leucthttrum 1917's but it leans too cream. I do use a fountain pen & felt tip pens so one that doesn't feather. I also like the paper in my Hobonichi techno, though it ghosts a little too easily. I'm not a crazed anti ghosting but want to be able to use both sides of a page.

It needs to lay flat, though happy to break it in.

Hard cover with good binding. Decorative hard cover would be nice. I'd prefer it not coil bound but if there is no other option it's not a hard no.

Don't mind undated planner pages and pages for an index at the front would be a great bonus

Baron & Fig looked promising, but they're sold out in the size I want. Also open to Japanese notebook suggestions.

Price not really an object for the perfect book, but $50 or less the preferable range.

Also bonus points for suggestions of Youtubers/instagrammers to follow that journal/memorykeep (not bullet journal, I have my bujo planner needs all sorted) as I may find some ideas for brands to try there.
posted by wwax to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: What about Moleskine? They have a variety of options for lined/unlined/dots, and are available in A4 with a hard cover.
posted by hydra77 at 11:21 AM on January 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It looks like Jet Pens might be able to help you filter down to a notebook of your specifications. I've filtered on hardcover lined notebooks in A5 here, and it looks like you can further filter on your line width spacing. Jet Pens, overall, has really good comparisons. If you poke around on their site, I'm sure they have some paper comparisons, so you can feel like you've picked the right shade of white/cream & you have a hefty enough paper for your writing instruments. Their YouTube channel is also... delightfully addictive to watch for the stationary nerd like me.
posted by ellerhodes at 11:25 AM on January 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Papier Le Moderne
Baronfig Confidant Hardcover

If you want to try a softcover, I really like Maruman Mnemosyne.
posted by betweenthebars at 11:33 AM on January 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Leuchtturm1917 journals are fantastic. They need to be broken in to lay flat, but they are great quality paper, come in loads of sizes and do dot grids. I switched from Moleskine a few years ago and would never go back.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:56 AM on January 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you want to try a softcover, I really like Maruman Mnemosyne.
I really like them too. I would also say they're midway between a soft and a hard cover. Before I started using them (they're now the only ones I use) I thought the spiral binding would be a dealbreaker. But actually it's very sturdy and allows the book to lie flat for drawing, etc. The paper never detaches from the spiral binding even though I carry it around in a bag and rifle frequently through its leaves.
posted by Morpeth at 12:28 PM on January 11, 2021

Best answer: I use a smaller size (A5) but recently decided to switch from Leuchturm to Rhodia. Rhodia's paper is DIVINE.

I'm unsure if they offer hardcover, but the Goalbook I'm currently using has something kind of in between a hardcover and a paper cover.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 12:29 PM on January 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Also came to recommend poking around on Jetpens - that's where I found a very specific notebook for my hubs for Christmas.
posted by brilliantine at 12:57 PM on January 11, 2021

Best answer: I like the journal "refills" that come with Oberon Designs products. The larger ones open flat much more readily than the smaller ones.
posted by rw at 2:11 PM on January 11, 2021

Best answer: Superbly made, lots of options, but not much Instagram sensibility - lab notebooks from BookFactory.

Really good at closing and at lying flat even when you’ve pasted printouts throughout. Heavy paper. Slight show-through when I use a fountain pen, no feathering.
posted by clew at 4:25 PM on January 11, 2021

Best answer: Sounds like you might like Archer & Olive, though their lined notebooks are out of stock right now.

My needs are similar to yours and I love my MD Paper A5 lined - there's a clear plastic cover sold separately that gives me the sturdiness I want. The paper is my favourite for a wet fountain pen, no feathering or bleeding.
posted by guessthis at 5:36 AM on January 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

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