Why are Leuchtturm1917 notebooks so expensive?

Finding the right notebook is sometimes not that easy, after all, there are countless variants. But which one is particularly suitable for your bullet journal?

Today's article is about this question. In the end, all you need to start a bullet journal is a pen and a notebook. At first it doesn't matter how expensive or unusual the book is. Especially if you are just at the beginning and are still unsure whether this concept is even for you, I would recommend a cheap notebook.

Nonetheless, some have changed over time certain brands and variants established. Specifically, these are the books by the manufacturers Leuchtturm 1917, Nuuna and Moleskine, which I would like to introduce to you in more detail here.

What is a bullet journal?

This is typical for a bullet journal dotted grid, from which the name of this blog is derived. The point grid has the advantage over classic lines or a checkered layout that it leaves enough space for writing and drawing. At the same time, however, it offers a useful orientation for texts and tables, for example, in contrast to a blank style.

If you use it every day like I do, often have it in your hand and take it with you almost everywhere, in my opinion it makes sense, rather one hard cover to choose, which can also be used a bit.

Also, because the index is an integral part of the bullet journal, it is helpful to have it already numbered pages found in the notebook.

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Integrated ones, for example, are also practical bookmark, built-in Folding bags for small notes or memories and a Elastic band to close. Loops for the most important pens can also be useful.

What pens did I use to test each notebook?

In the Rhineland there is the beautiful saying: "Every Jeck is different." It is exactly the same with the bullet journals. There are tons of ways you can keep your notebook. Some enjoy reinventing themselves again and again, while others just have to be efficient and practicable.

Accordingly, the demands on the book used and, above all, the paper, also vary. So I tried to test as many different pens as possible and show the behavior in each notebook.

It was important to me, both the classic black pigment and ink pens to try out as well as normal pen. I use this type of pen for everyday notes, to-dos and lists of all kinds.

In addition to these basic colors, just like many others, I am also a fan of colorful accents and lettering. Especially those Brush pens from Tombow and the pastel Highlighter did it to me very much. But also different Fineliner are very suitable for adding a little color to your bullet journal with little effort.

So I picked out all of my relevant pens and created an overview. I tested the following brands and nuances:

  • Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen XS - black
  • Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen S - black
  • Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen F - black
  • Staedler Pigment Liner 0.3 - black
  • Schneider Xtra 8005 - black
  • Pentel EnerGel Liquid Gel Ink 0.7 - blue
  • Staples Ballpoint Fine - blue
  • BIC ballpoint pen - blue
  • Staedtler Triplus Fineliner - green
  • Aldi Kombimaler - green
  • Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen - 623
  • Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen - 725
  • Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen - 555
  • Stabilo Boss Original Pastel highlighter - purple and mint

I checked that each time Writing behavior as well as that To shine through or where appropriate Bleeding through, the actual leakage of the ink, on the back of the paper.

You can use the many pictures below to get your own picture of the individual books.

Lighthouse 1917

LEUCHTTURM1917 329398 Notebook medium (A5), hardcover, 251 numbered pages, black, dotted
  • Hardcover A5 notebook, dimensions: 145 x 210 mm
  • 251 numbered pages, thread stitching, index, 2 bookmarks, elastic band fastener, expandable pocket, stickers, acid-free paper, high-quality ink-resistant paper 80 g / sqm
  • by LEUCHTTURM1917

If you deal with the topic of the bullet journal, you can't avoid the Leuchtturm company. The books of this brand are for many, myself included, the entry point to the first bullet journal.

This is mainly due to the fact that the Bullet Journal inventor, Ryder Carrol, has perfected his system with a notebook from Leuchtturm and uses these books.

you have one good quality, are robust and available in many colors. The DinA5 format is also a good size. Lea and I are also great friends of the lighthouse books and are already using the third copy. All the pictures on the blog that show a bullet journal also show a lighthouse :)

Furthermore, it also has the advantage of good availability. Leuchtturm is an old German company, so you can get the books in every reasonably well-stocked stationery store or department store. You can also quickly find what you are looking for online.

The Write I find the lighthouse very pleasant. None of the pens tested run on the paper, the fibers absorb the color well.

Since the paper is not particularly thick at 80g / sqm, all pens used show through. This is the case most strongly with the EnerGel from Pentel and the dark Tombow.

Personally, however, that doesn't bother me. In everyday use I write on both sides anyway, so that the translucent writing is practically covered and also gives the whole notebook a certain charm.

To the Bleeding through In general, the cheaper fiber-tip pens (here from Aldi) and highlighter pens tend to be at the point where you put down when you draw the line. All of the remaining color collects there at that moment. However, this can be avoided with a little less pressure at the end of the line.

Generally I had in my lighthouse never had any problems with bleeding colors or oozing ink, so I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

The Leuchtturm notebooks are also available in many other versions (hardcover A7, A6, A5, A4 +; softcover A6, B5; lined, checkered, dottet, blank)

The official bullet journal

In addition to the normal notebooks, there is also one official Bullet Journal Edition available from lighthouse. This was developed together with Ryder Carrol and is available in two colors.

In addition to the features already mentioned above, this notebook has a “Bullet Journal” embossing on the cover and a third bookmark. In addition, there are eight pages of Bullet Journal Guide in English in the book as well as a prefabricated key and an extended index.

As Entry option I think this variant is very successful, I had bought a copy in black at the time. However, once you are familiar with the system, there is actually no longer any need for it.


Moleskine - Classic notebook with dot grid - Hardcover with elastic closure band - Color black - Size A5 13 x 21 cm - 208 pages
  • Always have this notepad with you, in your pocket or backpack. Take notes, create to-do lists, and check off all of your daily tasks
  • Classic design with hard cover and elastic closure. The right bookmark takes you straight to the right page every time. Expandable inside pocket for storing tickets
  • The acid-free, ivory-colored paper is ideal to meet the various creative needs and to adapt to all writing tools
  • Classic notebook with colored cover, rounded corners and pages with a dot grid, with the option to write down the contact details in case of loss
  • Lies flat and opens up to 180 °. Reusable bookmark on which individual notes can be noted. The story of Moleskine is included in all of our products

Another popular brand is Moleskine. Similar to Leuchtturm, the books are established, readily available and come in many colors and variants.

In contrast to the books mentioned above, the pages of the Moleskine are notebooks not numbered. Since the index is a not unimportant part of the bullet journal, Lea has already written a post about it, I see that as a small disadvantage.

Don't be surprised at the lines. Since I don't have a dotted version of Moleskine but only a notebook, I used it for the test. The paper, however, is the same as in the "normal" notebook and at 70g / sqm it is a bit thinner than that of the lighthouse.

As you write, you notice that the Pins run partially. This is particularly the case with the Schneider Xtra, but also the Fineliner from Staedtler. The highlighters do not give off a nice, rich color on this paper either.

As expected all pens used shine through here as well, but in some cases considerably. Even with that Bleeding through I had bigger problems here with the colors. You can see it again in the already mentioned Schneider Xtra S and the highlighters, but also in some places on the Pentel EnerGel.

Moleskine notebooks are also available in many other designs!


nuuna Design Notebook Graphic L - "Everything Starts" - Smooth Bonded Leather, softcover, color cut, dot matrix, 256 pages of premium paper, DIN A5, black
  • The flexcover notebook is equipped with a cover made of recycled leather, color edging and a screen print motif
  • This beautiful Nuuna copy in L format (DIN A5) is provided with 256 pages and a point grid in gray
  • Binding: Smooth Bonded Leather / Silver, Black
  • Paper: 120 g Munken / With thread stitching for perfect opening behavior / With page numbers
  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 22cm

As a third variant, I would now like to introduce you to a notebook that I haven't owned for a long time, but have already heard a lot about it. It is a book of Brand Nuuna, THE design notebook absolutely.

Nuuna is a German company that produces notebooks with very unusual and special bindings manufactures. They have already received the Red Dot Design Award 2016 for their designs, which are often inspired by well-known artists.

Not just the covers, that too format differs from that of the classic brands. The Nuuna is available in three sizes, I ordered size L and tested it. This is slightly larger than the normal DinA5 format, especially in width. Furthermore, the point grid is much narrower (= smaller) than that of the lighthouse or Moleskines.

The biggest difference, however, is this Paper quality. At 120g / sqm, the Nuuna has significantly thicker paper than the previously presented ones. In addition, it is pure white and very smooth, which has a clear visual advantage.

However, because of the thicker sides, it is too relatively difficult and also has no locking option. Another, not insignificant point of criticism is the really very intense, unpleasant odor of the book, which also goes over to the hands.

In addition to the various covers, I also like the paper very visually, as already mentioned. The rather smooth surface also makes it feel very comfortable.

Unfortunately run away For this reason, however, some pens are clearly visible in the fibers of the paper (Schneider Xtra and, to a lesser extent, Staedtler Fineliner).

The biggest surprise, however, follows on the back. Although the paper is relatively thick, Almost all pens seem to be here too at least to some extent by. In addition to the examples already mentioned, this is also extremely the case with the combination machine from Aldi, the dark Tombow and the highlighters, some of which are even a little bleed through.

Here, too, you first have to try out which pens work really well with the corresponding paper.

Conclusion: the Leuchtturm notebook has a very good price / performance ratio

My favorite is and will be the Leuchtturm notebook. Even if the designs of Nuuna's books are really very appealing and the format is very well thought out, it doesn't completely convince me. For me the paper is too smooth and the grid too small, although that is certainly a matter of habit.

However, if you want to focus on the optics and convince the pure white sides, you can't go wrong with the Nuuna!

What is your experience with the various notebooks? Can you recommend any more? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Our favorites for bullet journaling