Moleskine Bullet Notebook Review
Moleskine came out with a “Bullet Notebook” obviously geared for Bullet Journalling (BuJo) relatively recently. The BuJo started out on a squared large Moleksine notebook (surprise, surprise), and only later Ryder Carroll moved to Leuchtturm as his notebook supplier of choice. What surprised me was that Moleskine actually cared enough about BuJo to come out with a new offering, when they aren’t known for rushing out with new notebook formats very often.
The bullet notebook is part of Moleskine’s is part of their Art lineup, which usually has better paper than their usual lineup, as it’s used for sketching or watercolours. The choice is a bit peculiar, but it speaks to where Moleskine appears to think that BuJo fits: not in their business lineup, but within the artists’ and creatives’ one.
It comes in three cover options: black, coral pink, and aquamarine. That is also a peculiar choice for them, as normally products in the Art lineup come in any colour you want so long as it’s black. The bullet notebook comes with 120 gsm ivory coloured paper and is supposedly fountain pen friendly. Note the supposedly in that sentence, we’ll get to that later on. It is noticeably thicker and heavier than their standard large hardcover notebooks, and it comes with two bookmarks in different colours – in the case of the coral pink one is pink and one is grey. Fetching.
Now we come to where this notebook really becomes interesting, the interior. The first page of “Personal Data” is taken directly out of Moleskine’s planners. There’s a bit of fluff at the end that I don’t think comes standard with their planners, but I still recommend not filling this page, ever. Especially not the passport details, driver’s license and any other thing that can be used to ID you should you lose or misplace this notebook.
The next spread is the very cool Moleskine world map, the same one that you can find in many of their planners and other travel related products.
The next set of pages is where the bullet notebook starts to get interesting. It’s an index, with the first entry already printed inside: Pen Test on page 149. This is classic BuJo, and Moleskine delivers. There are five index pages, which should be enough for practically anyone’s needs.
Inside there are 148 pages of ivory coloured 120 gsm dot grid paper. That’s less than there is in a regular Moleskine, but the paper is significantly thicker, and already the notebook is thicker and heavier than their standard notebook. They put the maximum number of sheets they could without making the notebook too bulky. The pages lay flat, and Moleksine’s binding and covers are built for endurance. The pages are numbered, which is also something that Moleskine doesn’t normally do, but fits well with the Bullet Journalling Method.
There is space in the back for pen tests, so I immediately used it to test a slew of fountain pens. Moleskine claims that the bullet notebook is fountain pen friendly. It is not. There’s spread, there’s bleed-through, show through and sometimes spidering. This isn’t a fountain pen friendly paper on any count.
The back pocket has something new and interesting going on. Moleskine stuck folded piece of paper on the back pocket and on the outside it looks like regular dot grid paper:
But when you fold it out there’s a key page inside. Very elegant and clever.
I like that Moleskine are experimenting with new formats. I don’t like that they advertise this paper as fountain pen friendly when it clearly isn’t. The bullet notebook comes with a sheet of stickers that I didn’t bother photographing because it just looks like a sheet of solid pink, but it’s actually made of small stickers in various geometric shapes.
If you are looking to get into BuJo but enjoy working with mixed media or fountain pens, then look elsewhere. In terms of cost the Moleskine Bullet Notebook is about the same price as the official Leuchtturm one, and you get a better deal buying that if only for the official booklet. If you are looking for a more minimalist setup that what the official Bullet Journal offers and you aren’t planning on using fountain pens, than this is a decent offering, especially as it comes with more cheerful cover options. It is un-opinionated enough to be useful even to those who have never heard of BuJo in their lives. Do I see myself buying another one of these in the future? No. I am struggling to finish using the one that I have now (because I’m not a fan of dot grid). But I am glad that Moleskine is willing to give new notebook formats and paper types a try. If this notebook had this exact paper but in plain white or squared white, I would have bought a stack of them.