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The Best Journal

Last updated on July 30, 2020

We looked at the top 10 Journals and dug through the reviews from 24 of the most popular review sites including Product Rapid, SVM Learning, BestReviews, Business Insider, Get Life You Desire, The Angle and more. The result is a ranking of the best Journals.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Journals

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall
  The Best Value

Poluma Dotted Grid Sturdy Weight Paper Journal

Poluma

Dotted Grid Sturdy Weight Paper Journal

Overall Take

Book-Bound JournalThe pages in this hardcover dotted journal are specifically designed for easy and efficient planning.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus The Balance Small Business, Good Housekeeping, Masha Plans, Comfortable Shoes Studio. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" This Poluma Dotted Grid Notebook is ideal for beginners who don't want to shell out a ton of money. It has all the features you'd want in your first dotted journal: a sturdy faux leather hardcover, inner pocket, attached elastic..."
Cons
"The only drawback could probably be the fact that they have only 1 ribbon and the pages aren’t numbered, which might be an issue for you if you’re planning to follow the original Bullet Journal system."

Paperage Thick Paper Hardcover Lined Journal Notebook

Paperage

Thick Paper Hardcover Lined Journal Notebook

Overall Take

Lined Thick JournalThis journal has a vegan-friendly leather-cover, pages of high-quality paper and top-notch design.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus SVM Learning, Sweet Planit. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" If you want a paper notebook with paper that isn’t too thin or too thick, the journal from Paperage falls right in the middle at 100 gsm. Many of the reviews I’ve read commented that the pages don’t bleed even..."

Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Journal

Leuchtturm1917

Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Journal

Overall Take

Easy-To-Use JournalThis journal is a medium-sized book that includes stickers for labeling, numbed pages, a place-keeper and a blank table of contents.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus BestReviews, Little Coffee Fox, Personal Planner for Me, Tiny Ray of Sunshine. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Thick, creamy paper that doesn't let ink bleed through. Index and numbered pages to track months or dedicated sections. Pocket in back to store keepsakes. Can be used as a journal, calendar, or appointment organizer."
Cons
"The Leuchtturm1917 isn’t the cheapest journal you can get your hands on. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks might be tough to get your hands on — this is especially the case for certain countries or regions. There can be some ghosting with certain..."

Moleskine Classic Hard Cover Lined Journal

Moleskine

Classic Hard Cover Lined Journal

Overall Take

Hard Cover ClassicIf you are in the market for a new sturdy journal, give this classic a try.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus BestReviews, The Pen Addict, olpr. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Target.
Pros
" Paper feels smooth and can handle gel rollers. We like the elastic band to keep everything tight. It's a good basic lined journal with a strong cover for writing on the go."
Cons
"I bought this notebook to see if the rumors I had heard about improved paper were true. It is worse than I expected. With a fountain pen, it feels like I’m using a stone paper notebook."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
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Products Considered

We identified the majority of the journals available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

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Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Product Rapid, SVM Learning, BestReviews, Business Insider, Get Life You Desire.

22,422

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Target.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Journals and also dug through the reviews from 24 of the most popular review sites including Product Rapid, SVM Learning, BestReviews, Business Insider, Get Life You Desire, The Angle and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Journals.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Poluma Dotted Grid Sturdy Weight Paper Journal

Our Expert Score
10.0
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
1,695 user reviews
Our Take

This dotted journal is perfect for those who want to get into a new type of journaling but do not know where to start. Its faux-leather is beautiful and easily fits into your daily life.

What other experts liked
This Poluma Dotted Grid Notebook is ideal for beginners who don't want to shell out a ton of money. It has all the features you'd want in your first dotted journal: a sturdy faux leather hardcover, inner pocket, attached elastic...
- The Balance Small Business
You know how it works: Sometimes your intentions don't align with your actions. That means this affordable option — less than the price of two lattes! — might be a good place to start.
- Good Housekeeping
Bullet Journal notebook by Poluma is one of the cheapest options you can get to start with your bujo, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a good notebook. It’s among Amazon’s picks in the Bullet Journal notebooks category and has...
- Masha Plans
The paper is thick, smooth with a hint of tooth. In testing the paper felt great with fountain pens, gel, ballpoint, roller ball, and every other pen I used. Pencils felt good too. There is just enough tooth for pencil...
- Comfortable Shoes Studio
What other experts didn't like
The only drawback could probably be the fact that they have only 1 ribbon and the pages aren’t numbered, which might be an issue for you if you’re planning to follow the original Bullet Journal system.
- Masha Plans
The downside of this journal is that it doesn’t have numbered pages or an index. There are only 128 pages which means you might fill this up in a month or two depending on your bullet journaling habit and practices.
- Comfortable Shoes Studio

Overall Product Rankings

Poluma Dotted Grid Sturdy Weight Paper Journal

1. Poluma Dotted Grid Sturdy Weight Paper Journal

Overall Score: 9.9
Reviews Included: 5

Paperage Thick Paper Hardcover Lined Journal Notebook

2. Paperage Thick Paper Hardcover Lined Journal Notebook

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 3

Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Journal

3. Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Journal

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 5

Moleskine Classic Hard Cover Lined Journal

4. Moleskine Classic Hard Cover Lined Journal

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 5

Peter Pauper Press Lined Celestial Journal

5. Peter Pauper Press Lined Celestial Journal

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 3

LYTek Hardcover Faux Leather Lined Journal, 2-Pack

6. LYTek Hardcover Faux Leather Lined Journal, 2-Pack

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 3

BooQool Hardcover Ruled Notebook Journal

7. BooQool Hardcover Ruled Notebook Journal

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 1

MALEDEN Classic Refillable Leather Writing Journal

8. MALEDEN Classic Refillable Leather Writing Journal

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 5

Poluma Hardcover Thick Paper Ruled Journal

9. Poluma Hardcover Thick Paper Ruled Journal

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

Lemome A5 Wide Ruled Hardcover Journal

10. Lemome A5 Wide Ruled Hardcover Journal

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 5

Our Journal Findings

Poluma Dotted Grid Sturdy Weight Paper Journal

What We Liked: This dotted journal is perfect for those who want to get into a new type of journaling but do not know where to start. Its faux-leather is beautiful and easily fits into your daily life.

Simplemost Media

Paperage Thick Paper Hardcover Lined Journal Notebook

What We Liked: Not only does this journal look nice, but its thick pages are designed for your favorite pen or pencil. One glide across a page is all it will take to make you fall in love. We like how many colors this journal comes in.

Simplemost Media

Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Journal

What We Liked: Professional looking and easy to use, this journal is great for at home or in the office. It comes with a lot of bells and whistles including stickers and a place keeper so you never have to guess where you left off.

Simplemost Media

Moleskine Classic Hard Cover Lined Journal

What We Liked: A book loved by travelers and homebodies alike, this journal is here to show you what you are missing.
It is extremely durable and ready to go on an adventure with you. Throw it, crunch it or keep it tucked away in a corner, this journal will last.

Simplemost Media

Peter Pauper Press Lined Celestial Journal

What We Liked: This journal is not only a great addition to your book collection but to your decor. Its gold-lined pages will make you feel like a million bucks.

Simplemost Media

Our Journal Buying Guide

Finding the perfect journal is a necessity. Whether you are working from home or jotting down what you are going to make for dinner, it is important to have a journal you can rely on. Forget about all the little scraps of paper you have in your purse, coat or backpack; it is time for a change.

Simplemost Media

Keep all your notes and plans in one compact place. Looking for a place to put your computer passwords? Done. Need a way to keep track of your work to-do list? Done. Have a lot of creativity and nowhere to put it? Done.

Putting pen to paper is an easy way to transfer what is in your head onto something more concrete. Many times we just go through the motions of everyday life, we do not stop to think about what we are doing and how we are doing it. That is why it is important to find the right journal. Think about your life, what you do and how you want to improve.

Simplemost Media

There are a couple of journal types that we personally love. One is your classic lined paper journal. With a lined journal, you are given the guidance of paper with horizontal ruling.

Lines make it easy to stay organized and clean.  Some great options are the Paperage lined journal notebook. It is perfect if you are looking for a simple and sleek option. The Paperage journal is a hardcover book filled with 160 pages of high-quality paper. It is thick, sturdy and includes an expandable inner pocket, one ribbon bookmark, one cardholder and a handy elastic closure band.

Simplemost Media

The journal also comes in an amazing assortment of colors. We like the idea of buying a different color for different topics! And when we say an array of colors, we mean it: from a beautiful Robin’s egg blue to a classic black, you have options.

Another lined journal option is the beautifully designed Peter Pauper Press Celestial journal and it has some history. The cover is designed as a reproduction of a gold-tooled book binding created by the Henry T. Wood bindery of London in 1933.

The 160 lightly-lined pages are encased by a cover featuring the sun, planets, stars and gold gilded edges. This journal will not only be a great addition to your everyday life but can also double as a stunning coffee table book.

If you are looking for a journal that is a true classic, check out Moleskine. These notebooks have deluxe quality pages that are perfect for ballpoint pens, fountain pens or pencils.

These journals are incredibly durable, so don’t be afraid to throw them in your bag and go. Because these journals are not spiral-bound, they are less likely to fall apart or be affected by moisture, so be prepared to use your Moleskine for months and months, or until you run out of pages, whichever comes first.

If a lined journal isn’t for you, make way for the dotted journal. Why a dotted journal? We have the answers.

A dotted journal can help you keep your handwriting in check and you can create your own personalized planner. A dotted journal makes it easier for you to draw straight lines and create page breaks as you see fit. It also allows you to move around the page more freely and not be tied down to lines on a page.

These books are great for those who want to be a bit more creative and customize each page to their needs. Dotted journals make it easier to create lists, be creative (draw outside the lines … literally) and even track expenses.

For these reasons, we like the Leuchtturm1917 dotted hardcover notebook. It is a medium-sized book that includes stickers for labeling, numbed pages, a place-keeper, a blank table of contents and an expandable inside pocket.

Another option is the Poluma dotted grid journal. Similar to the Leuchtturm1917, it is a sturdy book with plenty of pages to fill. Its faux-leather cover is perfect for the office or on the go.

DWYM Fun Fact

Did you know that journaling can help with mental health? Journaling is a way to combat stress, anxiety and even depression.

Journaling can help prioritize your problems, fears and concerns as well as track any triggers you may have. It provides a safe space for you to get it all out on paper and out of your head. It is thought that writing helps our mental health by giving us a path to confronting previously inhibited emotions (like stress) and help us process past and present events.

Some studies suggest that journaling especially helps those with PTSD conditions and a history of trauma. A great thing about writing therapy is there is no wrong way to do it, all you have to do is write.

Keeping a journal for mental health activates the rational left side of your brain and the creative right side of your brain. Merging these two has a lot of positive effects. So, the next time you are feeling stressed, pick up a journal.

The Journal Tips and Advice

  • Know that your journal does not have to be for any specific thing. Do not worry if each individual page holds something different. Your journal is your own and you are free to do with it whatever you please! Relax and let your pen do the talking.
  • Make it your own! Feel free to jazz it up a bit. Make your journal a welcome addition to your day.
  • Bring it everywhere you go. You never know when inspiration will hit or you need to jot something down. The good thing about the journals we have chosen is that they are sturdy and easy to stash in any bag.
  • If you are using your journal to help keep stress or anxiety at bay, start slowly and be self-aware. Write in a private, quiet space where you can think. Try to remain consistent. The more consistent you are with writing, the better.
  • Writer’s block is a real thing. Try switching up where and when you write. Sometimes all you need is a different environment to spark creativity, even if that means going from your living room to your bedroom.
  • Try not to limit yourself to just words on a page. Draw something and explore your creative side. You can even scrapbook or tape letters, poems or postcards inside.
  • Do not be afraid to use journal prompts. Not everything you put on the page has to be perfect. Prompts are a fun way to step outside of yourself and discover something new.
  • At the end of the day, write for yourself. The only person you need to impress is you.  Messy, organized or mostly blank, your journal is yours alone.